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An Applicants Guide To Art College

Going to Art College is a popular ambition of many high-school students and so is a very competitive field to get accepted to the college of your choice.

You need to, therefore, be aware of how to best prepare for an application and how to best sell yourself to get the best result.

Many things come into consideration when doing this and we will look at some of the most important ones here so that you may have the best chance of success in your application.

How to prepare a portfolio

Firstly you need to start compiling your portfolio as early as possible, this will give you the best chance of getting it right if you are over a year away from finishing high-school still put good pieces aside, as you can remove them later if needed.

Know what courses and schools you are looking to apply to and include pieces that will help show you have the skill and the style for that institution.

Also, make sure you include a variety of pieces to show your versatility.

Things to know for an interview

An art college interview is a very different interview process in comparison to an interview for any other educational institution.

This is largely due to the fact that the application and selection process is so evidence-based and that evidence is the portfolio.

So basically be prepared to justify the pieces in your portfolio, explain why you produced them and what the significance of each piece is.

You will also be asked about what attracts you to their school and also what you are looking for in your art career.

Have answers ready and think about why you are wanting to study, as answering with, ‘I just really liked art at school’ probably won’t cut it.

What type of area are you interested in?

It’s essential to know what type of area of art you are interested in, and especially these days where there is a whole new range of areas that fall under the banner of art, due to the explosion of digital art areas.

Different Art Colleges are generally thought of to be better and less so at certain disciplines.

If you are interested in one area, animation for example, then you can find an art college that has a dedicated animation college and see what their graduates have gone on to achieve which is a good indication of the potential benefits of attending there.

Extra tuition

You will want to look to take the opportunity of anything that can give you an advantage over the other candidates looking to apply.

One way of getting this advantage is to take on the services of a private art tutor. In addition to the teaching at school, this gives you certain advantages, namely that you will get extra hours of tuition and in a one to one setting and even just the extra hours of practice are useful.

You will get another qualified point of view on your work as well, which can only be helpful.

Finding a tutor is easy and if you don’t know of one who comes recommended by someone you know and trust there are plenty of websites, such as this one, where you can search and read reviews of tutors local to you.

How to pick an art school

As we’ve already touched upon what type of art you wish to study is key in this situation.

But in addition to this you need to know if the institution, it's vibe and culture is right for you, as well as the city it's located in, it's going to be your home for the next few years, after all.

Go to open days to find out as much as you can, see the facilities and meet the staff from the departments you are interested in studying in.

You might even be allowed to sit in on classes and see how they teach and what the students seem to get out of it. 

Take advice from your teachers

Listen to your teachers, they are a valuable resource, and not just because they are guiding you in learning your art skills.

They are the best example you probably have of someone who has applied to, went to, and graduated from art college.

So ask them about their experiences and take their advice on what to include in your application and your portfolio as they do know what they are talking about