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Q: Portfolio!

Asked by Lilac

hey Emma,
i've read your answers for many questions and they were of so much help to me. anyway here goes my question: i donno wat to include in the final peices thing, and i feel that i cannot categorise my work into what is required .. i mean i thought i could include observational things with the sketch-book work. so .. if you could please tell me what kind of work is expected to be in the sketch-book section .. i mean should it be just ideas and more of my fictional thoughts and intrests ? also, the full peices .. do they have to be linked together in some sort of way? do they all have to include a story behind them or what?
it would be great if you get to me as soon as u can cuz i only have 10 days left and i'm all over the place.
thanks alot for your time ..
Lilac :)


A: Answer from Student Ambassador Emma

Answered on 24 Jan 2012 by Emma

Student Ambassador Emma

Hi Lilac,

10 day's is plenty of time! You might think I'm mad for saying that but I only had 2 days to construct mine before my interview with Kingston and that was hectic! The short notice wasn't Kingston's fault it was mainly because I was told during Easter break and all my work was locked in my college.

Anyway enough about my antics let's move on to yours. I can't say what is expected but the interviewers/tutors will probably look for a range of things like your ability to develop your work or reflect upon your artistic practise. Deciding the groups is a tricky task but the idea of it is that you're taking a critical role and exercising your control in selecting the works, so rather than immediately approaching your work with the categories in mind, try to see themes in your work and it should be able to flow from there.

Observational work could be a host of things. It could be preparatory sketches in a book or sheet whereas for the sketch book element you have the opportunity to show off your development side or any of your thought processes; for example if you have annotations or research alongside your own work. It's equally important as an artist to be able to reflect upon yourself and the nature of your art than simply producing art; so ideas, thoughts and interests can be included throughout sketch books. As an example I have a technical note book that mainly deals in processes I undertake in my work but also has my reflective evaluation of the work which acts as a development for the next piece. Then simultaneously I have a research book which included ideas I've researched, things I've collected and general interests that might not be relevant to what I'm doing. A sketch book isn't necessarily for drawing but could be for other things so try to keep that in mind, I always think of a sketch book as an outlet for my thought processes.

The full pieces don't have to be linked if you don't want them to, you won't always work on a single theme or idea and as for a story well you surely must be able to give a story to what inspired you to create them, that's more of a subject at an interview. Typically at an interview they will specifically ask about details behind a piece of work. Normally though you'll notice connections between your own work whether it was intentional or not, like an artistic finger print.

I know it's confusing to be make a portfolio but try not to get carried away with thinking about 'what is expected'. You'll find that it gets you more flustered and you can't think as easily. Make the portfolio how you want to make it, it's yours after all and the portfolio is there to show your abilities and yourself off.

I hope you've found my rambling useful, what I will suggest is that when your finished, get someone to go over it and look through it. That way you can get a sense of what a third party might think of it, also if you're at school or college get tutors to help if you're really stuck. Best of luck but keep asking if you need to and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

About Emma

Course: MA Media & Communications
Level: Postgraduate
Hometown: Reading

Other information: I deferred my place and took a gap year before starting at Kingston for my BA in Fine Art. I graduated in 2013 and started my MA in Media & Communications, also at Kingston. I am a Kingston University student ambassador. I chose Kingston because... it offered me the right environment for me to expand in. The course gave me freedom to practise my interests and offered me more facilities and guidance than other universities. I also fell in love with the town; it felt right ...

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