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Portfolio Advice for Freshman from Bruce Maddocks, CVPA Studio Art Foundations Director

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PORTFOLIO ADVICE FOR FRESHMAN:

First, be aware of the college's portfolio requirements:

  • twelve pieces of original art
  • any materials, any media, any purposes

Beyond that:

  • twelve means 12; SlideRoom will not permit more or allow less;

  • in the case of three-dimensional work, which certainly benefits from alternative views, it is possible to assemble two or three smaller images onto a single JPEG – and, by uploading the "ganged" file, giving us a more comprehensive understanding of a sculptural piece without violating the SlideRoom law.

  • artwork that is born digitally is obviously easiest to upload, and artwork that is convenient to scan is also not a problem; but if a piece needs to be documented with a camera, please treat this procedure with all the care and quality that your work deserves—well lit, not blurry…

  • the two most important qualities we look for in any portfolio piece are evidence of patience and evidence of confidence; any aspects of any artwork that can demonstrate these two essentials is considered positive.

  • nothing is as sad as borrowed imagination; merely copycatting another artist's character or merely following a tutorial's recipe is not particularly impressive (and that is phrasing it quite mildly).

  • we love to see work that shows dedicated academic study; just because a piece was a school assignment does not mean it isn't portfolio-worthy – not at all, for if it shows us nothing else it shows us that you've taken dedicated studio art classes.

  • while we do not require any observational drawings in a portfolio (meaning drawings done from a subject that is directly in front of your nose), they are marvelous to see; if you have them, consider them seriously as portfolio pieces – they tend to require patience, they tend to require confidence and they tend to be done under tutelage, which is all good.

  • please use the capacity of SlideRoom to provide us with information about your work: the title (if there is one); the date completed; the size; the materials; and, if a piece was a school assignment, please feel free to give us an idea of that assignment's purpose and specifications.

  • in the end, please consider your portfolio, collectively, as a work of original art in its own right; no matter what kind advice friends, family and teachers might give you, it is critical to make your own choices of what to include or omit and to stand behind your decisions.

 

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