Make a Winning Art Portfolio
A great art portfolio will get you into the best art
and design programs in college. This free e-book will
teach you the steps on how to prepare yourself in
creating artworks that best showcase your skills and
compiling those in the best possible order in your
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 2
PortPrep gets you to the art and design school of your
choice by helping you assemble a portfolio to the
best of your abilities!
We will improve your skills and technique so you can
create artworks that will give you an edge over other
Click here to visit our site and see our premier coaching
services that ensure students a 100% acceptance rate.
About Karen Kesteloot
Karen is an art instructor
and owner of PortPrep.
She helps students achieve
their dreams of becoming
future professional artists
by instructing them how
to make better artworks
and designs for their
portfolio. Click here to know more about her.
Disclaimer: Some of the images used in this e-book came from Compfight. You
will find a caption below the images that links to their Flickr Creative Commons
page and the page where the image was taken.
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Make a Winning Art Portfolio 3
Table of Contents
About PortPrep ................................................................ 2
About Karen Kesteloot ..................................................... 2
Introduction: Do You Want to Get into The Best Art and
Design Programs? ............................................................ 4
Read This Before You Start Making Your Art Portfolio! .... 5
What's Drawing without Betty Edwards?......................... 6
Why a Notebook Is Crucial in Developing Your Art
Portfolio ........................................................................... 6
Buy Yourself a Notebook .................................................. 9
Now You Have Your Artworks, What's Next? ................. 11
Learn How to Make Your Art Portfolio...the Right Way! 13
Give Yourself a Brand ..................................................... 14
Learn Art Branding from the Master Himself! ................ 15
Compile Your Artworks in an Art Portfolio Case! ............ 16
Is Your College Art Portfolio Complete?.......................... 19
Have Your College Art Portfolio Double-Checked ........... 20
Additional Resources to Building Your Winning Art
Portfolio ......................................................................... 22
How about trying PortPrep’s premium coaching services?
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 4
Introduction: Do You Want to Get into
The Best Art and Design Programs?
Of course you do! Getting into these schools allows you
to receive the best education and gives you the best
chance of having a successful career in art and
However, that can only happen if they think you have
what it takes to become a professional artist. You need to
show to the art professors and admissions people that
you have the creativity , passion , and skill to
perform at this level.
You can do this by presenting to them your art portfolio -
a collection of your best artworks through the years.
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 5
Read This Before You Start Making
Your Art Portfolio!
Hint: It's about the MOST important thing you
need to master before enrolling to an art
Photo Credit: Liis Klammer via Compfight cc
Quick, what’s the most important skill you need to
master as an aspiring artist?
With all the advancements made in arts and design, why
does hand drawing remain the most important skill
students have to learn before getting into college?
Drawing is not only the foundation of great art, but it also
proves the knowledge and understanding of an artist to
translate what they see and imagine onto an artwork!
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 6
Having the abilities to convey form via shape and shadow
and accurately depict an image from your perspective
through hand drawing prove that you have a firm grasp
of the fundamental theories involving art and know what
it takes to create wonderful art. This will clearly show on
your art portfolio and will impress the professors
What's Drawing without Betty
There's no point of talking about drawing as an
art without mentioning the author of "Drawing
On The Right Side of the Brain!"
If you want the holistic approach to drawing, from the
very fundamental to the most advanced techniques, do
yourself a favor and watch Ms. Edwards at work in this
must-see video. All of the topics discussed here are
derived from her book Drawing On The Right Side of The
Click here to watch
Why a Notebook Is Crucial in
Developing Your Art Portfolio
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 7
Your ideas and creative inspiration as an artist
are VERY important!
Photo Credit: Honey Pie! via Compfight cc
That's why you need to keep a notebook and record every
idea, thought, and opinions that pass you by. They don't
have to be directly related to art - how you draw and
express your ideas in your notebook define your
thought process as an art student .
Professors put stock on how you build and develop your
ideas found in your art portfolio. This is the reason why
some colleges ask for your sketchbooks along with
your art portfolio for review . They will trace the
process on how you go from establishing your idea in your
notebook and transferring it to your medium of choice
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 8
(hand drawing, photography, sculptures, graphic design,
Ultimately, having a notebook helps you refine your
process on how you make your ideas come to life
through your art . By writing and drawing down
everything that's in your mind, you have a clearer image
of your thoughts and is therefore easier to recreate into a
piece to be included in your art portfolio!
TIP: ONCE YOU HAVE A NOTEBOOK, YOUR TASK NOW IS TO KEEP
YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING.
There will be times that you don’t feel creative enough to
regularly draw on your notebook.
As an artist, you need to find inspiration to not only
create, but also develop original thinking .
To help you harness your creativity and showcase
your creative process through your notebook, read
Making an Artistic Impact – The Creative Inspiration
Process in Building Your Art Portfolio.
Click here for the
Buy Yourself a Notebook
If you don't keep a notebook or sketch book,
now's the time to get yourself one!
Moleskine Classic Notebook, Large, Ruled, Black,
Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) (Classic Notebooks)
Moleskine is the ultra-popular brand of notebook that
most artists own. Aside from the fact that Van Gogh,
Picasso, and Hemingway used one, Moleskines have a
sleek and minimalist appearance that artists can't get
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 10
Rhodia Classic Orange Notepad 6X8.25 Lined
A very affordable alternative to Moleskine. In fact, it
shouldn't matter what brand of notebook you buy. It's all
about the quality of your ideas that matter - as long as
you have those, your notebook will become priceless.
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 11
Now You Have Your Artworks, What's
Even if you have the best artworks around, it
won't matter to professors if you don't follow
this ONE simple rule!
Photo Credit: brandonhuang via Compfight cc
Going back to your notebook, all of your ideas recorded
there don't have to make sense outright. Your ideas, in
this case are unrealized artworks - they need to be
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 12
developed and brought into a particular form and order
so they can be understood by people.
The same thing goes with the artworks in your portfolio.
You need to put them in order for professors to fully
comprehend what you want to express in them. Also,
considering that you have to compile around 15-20
artworks in a portfolio (depending on the requirement of
the college), you need to figure out a way to make each of
the artworks interrelated so that your college art portfolio
seamlessly flows from one piece to another.
In other words, you need to compile your artworks
logically and intelligently to make it much easier
Here are tips and advice to help you achieve this:
Put your best artworks first and last. Your
"WOW" pieces are intended to capture the
attention of professors reviewing your college art
portfolio. This is your chance to make a statement
in the art world and show to them why you deserve
to get into their art or design program. The works
featured in the first and last page of your portfolio
should best represent your current skill set as an
artist, so choose wisely.
Choose your second best work on the second
page. This should be your "keep looking" artwork.
It's clearly not your best, but it shows promise of
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 13
what else you can do if you were to learn more
about doing arts and encourages them to take a
closer look of your portfolio.
Create a flow with the remaining artworks
you have in tow. While these might not be your
best works, your supporting documents should still
help your case to get accepted to the art program.
You can do this by arranging them in such a way
that they create a flow that speaks well of your skill
set and potential.
Learn How to Make Your Art
Portfolio...the Right Way!
Find out what it takes to build a winning
college art portfolio
This collection of Youtube videos should explain to you
what to include in their art portfolios and how to compile
your artworks in such a way that they create a logical
flow. This helps art professors from colleges you're
applying to understand your work much better!
What Colleges are Looking for in Portfolios
Did High School Prepare You to Apply to Art School?
What is the Best Order of Your Portfolio Content?
What to Include in Your Art Portfolio for the
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 14
Give Yourself a Brand
Or, why you should focus on branding at all
One thing artists forget about becoming successful is how
they should treat themselves as a brand. For some
people, packaging is everything, and you need to package
yourself according to an image or idea of how you want
people to see you. Are you a painter, designer, or
sculptor? Do your artworks clearly reflect your
personality? What is your ultimate goal in becoming an
The point here is for you to separate yourself from
other students applying in art colleges. The problem
that colleges have to deal with during admission is how
all applicants are almost the same that they can't
distinguish one from the other. By having a clear branding
for your art portfolio, you are able to showcase your
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 15
uniqueness more effectively, which you stand out from
the "sea of sameness.”
Another purpose of branding yourself is to establishing
consistency between your college art portfolio and
yourself. Your artworks are extensions of your creative
vision. You must cultivate your brand by creating
artworks that communicate who you are. Art colleges will
appreciate the brand you exude in your art portfolio,
especially if it's in line with your personality.
Learn Art Branding from the Master
Proper branding tips from the #1 New York
Times Bestselling author himself!
Raymond Aaron, author of Double Your Income Doing
What You Love and branding success coach, shares his
thoughts and expertise on how parents can help their
students how to get to an art or design program of their
choice through branding!
Click here to watch
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 16
Compile Your Artworks in an Art
There's more than enough reasons why you
should get a case for your college art portfolio
Once you have arranged your artworks in logical order,
you will have to purchase a portfolio case to hold them.
Keep in mind, however, that an art portfolio case is more
than just holding your pieces together. Below are reasons
why you should think carefully of the case you plan on
buying for your art portfolio.
Keep your artworks safe from wear and tear.
Without a durable case, you risk your art getting
damaged. You must choose a case that will best
protect your art portfolio for years from your
Conveniently carry your art portfolio with you. The
problem with most artists is transporting their
works from one place to another. With an art
portfolio case, you can carry them from the handle
or place them on your shoulder while keeping your
artworks safe at the same time.
Present your artworks in style. This is important for
students who need to showcase their art portfolio
for college admissions. The portfolio case must be
sleek and fashionable to match the artworks you
will be presenting to the panel.
Below are types of art portfolio cases that you can
purchase off Amazon today!
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 17
Itoya ART Profolio 8 1/2 x 11 Storage/Display
Book Portfolio-24 Sleeves/48 Views
This is an example of a display book. This has plastic
sleeves where you slip in your artworks. These are used
when sending your college art portfolio via mail and are
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 18
PRESTIGETM Carry-All Soft-Sided Art Portfolios
for 32 x 42"
This is a carry case portfolio that comes with a handle.
This art portfolio case type is ideal when coming over to
the college to personally present your portfolio.
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 19
Is Your College Art Portfolio Complete?
Before you feel good about completing your
portfolio, read this first!
Photo Credit: Life Mental Health via Compfight cc
You've practiced hand drawing, wrote down your creative
ideas in your notebook, followed the best ways on how
you compiled the artworks in your portfolio, and have
bought a portfolio case to store your artworks and
present it to art colleges you're applying to.
Question now is, are you satisfied with your portfolio?
There is no telling what your future holds after submitting
your portfolio to different art programs. There's a chance
that you'll get in and there's a chance that may not. This
is the reason why you may be feeling that something's
not right with your portfolio, even though you've done
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 20
everything under your power to make the best art
Therefore, as much as possible, you'd want to squeeze
everything that's worth out of your college art
portfolio to maximize your chances of getting to your
school of choice and fulfilling your dream of becoming a
Have Your College Art Portfolio
What if we say that you can have your art
portfolio reviewed by an art instructor for
Your college art portfolio isn't optimized for college
admissions until it is reviewed by an art professor or
instructor first. If you need your art portfolio reviewed, we
can help you with that...at no extra costs!
Below are links to resources where you can get your free
art portfolio review to increase your chances of getting
into an art or design program in college.
Welcome to the National Portfolio Day Association
The National Portfolio Day Association is the
premier source for post-secondary portfolio
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 21
development. The membership represent the
highest standard of visual arts education available
in the United States and Canada.
Get accepted to your art and design school of
choice - take a portfolio assessment for your art
portfolio for college from a successful art instructor!
Gateways Coaching for Artists and Creative Professionals
Artist Career and Creativity Coach help Art
Professionals worldwide to empower creativity and
reach art career goals faster.
Augusto Fine Art
Augusto Bordelois has helped art students with
their works through his various services (in
particular his free portfolio review).
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 22
Additional Resources to Building Your
Winning Art Portfolio
Your art portfolio won’t be complete without
following the tips and advice from these must-
Learn the best practices on how to take pictures of
your portfolio. Having good image quality for your
sculptures, paintings, and 3D art in your art portfolio
accurately showcases your skills.
How to Take Pictures of Artwork for Your Art
Portfolio: 42 Tips
More Tips for Taking Pictures of Art from the
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 23
Learn about SlideRoom. Instead of sending your
portfolio by mail, you can now upload digital copies of
your portfolios to their database. Most of the colleges use
SlideRoom, a site where colleges can efficiently manage
portfolios being sent to them online. It would help if you
do a bit of reading about SlideRoom, which you can by
clicking on the link below.
Things to Know About SlideRoom Before Uploading Your
Arrange the works in your art portfolio. How the
pieces in your portfolio are arranged will have an impact
to those who will review it. It must have a logical flow
where the best works are strategically placed on certain
pages while your supporting documents or piece create a
narrative that speak well of your skills.
Resource: Applying to an Arts Program in College? Here’s
What to Include in Your Portfolio
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 24
Master hand drawing. This art skill is one of the
building blocks of becoming a great artist. Good hand
drawing skills shows that you understand the basic
concepts of art and design. With this knowledge, you will
be able to build more creative ideas and achieve stronger
compositions, regardless of art program you're interested
Hand Drawing Basics: A Quick Look
No Nude Models? No Worries! 6 Alternative Life-
Drawing Resources for Art Students
Why Betty Edward’s “Drawing on the Right Side of
the Brain” Is an Essential Read for All Art Students
The Fundamentals of Figure Drawings for Your Art
Ace the interview! While bulk of your college
application depends on your art portfolio, it is also
importance to prepare for the interview you will be
having with the college. This includes presenting your art
portfolio in person and answering questions about your
intentions of studying art in their college.
Resource: How to Prepare for an Art College Interview
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 25
How about trying PortPrep’s premium
Guarantee your spot at your art school of
choice by signing up for PortPrep’s paid
services and boosting your art portfolios like
you’ve never imagined!
Proven ARTS Answer
The Proven ARTS Answer Video Series gives students the
secrets to success in the most competitive visual arts
education institutes. Art Instructor and top portfolio
coach Karen Kesteloot of PortPrep.com shows students
what to put in art portfolios, in what order, and in what
format. 100% of her students have been accepted into the
top arts colleges and universities. Now you can too with
the help of these instructional videos. Click here for more!
Portfolio Development Coaching Packages
Choose from three packages that best suit your needs.
Packages include a detailed list of recommendations for
the art portfolio you will be sending us, a video chat
discussing how to further improve your artworks, free e-
books to help you get started, and a custom course
depending on your availability. Click here to see our
Make a Winning Art Portfolio 26
Want to get the best tips and advice to further
improve your art portfolio? Follow PortPrep on