Tips for college art students — make your own portfolio

Today, I am going to share some simple tips for college art students. As an art student, you just have so much to do in your studio. You are either staring at your computer all day like I did as an architecture student in college dealing with CAD, Keynote and Illustrator/Photoshop, or constantly creating amazing artworks. After I graduated, I have been studying art management and realized the importance of keeping track of my own experience. As a matter of fact, it does affect my never ending research research and research. I realized that just having all different kinds of printed research papers and PDFs are not good enough. Tips below are my personal strategies used to help myself to remember and understand my experience in art field.

1. Make your own portfolio. Another assignment right? But here is why:

  • Your portfolio could be a lifesaver after you graduate. Remember you need to submit a portfolio in this major to get a job interview- graphic design, architecture, animation, fine arts, interior design, website design, fashion design, 3d design, etc. This is not an option. However, pay attention students especially in this major too: art management, art criticism, art education, art history, art theory, museum studies, etc. Just because your curriculum does not include drawing, painting and 3d modeling, it doesn’t mean you are free from making a portfolio. It does not have to be professional . Use Word or Power point to write your reviews, important research, or articles with necessary images.
  • Why having a portfolio works well? because it shows who you are wherever you go. Not guaranteed that you are going to be an artist just because you study fine arts in college. You can be a journalist or a curator after you graduate. So many options. They might ask if you ever wrote an article or visited a museum. You always remember what you wrote. Actual writing and just remembering your experience are different. It can be saved as a digital folder or as an actual binder style. Personally, I would do both so that you can go through what you have done related to art so far. Remember it will not hurt you to have something like this.

2. Start collecting art catalogues, leaflets, posters, etc.

  • You are creative. Art people have creativity and imagination. But sometimes you might need some inspiration too.
  • Images below are art exhibition/museum catalogues and leaflets that I collected wherever I go. I have been collecting them since I got interested in art exhibition field. Different designs, fonts, layouts, descriptions…and most importantly, various styles of writings. These are free gifts that any art related events offer to you, so take them with you. They can always be your guide.

3. Jot down a short description of your visit to art events.

I previously made a template of short memo regarding art events that I visited and bound them to make a small booklet. It contains:

  • Project title
  • Date
  • Name of a museum, art gallery, art fair, or any art related event
  • About- a short description of what it was about
  • Name of an artist, a title and a year of specific artwork that you liked
  • Short descriptive content

In this way, you don’t have to go through a bunch of materials when you actually need their information. It will be a perfect tool of collecting and recalling your memories and feelings on specific experience.

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