Preparing Your Art Portfolio

We understand that our applicants come from diverse backgrounds and have had varying levels of educational opportunity. So, as you prepare your portfolio, keep this in mind and know that Ringling College values your individualism and creative voice. We are simply looking for a portfolio that demonstrates your potential to succeed.

If you’ve been creating work for your high school classes, you should have lots of work to choose from.  Choose work that shows your strengths.  We want to see what you’ve got, from final pieces to works in progress from the pages of your sketchbook. Show us what materials you enjoy experimenting with, what topics you like to explore, and how you like to push your work to the next level.

We look forward to reviewing your work! Please know that we are always here to help. If you have any questions, you may contact the Office of Admissions.


Suggestions + Guidelines

Need some ideas? Here are a few.

Business of Art and Design applicants fulfill the portfolio requirement by submitting a written statement (maximum of 3 pages), describing your interests in art, design, and creative industries. Tell us why you wish to pursue a creative business degree and what you hope to achieve as a student here. 

Although not required, you may also submit visual artwork or past creative projects in addition to the required written statement. These are not required but may help support the application if you have them. 


Visual artwork or media examples may include:

  • Sketches, drawings, and/or paintings
  • Video/photography 
  • Project presentations
  • Digital images and/or mockups
  • Other creative projects 


Have questions?

Contact the department head directly,
Kathleen Sobr:

It’s important for us to see examples of drawing from life and direct observation. These can include:

  • Hands, feet, human figures and animals
  • Representational drawing
  • Interior and/or exterior environments

Important to remember:

Do not copy from another artist. Avoid cliches like anime, tattoo designs, dragons, or unicorns. At least half of your portfolio should consist of drawing from direct observation. Your ability to think creatively is important to us, so feel free to include pages from your sketchbook.

Note: The Computer Animation application deadline is January 15.

Contact the department head directly:

Computer Animation - Jim McCampbell:

Game Art - Morgan Woolverton:

Illustration - Scott Gordley:

Show us who you are as an artist and designer. You may include any visual artwork you have created--show us your imagination!

Need help selecting pieces for your portfolio?

Contact the department head directly:

Entertainment Design - Jamie DeRuyter:

Virtual Reality Development - Morgan Woolverton:

Creative Writing applicants fulfill the portfolio requirement by submitting a written portfolio that consists of two (2) things. Applicants must include a short written statement (3 pages maximum) that addresses the following:

  • Your literary influences, specifically in terms of what you have learned from them, not just what/who you like.
  • The critical or creative issues you are interested in pursuing at Ringling College.
  • Your writing/career goals after you graduate with your undergraduate degree.
  • Anything else that supports your interest in Creative Writing.

In addition, applicants should submit well-edited, original writing in two or more of the following categories (excerpts of longer works are acceptable):  

  • Fiction
  • Journalism
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • Essays
  • Film scripts
  • Plays
  • Graphic novel/comic texts
  • Picture book texts

Contact the department head directly:

Ryan Van Cleave:


Film applicants may fulfill the portfolio requirement by submitting two examples of film and or creative writing samples. If you do not have film or creative writing samples, you may submit a visual art portfolio.


Need help selecting pieces for your portfolio?


Contact the department head directly:

Film - Brad Battersby:

You may incorporate any or all of the following in your visual art portfolio:

  • Design projects
  • Photography, multimedia projects
  • Paintings, drawings, sketches
  • Images from your sketchbook


Need help selecting pieces for your portfolio?


Contact the department head directly:

Fine Arts - Joe Fig:


Graphic Design - Jeff Bleitz


Motion Design - Ed Cheetham


Photography + Imaging - Tom Carabasi

Visual studies applicants must submit a visual art portfolio.


You may incorporate any or all of the following:

  • Design projects
  • Illustration and animation
  • Photography, multimedia projects
  • Paintings, drawings, sketches from observation


Need help selecting pieces for your portfolio?


Contact the department head directly:


Visual Studies - Joe Fig:


Your portfolio is simply a collection of the best examples of your visual creative work and/or writing. Think of it as a means to show us how creative and talented you are! For helpful suggestions of what to include, please see the Suggestions & Guidelines section.

If you have not yet put together your portfolio, don’t worry! We offer plenty of suggestions and exercises to get you started. Review the recommended list for each major and see what you come up with!

A portfolio is our best indication of your potential to be successful in courses belonging to your major of interest. It also lets us get to know you as an artist in a way that goes beyond grades and test scores.

Of course! We are happy to help you. There are several ways to get feedback on your portfolio before you apply:
Visit campus and meet with an admissions counselor. You can schedule a visit online or call 941-309-0195.

Video chat with an admissions counselor! Ask specific portfolio questions and learn a little more about what Ringling College has to offer.

Attend a National Portfolio Day at Ringling College or in many major cities around the US - see details below.

The portfolio is an important part of your application. It helps us to determine your potential to be successful at Ringling College. We take into consideration how much instruction you’ve had, and we understand that high school programs vary greatly. We also look at your work as one part of your total application, along with your grades, difficulty of courses taken, recommendations, and application essay.

No two applications are alike, so we look at all of them individually. Successful artists, designers, and writers need to be creative thinkers, which is why we value your creativity as much, if not more, than your technical skills. We also understand that high school students are still developing as artists. Finding the perfect fit is essential. We firmly believe there is a perfect school for everyone.

To submit your portfolio, follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to and select Ringling College on the My Colleges tab
  2. Under Art Supplement, select instructions
  3. Follow the link to the Ringling College of Art and Design Art Supplement Site, which will take you to SlideRoom.

Admissions Events

Open House

Talk with faculty and students.

Preview days are a great opportunity to get to know Ringling College from the people who know it best – our students and faculty. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss our majors with faculty members and current students, stroll through our beautiful, sub-tropical campus, learn how to prepare your portfolio, and imagine life at Ringling College! Registration is required.

National Portfolio Days

Get feedback on your portfolio.

Ringling College participates in National Portfolio Days nationwide events, where students who are interested in studying art or design can meet with representatives from NASAD-accredited colleges from throughout North America. Come with your portfolio and your questions ready and become informed about your work, programs and majors, and professional careers in your field of interest. These events are free of charge and open to the public.


Director of Library Services


Kristina Keogh

Digital Curation and Special Collections Librarian


Janelle Rebel

Technical Services Librarian   


Janet Thomas

Instructional Design Librarian


Claire Powell

Instructional Design Librarian


Kayla Morrell



Alexandra Vargas-Fournier

Library Technician III (Cataloging and Metadata Assistant)   


Lisa Martinez

Library Technician II (Periodicals and Interlibrary Loan)



Library Technician III (Circulation Manager)  


Tim DeForest

Library Technician III (Acquisitions Manager/Office Support)  


Yolanda Coleman

Library Technician II (Circulation Assistant)  


Sean Farrell

Circulation Assistant


Logan Schulman

Circulation Assistant


Christina Song

Circulation Assistant Robert Camastro


Patron Type # of Items Type of Material Borrowing Time
Student 40 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
Faculty and Staff 40 Books 6 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 7 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
Trustee, Alumni, Cross College Alliance, and  15 Books 3 weeks
Ringling College LibraryAssociation Members CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
PreCollege 5 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Local Teacher 15 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Chartwell’s and Follett employees located at Ringling 15 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
*The video game collection supports the research and teaching of the Game Art & Design program. Video games may not be checked out by Alumni, Ringling College Library Association members or Family members.


The Alfred R. Goldstein Library features a wide variety of quiet, group study, and work process spaces. Looking for a quiet study area? Make your way up to the 3rd floor to look for a book in the Research Collection or peruse the new art magazines while relaxing in comfortable seating. When the weather is nice, you can take your coffee from Roberta’s Café on the first floor to one of the four terraces to work outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Looking for meeting space to get together with a group? Check out the group study rooms, which are available on all three floors of the Goldstein Library. The 10 group study rooms are available to students on a first-come first served basis, or available for booking by Ringling College faculty and staff for group and class meetings.

Library Hours

The library remains closed to all non-Ringling College visitors, including the general public and alumni, until further notice.

Library Services Hours (when classes are in session):

Monday -Thursday: 8 AM – 11 PM
Friday: 8 AM – 7 PM
Saturday: 12 PM – 6 PM
Sunday: 10 AM – 11 PM

Holidays and Breaks:
The Library is closed on holidays, as designated by the institution, and typically operates on a Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM schedule during breaks.

Ringling College ID Access Only

Please note a Ringling College ID is required for access.

Hours for the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center:

By appointment only from Monday – Friday 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM, no drop-ins. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Contact to schedule an appointment.

Visit Us

Ringling College of Art + Design
Alfred R. Goldstein Library
2700 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234-5895

Download a campus map

Suggest a Purchase: Library Acquisitions Request

We welcome recommendations for new library materials from the Ringling College community. Librarians will consider all requests bearing in mind their appropriateness for the collections and the current budget.
(*=Required Field)

Ask Us

chat loading...
Advanced Search

Text us: 941-208-4542
Email us:
Call us: (941) 359-7587

Schedule a research consultation

Schedule an appointment with one of our librarians or a research consultant.