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For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.

uk
the „art and design‟ portfolio
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
David McGravie, Faculty for the Creative & Cultural Industries
University of Hertfordshire
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
the „art and design‟ portfolio…explained
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
the „art and design‟ portfolio…explained
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
the „art and design‟ portfolio…don‟t be frightened!!
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
the portfolio
the interview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

First of all, what do we mean by a
portfolio of artwork?

We are looking for examples of your own
creative work, completed within the last
three years.
portfolio
overview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Why is a portfolio necessary?

The reason we ask for a portfolio is to
give us some indication of your ability,
and to allow us to assess creative
potential.

Although exam results are important, experienced staff
can judge these things much more accurately from
examples of creative work.
portfolio
overview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

The portfolio should engage..

The portfolio should engage as soon as it
is opened, it should capture attention
and promote what you are capable of in
the future
portfolio
overview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

The start point?

“…not the night
before the interview”
portfolio
overview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Some general guidelines…

• prepare
• plan
• organise
• select
• explain
• test

portfolio
overview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Some general guidelines…

• prepare
• plan
• organise
• select
• explain
• test
• can you carry it?

portfolio
overview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Preparation & Planning

Prepare well in advance – take advice from tutor
and also from institution you wish to apply to

Plan it - consider the structure of the portfolio
with respect to your work: ring bound, loose
leaf, project, etc…

portfolio
preparation
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Organise…be selective!

“….show the range of what you can do,
concentrating on recent work”.

Include visual and other background research,
sketches, models and prototypes – not just the
finished work.


portfolio
preparation
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Context…what interests you?

Does the portfolio show the context of your work
& your approach..?
What are your influences..?
What inspires you..?
What exhibitions have you been to..?

portfolio
preparation
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Explain…does it make sense?

Is it clear what the project is..?
Is there a description or project brief..?
Is the overall context clear..?
Was it a joint project..?


portfolio
preparation
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Test it…does it make sense?

Ask advice from a tutor, get a second opinion!
Are there any gaps..?
Assumptions..?
Ambiguities..?



portfolio
preparation
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

What should a portfolio contain?

portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

What should a portfolio contain?

Portfolios are as varied as the students
they represent; however, usually a
portfolio would contain examples of
drawing, in a variety of media.
portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

What should a portfolio contain?

Photographs of 3 dimensional pieces such
as jewellery, sculpture, furniture products or
interior design can be included, and we
would like to see sketchbooks too.
portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

What should a portfolio contain?

It is not always necessary to include any
work relating specifically to a more
specialised subject area.


portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

What should a portfolio contain?

It is not always necessary to include any
work relating specifically to a more
specialised subject area.


portfolio
summary
For example, in Textiles and Fashion, we
are much more interested in good drawing
ability and creative potential, than in any
fashion or textile design skills or experience.
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Your portfolio should be clearly laid out
and easy to look through, with each piece
of work labelled with project title or brief.

Generally you should choose what are, in
your opinion, between 15 and 25 (approx)
of your strongest pieces of work that
reflect the area you are applying for


portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Drawing - For many courses this is a key
element of the portfolio.

Include examples of different types (life
drawing, still life, fashion illustrations,
imaginative, etc), showing the use of
different media where possible.
portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Projects - Include examples of different
projects you have undertaken, illustrating
your breadth of experience.

Show the development work and how you
think and work through a project from
research to final presentation.
portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Sketch books - Include several recent
sketch books or work books that show
what has influenced you, your research,
sketch ideas, preparatory work, written
notes, analysis of your work, etc.

portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Sketch books - Include several recent
sketch books or work books that show
what has influenced you, your research,
sketch ideas, preparatory work, written
notes, analysis of your work, etc.

Tutors consider sketch books to be
important to a portfolio as they illustrate
how you approach your work, how you
think and how your creativity develops

portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Digital work - Include any computer
aided design or artwork you have
produced, as well as photography, video or
animations where appropriate.

[N.B.Stills or printout are helpful and can be a good
back-up]


portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
what do we look for in a portfolio?

Written work - It can be helpful to
include a piece of recent written work.

For example an illustrated art essay, as
writing is an essential communication
tool for artists and designers..
portfolio
summary
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
school of art & design
portfolio
examples
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
The completed portfolio?

• Sketching
• Observational drawing
• Use of sketchbooks
• 2d/3d making
• Creativity
• Problem solving
• Communication skills

portfolio
overview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
the interview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
the interview
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
It‟s not like the Dragons Den..!

Informal & friendly

• lasts approx 15 mins
• recorded formally
• question led

„Interviewee can also lead, highlighting their
approach and best work‟


interview
structure
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
It‟s not like the Dragons Den..!

Opportunity for you to fill in the gaps

„to explain, to sell yourself, to talk about
your influences‟.

Offer additional information:
„favourite artists, designers, recent exhibitions‟.
interview
opportunity
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
It‟s not like the Dragons Den..!

Preparation

Plan the journey – how will you get there..?
Is parking available..?
Can you carry everything you need..?
Do you have a contact no. for the College..?

Careful planning will reduce the stress..!

interview
advice
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
It‟s not like the Dragons Den..!

What to wear..?

Dress appropriately!
…ask about „dress‟ at the College Open Day.





interview
advice
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
It‟s not like the Dragons Den..!

A good interview matters!

Show your commitment
and enthusiasm for your subject





interview
advice
For advice contact: david mcgravie, tel +44 (0)1707 285390 or email d.mcgravie@herts.ac.uk
David McGravie, Faculty for the Creative & Cultural Industries
University of Hertfordshire
thank you