Art School Tours

Table of Contents Photos & text by Vivian Cromwell California College of the Arts California College of the Arts is in a quiet part of San Francisco. Two years of campus dorms are guaranteed, and there is additional housing for juniors and seniors. About 900 out of 1500 students live on campus. The three most […]

6 Worst Mistakes When Starting Any Art Portfolio

Here are 6 critical mistakes that are common when starting a portfolio for any professional context: applying for a degree program, a teaching job, freelance illustration, and more. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artisst Jordan McCracken-Foster and Mia Rozear. Video Walkthrough Prof Lieu’s Tips In general, if you are doing something […]

Art School Portfolios Group Voice Session Schedule

Voice session RSVP Updates Voice Sessions Schedule July 2024 Tues July 16 @ 10pm EST Prof Lieu Tues July 23 @ 10pm EST Prof Lieu Tues July 30 @ 10pm EST Prof Lieu August 2024 Tues Aug 13 @ 10pm EST Prof Lieu Wed Aug 21 @ 10pm EST Prof Lieu Tues Aug 27 @ […]

2025 Art School Portfolios Groups

Our Art School Portfolio Group provides ongoing support and feedback for students applying/transferring to a BFA, MFA, or post-baccalaureate program. To participate, you’ll need to join our Discord server. Table of Contents Do I need to be applying this year to join? What kind of feedback do I get? Voice sessions “I feel that Prof […]

2025 Guide to BFA Art School Portfolios

should you go? research art student interviews sketchbooks 1 on 1 SUPPORT group support Studying art at a non art college art student advice portfolio: Start here Prompts prof lieu Q&A national portfolio day portfolio: subjects portfolio: media accepted portfolios statement & resume photographing artwork CRITIQUES opportunities REJECTION attending art school art school issues After […]

Artist Statement Editing Services

Writing artist statements, project proposals for grant & residency applications, resumes, and cover letters are all necessities for artists. Table of Contents Whether you are applying for an MFA or BFA program, preparing an artist statement for an exhibition, applying for an animation job, these written docs are essential towards realizing your goals as an […]

Purchase an Artist Call

An artist call with our staff of seasoned professional artists is a great way to get customized support that fits your needs as an artist. Table of Contents Customized support is necessary to make progress There is definitely a limit to how much you can absorb from content online on your own. At a certain […]

Purchase a Portfolio Critique

A portfolio critique is a terrific opportunity to get a comprehensive look into your studio practice, artistic goals, and development. For many artists, getting an insightful critique and support is hard to find. Our staff provide a professional opinion that is aligned with their related industries in the art world. Who are portfolio critiques for? […]

How to Stand Out with Your Art School Portfolio

Here are topics & art media that will make your art school portfolio stand out from the thousands of applications art schools receive. Many students fall into the trap of creating generic, cliché artwork that tends to all look the same. Here are specific actions you can take with your art school portfolio to get […]

Should You Go to Art School?

Whether to go to art school is a tough decision, there so many factors to be considered. This video discusses whether art school is the right fit for you, and what are the most important considerations. Explained are the primary advantages are of attending art school, as well as the many challenges that come with […]

National Portfolio Day Tips

Table of Contents The real test of the strength of your portfolio is attending a local National Portfolio Day event, where representatives from art schools and colleges with art programs across the United States are available to critique your portfolio in person.   If you’re really serious about being accepted into a high caliber undergraduate art program, […]

Art Major in College vs. Art School

What is it like being an art major at a university vs. attending art school? This video weighs the pros and cons of being at an art major at a university, how it affects how to approach the college admissions process, how to figure out whether studying art at a college is a better fit […]

Art School Portfolio Examples

Table of Contents We have compiled several art school portfolios here for you to see the broad range of ways you can approach your own portfolio! We know it can be intimidating at times to see other student’s portfolios and to get discouraged, know that ALL students applying to art school feel that way, you […]

Art School Portfolio: Feedback

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 […]

Art School Portfolios: Color

Table of Contents Make sure that you have both black and white artworks as well as artworks that display a full range of color.  Black and white artworks are important so that you can demonstrate an understanding of a wide range of tones and value,  and to explore contrast and lighting. The color artworks you show in an […]

Art School Portfolio: Brainstorming

Table of Contents Identify the clichés Take the initiative to create artworks that demonstrate your thinking process, that pushes beyond the most literal art cliché. In fact, the best way to combat the danger of a cliché is to eliminate that option immediately. When Prof Lieu does brainstorming exercises with her studio art classes, she asks the […]

Art School Portfolio: Art Media

You need to make sure that your portfolio represents a diverse range of art media. Showing many art media is a way to demonstrate that you have taken the initiative to learn and hone skills in contrasting art media.    Step outside of what you see everyone else in high school doing, which is probably […]

Art School Portfolio: Drawings

Drawings are the core of a portfolio You might have 15 digital paintings with an impressive amount of technical skill, but none of that will matter if you have poor drawings. In terms of drawing media, the vast majority of high school students are creating tight, conservative, photo realistic pencil drawings drawn from photographs. Drawing is not about just […]

Art School Portfolio: Presentation

Presentation matters Be sure that everything in your portfolio is neatly presented.   This means no white backgrounds, no dirty fingerprints, no random sketchbook drawings, no ripped edges, no half finished figures, etc.  It takes very little time (sometimes just a few minutes!)  to clean up your presentation.  The same drawing presented in a neat way […]

Art School Portfolio: Drawing from Life & Photos

Drawing from life is rare nowadays Drawing from life is hands down the number one, absolutely essential thing to do that almost all high school students fail to do. This problem is so prominent, that drawing from direct observation is now the rare exception among high school art students. Following this one directive will distinguish your work from […]

Art School Portfolio: Subject Matter

Table of Contents Show you are open many subjects Depicting a wide range of subject matter throughout your entire art school portfolio demonstrates your willingness and interest to work in many contrasting ways. There is an endless range of possibilities when it comes to subject matter in a portfolio. Admissions officers don’t want to see […]

Art School Portfolio: Sketchbooks

Your sketchbook shows your thought process An art school portfolio benefits a lot from having a slide to show an image or two of a sketchbook spread. The advantage of showing a sketchbook spread is that it’s an opportunity for you to demonstrate your thinking, sketching, and brainstorming process in it’s raw, unedited form. A […]

START HERE for Your Art School Portfolio

Table of contents What do I need to know first? Preparing an art school portfolio for college admission is not a casual undertaking, it’s very common for high school students to underestimate how much time and labor is involved.  Creating the artworks for an art school portfolio is not simply the amount of time it […]

Art School Portfolio: Getting Ideas

Table of Contents How do think conceptually? Unfortunately, many art students are taught to learn technique and content separately. They are instructed to first focus exclusively on mastering technique because they are told that they are “not ready” to address the subject matter of their artwork. The consequence is that students develop technical proficiency, but […]

Art School Portfolio Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Table of Contents Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Lauryn Welch and Jordan McCracken-Foster discuss mistakes you can avoid when preparing an art portfolio for art school. Types of artwork such as fan art, anime, celebrity portraits are generally not what admissions officers at art school art looking for, in addition to cliche images, […]

How To Photograph Your 2D & 3D Art

This video provides a comprehensive look at how to photograph your 2D & 3D artwork, showing common problems and with practical techniques to achieve photos that will accurately represent your artwork. Having high quality photos of your artwork is more important today than ever: you need photos of your artwork for your website, social media, […]