4 important questions to ask yourself before submitting your portfolio

Ceramic pots in a gallery.
Posted by Natalie Faculak on

You’ve meticulously selected which artworks to include in your portfolio, spent hours crafting your statement of intent, and asked your favorite art teacher for a recommendation letter. Are you ready to hit submit? Take a moment to ask yourself these four questions just to cross your 't's and dot your 'i's.  


It is important to photograph your pieces in the best possible light. The images you upload will be how reviewers decide on your admission to an art program. If you don’t have a camera of your own, ask a family member or art teacher if you can borrow their camera. You want your photos to be clear and crisp to accurately reflect your skills and enthusiasm for your art. Photograph your pieces straight on (not from an angle) and close to provide the most direct image for reviewers. It’s best to crop out any extraneous things in the background to prevent distractions from your art. And when you upload the photos of your artwork, double-check that the orientation is correct. You don’t want the reviewers to strain their necks to view your work in our portfolio if you upload the images sideways.


Take advantage of the labels available in SlideRoom for each piece you upload. You can list a work’s title, size, medium, and additional details. The more information you provide, the better you are representing your work and who you are as an artist. By providing the work’s size and medium(s) used, reviewers will understand your technique and skill level. (Size is traditionally detailed as inches in the format of width x height.) Be consistent among your labels; consistency demonstrates attention to detail and sophistication. In the additional details box, share your inspiration or motivation behind the piece, if appropriate - What idea or theme are you conveying? What inspired you to create the piece? Let the reviewers get to know you through your portfolio.

Woman typing on laptop at desk.


It’s always beneficial to have a second set of eyes on anything you do - and your art school application and portfolio are no different. You’ve been looking at this for some time now and it’s probably all blurring together. Fresh eyes can spot a typo that you may have missed or provide a fresh perspective on the pieces you chose to include in your portfolio. Have a variety of people take a look at it - your art teacher, friends, parents, etc. Each person will offer a different view that may help you tweak what’ve you done, making it that much better.  


In the end, it’s all about you, so be comfortable with the application and portfolio you are submitting. Choose your favorite artwork for your portfolio and be yourself when it comes to your statement of intent. We need to get the best picture of who you are as an artist. 

Now take a deep breath and hit “submit”. Good luck!