• Sophie van Os

Strong Portfolio Guidelines

What are the key elements included in a strong portfolio? This can be difficult to discover because every school is unique. But when you read the quotes below, you will see that the key elements are actually quite similar.


Definition of a portfolio from top Art & Design schools:

  • an introduction of your character

  • a visualization of your artistic process

  • a reflection of YOU


University of the Arts London

“A portfolio is a collection of work that showcases your skills, personality and creative potential. It should narrate your story - from what you've learnt and created so far to what you plan to do next. With initial sketches, contextual references and finished pieces, it is your chance to show us why you want to study your course at UAL.”


OCAD University

“This is a reflection of you and the work you are doing. You're showing relevant work, technical skill, exploration, and of course your best pieces! Process work is another essential component to your portfolio. This is where we learn about the journey of your work, how you got from point A to point B. Process is the visual way to explain your thinking and work.”



Parsons School of Design

“There is no one size fits all portfolio! The portfolio should be a reflection of who you are. Personal and conceptual work is preferred over generic assignments. Like the personal essay, this is a way to introduce yourself to our committee.”



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