HOW TO CREATE A PORTFOLIO FOR ADMISSION INTO DESIGN SCHOOLS
- October 16, 2017
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Design
Consider portfolio a brilliant opportunity to showcase your creativity when you are seeking admission into the leading design schools. Convince the panel that you possess creative prowess and a keen eye for design. A good portfolio enables you to create a good first impression as it differentiates you from other contenders.
Top design colleges like NID, IIT, and IISc ask you to present your portfolio at the time of the admission interview. Therefore, immediately after the Design Aptitude Test (DAT) for CEED or NID admissions, candidates should start working on building the portfolio. OPUS suggests you should bear in mind the fact that the thrust is on assessing the creative spark in the candidate, on understanding whether the aspirant has a natural interest in the course he is applying for.
Your portfolio pitches you as a strong candidate who deserves to study design. It shows your ability to work with different materials and themes and to select your best output. It also demonstrates your technical and visualisation skills like drawing. It shows evidence of your practice, how you employ research, theory, and process to ameliorate your ideas. In order to make a winning portfolio, some key elements have to be kept in mind.
Before proceeding further in this direction, OPUS defines what a portfolio is all about.
- 1 What is a portfolio?
- 1.1 How to make a good portfolio?
- 1.2 What should the portfolio include?
- 1.3 Include your best work
- 1.4 Limit your work
- 1.5 Work on presentation
- 1.6 Models/Prototypes
- 1.7 How to organise a portfolio
- 1.8 How do I submit my portfolio?
- 1.9 Printed or Web-based Portfolio
- 1.10 Your Portfolio should depict a story
- 1.11 How to make sure your portfolio reflects your creative potential
What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of your work, or a ‘visual diary’, displaying how your skills and ideas have developed over a period of time. It demonstrates your creativity, personality, abilities, and commitment, and helps the faculty to evaluate your innate potential. It should be a body of work that speaks for itself since you do not get the opportunity to explain most of it.
How to make a good portfolio?
Your portfolio should mirror your personality and your own way of looking at the world. You want to show design schools that there is a special reason for allowing you in. OPUS advises you to create art that you are passionate about, art that is different from what other people are creating. Technical virtuosity does not suffice if you can only emulate what others have created. You should study examples of previously submitted art portfolios when you are just starting to create your portfolio.
Looking at sample portfolios other students have created can be helpful in developing your own portfolio. You get a lucid idea of what to avoid and what to concentrate on – but never attempt to enrich yourself with the available content. The pattern, the range, their depth of work and how they have shaped it for presentation are some key areas to observe. Show a professional mindset by paying adequate attention to detail, and ensure that there is no trace of sloppiness in your work.
What should the portfolio include?
Potential. Not perfect executions. Curious minds experimenting with designs. You get the drift. The prime objective of the portfolio is to study your aptitude for a career in design and to assess your suitability to join the prestigious design college.
Ideally, OPUS feels your portfolio should carry examples of your research, development of your ideas and finished pieces. The most recent work, even if it is in progress, should be included. Present your own independent work instead of projects where you have collaborated. Include your sketchbooks as they show your research and development of ideas. They should include primary and secondary research, rough ideas and notes, descriptions and annotations. They should demonstrate a variety of media and experimentation. Your portfolio could include multiple areas of work: 3D and product design, drawing and painting, fashion and textile design, graphic design and illustration, interior and spatial design, photography, video, and animation, written work like essays, journals, and blogs. Remember, the portfolio tries to secure your place in the course. And OPUS wishes to see you comfortably placed in the big league.
Include your best work
OPUS accentuates that the entire task of building a portfolio is to showcase your skills. So, ensure that you include all the artwork that highlights your skill-set as against what you feel reflects a good end-product. Make sure that the work you include in your portfolio is such that it reflects your interests, ideas, experience as well as abilities in the field of design. Apart from this, include your work that will differentiate you from competitors and give you the fine edge which the panel before you is actually looking for. Know thoroughly each and every piece that you include in your portfolio because the interview panel will pick minute details in your portfolio and start questioning you on them.
Limit your work
OPUS urges you to understand that the portfolio presentation is not about the volume of work you have done. It is about showcasing your creative skills. The suggestion would be to restrict your portfolio to a maximum of 10-15 pages wherein on every page there is just one project. This would help raise clarity and gather attention on the project.
Always check to see that your portfolio includes your best works. Make sure that your portfolio includes images that are in sync with your interests. Further, one can also include work that showcases the individual’s awareness of colours, themes, designs. It is an added advantage if the portfolio successfully manages to project that the aspirant is comfortable with various tools, design styles and approaches as well as media.
Work on presentation
It is advisable to label your portfolio adequately. Give an introduction to the project you have added in your portfolio. However, restrict yourself to a one-line introduction. The task here is to give the panel a terse introduction regarding what to expect in the product that follows without getting inundated in words. Let the visuals talk for themselves. OPUS sees no harm if you label your figures in such a way that your thought-process and usability of the design at hand is communicated aptly to anyone who rummages through the portfolio.
When applying, you want to demonstrate both your technical ability and creativity. So bear this in mind when compiling the work – only include pieces if there is a justifiable reason for it. Keeping the arrangement crisp stops the work from becoming cluttered. A simple layout without elaborate framing. Keeping the material as raw as possible ensures the page is kept clear.
If you are good at making models, OPUS encourages you to carry one to your NID exam as well as CEED interview round. Also, a model helps the panel in understanding your thought process behind the product in the best possible manner. The model should be a mockup or prototype – I t doesn’t need to be hi-tech. The models OPUS refers to here are rather simple ones that are made from paper, foam or clay.
How to organise a portfolio
OPUS prepares a list of how you should present your portfolio:
- A portfolio can be any size, depending on the work it carries. Make sure it is practical to carry around.
- There is no limit to the amount of work it can contain. Be practical and select your best. A selection of different projects and 2-3 full sketchbooks is sufficient.
- Large pieces of work – 3D objects or large paintings – can be photographed and presented in your portfolio. You can carry 1-2 physical examples with you when you are invited to the interview. But only if they are small, light or difficult to photograph.
- Keep it simple, uncluttered and relevant – mount work onto the same size sheets of white paper.
- Give your workspace to breathe. If you have a dozen similar prints then choose only the best 2 or 3.
- Position your work logically and try to present your work so that everything is facing the same way up.
- Start and end your portfolio with your strongest pieces of work.
- Make sure that your portfolio shows variety.
- Show work that you are able to talk about at length.
How do I submit my portfolio?
If you are applying for a course where a portfolio is needed to support your application, you will move through one of the different journeys, depending on the course.
Printed or Web-based Portfolio
OPUS says that you should present your work as a hardcopy for greater effect. Nowadays, there are many websites where you can upload your work but avoid doing this. There might not be proper internet access at the centre and your entire portfolio presentation process will be ruined.
Many students prefer showcasing their skills through a presentation on a laptop these days. If they wish to present their portfolio on a laptop, they should ensure that the entire presentation is simple, easy to understand and not very flashy. Also, if one is good at sketching, it is advisable to include a page of the sketchbook or sketch some of your thought process on an A4 or A3 size paper. In design exams, handmade sketches do help earn brownie points.
Your Portfolio should depict a story
Narrative fluidity should be palpable in your work. The narrative is a strong element you should focus on while preparing the portfolio. Every portfolio should be well-edited, dynamic and strong. You can achieve this by depicting a story because we love all forms of narration that engage us well. How the work is laid out and displayed changes how it is read. A structured presentation that leads to important conclusions is what the portfolio should have – certainly not a clumsy, disjointed mélange of artistic abundance that flounders to assist them in judging your talent. The meaning and the placement of pieces is vital to show the faculty your aptitude in weaving a visual tapestry in the shortest amount of time.
How to make sure your portfolio reflects your creative potential
Do not squander the chance to exhibit your creative flair. If you have not performed exceptionally well in the written test, the portfolio delivers a fair idea of your creative panache. Perhaps it appears difficult to make the judges realise the creative potential because your mind is assailed with too many concerns, about doing it right by making it your best. OPUS reminds you to concentrate on a few aspects. Make your stuff absolutely original, something not seen before. If you do not make it a collage of inspirations filched from various sources, then you are likely to create a strong impact. They are not interested in impeccably finished products. They want to see the seed of an idea and it has to be stunningly original. You cannot take them for a ride as they spot plagiarized efforts with ease, even if you pick it up from obscure websites you think they have not heard of. Be honest in your creative approach.
Show the range of your skills and make them feel you are truly versatile. Your work should be effortless and hold promise. Having a particular style will help in making your portfolio memorable. Pick up a common subject and portray it in a unique manner. Show how you make the ordinary look extraordinary. Your repertoire of ideas has no substitute. Be unique and capitalize on your creative inimitability to produce a rocking portfolio that catapults you to the hallowed portals of design excellence.
OPUS is always there to assist you in designing your bright future!
Design Aspirants, do visit DesignThink360 Career Conclave on 28 October 2017. Free Registration, Call: 98833 55550
More Details: https://www.theopusway.com/design-think-360/