High School Student
Art School Portfolio
“Through the use of digital media, acrylic painting, charcoal drawing and collage, ‘The Monster’ is a collection of work which illustrates the monsters found in environments, society, and myself as an individual. My intention was to showcase my ability to express myself in a variety of media and styles as I was applying to many arts programs.
Specifically, my intention of this work was to provide thematic bridge between my digital art and fine art explorations by applying the same conceptual thinking to both mediums- the concept of the grotesque within mankind. I feel this theme is particularly relevant in today’s society. By stylizing my subjects in simplistic “monster” forms ( much like Keith Haring with his dogs and people) that are foreign to us yet strangely familiar, I hope to provide the viewer with the motivation to think about our interactions in the world more critically.
Drawing from the work of Caravaggio, Egon Schiele, and Annie Pootoogook, I used my skills to portray the more negative and grotesque aspects of consumerism, fast changing environments and complex relationships; of which are negative problems created by mankind.
I am in my senior year of high school and I will be attending art school next year. In the past, both in my work and at summer programs, I studied Graphic Design. Yet I have decided I have a greater love for fashion and hope to have a future in the fashion industry.”Purchase a portfolio critique
Partial Video Transcript
“This is Eloise, I’m going to be reviewing your portfolio today. I am going to start by going over the entire thing, and giving some general statements about your pieces, and then I’m going to get into the nitty gritty of each piece. I want to start of by saying that your portfolio is gorgeous. I really enjoyed seeing you use some diversity of techniques from cut paper collage and sketchbooking to apparel design and animation.
You have a great sense of color, which is showcased in pieces like The Young Marriage and Sisters. A good grasp of scale and mark making. You know particularly, with this regard to concepts, like scale and mark making as they are realized in collage.
You clearly have an interest in social commentary, which is really exciting to see, especially as you sort of see learning how to express that in your work, and seeing you engage with an ambitious range of issues from gender to the environment. I do think that the way you execute your topics needs work. Your concepts to generalized and not devoting enough nuance to issues that are extremely complicated.
Frequently I also see a disconnect between what you’re statement says you’re doing in a piece, and what the actual pieces are communicating. The intention come through. Or it leaves a muddled visual message behind when it combines with the actual visuals that are on display. So we’ll get into the specifics of what that means with regards to each piece later.
And I want to say, this is a good problem to have. You know, rather than sticking to safe topics, you were able to articulate perfectly in the first try, it means that you’ve really been challenging yourself, and grappling with some big topics. So, keep doing that. Refine your message, seek out fresh eyes and be open to people challenging what you’ve got to say. Don’t lose that drive to engage with the tough questions. It’s better to struggle and start over than never trying.
Let’s move on to your individual pieces. With this piece, there’s a clear progression between the development of the concept and the execution. You thought about how to represent your ideas in several levels of symbolism. So you went from literally portraying feminist icons in these astronaut figures here to using more oblique symbols like leather and chains.
I’m going to poke at your concept a little bit and question how you could take this piece further. I see you asking yourself in these sketchbook development pages that you included in the portfolio. You’re asking yourself how you could take it further. By combining these feminist icons with traditional male roles, you do illustrate your thesis, which is that women are held to a higher standard than men and that to be equal, they must be as good if not better. But I don’t feel like the piece is asking me to look further than that. You visually establish that women must be equal by being extraordinary, but it isn’t stopping there, they’re still playing by the rules of the patriarchy.
I mean, I’m curious to see what offer in terms of visions about the potential for what greatness in a woman is, undefined by the false standard that you establish as unfair. You know, this holding women up to be extraordinary. You’ve only features extraordinary figures here. How can you push this piece beyond being easily summed up in a single sentence. Instead ask open ended questions that provoke conversation.
And ask a similar question about these pieces. Look at her and tomboy. You’re juxtaposing of traditional gender roles is very effective in your use of images of ballet and tomboy and what I assume is either a hunting or a military scene.”