honeyofcourse
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hey! my little bro is applying for college (art & design) at the moment and needs to create a portfolio. he's really low on inspiration & i'm not sure what to do... it doesn't help that he's homeschooled (it's a complicated situation but he gets minimal help from anyone, i do what i can). he's doing photography gcse, it's his biggest strength, but he needs to show that he can encompass other art styles. any ideas? it needs to be a really strong portfolio because his grades are too weak to get in on alone.
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xmpj.Tx
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Year 12 here in the Same exact situation but for pre uni admission. I did fine art gcse and got 7 because my work had too much photography in it (even though the artist provided to me by AQA for a response used photography as a medium but besides the point). I have substantial drawing skills but still I chose to take photography at a level. I now realise I need other mediums other than lens based in my portfolio so I need to put my paces in with painting , sculpting etc. I’m currently gonna set myself briefs and try to fill a sketchbook using the coursework format I used at GCSE so planning , artist research and responses, development, experimentation and narrowing down , final outcome planning and final outcome( studentartguide.com has good guides in terms of structuring sketchbooks etc. They’re not the most helpful but it’s better than nothing- currently trying to find better resources) . I’m also using online tutorials to teach myslef basic art skills that I would’ve learned in the other pathways e.g sculpting, painting, life drawing, textiles etc. to build a broad portfolio. There’s art supply shops online which sell to schools (mainly) but also independent clients and you can purchase art materials on there discounted or cheaper than most other places which charge extortionate amounts for inks, canvases, brushes etc. I’m still figuring it all out in a flurry of panic so sorry if this all sounds a bit messy but I completely understand the worry😰.

Listen , this is a best case scenario in some ways. Everyone’s on lockdown so you pretty much have time at your disposal to create art. I’d say find supplies online and try out a bit of everything, he’ll identify that which he is strongest in , which is what he should include in his portfolio anyway (as well as evidence in the form of sketchbooks etc. of the other styles he attempted to show that he has at least tried them or shown some skill in them). Set yourself projects in the format he would’ve followed for photography, adapting it to each style of art, it’s essentially the same but your working with different things. Each time you find an artist reference they’ll be things you don’t understand about how the piece was made , and that’s and opportunity to teach yourself a new technique in that style of art. E.g You may , in fine art, be doing artist research and encounter a piece done via the method of mono printing; by researching the info on the piece , you’ll find that it is a mono print and that enables you to teach yourself something new.

At the end of the day , this is for FE/ college admission so they wouldn’t expect much , or as much as for someone applying to a HE course. There were many people in that position last year in my year who had done NO ART and they created a portfolio of work on the side with the help of a teacher. From what I saw anyway, they were just learning very basic drawing and painting techniques so it was nothing extreme, things you could teach yourself through YouTube just to show you have the potential to draw .

Essentially a portfolio is just to showcase your potential in an area of expertise . Not that you’re a master at it , but that you have tried it and it worked , or didn’t , and that you were able to identify and discuss this. Tell him to keep at it with the photography , and if it’s strength to definitely include it in the portfolio. But don’t stress too much , colleges won’t really expect that all prospective art students have done every single art subject. I did fine art at GCSE and am now doing at A Level photography . Skills can be learnt in the two years at college that you would’ve learnt at GCSE anyway.

We’re in a good position in a way , because art course admissions teams live to see self initiated work in a portfolio and if you have most of the work be self initiated then I’m sure they’ll be over the moon because essentially all they want to see in an applicant is motivation, potential, passion and commitment which self initiated work demonstrated for the most part.

Sorry for the long post , I just understand the struggle and hope this helped a bit! He’s in a much better position than me
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honeyofcourse
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(Original post by xY.mpj.Tx)
Year 12 here in the Same exact situation but for pre uni admission. I did fine art gcse and got 7 because my work had too much photography in it (even though the artist provided to me by AQA for a response used photography as a medium but besides the point). I have substantial drawing skills but still I chose to take photography at a level. I now realise I need other mediums other than lens based in my portfolio so I need to put my paces in with painting , sculpting etc. I’m currently gonna set myself briefs and try to fill a sketchbook using the coursework format I used at GCSE so planning , artist research and responses, development, experimentation and narrowing down , final outcome planning and final outcome( studentartguide.com has good guides in terms of structuring sketchbooks etc. They’re not the most helpful but it’s better than nothing- currently trying to find better resources) . I’m also using online tutorials to teach myslef basic art skills that I would’ve learned in the other pathways e.g sculpting, painting, life drawing, textiles etc. to build a broad portfolio. There’s art supply shops online which sell to schools (mainly) but also independent clients and you can purchase art materials on there discounted or cheaper than most other places which charge extortionate amounts for inks, canvases, brushes etc. I’m still figuring it all out in a flurry of panic so sorry if this all sounds a bit messy but I completely understand the worry😰.

Listen , this is a best case scenario in some ways. Everyone’s on lockdown so you pretty much have time at your disposal to create art. I’d say find supplies online and try out a bit of everything, he’ll identify that which he is strongest in , which is what he should include in his portfolio anyway (as well as evidence in the form of sketchbooks etc. of the other styles he attempted to show that he has at least tried them or shown some skill in them). Set yourself projects in the format he would’ve followed for photography, adapting it to each style of art, it’s essentially the same but your working with different things. Each time you find an artist reference they’ll be things you don’t understand about how the piece was made , and that’s and opportunity to teach yourself a new technique in that style of art. E.g You may , in fine art, be doing artist research and encounter a piece done via the method of mono printing; by researching the info on the piece , you’ll find that it is a mono print and that enables you to teach yourself something new.

At the end of the day , this is for FE/ college admission so they wouldn’t expect much , or as much as for someone applying to a HE course. There were many people in that position last year in my year who had done NO ART and they created a portfolio of work on the side with the help of a teacher. From what I saw anyway, they were just learning very basic drawing and painting techniques so it was nothing extreme, things you could teach yourself through YouTube just to show you have the potential to draw .

Essentially a portfolio is just to showcase your potential in an area of expertise . Not that you’re a master at it , but that you have tried it and it worked , or didn’t , and that you were able to identify and discuss this. Tell him to keep at it with the photography , and if it’s strength to definitely include it in the portfolio. But don’t stress too much , colleges won’t really expect that all prospective art students have done every single art subject. I did fine art at GCSE and am now doing at A Level photography . Skills can be learnt in the two years at college that you would’ve learnt at GCSE anyway.

We’re in a good position in a way , because art course admissions teams live to see self initiated work in a portfolio and if you have most of the work be self initiated then I’m sure they’ll be over the moon because essentially all they want to see in an applicant is motivation, potential, passion and commitment which self initiated work demonstrated for the most part.

Sorry for the long post , I just understand the struggle and hope this helped a bit! He’s in a much better position than me
oh WOW thank you so much for this i will pass it on- you're a lifesaver!!! best of luck with your art <3 xox
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