How to make a portfolio to apply to OCAD University

How to make a portfolio to apply to OCAD University

October 17, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


(lively music) Hi guys, my name’s Casey Hinton, I work in the admissions
and recruitment office here at OCAD University. I’m also an alumni from OCAD, I graduated from Criticism
and Curatorial Practice, and I’m here today to ease your
nerves around the portfolio. It’s not as scary as you think. I wanna cover sort of some tips and tricks on how to build a strong portfolio. I’m not gonna cover dates and deadlines, you can find those on the website, but let’s talk about what you need to get into this university. So the first thing to think about is, what is a portfolio? For us, it really is a
reflection of who you are as an artist or a designer or a maker. It’s a collection of your
best, most recent work that you’re excited about. There’s no magical formula, but we really are just
interested in seeing your skill and talent and
your creative thinking. So the first thing you
need in your portfolio is a statement of intent. This is 300 words, and
it’s just an opportunity to introduce yourself as an
artist or a designer or a maker. Tell us about why you’ve
chosen the program that you selected, or
what you wanna study, what you’re gonna bring
to the institution. Let us know any ideas that would help us better understand the context
behind the work that you make. The portfolio is not all
about skill and talent, and so process work is one
of the required pieces. This can be a sketchbook, a
notebook, a creative journal, a messy bulletin board with your ideas, the doodles on your math notes. When we ask for process work, what we wanna see is the
behind the scenes thinking, the creative and conceptual
ideas that inform your work, your research and inspiration, and that can be the
messy stuff, the doodles, the chicken scratches,
the failed attempts, the mistakes, the
research, the inspiration. However you pull that
together, we wanna see it, we wanna understand how
you’re getting from that initial idea to the finished product, and what that process is. And that process can also
be about skill development. Maybe those are sketches
or color experiments, anything to help us see what your process and your ideas are. So in your portfolio, you
wanna make sure to include eight to 10 finished
pieces of art or design. This can be anything,
drawing, painting, sculpture, film, video, animation,
furniture, jewelry, fashion, whatever you make that you’re proud of and you’re excited about and you think shows great
skill and talent and variety is important for us to see. We wanna see that you’re experimenting in different areas, mediums, materials, and at the same time, it’s
a good idea to include a few pieces that connect
directly to the program you’re applying to so we
can that you’re a good fit, you understand the program
you’re applying to, you’re starting to
experiment in that area. The other piece that’s
important to your portfolio is letting us know the ideas and concepts behind those eight to 10 pieces you’re including in the portfolio. So we encourage you to write
just a 50 word statement telling us the process,
where the ideas come from, what the conceptual
thinking was behind it, what you’d do differently next time. Let us know that you’re reflecting
on the work that you make and you’re really
thinking about how to use your art and design as
a platform for ideas. The final thing to consider
about your portfolio is how it’s gonna be submitted. We’ve moved to an online process using a website called SlideRoom that makes it really easy to upload images and videos of your work. This also allows you to
write a little description about each piece, submit
your process work, and the statement of intent. This means you wanna consider
how to document your work. We’re so lucky that smartphones
do a pretty great job. Just make sure you use great lighting, and really center your work. You’re cropping out your messy background. Take some detailed shots
so we can get a sense of the material and the process, and be sure to document as you go. You’ll really thank yourself if you don’t leave it all to the end, you’re taking photographs of your work throughout your creative process. I hope that helped demystify
the portfolio process a little bit for you today
and eased your nerves. We’re excited to see your work. Just be sure to show us
experimentation, variety, that you’re challenging
yourself, trying new things, some fit connecting you to the
program you’ve applied for, and the process work and ideas so we can see your creative
thinking and concepts. The admissions and recruitment
office is always available to support you if you have any questions, and we have lots of resources online. Don’t forget to always check
back for dates and deadlines, and there are some programs that have some small additional exercises
that you’ll need to review on the website as well. Good luck you guys, can’t
wait to see your work.