Portfolio & Interview Guide

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1 Portfolio & Interview Guide

2 Joanna Birkett, BA (Hons) Illustration Contents 04 Live Make at Plymouth College of Art 06 What is a portfolio? 08 Starting from scratch 10 What we would like to see 12 Content 14 The importance of drawing 16 For work that can t squeeze into a portfolio 18 Selecting and presenting work 20 Preparing for your interview 22 The interview 24 What we might ask you in your interview 26 Any questions?

3 Don t Just Make Live Make Creativity doesn t just happen in the studio, the workshop or the darkroom. We see it as a way of life. A lot s changed here since we started out 150 years ago, but this simple idea still shapes everything we do. We re one of the UK s longest standing art schools, independently run and dedicated to teaching creativity right across the art, design and media spectrum. Our students specialise in all kinds of subjects, from fine art to games design; fashion to photography. The choice of courses is something we pride ourselves on. Our tutors are practising artists, our technicians are highly-skilled masters. We re all making something. Some are working at degree level, others are predegree, BA or postgraduate all contributing to the growth of the creative industries in the UK. We even have a school for 4-16 year olds, but that s another story. A huge part of our teaching is about bringing out the creativity that s already inside our students and letting it take a unique shape. We re fascinated by the way a person s creativity evolves over time. From our earliest adventures in paint to the making of contemporary masterpieces, it s a process of evolved learning. We see every student here develop a little bit more each day from the day they arrive with us to the day they leave and beyond in their creative careers. For us here at the college, our creative journey with you first begins with your portfolio. This guide has been designed to give you an overview of the kinds of things you might like to include in yours, how to select work for presentation, how you might like to present your portfolio, how to prepare for your interview, and more. 4 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 5

4 Joanna Birkett, BA (Hons) Illustration Mary Rawlings, BA (Hons) Illustration What is a portfolio? An art, design and media portfolio is a case for the collection of visual imagery that you have created. It can include work created in school, college or adult education classes and should also include work you have produced independently at home over the past year or two. We encourage you to explore and illustrate your ideas and create work in a varied approach utilising a range of techniques and media. This will demonstrate your skills, visual awareness, the range of your interests, your experience and your level of commitment to art, design and media. 6 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 7

5 Starting from scratch... If you are completely new to art and have no work to speak of, you will need to start getting creative! Buy yourself a sketchbook or notebook......and start to record and collect your ideas......you will soon find that your ideas and projects will develop and you will slowly start to create a collection of pieces/images of work. This collection of work be it drawings, photographs, sculptures, digital/moving images, textiles or sketchbooks when presented together will form your portfolio. 8 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 9

6 Oliver Alexander-Jones, Extended Diploma in Photography What we d like to see... Through the work in your portfolio, you are taking us on a visual journey... Enjoy the journey! Make it an interesting one for yourself, and we will look forward to seeing it in your portfolio. Observe... It is the process of visual exploration that is important, not the subject matter. The most successful portfolios are the ones that show how well you can visually observe and explore a subject that you are curious about or have a personal interest in. Structuring your sketchbook: Research and influences Diagrams and notation Your own artwork These elements should be present in your sketchbook, notebook or visual diary. Where possible, link your ideas together... A series of images or objects, which relate in some way to each other, is preferred to a random collection of work. Study your surroundings form, texture, scale, colour and function. You should develop your ideas through visual exploration in notebooks, sketchbooks or on a series of worksheets. 10 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 11

7 Sam Thorne, BA (Hons) Illustration Content... Research and Influences» The Internet» Magazines» Museums» Art Galleries» Photographs» Fabrics Objects with interesting:» Texture» Structure» Form» Colour Diagrams and Notation When creating a sketchbook, in order for us and (yourself) to understand your thought process, it is helpful to make notes against your research and sketches. You may want to brainstorm ideas in the form of a diagram; don t discard these include them. It all helps to put into context your level of interest in the subject you are applying for.» Film/Video/Game/Animation Storyboards» Computer-aided designs» Digitally-created or manipulated images 12 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 13

8 The importance of drawing... Drawing should form an important part of your portfolio. Try to include as many different kinds of drawing as possible. Imaginative Drawing: Fashion illustrations Character concepts Drawing for design purposes: patterns and decorative elements. At this stage it is your ideas that are important, so don t worry too much about the accuracy or finish. Observational Drawing: Figure or life drawing (people or animals) Studies of man-made structures and objects Studies of nature and organic things 14 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 15

9 Ciaran Mcwilliams and Dorian Cozens, BA (Hons) Film For work that can t squeeze into a portfolio... Moving Images and Digital If you have experience in making a film, animation or game and are applying for a course related to this field, we would like to see your storyboard of ideas and, if possible, examples of your video/film. We may not have time to watch your video or film so sketchbooks and storyboards that display your thought process should be included. If you have any computer-aided design, such as animations, websites, interfaces or screen graphics, it would be advisable to print out your work as stills and storyboard them. Showing us 3D work If you have created sculptures, ceramics or models as part of your work and they are too large or it is difficult to transport them, photographs can be an excellent way to display your creations in your portfolio. 16 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 17

10 Selecting & presenting work Your portfolio should show the quality of your work, not the quantity. Depending on your subject matter, try to include between 20 and 30 of your strongest pieces of work. Be selective, gather together all the recent work you have produced, and systematically make decisions about what to include. Avoid repetition and don t overload your portfolio. Your portfolio should be clearly laid out and easy to look through. Organise the contents of your portfolio into separate sections and include notebooks, scrapbooks, worksheets and developmental sheets as well as final pieces. Mounting your work Collections of small or related images, e.g. photographs, are more easily handled when mounted together on a large sheet. Simple presentation of your work on white or black paper/mount board is preferable. Coloured mounting can distract the eye from the work being viewed. 18 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 19

11 Preparing for your interview... The interview is an important part of the admissions decisionmaking process. When preparing for an interview think about why you want to come to Plymouth College of Art. If possible, visit the college before hand. Attend an open day to find out about the course and the college or, if this is not possible, log on to our website plymouthart.ac.uk. You can also request a prospectus which contains information about the college and our courses. Think about the course you want to study and be prepared to discuss the reasons for your choice. Organise your portfolio so it looks presentable and is in the order you want to talk about it. If you are a school pupil it is extremely important that you collect any art, design or media work from your school to bring to your interview, even if it is work in progress. 20 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 21

12 The interview... This is your opportunity to persuade us that you would make an excellent student, so arrive with a positive attitude and enjoy the interview. The interview will be relaxed, and informal, and the staff will be asking questions about you, your work, interests and hobbies, thoughts, career plans and ambitions for the future. We like to see that you have an interest in the world so we may, for example, ask you questions on something that has happened recently in the news that has interested you. Remember that the interview gives you the opportunity to ask about the course itself, structure and careers, and don t forget it is as much about personality, attitude and work ethic as it is about your art and design potential; have fun, be creative and enjoy the experience. Try not to be too nervous! 22 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 23

13 What we might ask you in your interview... We are looking for students who want to succeed and have every intention of working hard and being committed to the course, as well as evidence of your knowledge of the subject you are looking to study. This could be shown through your research into artists, designers, architects and their work. Be prepared to answer questions about your subject For example, you may be asked some of the following: What interests you? What are you enthusiastic about? What area within your subject are you interested in at the moment? Why have you chosen your subject? Why do you think the subject you have applied for is for you? What or who inspires you? Think about books and music you like, exhibitions you have seen, sculpture, etc Ask yourself questions that help to define your interests, likes and dislikes, such as: What are your opinions on contemporary artists? How have you developed your knowledge of the subject? 24 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 25

14 Any more questions? The Admissions Team is on hand to answer any queries students might have it s our job to help you every step of the way. We can talk you step-by-step through the application process, organise a personal guided tour of the college for you and your family to see our studios and facilities, book you in for an advisory interview to talk about which level of study is best for you, or put you in contact with our expert programme leaders, tutors, and technicians. We can introduce you to our student services team to help with funding your study or finding you a place to live in Plymouth, or to our Graduate Associates to chat with you about student life in the college. From the first point of enquiry on the phone or by , all the way up until the day you walk through our days, if you have any worries or questions we re here to help. +44 (0) @plymouthart plymouthart.tumblr.com facebook.com/plymouthcollegeofart PlymouthCollegeOfArt Susannah Chambers Head of Admissions 26 Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art Portfolio & Interview Guide - Plymouth College of Art 27

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