Friday, July 16, 2010

CalArts Portfolio (accepted)

Hey everyone, got my portfolio back in the mail a while ago but was just too lazy to take pictures and upload them. So here's the actual portfolio with pieces in order from first to last.

I apologize for the image quality but I had absolutely no sleep when I took them and didn't feel like going the extra mile to get pristine images.

Anyways, as far as the main portfolio goes, I ended up with 20 pages. In my opinion that's probably more than what most might have submitted. I'm a bit fuzzy on how many pieces are required in the portfolio but as most people say, less is more. Pick what you think are your best pieces and don't try and fluff your portfolio with filler. You might be a little disappointed looking at your work, I know I was when I was putting it together. I suppose it's healthy to always expect better of yourself. But tough it out and put together the strongest portfolio you can. Submitting your portfolio isn't an end, it's showing the school where you currently are and I guess where you can potentially be.

*the above picture was edited at the last minute. It used to be a headless model. I don't recommend doing these kinds of last minute editing. I darn near ruined what I liked about the original version since I had to mix the watercolors all over again and couldn't quite get the exact colors that had been used before.

That's it :)

Last minute reflection and advice for anyone planning on applying to the CalArts Character Animation program

As covered before, send in what you think best represents you.
- If you're like most people, you'll probably be asking around for critiques, opinions, and all that stuff. But in the end it's your call as to what gets shown and what doesn't. Send in the things you are most proud of and wouldn't be embarrassed to show. Take other people's advice and opinions but make sure yours gets the final say. A lot of the stuff I turned in got some negative feedback from friends, family, and teachers. But in the end I decided to include some of those pieces. Maybe it was arrogance and a little "wtf do you know" attitude. Just make sure you're not including or excluding pieces just because somebody tells you to.

Main Portfolio
- Honestly, even after a whole year I still don't really have a clue as to what the admissions people look for in a portfolio. And I'd probably tell you to be careful if you hear anyone speaking like they do. As of this moment, it seems CalArts isn't as interested in academic figure drawings. Which means that drawing like Italian Renaissance masters probably won't get you in. But your drawings definitely need to have life in it. You're applying to Character Animation. So... I'm thinking your figures need to have character and need to be animated lol.

* also worth noting that what they are looking for is always subject to change. So keep an open mind and don't confine yourself too much.

- It's recommended to turn one in to supplement your main portfolio. I can't really give any advice out on this. But I will say that I don't recommend you turning in a half filled sketchbook.

Anyways, that's pretty much all I've got to say about the whole portfolio thing. Just keep working hard. You'll get to rest a bit when you're done with the portfolio. And if you get accepted, be prepared to work hard again come fall.

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  1. I love looking back at this portfolio! Love the color and creativity you put in it. Each drawing is interesting to look at :) I can't just scroll down without taking a look

  2. Thank you very much this helped me a lot. This seriously was something I needed to hear and see. Your artwork is amazing and you probably got better already since that's usually what tempts to happen. lol but yea, thanks again. Hopefully Ill get in. :S I'm really nervous.


  3. did u get accepted buddy??

  4. Hey that was really helpful information. Just wanna know, do you have to submit an animation or animated video or a demo reel or something in order to apply for character animation?

  5. Hey everyone.

    Anon1: Yes I did accepted with this portfolio. But don't use this as a template lol. Be better.

    Anon2: You don't have to submit any animation for the animation department. You can if you want but a lot of people have never animated before including me. My personal suggestion is to only submit any animation if you're confident it's just as good if not better than the rest of your portfolio. A bad reel can hurt your overall portfolio.

    hope that helps and best of luck to all of you guys that are applying!

  6. I have a quick question regarding the application process. I have a piece that I would like to submit -- however, it was completed on the reverse side of a gesture drawing I'm not too happy with. Do you happen to know if CalArts frowns on work completed on a previously used sheet? I wasn't expecting it to turn out, or else I would have started new one. (darn) thanks!!!

  7. Hello Gabriel and Congrats for the getting accepted.

    I had some questions regarding to the portfolio because I do want to apply for CALarts as a Internacionl student.

    1. Do I have to send the Whole sketchbook itself? or can I just send all the pages scaned and burned into a DVD?
    (I wonder because I wouldnt really like to rip the pages off from mine...)

    2. What happens if my drawing style is other than realistic as yours? My style is more focused of cartoons and anime. I dont feel too confortable with realistic style. Do you think thats a problem?

    3. Thank you for this Posting! Happy New Year and the best Wishes for you ^^ wish me Luck!

  8. @Cat: Responded through email but I feel like you probably didn't get it. Using the other side of a page is perfectly fine. People do that all the time in school as it saves money. If you've got a piece you want to put in just make sure the other side is facing the inside of the portfolio sleeve and they won't see it :).

    1. I think they prefer to see the actual physical copy of your work. I've never heard of anyone turning in a sketchbook in DVD format. Personally if you're not done with your sketchbook I'd still turn that in over a DVD. But of course everything's up to you so choose what you think is best.

    2. You definitely don't have to draw in a "realistic" style for life drawing. Lots of people caricature or stylize their life drawings. So in terms of drawing a certain way, don't worry. Only thing that's a bit worrisome is the drawing cartoony and anime thing you mentioned. From what I remember schools including CalArts don't like seeing anime in the portfolio because it tends to be formulaic. If you live in California you can actually visit the school and get a better idea of the range of style the students draw in. If you aren't I'm pretty sure you can always email me, other students, and even teachers your work and get opinions.

    hope that helped. Best of luck :)

  9. Question. I'd really like to get in to CalArts but there's some flaws and I'm afraid I won't get in. I mainly focused on real life drawing but only use pencil and paper. It feels like I'm supposed to apply for Fine Arts but I really wanted to apply for Character Animation. So, any advice on what should I prepare from now? Should I use a PC(like, on colouring thingy?) or should I started on drawing characters first?
    Anyways, your portfolio looks great! You're awesome :)


  10. using only pencil and paper isn't necessarily a bad thing but it does mean that you'll probably need a very strong showing as other people will most likely show a versatility in mediums as well as showing some use of color in their portfolio. I've seen people get in with just black and white drawings and they're super talented. Just do your best to make your portfolio stand out.

    Fine Arts and Character Animation are very different things here at CalArts so be careful about what you apply to because they'll be two very different paths you'll be taking. My advice would be to apply and do what you want to do and not what you think you're supposed to do (unless I guess those two happen to be the same thing).

    I'm not sure what your last question is about. I don't remember the application deadline anymore but if it hasn't already ended it should be ending pretty soon. If the deadline is coming up I would suggest that you continue drawing from life and maybe if you haven't tried something new. Then I'd say put together your portfolio! If you've already sent in your portfolio, just continue to draw from life and begin applying the skills you're getting from that to create your own stuff :)

  11. hi! I can't even express how much I love this portfolio, it's seriously what I aspire to reach artistically these days. I had a quick question though, would you happen to recall the size of your portfolio/ some of the larger works you submitted? As well as the sketchbook? I've been told before by a friend to submit really massive works (like 18x24 or the like). Thanks in advance!