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Art School admission 2017

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Replies to: Art School admission 2017

  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,183 Senior Member
    @lsichitiu my daughter had the same experience with her first Pratt review and she is now at Pratt! Funny how a "bad" experience can turn out to be exactly what is needed for change and growth. Sounds like there might be a very good fit there - crossing fingers for your D!
  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    Thank you @JBStillFlying , I keep my fingers crossed too!
    Last year my daughter's portfolio was full of technical pieces and the SAIC rep said she doesn't care much about it. She said that there are many kids with technical ability, but she wants to see what my daughter is about, what is it that she wants to create. My daughter started making stuff she wanted, outside the classroom. I was very scared because the result is so different than what I thought a portfolio should look like, but this year at the National Portfolio Day in Atlanta all reps she saw were very interested in her stuff, including SAIC rep. It was such a relief for me!
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    My D had a similar experience with her portfolio reviews. As a junior, she was told by many schools that her portfolio had the technical elements they were interested in seeing. But schools took the most interest in some pieces she did in a summer program run through NY state that were more creative and contemporary.

    The summer before senior year she attended NYU's summer art intensive for HS students. After, she brought her portfolio for review at NYU.

    Besides one or two pieces made that summer, the faculty member who saw her portfolio took the most interest in some actual doodles she had made around the rim of one piece (rather than the technical drawing she had made). He advised her to re-do half her portfolio to make it in her voice, with her ideas and themes. He felt she needed no more than 8 pieces to support her technical skills so in response, she spent all of August creating art that was meaningful to her--not school projects with set perameters.

    When she returned to school for senior year, she declined to take AP art, so she would have more time to continue to make her own work without strict guidelines.

    She applied to NYU ED and Pratt EA and was accepted to both. (With a large merit scholarship from Pratt.)

    Now that she has graduated with her BFA (from NYU) I can't begin to tell you how vastly different her portfolio is today.
  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye Registered User Posts: 302 Member
    My daughter received varying critiques from the schools at which she did portfolio review. Pratt loved her work. They made no bones about it and offered her generous merit aid. The same was true at MICA and at Tyler. RISD, however, was much more critical of her work. In fact, the examiner strongly recommended that she not apply ED. He told her to work on new pieces and gave her some technical and creative parameters within which to work. We were a bit put off, but she did take his advice. In the end, her new works were far superior to earlier works, were still broadly complimented at the other schools, but apparently made an equal impression at RISD where she ultimately matriculated...
  • spoonyjspoonyj Registered User Posts: 344 Member
    Just reaffirming the need for creative vision over technical prowess. Most schools like to see a couple of figures or other observational drawings in a portfolio, but they don't need many to confirm competence. Once that's out of the way, they really want to see the way your mind works. This was absolutely true for my son, both at NPD and throughout the application process. During a meeting with an Art Center rep, she sniffed out all the pieces he had done as assignments for his AP Art class. She wasn't interest in those at all and urged him to stick to the stuff he did on his own. He took that advice--and it really paid off. I remember being a little worried when I saw his bicycle drawing for RISD. I gulped a bit when he drew a picture that basically amounted to a slapstick visual joke. It was very him but bore no resemblance to the amazing technical pieces I'd seen online. Well, he ended up getting in, even though he chose MICA in the end.
  • MotherOfDragonsMotherOfDragons Registered User Posts: 3,935 Senior Member
    In the year that passed she followed the advice she received during that awful critique, her portfolio changed completely,

    I think that would constitute an excellent critique if it made her a better artist.

    Learning to hear criticism constructively is a vital part of her undergraduate existence as an art major. I must go through at least a crit a week in my classes, and some of those kids would burst into tears during the lower level classes because they didn't understand crits and they didn't understand how to do it constructively. You'd have one group of kids that would cry, and another group that would say "I think your piece sucks", and neither one knew how to do a crit properly.

    Luckily the professors (if they're any good) will immediately set you straight.

    So, yeah, get used to it.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,561 Senior Member
    " He told her to work on new pieces and gave her some technical and creative parameters within which to work. We were a bit put off, but she did take his advice. In the end, her new works were far superior to earlier works, were still broadly complimented at the other schools,"

    That's a great sign of a successful art student. Critiques are very hard as MOD says and the ability to take the advice and incorporate it into your work is a skill. You can't grow without an objective eye or trying new things. No sense spending the bucks on an art school if you think you already know better than those trying to guide you.
  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye Registered User Posts: 302 Member
    Thank you, @gouf78, we are also very gratified as parents that, despite a bit of initial defensiveness, our daughter understood that responding to such criticism by operating a bit out of her comfort zone, could well lead to better work. In fact, she has found that almost every project at RISD requires her to exercise this skill; out of the comfort zone, exploring new ideas and skills, and generally not taking your ideas and talents too-too seriously.
  • veeheeveehee Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    Just discussed critiques with my D yesterday. She's said the critiques she's received have made her a better artist and with that mindset, she welcomes the advice. Depending on how you view your own work (she's her worst critic) a critique can be taken different ways. Her experience at Tyler has been one of tremendous support and encouragement. The foundation students were all assigned a book to read prior to school starting regarding critiques. She also experienced them at the summer program she attended last year. But as @BrooklynRye mentioned, taking your talents too seriously can lead to over-confidence which would make hearing a critique quite painful.
  • moonpiemoonpie Registered User Posts: 474 Member
    This is so very helpful to me!!!! This break has been SO. MUCH. WORK. (for my daughter). Each school has different things they are looking for, so tailoring sliderooms and essays to each school has been time consuming. She mailed her sketchbook to CalArts on Wednesday and said "it was like putting a piece of my body in the mail". I have been pushing her to include her oil paintings (which are technically amazing, I don't even understand how she does it) but she hasn't in most because of the reasons listed above (from all the smart parents and students who have gone before : ) She's off right now sketching one of her friend's dogs because they are Sharpie's and have "lots of cool wrinkles". She is working on the last of her 16 real life drawings for CalArts. I really think she should include her one oil painting that is a self-portrait...... but what do I know? It's not so much the technical skill (yes, it looks exactly like her) but the expression in her eyes and mouth make it unique. She had a friend over last night and did some full body sketches that turned out great as well. I'm just so ready for the apps to be done and for her to get to relax a bit. This art school app process is NUTS. I had no idea. Last night she did say, unsolicited in front of her friends "thank you mom, for all your help. There is no way I could have done this without you". So that made me cry.
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    @moonpie The process was amazingly complicated. That's why we let my D do ED. I was done. She not only had different versions of her portfolio and essays, but had also put together a music CD (singing) for schools like Skidmore that offered music talent scholarships. We did have most of the apps ready to go if she didn't get into NYU ED, but I was glad we stopped. I know ED isn't for everyone, but for us it worked.

    Good luck to your D!
  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    My daughter was in the same boat! So busy this weekend with applications. Tomorrow is calarts and mcad for us.
    @moonpie , does Calarts not have slideroom applications? From your post I understand that you mailed your daughter's sketchbook.
    If that's the case, then my daughter can't apply because she has sculptures, the largest being 7 feet tall.
  • lsichitiulsichitiu Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    Me D applied to VCUARTS by the early action/scholarship deadline. However, they said that once they get the application, they will send my daughter a link for uploading her portfolio. They did get the application on the 14th but still no email with portfolio link. Enjoy with similar experience?
  • moonpiemoonpie Registered User Posts: 474 Member
    We did ED with my middle, and it was such a relief! But hers was strictly academic. With my youngest, too many financial risks to do ED!
  • veeheeveehee Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    @moonpie @lsichitiu You are in the thick of it but it will be worth it in the end. My D was so busy with all the portfolio requirements and slideroom uploads it was nuts. Plus she had a pretty heavy load of classes! She was amazed and jealous at how easy her non-art school classmates had it! The common app and maybe an extra essay and they were done!

    Yesterday She mentioned how crazy the process was last year and she said "there's no way I could have done it without your help." Made me all teary knowing she is so happy at school now.

    So hang in there! You'll be so happy and relieved in a few months!
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