Niskayuna Schools > Academics > Art Department > HS Art Program > College & Portfolio Help

College and portfolio help

Here are links to web pages that offer lists of art schools and colleges. You will find some schools on all of the lists and others only on one or two.

Art Portfolios

Every school has specific portfolio requirements. It is essential that you contact the school or check out their portfolio requirements online for content and format (slides, original works, etc) required by that school.

All schools want to see observational drawing - even the computer graphics, animation, and multimedia majors should have strong observational drawing.

Use your sketchbook to 'think' - try out ideas, draw small studies, still life, lettering, people, design. Show the way you think. Many schools accept a sketchbook as part of your portfolio if you go in person. List of Sketchbook ideas

Follow this link to an excellent article on preparing your portfolio.

Portfolio Tips
  • Most colleges expect 12 - 20 pieces in your portfolio.
  • Keep all of your work stored in a flat box or portfolio, with tissue over chalk or pastels.
  • Select portfolio pieces based on college requirements.
  • Show depth and breadth.
  • Organize portfolio with strongest piece first, next strongest piece at the end. Have a logical progression of work.
  • Take color slides of all work - at least 3 slides of each artwork. Create three- five sets of your portfolio slides.
  • Practice showing your portfolio to family and friends to prepare for the interview.
  • Attend a Portfolio Review Day (meet college reps, practice showing work, see other portfolios

Suggestions for a well-rounded portfolio:

  • Sketchbook: A visual record of thoughts and ideas. Preliminary studies for larger more finished work, etc. May include writing, collage, etc.
  • Things to avoid: Anything that may be viewed as a cliche.
  • Disney characters, sunsets, super-heroes, models, work that is not original, should be avoided.