What to Include
What type of artwork should be in my portfolio?
Different colleges have different requirements, so be sure to research where you plan to apply. In general, we all love to see drawing, particularly drawing from life. It's important because you will be drawing a lot your first year, no matter what you major in. The media and subject matter don't matter so much – try still-life, landscapes, people, animals, buildings, whatever interests you. We're also interested in how you develop your ideas, so feel free to include pages from your sketchbook. If you don't carry a sketchbook, it's time to start.
In addition to drawing, other types of art are welcome too. Whether it's photography, film clips (short ones, please!), design projects, drafting, animation, 3D work, etc., show us what you can do!
Is there anything I should not include?
One word – anime! Seriously, most of the anime portfolios we see are weak – poorly executed and completely unoriginal. You can do better! Also stay away from fantasy art – unicorns, dragons, etc., and anything you've copied from a photograph or another artist. Keep it recent. Your mom might love it, but the kitty cat that you drew in kindergarten doesn't belong in your college portfolio!
How many pieces?
Ten to fifteen is a good number. If you include more than about 20 pieces, the work usually begins to get repetitive. Again, different colleges have different requirements, so ask!
Should my portfolio reflect my chosen major?
Not necessarily. But if you have experience in a specific discipline like photography, design, filmmaking, etc., show us. Some colleges might ask you to complete specific assignments for your portfolio that are related to your major.
How do I submit my portfolio?
Almost all colleges prefer electronic submission. Ringling works with a website called Slideroom, where you can upload your work and we can view it online. There's no problem with discs being lost or damaged or unreadable. Other colleges will ask you to submit your work on CD. A few want to see only the actual original work. Once again, you have to do your research.
Six Easy Steps for Preparing Your Portfolio
1. Gather your best, most recent work together. It could be class projects or work you've done independently. Finished work is usually preferable, but feel free to include pages from your sketchbook or works-in progress if they demonstrate your creativity.
2. Select 10 to 15 pieces. Be sure that they meet the requirements for your chosen major. Visit www.ringling.edu/apply for portfolio requirements for our majors. Different art colleges have different requirements, so always check before you submit.
3. Try to get some feedback on your work. Attend a national portfolio day, or schedule a portfolio review with an admissions counselor.
4. Take digital photos of your work. Check out the "How to Photograph Your Work" video on this site for tips.
5. Upload your portfolio images to www.ringling.slideroom.com if you're applying to Ringling. For other colleges, visit their websites for instructions.
6. Be yourself! Show us who you are as an artist.