i'm done with college apps wooo i've uploaded everything onto dA in a folder
at least when i first started working on my portfolio, i really liked seeing others, accepted or not. they gave me an idea of what a portfolio should generally contain. obviously, this varies from school to school (+ according to your strengths), but as someone who just started dipping their toes into art, it was helpful~
here are some tips for future students applying for art schools. i'm no expert in this field, but they are things i wish i knew ;o;
feel free to get in touch with me if you're stressing out or have any questions
do lots of life drawings
i don't care if you're going into animation or design, or if you already have 1000000 watchers and is a pro at making kawaii-desu art. draw from life. seriously. it should make up a healthy portion of your portfolio if you're going into an illustration/3D heavy major.
make a list of all the schools you're applying to
and their application deadlines. some schools have different dates for different parts of the application process
i failed to apply to one of my safety schools because they had a separate application
due date. i only remembered to save the date for one of them and missed the application. i'm still crying over it.
unless you are very, very, beyond-comprehension-good...do not send in risky art
depending on the school, things like dragons, anime, or master studies (copying another artists work as a study) are shunned upon. some schools just won't accept that sort of art, no matter how well you portray it. they would rather see that you are capable of putting forms drawn from life accurately before you start contorting them (aka "anime" style)
usually schools with a focus in animation or game art would be more anal about this. these two majors rely heavily on a good foundation, and some schools like their students to do things a certain way. submitting a slide or two on a character profile seems to be an okay thing to do if you're confident in it, but schools like Ringling would prefer life drawings > variety.
well...what is "anime" style?
i was confused with this too. a lot of perception about anime is still stuck in the early 90's with Dragon Ball hair and Sailor Moon eyes.
"what if i watch anime adapted from seinen manga? with a more refined style?"
i had a lot of trouble with this since before applying to college, i only drew stylized art. it became a part of my style, and while it wasn't exactly grouped as "anime" style, it wasn't ""regular"" (whatever that is) style.
best rule of thumb to go by here is, if you have to ask yourself "is this too anime-ish?", it probably is.
copying to learn is not a bad thinggg!
it took me a while to embrace that. you can even start by tracing if you honestly have no idea to start.
please be mindful of why
such and such is done in a way, though.
for example, line thickness, use of values, perspective, and anatomy are all things you can learn from just copying. after you feel comfortable recreating master works, start drawing from life again. rinse, wash, repeat.
do your FAFSA forms early!
this applies to state schools only...i think. i'm not familiar with financial aid in canada (even tho i'm canadian heuhue?), europe or asia. the earlier you get your FAFSA forms done and submitted, the more likely you'll receive aid/more $$$
do not wait until the last few days
this seems really obvious. why i'm saying this is because after you edit your images and put them into nice little slides, you're going to come back 3 days later with a new set of eyes and think, "damn. this looks like shit
your art can always look better
you'll be amazed at what an okay quality camera, a cheap scanner, and some photoshop can do! please don't just photograph with your potatoe phone and send it in as-is. no matter how awesome your camera is, please run it through photoshop. adjust the lighting, fix any smears on the paper, just make it look better
. you can always just try the "auto tone", "auto contrast", or the "auto color" settings and play around with it. this is where photoshop shines! instead of going through multiple history paths, ctrl + z
will toggle the last action with the present state. aka, unlimited and instant before-and-after comparisons!
go to school
no really.go to high school.
attend your classes. do your homework. study for tests.
i cruised through life thinking piano was going to be my do-it-all savior; college with scholarship? no problem! job security? already done!
i neglected my studies terribly and now i'm paying by pulling 10 hour days doing grade 11 homework when i'm already 18
if i only went to school and did the bare minimum, i could of spent more time to make a better portfolio, and now i could be peacing it and going on vacation to okinawa or marathoning orange is the new black.you never know how your life is going to turn out
. doing at least what's expected will open up more possibilities of you in the future.
now i'm a madao closing in on 19 without a high school diploma nor a drivers license because back then, "i'm never going to drive!!!!"
+ good grades = more $$$ aid options
+ better chance of getting in if your portfolio is on par with someone else's.
last of all, just believe in yourself. if you don't think your art is good, no one will think it's good. the same things i've learned in performing music carries into visual arts also. you
have to show passion and confidence in your work for others to believe it. it really shows. it's like saying the secret ingredient in your grandma's pie is "love".
have fun painting, have fun drawing your neighbors dog, and make use of your strengths. love ink? do some pieces with ink as the focus! really good at drawing horses? submit a horse study as a slide!
in the end, schools want talent, hard work, and passion.
or $$$. they take either.