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Tips on How to Prepare a Portfolio

Although each Art and Design major at FIT has specific portfolio requirements and may require a Design Test, the following will help you prepare your portfolio.

Your portfolio should consist primarily of work done from direct observation, i.e. drawing and painting from what you see. These drawings might include self-portraits, still lifes, figure drawing, landscapes, or interiors. You should include work done in a variety of media like charcoal, pencil, watercolor, and acrylic and oil paints. We encourage you to include a sketchbook as part of your submission.

You should already have strong drawing and two-dimensional design skills, as well as an understanding of color and composition. Composition is very important; in many ways, it is at the heart of all of our Art and Design majors. For example, Interior Design is all about moving through a room and the relationship between one room and another. Communication Design concentrates the way your eye moves across the kind of graphic image used in advertising. Fashion Design is about the flow and movement of a garment on the body. Your artwork should reflect your understanding of how to move the eye across a piece of paper or canvas using line and color, light and dark, balance and rhythm, all of which help form the concepts of design and composition.

While we encourage work from direct observation, we do not discourage any work that reflects your creativity and sense of design. Computer art may supplement your portfolio, but it should not be its main focus.

You do not need to purchase an expensive portfolio case to display your artwork, but your submission should be presented in a neat and professional manner. Let your art teacher help you make a selection from your most recent work. Consider your portfolio a visual essay about yourself, and donít forget your sketchbook!

If you are a high school student, you may want to consider taking a class through our Precollege Programs. These courses are designed to help you develop a portfolio, let you experience what FIT is all about, and introduce you to the industries our majors support.

If you are out of high school and want some instruction in developing your portfolio, you may take a general art class through FITís School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

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