Supplemental Creative Portfolio For College Application 

December 14, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Supplemental Creative Portfolio For College Application

What should an applicant include in their creative portfolio when applying to schools? How do you present a supplemental portfolio? What aspects of your application give you the greatest potential for acceptance at the school of your choice? This article will walk you through the process of creating a supplemental portfolio for use in higher education. Those who are in the process of putting together an application portfolio for a foundational course, certificate, associate’s degree, or undergraduate degree are the target audience for this piece.

What is the creative portfolio supplement?

What exactly is the creative portfolio supplement? The creative portfolio supplement is an additional and optional component of the application that provides students who excel in the arts with the opportunity to submit examples of their work that are of an advanced quality to highlight their artistic ability (this can also include dance, music, theater, architecture, and creative writing, etc. and could be artwork, audio recordings, or performances).

a male student writing on his notebook

Your creative supplement serves as both a demonstration of your talent and a reflection of the dedication you have shown to developing your creative ability.

The following are some factors to take into account when deciding whether or not to submit an additional portfolio:

  • If you plan to earn a degree in the field and the academic institution you attend provides a supplement option.
  • If you went to an arts-intensive high school, your academic profile and performance scores should give you an idea of whether you stand out as a top student in your class.
  • If you have devoted yourself to taking lessons and practicing for years.
  • If you have been recognized, published, or featured on a significant platform, such as in print, online, the media, on stage, or at a major art institution.
  • If you have dedicated yourself to taking lessons and practicing for years.
  • If you have been recognized, published, or featured on a significant

If any of the situations described above do not apply to you, or if most of them do not apply, it is not recommended that you submit a portfolio supplement. It is still possible for you to major or minor in that area even if you do not turn in a portfolio because the supplemental portfolio is voluntary (unless the school requires it).

How do I make a creative portfolio supplement?

How do I put together a creative portfolio supplement?  Putting together a portfolio that demonstrates your technical, creative, and conceptual abilities while setting you apart from other applicants will be a lot easier if you follow the advice below.

Young woman looking out the window while taking an exam.

1. Pay close attention to the criteria.

The requirements for a creative portfolio differ from one educational institution to the next. Examine in great detail the requirements that each institution to which you apply places on applicants, including the number of pieces, the type of format required, the deadline, and so on. Make sure your portfolio submission meets every requirement.

2. Organize the examples in an efficient manner

Your ability to present information to an audience and the way you think are both reflected in how you arrange the various parts of your portfolio. The admissions officers will have a much easier time comprehending the narrative of your work and will be able to concentrate more on your skill set if you take the time to be conscientious about the order in which you present it.

3. Write clear, concise labels

The majority of art schools require some basic information about the pieces you have selected to submit in your portfolio. It is customary to include a title, the date, and a description of the medium. If additional information is required, provide it in greater detail without going into excessive detail.

4. Be ready to talk about each part.

You might have to answer questions or explain certain aspects of your work during an interview, a presentation of your creative portfolio, or even in an email. This could be the case anywhere. You are not required to commit the specifics of each selection to memory; however, it won’t hurt to review the works and bring the process of their production to mind. When you are including works from many years ago, this is an especially important consideration.

Young man using a laptop while working on a laptop.

5. Tell stories

It is essential that you highlight your technical ability, but you should also include works in your portfolio that demonstrate your facility with storytelling. Consider the underlying lessons that can be learned from each illustration. If you can connect this meaning to a particular experience or distinctive quality that distinguishes you from other applicants, that will be even more impressive.

6. Do not become fixated on the quantity.

You shouldn’t be overly concerned about the number of works in your portfolio as long as you generally satisfy the requirements outlined in the application for the school, as long as you meet the minimum requirements mentioned in the application. Adding more pieces might be helpful, but you shouldn’t do so at the expense of your quality standards.

7. Get outside advice

Putting together a creative portfolio helps you to reflect deeply on your previous creative endeavors. It’s easy to let your perception limit you and sway your decisions, especially when you do so unconsciously. Your perspective will be widened and you will be able to view your portfolio in a new light if you ask a reliable advisor for advice and opinions on the work that you have been doing. Participating in a National Portfolio Day event that is held in your region is an excellent way to obtain feedback on your portfolio.

8. Demonstrate the technical skills you possess.

The message or meaning of a piece can only be conveyed by an artist if they possess the technical skills necessary to do so. In addition to this, they provide admissions officers with a sense of your potential. Art schools are aware that young students still have a lot of growing and learning to do, but they also want to see a foundational level of technology that can be developed while the student is enrolled in art school.

9. Don’t choose cliché examples

Your creative portfolio ought to contain works that art schools have not seen in the portfolios of any of the other applicants. Still-life portraits are a common type of work that we come across in photographers’ portfolios. While pictures of food or flowers can demonstrate a photographer’s technical skill, it’s unlikely that they will tell a story or have a “concept.” You really ought to include them; however, you should also provide some other examples in addition to them.

10. Describe your goals to develop

Art schools are aware that even the most qualified applicants still have a great deal to learn, which is why they value prospective students who have some idea of where they want their education to take them. Include works of this kind in your portfolio if you’d like to pursue a career in animation or graphic design, for example; doing so is optional, but highly recommended if that’s the path you’d like to take in the future with your art. If it’s not too much trouble, I’d appreciate it if you’d explain these focus areas and why you chose them.

Male student writing an essay in front of the laptop.

Your portfolio demonstrates to art schools that you are a creative individual who is also well-rounded and capable technically. You can put together a fantastic portfolio that highlights your skills and assists you in gaining admission to the art school of your choice if you take your time, edit your work meticulously, and look for assistance from other people.

How to submit the supplemental creative portfolio?

How to submit the supplemental creative portfolio? Typically, the portfolio supplement will be uploaded digitally through the SlideRoom portal, which will then be integrated with the Common Application. You will only need to create a single account in SlideRoom for your portfolio, which all of the colleges will use to access your work.

Keep in mind that each school has its specific requirements for the portfolio, so there may be some minor differences between each portfolio. For instance, if you want to submit a visual arts supplemental creative portfolio to Yale, you will need to include between five and eight slides, as well as one drawing. These slides should demonstrate your advanced abilities in art (beyond the level taught in a high school classroom), and the Yale portfolio itself can be an overview of your best work in art, spanning a variety of mediums and genres.

While some schools may have more stringent guidelines, others may ask for submissions that are concentrated on a single area or strength, such as painting or mixed media. In this situation, it is best to highlight works that connect well with both the overall application and aspects that the student wants to convey about themselves. Works centered on architectural design, AutoCAD drawings, structural sketches, and the like, for instance, could be a cohesive addition to the context of such a path if you were applying to a program that specialized in urban planning.

A creative resume and an additional recommendation from a teacher who is familiar with your work in the area represented in the portfolio may both be required by the supplemental portfolio instructions if they are to be followed. Therefore, you need to make sure that you plan for this process, as the portfolio component of an application can frequently take just as much time to develop as the rest of the application elements. It ought to be thought of as adding a school to the school list.

Be sure to check the deadlines for submitting your portfolio in advance as well, as these deadlines are frequently earlier than the application deadline. Even so, admission to some schools, such as Princeton, is contingent upon first applying; only after that can a supplemental portfolio be sent in.

In general, the creative portfolio supplement is something you should consider including in your application if it is a direct reflection of your long-term dedication, enthusiasm, and recognition in the creative field that you have chosen.

Having all the necessary information is important before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you if you have any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.



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