Thursday, November 28, 2013

National Portfolio Day 2013: My Experience and Tips & Tricks

I attended National Portfolio Day on November 17, 2013 in New York City. It was hosted at the Javits Center (which is huge...). I'll share my experience and some advice.

I arrived about 2 and a half hours early because there was no traffic going into the city. If you want to see the most schools in the amount of time you are there, I recommend getting there about 2 hours early. By the time it was a half hour before the event, people were on the other side of the building lining up.

When they let us in, I went straight to SAIC. I was the first person there, but the review they gave me was quick and unspecific. Within 8 minutes I was off to Pratt. Pratt's line was still only about 5 minutes at this point. I waited and got a review with the foundation staff (there was another line for admissions reps also). This review was longer but the only thing he told me was to keep doing what I was doing. I think that these schools mostly blew me off because I was a junior and didn't spend as much time with me.

Next I went to SMFA, which I was not impressed with. The people I spoke to originally were nice, but my reviewer didn't seem to care for looking at my work or listening to what I had to say. She asked me what I wanted to do in college and I said painting, and two minutes later she asked me if I had ever considered doing children's illustration. She explained that I "would need to have some kind of job after college" so I should consider it. But whatever. Then, at the end of my review she began saying that I should create art on the computer because that's what you need to do in "this day and age". Basically, what I gathered from this was that their school didn't want more painters or she was just trying to find a nice way to say I sucked at it.

I was pretty bummed out by this point, but it was only 40 minutes into the event, so I got on line for Montserrat while my mom stood on line for Montclair state, which were thankfully right next to each other. The Montserrat line was about an hour and the Montclair state line was about 40 minutes. I recommend only having someone wait on line for you if you are sure you will be done first or if the lines are close to each other so that you can switch like I had to. I ended up getting reviewed by Monclair state first. The woman was very nice and actually gave me honest feedback on my work, as in what she though should and should not be in my portfolio. I had a conversation with her about my pieces and I felt that she actually cared about what I had to say.

Once I finished Montclair state, I was up next for Monsterrat. Their line took so long because they were giving in depth 20 to 30 minute reviews. My reviewer was excellent and worked through each piece with me, telling me what I needed to work on and improve. This review alone was worth my whole trip into the city. Not only did I gain valuable tips, I became hopeful for the future when he told me that Monsterrat would be lucky to have me before he realized that I was only a junior.

After Montserrat, I was reviewed by Rowan which was interesting, but it was not a school I was really interested in. They wanted more observational art in my portfolio.

Overall, I was highly satisfied with my experience. I got to see 6 schools and received a wide variety of feedback and advice. I would recommend that any high school junior or senior go to their closest National Portfolio Day.

Now for some tips:
  • Bring a mix of physical work and pictures. If you have a lot of canvases, take pictures of them and put them in a display book. An 8 by 10 print works. Then just let the reviewers know that they are pictures of the actual (larger) work. This way you are not the poor soul lugging around gigantic canvases that we all feel bad for. Then just bring some flat works with you so they can see some of your actual work.
  • Sketch while waiting in line for those 2 hours!

  • Come with an open mind and be willing to take criticism!
  • Come with lunch! Chances are that the venue will either not have food or it will be expensive.
  • Plan which schools you want to go to before hand. I recommend picking one or two big schools, one or two small schools, and a few others for if you have extra time.

  • Only bring work you can talk about. You should be able to say what it was created with, why you included it and why you drew/painted/took a picture of it
  • Go as a junior! You can relax and enjoy the process. Plus it helps a lot more to get this feedback a year before you need it rather than a month!
Thanks for reading this post, I hope it was useful to you! Enjoy some pictures I took on the way back home.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Moleskine Flipthrough #1

Today I finished my Moleskine sketchbook after 11 months of on and off use. I love Moleskines for their small size, unique feel, thick paper, and the classiness you feel when using one. I filmed a video flip-through of the pages for those of you who would like to see my completed sketchbook.

Here are some of the highlights of this sketchbook in picture form.

To see more of my videos check out my YouTube or my Deviantart. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Girls Day Out

My dad left on a business trip for Singapore today so my mom and I took it as an opportunity to hang out together.

First we went to the park to take pictures, but it was too cold to stay longer than 10 minutes. Here are some of the better shots I managed to snap before I wimped out.
Then we headed over to my favorite place ever- Kohls. There's just something about that store that makes me completely unable to stay away. Maybe it's the cheap prices or the never ending clearance racks or the fact that it is 3 miles from my house. I debated getting some colored tights and some boots (I'm still unsure. Take a look at the picture below and let me know what you think) but ended up with only two packs of earrings which I found in the clearance section.
Then we went to Panera because I had a giftcard. I couldn't get hot chocolate because something was wrong with their machine, so I got a strawberry smoothie and it was heaven. The smoothies from Panera are scrumptious and filling- you should try one next time you are there! I also got a peanut butter cookie. Yummy!
I found a Michael's giftcard in my wallet today. There was only $5 left but I figured that I'd go get some new art supplies. Too bad I'm a moron and once I got to the register, I forgot to use it. So, instead I was short on money and had to embarrassingly call my mother on the phone so she could come to the front of the store and give me an extra dollar. Oh well, at least I got some new art supplies. I got some artist's loft soft pastels to try out since I've never used soft pastels before and 2 strathmore drawing pads (buy one get one free!)- one newsprint and one charcoal paper.
We were pooped from our adventures at that point and headed home. I, of course, opened my new soft pastels and sketched my dog, Scout.
To wrap up the great day, we ordered some Chinese food (my absolute favorite). So that was my Sunday. What did you guys do this weekend?

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February Instagram Lookback

It's hard to believe that March has roared into picture already. Because February is over and this is my first post, I though it fitting to look back on my month of February. Hopefully this will help you to get to know me!
Anatomy drawings//Photography class shot #1//Photography class shot#2//My new blazer
A wintery morning//Pretty lights on my ceiling//Photography class shot #3//My baby doggie
Hot chocolate//Another winter day//Makeshift paint palette//Passing by Baltimore
Lobbying workshops I attended//MLK Jr Monument//The Jefferson Memorial
Georgetown Cupcakes//Presidential jewelry//Our hotel lobby//Inside the Senate building
Ready for lobbying//Capitol building//Interesting decor//More Presidential jewelry
Watercolors on a plate//Valentine's candy//Valentine's cookies//New Joann's store
Kohls giftcard//Messy desk//Yummy meal//Adorable notebooks

A clean desk//Inspiration board//Hair is getting longer//Forever 21
Doodling//Painting WIP//Interesting textbook illustrations//Eiffel Tower Cookie
Forever 21 Ring//Copic Markers//Selfie time//Ombre Sweater

February was an awfully busy month for being so short!
Visit my Instagram for more pictures.