Your portfolio should consist of 12-15 pieces of original artwork. At least three of these pieces must be strong drawings from observation, such as a still life, figure study, landscape, or self-portrait from a reflective surface. The remaining pieces of work should demonstrate your interest, proficiency, and experience in art and design. The pieces can include:
- Graphic design
- Paintings or collages, all mediums
- Additional drawings
- 3-D pieces such as ceramics, sculpture, fiber arts, or glass
Bring your sketchbook! Often, your most creative ideas are in your sketchbook, and we like to see how your mind works. Try to present a range of artwork rather than a whole portfolio in one concentration. Hussian’s program consists of both fine art classes as well as digital and design coursework. It is best to show that you can work in many mediums.
When putting together your portfolio, consider:
- Less is more. While you may be tempted to cram everything into your portfolio to show your reviewer how prolific you are, limit your portfolio to your best pieces. This ensures that your reviewer will be able to concentrate their feedback on your most important and relevant work.
- Presentation is important. Hussian does not require you to mat or mount any of your artwork, but please take the time to organize your portfolio, fix any loose medium (such as charcoal), and remove any smudges. We also recommend cover sheets, but please do not tape the cover sheets to the work. The actual portfolio that you use to transport your work is not important. We are much more interested in the creativity inside. If you do not have access to a manufactured portfolio, make one yourself from cardboard and duct tape! Just make sure to take the time to organize it well before your interview.
- Be creative! We encourage you to work from observation or your imagination as much as possible. We would much rather see your brand of creativity than a replication of someone else’s style!
- Do not be afraid of feedback. We assume that you are applying to art school because you would like to grow as an artist and designer. Portfolio reviews are positive, learning experiences. It is important to be open to constructive feedback. If your reviewer gives you suggestions, realize the feedback is part of the learning process. This dialog will become a critical part of your artistic education. Be open to what your reviewer has to say. You may start to think of things in new and exciting ways!
Hussian understands that no two applicants are alike. We take into consideration your background and experience when we make an admissions decision. We evaluate students to ensure that they are a good fit for our program and that a Hussian education will serve an applicant’s career aspirations.
Here are some of the criteria that we consider when evaluating your artwork:
- Are the medium and techniques competently used?
- Is there an understanding of space, perspective, and composition?
- Is there evidence of care, craft, and technical competence in the work?
- Does the student understand use of visual texture, value range, and proportion?
- Is the work creative? Is there a spark of something special? Does the applicant understand what a career in the visual arts entails?
A Few More Tips
Your teachers are your most important resource! Ask them what pieces you should include in your portfolio. They know which pieces are the strongest. Listen to them!
Consider taking courses or creating work outside of your classroom environment. There are many programs in Philadelphia that can expose you to new techniques or ideas. We encourage you to explore art and design outside of the classroom to see if a career in the visual arts is the right fit for you!
Get advice! Come visit for a preliminary review during an Open House or show a representative your work after a high school presentation or guidance visit. We invite you to sit in on a Hussian course to develop additional work and receive valuable feedback.
Additional Information for Transfer Students
If you are transferring from another higher education institution, please make sure to include examples of artwork from each studio course that you took in order for transfer credit consideration.
If you have any questions or you would like to schedule an interview, contact a Hussian admissions representative at (215) 574-9600. We look forward to seeing you!