As an artist or designer you build a portfolio to showcase your very best artwork. By creating a portfolio you provide a “snapshot” of your creative experience, interests, influences, artistic process, and craftsmanship.
Gather together your art and design work and take a look at what you have created. You may have more than you thought! As you view your work, ask yourself these questions:
- How old is the work? Does it represent my progression as an artist and a designer?
- Do I need to go back and finish, reprint or clean up any of the work?
- Which pieces are my favorite and were the most enjoyable to create?
Select your best and favorite pieces and look at your work as a group. This is the beginning of your portfolio! CVA asks to see 12 – 20 pieces of your art and design work. Should you add a few more pieces?
Add new pieces to your portfolio. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Create a self-portrait. What does your personality look like? How do you see yourself or how do you think the world sees you?
- Compose a self-portrait using any materials and in any style that you want to explore.
- Design a yearbook cover for your high school or a program for your next school play. Remember, not all portfolio pieces are created in the art room! Have you made anything for your sports team, youth group, theater department, band, or newspaper?
- Capture your community, city, or town with your camera. What do you see through your lens that is overlooked by others? Document the space around you by photographing events, objects, people, and places in your own unique way.
- In your own style, design and illustrate a poster or t-shirt for a singer or band. How would you promote the world tour of your favorite singer? What would a tour t-shirt look like?
- Draw, paint, sculpt, or illustrate your favorite “room”. Is your room real or does it exist only in your imagination? Represent your room visually using any materials you choose.
Need more help? Consider the following places to build a portfolio:
- CVA Portfolio Building Workshops
- CVA Figure Drawing Co-op
- Pre-College Summer Programs at CVA
- CVA Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEO)
- High school advanced placement art classes
- Youth museum programs
- Community center classes
Present your portfolio to CVA Admissions. Your portfolio can be reviewed on campus, sent through the mail or reviewed online.
- In person: If you would like to submit your portfolio in person, contact us to schedule an appointment.
- By mail: If you want to mail your portfolio to the admissions office you should mail a Macintosh - compatible CD of your work with an inventory list that details the title, size, materials, and date of completion for each piece on the disc. Do not send the originals! Your work could be damaged and your portfolio will not be mailed back to you.
- Online Portfolio: CVA accepts online portfolios through our Slideroom portal at https://cva.slideroom.com. The Admissions Office will not accept portfolios sent by email.
Our portfolio reviews are not critiques. They provide an opportunity for the admissions team to see your work up close and to hear more about your interests and your creative process.
If you have any questions about your portfolio or participating in CVA workshops and programs, please call or email the admissions office.