Arts supplement?

I’m trying to decide if I should include a portfolio of my art as a supplement in my application. I do portrait drawing purely as a hobby, and I get all of my models from pictures on the Internet. I also don’t get super creative with them, they’re mostly just plain realism. So, it’s not professional-level work and not something that you could put in a museum, but it is something I’m pretty good at and have dedicated a lot of time to. The schools I am applying to are pretty competitive so I imagine they have high standards for their art supplements.

Should I include a supplement? Will it help my application?

A good portfolio may help; a bad portfolio will hurt.

If the portfolio is not at or near the level of what one would submit to an art school, think twice. Don’t send stuff just to send stuff. You can talk about art interests elsewhere without needing to send a portfolio.

An AO will not review your art - that’s not their forte. What they do is send some portfolios to the art department for their thoughts.

Agree with the above. If you are unsure as to the quality, you can ask an art teacher or other art professional to critique your work. I’d also be hesitant to send artwork using models from the internet.

Like the other posters on this thread have commented, at the end of the day, it’s up to your judgement (and likely that of your art teacher etc.) to decide if you want to submit a portfolio. Personally, I considered submitting a music supplement, but decided against it as I’m not like a competition-level music student, it’s mostly because its fun. Definitely include it as an EC on your Common Application if you’ve spent quite a lot of time on it.

From my experience from being interviewed, some alumni interviewers WILL ask you what you do for fun, so you can definitely, like I did for music, say that you enjoy drawing, and it’s something that you do for fun because it’s calming.

Ok so now a plug for Brown (which is where I’m going this year.) If you LOVE Art but also are interested in a liberal arts education, Brown’s perfect because students can take classes at the Rhode Island School of Design right next door (which is included in the cost of your tuition) and the Open Curriculum makes it really easy to explore multiple interests.

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

When I applied ED to a small LAC, I did not submit an art portfolio. After I was deferred, I decided to put one together and ended up submitting it to all of my schools - it was my favorite part of my application. I did set design and technical theater work throughout high school, and even though I have no intention of majoring in theater in college, I still wanted to highlight this passion. It felt like one of the most authentic parts of my application because all of the work was art that I made for me, without any thought of how it would help/hinder my college applications. You dedicated a lot of time to it, so if you are proud of your art, I would say submit it.

I completely agree with @chocokat098 's words of wisdom. At the end of the day, decisions regarding your application are solely up to YOU. If you LOVE your artwork, have spent time and effort on it, and believe your application won’t feel complete without, then definitely go ahead and submit it! :smile: