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Advice needed for portfolio

(11 Posts)
LittleDragon Tue 30-Dec-14 23:16:08

I have got an interview for Fashion Design with Design for Performance course on 28th of January. I'm on an Access to Higher Education in Art and Design course at the moment as a mature student with my local college but I haven't done any previous art courses and only really got into art about 6 months ago as a subject after being told, at the age of 11, that I was so useless at all art i wasn't worth teaching. This means that I don't have much in the way of prior work to put in and I don't have any completed projects (most of the first term at college was spent doing tasters in a range of different art disciplines). I really want to get on this course and know I'll be able to cope with the right disability support (I know this specific uni supply the support) but I'm worried that it won't come across as my portfolio won't be up to scratch.

sashh Wed 31-Dec-14 08:30:18

Put in any sample work or half finished work you have.

Do you have a sewing machine? Could you sketch a design then make an outfit?

Have you made any children's costumes for book day or non uniform days?

Do you know anyone who does dance? One of your children or a friend or even gymnastics? You could design for them and add notes about how the outfit fits within rules about fit and such, the material(s) used, rules for the particular dance performance, the lighting eg gymnastics has bright light and judges need to see the shape of limbs vs stage which has a variety of lighting. Add in things that will change the design from an outfit to a costume eg mask/feathers in hair/makeup/glitter.

Do you have children? Pull out dressing gowns/sheets/old clothes and remodel them in to a costume a la Gok Wan then photograph them, and again include make up/glitter.

Good luck.

Kez100 Wed 31-Dec-14 19:53:58

My DD says that the open day information or the course website often have portfolio guidance. She had to "tweak" her portfolio for each of the four interviews she had so definitely read what the course you want to do asks for so that you can make sure you take what you need with you. Also, your current course might be able to guide you - or if your tutors are more general, is there a fashion department in your college who might be able to advise?

My DD said her (creative degree) interviews in early 2014 lasted about 30-40 minutes each and were about 1/4 discussion on why that course and that University and her career/future intentions and 3/4 on the portfolio review - with questions ranging from her research methods, right through her experimental work to the final outcome. She said they all criticised parts of her outcomes and she either 1) explained why she had included the elements or 2) discussed with them how a change would, indeed, make the outcome stronger. Be prepared to accept criticism and treat it as feedback and a positive point for discussion.

MillyMollyMama Thu 01-Jan-15 22:13:01

I think you are going to struggle if you have nothing for the portfolio at the moment. I would consider applying for a foundation fashion degree in all honesty!

If the degree course you want is similar to the one at Birmingham City University, then their web site has a lot of information about what you should include. It will be extremely difficult to produce something in a month. My DD is at The London College of Fashion and they have course advisers who can advise on portfolios. Your intended university may have the same. My DDs interview was only about 25 minutes but she had a portfolio of about 8 A2 pages with designs, photographs of her creations, her work modelled on a catwalk, details as to where she got inspiration and the processes used to create the designs and the execution of them. She studied Art and Art Photography at A level and did fashion design as part of her Art A level. Her school had a Fashion Designer in Residence. You could look at the London College of Fashion portfolio advice too.

Be very careful to submit your portfolio in the way your university wants. They probably don't want costumes brought in. They may want it sent in digitally. You will need to demonstrate your abilities and interest in fashion. Doing a blog on fashion and your inspiration is also a good idea. Otherwise, DDs interview was along the lines Kez describes. DDs course at LCF is unique so portfolio had to be considerably tweaked for this!!! Huge amount of work, which is why I think a foundation degree would be much better for you.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 01-Jan-15 22:35:42

I'd suspect that a degree in fashion at the LCF is likely to be much more popular in terms of applicants and therefore able to be much more proscriptive in the types of portfolios they wish to see - as well as more than likely having the pick of the 'best' applicants (the ones most likely to benefit from their course, and to reflect well on the college in their future careers after graduating).
Not to take anything from your chosen course or establishment, but I just doubt that the same standards will apply.
I agree, though, that there will be information on the course website regarding portfolios; you might even be able to meet informally with the course leader and have a chat about the course and your likely suitability. Somecreative courses take people from all sorts of backgrounds, especially if the candidate is mature, so it may be that you won't have a problem with this particular course.
That said, six months isn't a great deal of time to have been 'into art,' so you may need to be prepared to have a foundation course suggested. You can't lose anything by trying though!

MillyMollyMama Thu 01-Jan-15 23:55:35

I could point you in the direction of Epsom College of the Arts, Shotgun, where you will see the requirements for a fashion course portfolio are not so different from LCF! You might get on a course with less, but whether you would be able to complete the course with a very limited fashion/art/design background is another matter.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Fri 02-Jan-15 00:20:06

Oh I don't disagree with that - it's a fair point. I was just suggesting that the op look into the requirements for her particular college, as I'm on a creative course myself ATM (not fashion though), and there are people from all kinds a of surprising (to me) backgrounds.
And I did say she might be steered towards a foundation.

GutsyMcMuffin Fri 02-Jan-15 00:26:50

I'd question why you don't have much work, I know you've only been studying for six months but art based courses expect you to do doing work in your own time.

Kez100 Fri 02-Jan-15 15:31:31

If you can get the course free and manage to live, what about doing a two year level 3 fashion BTEC diploma (that is equivalent to A levels) first? My DD didn't do art at school at GCSE level but did do a 2 year L3 BTEC at an art college and that gave her plenty to put into a portfolio for applications for degrees. At the Art College they had many different ages studying this course (whereas at the local 6th form college they tended to be 16/17).

LittleDragon Thu 29-Jan-15 03:27:00

Kez I applied for the BTEC and the college pushed me into the Access course instead. The uni I am applying for doesn't appear to do any foundation art courses and I don't know of anywhere else locally that can provide the extra support I need for my disabilities.

Gutsy Although I had some art I had done at home prior to starting college, I wasn't sure if that could be included as I was getting told by my college tutor it couldn't. I also didn't do all the different levels of prep work for those pieces that I have to do at college.

I had my interview today, it seemed to go pretty well. They said they couldn't give me feedback today but that I get the results in 7-10 days and can then ring the uni for feedbask. It is Birmingham City Uni I've applied for Milly and although they give details on length of portfolio etc they can't really specify what goes in it as that will vary between courses.

Stressedoutsobad Sat 31-Jan-15 16:30:45

Good luck Little Dragon! Let us know how it went when you hear from them smile

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