Preparing Your Portfolio

Let’s see what you can do!

Portfolio requirements

Your portfolio must contain a sufficient amount of examples to show your serious commitment. Your portfolio must contain 10 to 15 finished pieces, beginning with 5-7 observational drawings (that is, drawings from real life. For example, still life, portrait, landscape, and figure, design drawing, perspective drawings from life and refined product drawings. No drawings from photos). The other portion of examples is open to your individual passions and personality. This might be a refined body with a cohesive concept of work, best of your private work or a collection of your favorite experiments. Depending on your program of interest please include related work - paintings, prints, photos, graphics, ceramics, furniture, models, jewelry, character/concept art, illustration, animation or web design - whatever you like and are good at doing.

Additional Portfolio requirements for Medical Illustration applicants

Medical Illustration applicants must complete the above Portfolio Requirements as well as submitting one photograph, of any subject matter, and an original pencil drawing of the photograph on a sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper.

Portfolio requirements for Digital Media applicants

Your portfolio must contain 10 to 15 finished pieces, which may include drawings (character/concept art, illustration or observational), 3D models, 2D or 3D animation, video, graphic design, web/app design, game design, photos, print design - whatever you like and are good at doing.

Need help?

If you've never taken studio art courses, or if you just aren't prepared to present a portfolio, contact us at 616.451.2787 or 800.676.2787. We're happy to work with you on an individual basis and provide any help you need.

You can also watch this video for helpful hints and suggestions for preparing your portfolio for review.

Presentation tips

We've seen a lot of portfolio presentations over the years. Here's our advice on making a good impression:

  • Relax! We're not looking for professional work - we're looking for your best work. We're looking at design quality, color usage, craftsmanship, draftsmanship, composition, and concept development. We're also looking for evidence of the personal qualities that will help you succeed at Kendall - qualities like creativity, motivation, dedication, drive, and enthusiasm.
  • Submit your best, most recent pieces.
  • Include pieces that you truly enjoy. Your portfolio can show a narrowly focused body of work or a wide range of media.
  • We'd prefer to see the work in person, but if it's too large to transport easily, you're welcome to bring in digital images, slides, video, or photos.
  • You don't need to frame your work. Matted, mounted, or loose work is just fine with us.
Make it
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