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Unsure of where you stand with your portfolio? Show us your work and get constructive feedback.

Portfolio Requirements

The art work submitted in the application should demonstrate original thinking and should be a reflection of yourself and how you view the world. Edit your work. Quality is more important than quantity. Work completed within the last two years is usually the strongest.

Freshman Applicants

8

Minimum pieces of original work

Transfer Applicants

8

Minimum pieces of original work
Once you have been admitted, additional work may be requested for our consideration and placement of transfer credit.

Concept Design Applicants

15

Minimum pieces of original work following the guidelines provided.

Portfolio Submission

Portfolios should be submitted at ccs.slideroom.com, separately from your online application. (Note there is a $10 fee)

If it is not possible for you to upload your work, you may request an online portfolio review.

Early Action Deadline

December 1

Priority Deadline

February 1

Rolling Admissions will occur

After February 1

Portfolio Requirements by Program

Art Practice (Fine Arts)
Communication Design

Crafts: Art Furniture 
Crafts: Ceramics 
Crafts: Fiber and Textiles 
Crafts: Glass
Crafts: Jewelry and Metalsmithing

Entertainment Arts: Digital Film
Fashion Accessories Design
Photography
Product Design
Undeclared

  • Submit any genre of visual art, in any medium – including, but not limited to: digital design, video/film, photography, sculpture, jewelry, painting, drawing, installation, performance, design plans or orthographics, prints, ceramics, fashion, etc.
  • Portfolio pieces do not need to relate to your intended major but they should show your strongest skills and work.
Advertising
  • Submit any genre of visual art, in any medium – including, but not limited to: digital design, video/film, photography, sculpture, jewelry, painting, drawing, installation, performance, design plans or orthographic, prints, ceramics, fashion, etc.
  • Portfolio pieces do not need to relate to your intended major but they should show your strongest skills and work.
  • If you are unsure about what to submit, complete any or all of the following Suggested Assignments below

Entertainment Arts: Animation
Entertainment Arts: Game

Illustration
Transportation Design

  • The portfolio you submit should showcase your strong drawing ability – include a minimum of 5 drawings from direct observation and/or imagination, in any medium. 
  • The additional pieces you submit can be of any genre of visual art in any medium — including, but not limited to: digital design, video/film, photography, sculpture, jewelry, painting, drawing, installation, performance, design plans or orthographics, prints, ceramics, fashion, etc.
  • Portfolio pieces do not need to relate to your intended major but they should show your strongest skills and work.

Entertainment Arts: Concept Design

  • The portfolio you submit for Entertainment Arts: Concept Design should show your interest in storytelling and your ability to visualize it.

    Choose an existing story or create your own. Use that story to create original design ideas and present  the following requirements: 

    • Submit 15-20 pieces digitally. Use landscape orientation. Save all files into a multi-page PDF.
    • Include your original ideas for each of these four Subject Areas:
      • Environments
      • Characters
      • Architecture
      • Hardware (i.e. vehicles, accessories, props, weapons, etc.) 
    • Include the following for each subject area: early concept sketches, development and inspiration photos along with finished renderings of your design ideas for each subject area. It is important to show your thinking process from rough to finish. This presentation of your process should flow in this order: Inspiration photos-Rough sketches-Value studies or Silhouettes-Final Rendering.

Interior Design

  • Submit any genre of visual art, in any medium – including, but not limited to: digital design, video/film, photography, sculpture, jewelry, painting, drawing, installation, performance, design plans or orthographic, prints, ceramics, fashion, etc.
  • Portfolio pieces do not need to relate to your intended major but they should show your strongest skills and work.
  • If you are unsure about what to submit, complete any or all of the following Suggested Assignments (you can also use suggested assignments from the additional section below.)

Additional Portfolio Tips & Recommendations

We encourage you to seek valuable feedback by sharing your work with us at any time. Connect with us here.

Guidelines for Observational Drawing
  • Draw from observation of objects, scenes, still lives, landscapes and people. Include descriptive or representational drawings of your surrounding environment.
  • Include accurate line drawings and examples of fully rendered compositions using a complete range of light, middle and dark values.
  • Any medium is acceptable for these drawings, including but not limited to: charcoal, graphite, pen and ink, paint, pastel, colored pencil and digital rendering.
Guidelines for Imagination Drawing
  • When submitting original character drawings, include the surrounding environment you envision them working, playing and living in.
  • Character development should incorporate your own unique style as opposed to copying a pre-existing style (i.e. anime or manga).
  • You may combine one or more reference sources in combination when creating your own unique image. Copied images are not acceptable.
  • If submitting your own original inventions or concept design (i.e. products, fashion, transportation or furniture) you may include sketches, background research and inspiration used to develop them. Show us your thinking process!

Suggested Assignments

Suggested Assignments are NOT required, and are simply here to support students who may not have guidance, and are seeking suggestions that will help them make work for their application portfolio. You can complete any of these suggestions more than once. 

(Advertising) Suggested Assignment 1

THE WELLNESS CHALLENGE

We can all appreciate how important it is for our mental well-being to stay connected with each other and the world around us. How can communities feel connected? Create a campaign that fosters human connection, builds awareness about opportunities to connect, and improves mental wellness.

CAMPAIGN CREATIVE BRIEF

Identify a need for connection, whether it’s physical (i.e. home-bound, isolation, etc.) or emotional (i.e. anxiety, depression, etc.). Identify or create a service, facility, group, or organization that offers support around the issue. Using your own ideas, present new ways of expanding awareness about this support among a segment of the public.

AUDIENCE

Choose one or more audience segments from this list as the primary audience for your solution. 

    1. people who already know about or use the service
  • people who do not currently use the service, but who might find it valuable
  • the public who should know about a new service 

DELIVERABLES

Create an impactful, emotional story that outlines your idea. Your solution should be your original ideas presented in any, or all, of the following formats. Don’t forget that to complete our portfolio requirement you must submit a total of 8-12 pieces, so you can submit these along with other work if you need to.

 

Mission Statement – a brief 3-5 sentences about the solution you have developed

Inspiration Board – a visual representation of the images, video, etc. that have influenced your thinking, inspired your solutions, and that show a look/feel/existing solution that you would like to emulate in your own project.

Storyboard – a visual representation of your final solution; include ideation sketches, or representations of your idea, it’s parts, and how they connect in a narrative way

Additional 2-5 Items – choose your format and create 2 additional items to promote the solution i.e. an original song, a video, an event flyer, a presentation, a sketch of an app, etc.

  • Idea bubble charts
  • Written statements, tag lines
  • Social Media posts or campaigns
  • Video, sound or image-based commercials or promos
  • Images; idea boards, stills, collage – use of found images is fine since this is essentially a proposal of your ideas 

 

(Advertising) Suggested Assignment 2

CONNECTIONS THROUGH SPORTS

Athletes, more connected than ever, are expecting brands not just to deliver quality, but to resonate with them on and off the field. Identifying with a brand is more about creating memorable experiences that engage people, and athletes, at every touchpoint. For companies that specialize in athletic gear and/or footwear, this means reconsidering the ways they interact with the athlete before, during, and after their product purchase. 

DESIGN BRIEF

Choose a sport-centric brand to work with and create a presentation that shares your new idea of how to connect athletes to the products they wear to win, and to the larger public through a memorable experience, engagement activity, or another method.

  • For best results, choose a segment of the audience your company creates products for, i.e. kids, parents who influence kids, adults, professional athletes, coaches, college athletes, amateur athletes, etc. 
  • Conduct research about how they connect sponsored athletes to their brand and the products those athletes choose to wear and promote. 
  • Explore the associated experiences around and beyond the products an athlete chooses. 
  • In the past year, some companies made the decision to sell directly through teams, instead of through distributors. This has allowed more connections between the company and athlete/end-user. How can your chosen company continue to bridge the gaps between digital and physical experiences? 
  • Create a holistic concept that infuses an engaging and thoughtful story around the athlete and product that shows your new ideas about how to connect athletes to both the digital and physical experiences with their product and the public. 

 

PATHWAYS OF EXPLORATION (these are simply suggestions- you can choose anything; we suggest you focus on one Pathway):

    • Product Purchase ExperienceIn-store, mobile/online store, rogue/grassroots events, digital integration; How to make retailers better advocates, etc.
  • Product Launch Strategy – New and interesting ways to disrupt the industry and maximize impact for our product launches moving forward.
  • Customization Journey – We think the future of athletic sporting goods may very well be centered around the performance benefits of the ‘perfect fit’. How and where is this achieved? At home? In a store? How quickly can we turn around a custom product through thoughtful innovations in manufacturing and distribution?
  • Athlete EngagementHow the athlete interacts with the brand before, during and after product purchase.

GENERAL RESEARCH

Do some research into one or more of the categories below to discover your own ideas for making connections between athletes, the brand, and the public. We recommend doing thorough research in one or two different categories- but you can focus on all of them if you wish: 

  • Social and Technology Trends Relevant to the Sport
  • Primary Brands & Competing Companies
  • Current Product Trends
  • Current Sales Strategies

Keep in mind the various channels that are used to present a brand:

  • eCommerce (Website)
  • Brick & Mortar Retail
  • Off-site Events (Local, Regional, National or Global Tournaments, exhibition games, etc.)
  • Direct Team Sales

 

DELIVERABLES

Create an impactful, emotional story that outlines your idea. Your solution should be your original ideas presented in any, or all, of the following formats. Don’t forget that to complete our portfolio requirement you must submit a total of 8-12 pieces, so you can submit these along with other work if you need to.

Mission Statement – a brief 3-5 sentences about the solution you have developed

Inspiration Board – a visual representation of the images, video, etc. that have influenced your thinking, inspired your solutions, and that show a look/feel/existing solution that you would like to emulate in your own project.

Storyboard – a visual representation of your final solution; include ideation sketches, or representations of your idea, it’s parts, and how they connect in a narrative way

Additional 2-5 Items – choose your format and create 2 additional items to promote the solution i.e. an original song, a video, an event flyer, a presentation, a sketch of an app, etc.

  • Idea bubble charts
  • Written statements, tag lines
  • Social Media posts or campaigns
  • Video, sound or image-based commercials or promos
  • Images; idea boards, stills, collage – use of found images is fine since this is essentially a proposal of your ideas 

 

(Any Major) Suggested Assignment 1

2 Dimensional Design project: Use a camera to create the following:

  • A portrait of how you see yourself.
  • A portrait of how others (or “the world”) sees you.
  • Documentation of your environment and how you interpret your environment.
(Any Major) Suggested Assignment 2

Three Dimensional Design project:

  • Create a 3D sculpture from a variety of found objects or materials that you are drawn to. Explore color, texture, form and message. Photograph it in its environment.
  • Create a mask that transforms the wearer into a whole new character, creature or world.
(Any Major) Suggested Assignment 3

Written project: Create a distress / “SOS” or “message in a bottle” letter.

Contact the Admissions Office for more suggestions.

(Interior Design) Suggested Assignment 1

Create a Mood Board

A Mood-Board is often used to convey a feeling using colors, themes, textures, shapes, patterns, etc. This exercise is a loose and easy guide to create one. Look around you for found images that appeal to you. Then, identify a common theme among those images – like colors, textures, etc. Arrange the images on an 18×24″ board or sheet of heavy cardstock. Consider placement, balance, and how the images relate to one another.  Add 4 -7 words that describe the feeling you are creating through these images on the board, or in the description you submit with your final board.

(Interior Design) Suggested Assignment 2

Document your world through the lens of color

Pick one color and document the color over a period of 1 week using a camera or smartphone. Shoot a minimum of 30 images, then organize the images by the order of hue and value. 

  • Hue — describes the wavelength of the color. There are 12 basic hues.
    It serves as a basic material that can be transformed in three different ways — tinting, shading and toning.
    •  Tint — is created by mixing a hue with white
    • Shade — is a mix of a hue and black
    • Tone — is a color to which black and white (or grey) have been added.
  • Value — is a property telling how light or dark a color is.
(Interior Design) Suggested Assignment 3

Visual Story-telling

Produce a 1-3 minute video on how you see Color around you. Use your smartphone or camera to create a video that describes the impact of color in your life and how light impacts color and feeling. Consider writing out your statement or narrative before your start filming. You may edit your video and sound in any way that contributes to your overall project, but keep it to 3 minutes maximum duration.

(Interior Design) Suggested Assignment 4

Space

Find an empty box (a shoe box is recommended). Use recycled/found objects and elements (cardboard, plastic, paper, textiles, leaves, etc.) to create tactile and visual representation of an experience or memory, in the box. Include a short description (25-100 words) of the experience or memory that inspired your work.

(Interior Design) Suggested Assignment 5

Inspiration

Create a series of compositions based on an artist you are interested in. 

Re-interpret (don’t copy) their work using color, form or material.

 

  • Composition: Refers to the arrangement of elements within a work of art.

An artist arranges the different elements of an artwork to bring them into a relationship satisfactory to the intent of the artist, the project and, it is hoped, the viewer. 

Portfolio Best Practices

Check this list to avoid portfolio pitfalls before your submission.

  • Please do not include drawings of existing or famous characters anime or cartoon or game characters, create original characters instead.
  • If you are submitting a sketch, be sure that the sketch is a strong representation of your skill and ideas, and has a strong composition, movement, line quality, etc.
  • Don’t shoot all your photographs in one day or one session to create all the pieces for your portfolio; instead, show us how you use photography over time to document a unique perspective of the world around you.
  • When recording and editing sound, double-check your volume levels.
  • Supplemental written-word creative work can be submitted but it will not complete the visual art portfolio requirements detailed above
  • If you are going to link to a Google folder to share your work, make certain the Share Setting is “Anyone with the link” can view it since we have a team of people who may need to access it.