Portfolio

2017 Portfolio Day

Sydney College of the Arts will hold an Information Session and Portfolio Day on Saturday, 7 October 2017, 10am - 1pm, New Law Building, to assist you with preparing your portfolio and application to study the Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) and the Bachelor of Visual Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (BVA/BAdvStudies).

The Portfolio Day is a fantastic opportunity for you to meet our academic staff and receive feedback on your portfolio and visual arts practice. You can also choose to submit your portfolio for admission on the day if you're feeling confident!

RSVP here

Portfolio FAQs

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio presents a sample of your artistic interests and explorations. It is carefully and thoughtfully arranged, and documents your ideas, experiments, skills and the process you use to make your work.

We want to see your portfolio because we need to gain an understanding of who you are – your abilities, commitment and passions. Your portfolio tells us about the kind of artist you want to be.

What should I include in my portfolio?

Choose up to 10 different pieces to display. When you pick a portfolio format, make sure it presents each piece in the best possible way.

No two portfolios are the same and, because we are a contemporary art school, we know each of our applicants will have an individual style. The choices you make in compiling your portfolio will give us some insight into the type of work and ideas you value, and the creative approaches that have inspired you to focus on visual art studies.

Think of it as a platform for a conversation about yourself. Which work will help you talk about your artistic interests? Are there pieces that will show us your ability to stick to a project even if it was challenging? What will show us that you are motivated to work hard and are not afraid to take risks?

Sometimes it is better to have a small number of very strong work than a large selection that includes some weaker pieces. Variety can be important, but don’t leave out good work just to make room for something in a different media or style.

We are very interested in any self- initiated work you may have, or projects you have developed outside your course or your classes. If you worked on these projects with other people, make sure you are clear about your role in the collaboration and acknowledge the contributions of others.

We are asking you to show us who you are, and that you want to learn, investigate and develop ideas.

Where can I get more advice on making my portfolio?

We encourage you to bring your portfolio to the Portfolio Day, even though you might not have selected or finished all the works.

We will look at your portfolio in progress and make recommendations about what to include and how to present it.

But you should get started before then!

Assembling your work can take time, so start early and get some feedback from your art teacher or another art professional. Get as much work together as you can, and then edit.

Think about the placement and order of the work. You should begin and end with your best work.

We are happy to see the actual work, but this might not be practical if the work is big or delicate, or is no longer in your possession. Taking digital photographs is a standard way to document your work – you just need to make sure you have chosen the most suitable format. For example, 3D work might require documentation from more than one viewpoint.

Alternatively, you might have a series of artworks, in which case you can provide digital images of each element of the series. Check the colour, lighting and clarity of your photographs so that we don’t miss important details. And make sure the digital files are formatted and sized appropriately.

How do I show development?

Try to include some work that displays a larger investment of time and effort. This might be clear because of the way you constructed the work, or the materials you sourced. It might be apparent from the story you can tell about the process, and through your support material.

Sketchbooks are a good way to illustrate ideas, plans and experiments, and show us how you think. If you have recorded your ideas in a visual diary or notebook, you can bring it along to the Portfolio Day. Our staff will be interested to see how you develop your initial ideas through research and by trying things out. Not everything in your portfolio needs to be a finished, polished work.

Through this process, you’ll be able to show us that you are able to make your ideas come to life, and that you can communicate them well.

At our Portfolio Day, we listen to the way you talk about your projects. You can support this conversation by showing us work that has a clear or inventive connection between your ideas and the materials and process you used to express them.

A portfolio is always a work in progress. As you develop as an artist, you will edit and refine your portfolio over and over again. The work in your portfolio is always just a sample of your experience and capabilities.

What if I can't make it to the Portfolio Day?

You can your questions. If you were not able to present your portfolio at the Portfolio Day, you can submit your portfolio electronically to us by 5pm, Friday, 17 November 2017. Please include a short statement of between 200-250 words describing some of the more developed projects in your portfolio. Include information about the ideas and processes involved in generating the work. Specify details of whatever activities or experiences support your creative interests, and what you hope to achieve through your studies at SCA.

Portfolio elements

We see portfolios in many styles and it is not necessary to purchase a black portfolio case or mount your photographs on display boards.

You can provide up to ten (10) examples in the following ways:

  • Physical examples of your work at our Portfolio Day
  • Digital photographs of your work (JPG or PDF), page layouts, illustrations, digital photography (JPG or PDF). Individual files should be less than 1MB for each image or, if you make a PDF with multiple images, it should be less than 10MB
  • Website or other dedicated site such as a Vimeo channel (please provide the site address/es through the applicant portal)
  • Excerpts of film, animation or digital video work (.MOV). Make sure each film is less than 10MB

If you are unable to attend the Portfolio Day and are submitting your portfolio electronically, images should be 72dpi. If your work includes video and sound you can also submit a selection of sequences compiled into a showreel and saved in MOV format. The maximum file size for uploading your portfolio is 10MB.