If you plan to study in British universities on specialties related to design, fashion, art and other forms of creativity, the selection committee will necessarily require your personal portfolio - samples of your talent and creative work, demonstration of skills and personal ideas. This is a kind of ticket for anyone, even the most prestigious university, and the opportunity to begin education in a specialty that in the future will become for you a source of both inspiration and income. Accordingly, the approach to creating a portfolio must be very thorough.
The Admissions Committee will use the portfolio to assess the level of knowledge, skills and creativity, talent of each applicant planning to get education in the field of art. This is a demonstration of your potential and willingness to work hard. Portfolio can be considered both internally and in absentia: in the second case, its importance even increases, as the admissions committee does not have the opportunity to talk with you personally and create a "visual" impression. A good portfolio is not just a heap of works, but your structured creative path from simple to complex, dynamics of development as a creator, demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge.
Please note that the portfolio is required for a thematic program of almost any level - only specific requirements for quality and filling differ:
- Preparatory pre-university courses (for example, International Foundation )
- Bachelor's program
- Postgraduate courses (magistracy, doctoral studies)
- Refresher courses
- Diploma and certificate programs.
How to create a spectacular, memorable portfolio?
The first thing you need to decide on is the amount of materials that you will provide to the admissions committee. Approximate number of works - 5-10 (indicator averaged): this is enough to show you as a promising student. A smaller number will not reveal your abilities and potential, but more will make it difficult to focus on the most successful examples and highlight your key merits.
Try to include in the portfolio a variety of works, techniques and methods - so you will prove yourself as a talented student, ready for experiments and comprehensive development, improving their approaches and knowledge. The more diverse your techniques, styles and materials are, the better impression you will have on the admissions office.
Do not try to copy other people's work, adjust to the opinion of the examiners and try to please them! Do not try to match the British or European cultural tradition: most importantly your identity, unique features and talent. Sometimes national motives (in reasonable, of course, limits) can even become a significant plus in comparison with the portfolio of other students.
The basic rule in drafting - try to build a structure that visually demonstrates your creative growth and development, the process of working on each project, sketch or object. The structure of your portfolio should be logical, transparent, understandable literally intuitively - this is your story, which must be properly perceived. Do not place the work strictly in chronological order (this is a typical mistake of students): start with a strong project and finish with a strong work - so you can make the most memorable impression and leave the correct emotion after watching. In the middle of the portfolio, you can insert experimental projects, unfinished materials, sketches, recordings of thoughts and ideas. Do not worry that this will be perceived as a "raw material": on the contrary, it will show your creative path, the features of thinking, the depth and seriousness of the approach to every detail. Be sure to include the date and title of each nested work.
If you doubt the quality of the collected portfolio, show it to your creative friends and colleagues "by the shop": it is quite possible that they will be able to give you valuable advice and practical recommendations.
What can help you
Many specialized educational institutions offer students effective, comprehensive and intensive preparatory programs, including those aimed at drawing up or replenishing a personal portfolio. For example, it can be a full-fledged Full Time Portfolio program that will help you literally from scratch (lasting from a trimester to 1 academic year), and maybe a short-term thematic course - from 2-3 days to a couple of weeks. The choice is yours!