Put simply, a Portfolio is a sample of your creative, original art and design work, that shows your skill level and talent. It should be a reflection of who you are as a creative individual and maker of work.

In the art & design world, a portfolio might be used to show to a potential employer to get a job, to get into a school or particular program or to show to a gallery or art dealer. As a creative professional, you should always have an up-to-date portfolio for any opportunities that might arise.

When you apply to art and design school, often a portfolio is required as a part of the admission process. Each school and each program might  have different requirements and rules, so be sure you understand what they want to see in a portfolio.

At OCAD U, we aren’t too picky on how a portfolio looks, or what format you use. You might decide to create a digital portfolio, using Power Point, or create a simple website. You might decide to buy a fancy leather portfolio from an art supply store, and print photographs of your work. You might decide to actually create a book, by hand or using a do-it-yourself publisher. It could be as simple as a stack of original works, or a photo album.

We care about the content of your portfolio – about the actual pieces of art and design. It is up to you how you want to present your work – it should of course be professional and high light your work, but the format is your decision. We want to see you are a creative and critical thinker, and what your strongest work says about you.

You can read our OCAD U portfolio requirements here to find out exactly what we expect for our studio based programs.

Our new Honors BA in Visual and Critical Studies looks at grades, writing samples and/or a small portfolio. Make sure your review those requirements here.

Our Digital Futures program has slightly different expectations for the portfolio, as they accept both visual and non-visual work, and there is additional written component. Be sure to review those requirements here.

Moving forward with our blog we will have some more detailed posts looking specifically at the portfolio and admissions process for the Honors BA and Digital Futures. Be sure to check back often!