There is no such thing as a perfect portfolio, especially one you submit to your art school. Your admission officer will not expect you to be the best designer or artist in the world. If they did, then what else are they gonna' teach you? What they look for is potential and your thought process. Technical skills may play a big part in executing your idea, but it's definitely not the whole point of making art or designing.
I completely understand the pressure to create something that your admission officers will like, instead of something that you believe in. I went through a slump where I didn't feel creatively energized, and my work felt lifeless and stale. This is a big indication that something was wrong because I have always been excited by new creative challenges and opportunities.
After some self-searching, I realized the one big thing that stopped me from unleashing my full potential: I was held back by what I think the admission officers would like. I wanted to create a portfolio that would get me a full scholarship. I was determined to uncover the formula of creating a perfect portfolio that would impress all my admission officers. But after I pondered over it deeply, if design was something so predictable, something that has to be done a right way, I wouldn't have been so passionate about this field. I enjoyed it because of the adventure and unpredictability, but as I chased after my dreams, I didn't notice how I was already trampling on them.
I asked myself these questions and got myself back on track:
Unlike technical majors like STEM-related fields of study and law, art and design is not something that your parents or your relatives can force you into studying. So if you've chosen to go to an art school, don't make it an inflexible experience. Make it a crazy one where you can fully express yourself with something tangible that you can share with the world!
Generally, art schools require few pieces of observational drawings. Observational drawings are drawings from life, including landscape, still life, interior spaces, figure drawings, and self portraits. Some schools like Art Center don't require observational drawings. Portfolio guidelines vary for every art school/college so be sure to read through them carefully.
For those of you going to art school, I hope this helped you out. Chill and be yourself.
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