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How to Prepare an Art School Portfolio: Get Feedback on Your Art Portfolio from Art Professionals

Updated October 27, 2019

By Clara LieuAdjunct Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design

Don’t work on your art school portfolio by yourself

Creating a portfolio should not be an effort that you have to do entirely on your own.  Yet it’s very common that many students do not take the initiative to seek out feedback and help on their portfolios. Don’t get stuck in your own ways with your portfolio and shut out any outside opinions.  Because inevitably, you’ll need to find out how your artwork is coming across to someone who is not you!

You can’t rely on only yourself to evaluate your portfolio (or your parents)

All artists struggle with evaluating their own artwork, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your background and/or experience. Getting outside of your own head is impossible for every artist, and finding something to evaluate your work in an objective manner is hugely important.

Consider this: would an aspiring concert pianist who is trying to get into Julliard try to figure out how to play a Rachmaninoff piano concerto on their own with no piano teacher?  Visual arts is no different from any other field, you have to get an outside opinion to improve.  All artists, even professionals will get stuck in their own heads and won’t be able to evaluate their artwork objectively.

Hearing another point of view on your artwork is hugely important

A fresh eye from someone else is hugely important when developing your artwork. An art teacher can aid you in weeding out the weaker works, and provide invaluable advice about what direction to head in. Don’t rely only on yourself (or family members) to make decisions about what works go into your portfolio.

Seek out portfolio critiques, no one is going to come to you!

Take the initiative to get a critique to an art teacher whose opinion you trust to get a thorough portfolio critique. You can’t wait around for your art teacher to approach you, you have to take action and go to them.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised that many high school art teachers are happy to provide ongoing assistance in your portfolio preparation process.

Many high school students have very little, if any experience with the process of an art critique, so sometimes it can be tough to know what is a helpful comment and what is a less useful comment.

If you don’t know what to look for, our video critiques to get a sense of what a professional art critique is like.  Sometimes if you can watch a critique in action that doesn’t involve your artwork, it’s a lot easier to get a sense of the overall process.

Purchase a Portfolio Critique or Skype Call or Chat

If you don’t have access to an art teacher who can provide professional feedback with your portfolio, you might consider purchasing a 30 min. portfolio video critique  or a Skype Call or Skype Chat to get customized feedback that is specific to your portfolio.

Our staff artists have years of experience assisting art students preparing their portfolios for art school admission, and you can request a specific artist to review your portfolio.  Although we each have our own areas of expertise, all of us share the same foundation of visual arts that is necessary to have knowledge of the art school admissions process.

Submit Your Art for a Free Live CritiquePurchase a critique or Skype consult

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