Otis College: Preparing Your Art Portfolio

Otis College: Preparing Your Art Portfolio

>>Hi, my name is Kaitlynn Redell and
I am an admissions counselor at Otis College of Art and Design. I am also a recent Otis graduate. I graduated just a couple years ago so I totally understand what you’re going through in terms
of applying to art school. Applying to art school is very very
different than applying to a state school or university
and one of the most important aspects of how it is different is the application process in terms of
submitting your portfolio. The most important thing to think about
when you are applying to art schools is really research the art schools you’re thinking
about going to and look at their portfolio requirements because every portfolio requirement is
going to be slightly different. Some schools have specific assignments,
some schools require that you submit a digital
portfolio, some schools require that you submit actual physical work. So what we’re looking for at Otis is 10 to 20 images of your best and most
recent work, and the reason why that’s a little bit
more open ended is because we want to see what you think your best work is. Now if you feel photography
is your strongest work, maybe you don’t feel as passionate
about drawing, as opposed to showing
photography and drawing, if you feel photography is your absolute best work –
that’s what we want to see in your portfolio. So your portfolio can be a range of things
in terms of visual art work. It can be photography, can be illustration, it can be
graphic design, if you’re interested in digital work,
it can be things like animation, it can be obviously a little bit more
traditional items like drawing and painting as well as sculpture. There are some
students who are interested in a combination of things and
maybe have more mixed media work and that’s absolutely okay as well. Other things we are interested in … we
want to see again technical skill so that’s really
tuning into your showing what you can do in terms of
technique. So whether that’s drawing and beginning to show you know strong line
quality, composition, as well as proportion. Maybe that’s what
technical skill means to you. If maybe your focus is more on graphic
design, maybe that’s those technical skills are your computer
based skills. Now in terms of creativity what we’re looking for is your voice as an artist. So we want to
see what you’re passionate about, what makes
you want to make art. You can submit your portfolio by
uploading Jpegs as well as moving files as well if
you’re interested animation through electronic website. A lot of
schools are moving in this direction because it makes it much easier for
students to do everything from your computer at home. You
just have all your work ready to go, upload your images, and then press submit
and the work goes directly to the school. Most often work that you’ve done within
the last three years of your high school career is going to be much stronger than
work let’s say that you’ve done in 8th grade. So you want to try to focus on that work
and what I always suggest to students when they’re trying to edit their
portfolio is put out all your work on the floor and look at it. You’re gonna
see which pieces are the weakest, and you can take them out. So think about putting pieces that you feel are strong in the beginning so we have a very good
outlook when we first open your portfolio. Think about how one piece leads into the
next piece. So maybe that means you don’t have all your brightly colored pieces
together, maybe that means you have a little bit of variety and you space them out. Again this is how you feel your
work will look strongest in a portfolio setting. I hope you have learned some valuable
tips in terms of putting together a portfolio, and having a better understanding of what
an electronic portfolio is. We wish you the best of luck as you
begin to apply to art schools and in your college career.


  • ghostie7790 says:

    thanks, that was really helpfull

  • alhex123 says:

    @Mandylicious2 what did she do?

  • alhex123 says:

    @Mandylicious2 Could of you afford it?

  • alhex123 says:

    @Mandylicious2 wow yeah she really did not do the right thing I am sorry. It is cool how you knew in high school what you wanted to do and where to go. I forgot I was good in Art and it took me halfway through college that Art was for me, but yeah It is never to late. Hopefully your doing doing well and one day you will go 😀

  • Agustin Nufio says:

    @Mandylicious2 wow what a shitty counselor, iam a senior but imo to a counselor u get tell her/him this is what i want, what do i have to do in life to achieve this. THERE WILL ALWAYs bE A WAY!! luckly my mom is my counselor at my school… so shes nice haha

  • Crystal Rich says:

    Thank You.

  • Elizabeth O says:

    Very insightful! Thanksss! ;]

  • DeiToastx says:

    hello! i am totally freaking out on making my portfolio for graphic design,
    they'd prefer i have it submitted in digital form, then here comes a question.
    do i have to print out my artwork in large size paper they require? sorry, i'm just totally confused about that part. Also, this video helped me with my other questions! thanks!

  • volgg says:

    another good tip (optional): if you can find a person who mentors and helps students with their portfolios, i would strongly recommend taking lessons (if you're not very confident with your artwork).

  • TotalZukoFan says:

    I have a question. One of my passions is movies and comics, and I love drawing fanart of comic books characters. The pictures I do are totally original; i don't trace or copy someone else's art. I also draw portraits of actors and characters from movies like avengers. Is that kind of stuff appropriate for a portfolio? It's all my original artwork, its just a movie character. I feel like a lot of my best pieces are fanart. :/

  • Julious says:

    well from the colleges i looked up like vcu or whatever on their site its not "recommended" so honestly mate i wouldnt they said from up close observation like shit u see outside or people you know kind of like the titatanic moment so ask a lucky lady 😉 but ya i wouldnt wouldnt do it. better safe than sorry !!

  • Michaela Belle says:

    i think that you should present the things that you are passionate about

  • Jonathan Logan says:

    I caught an error in your presentation of The Great Wave, it’s by Katsushika Hokusai not by Hiroshige, who made a similar print called Awa Whirlpool. Don’t ask me how I peeped that, I just know.

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