This was my daughter’s first National Portfolio Day and we wanted to share tips that we learned the hard way:
- You do not need to pre-register for National Portfolio Day but we highly recommend it because there was a separate line for those who registered upon arrival and this line went after the pre-registered line.
- NOTE that the website for National Portfolio Day is unclear about the importance of pre-registering!
- Arrive early! We got there are 9:30am for the event which started at noon. We were not allowed into the convention center until 10am where upon the line started forming. If you get there are noon or later, you risk not being able to show your portfolio to in-demand schools.
- Bring an iPad or computer to show your portfolio online. You will need to submit your portfolio via Slideshare anyway which will require you to photograph and upload your work. There was a long line for Rhode Island School of Design, but they formed a separate line NOT AT THE TABLES for those students who had 100% of their portfolio online. This line was very short!
- Make sure your iPad and/or computer is fully charged. Also bring a back up battery for your device! You do not want your device to die during your portfolio review.
- Have a game plan for the schools that you want to see. Anticipate which school on your list will be the most in-demand and start there. Have a friend or family member that you bring along specifically to stand in line for you to wait in the next longest line of the school you want to see.
- Takes notes on what each person says about your work after your review. Each school has different requirements and specific things that they are seeking in applicants’ work. Their feedback is meant to help steer your final portfolio, particularly for those last pieces that you are creating.
- Follow up with each person you met with with a thank you note or email. It’s just good manners and might help that admissions person or professor remember you when it comes time to review your application.
- Plan a food stop after it’s over. Give yourself some downtime to process the feedback and refuel. Receiving feedback on your portfolio is exhausting and stressful.
- Give yourself a pat on the back for going to National Portfolio Day. You are demonstrating a high degree of commitment to each school that you saw!
p.s. Here are a few more helpful videos about applying to art school:
- Portfolio Day (and RISD has online Portfolio Review also!)
- Take risks
- What to include in your portfolio
- Common Application and Slideroom
More about Art Colleges from our college tours:
and some fun stuff …
If you are visiting New York City, here are our cheap foodie finds.