3. Visual work (8 pieces): 4 assigned subjects + 4 optional images
All images are to be uploaded to Slideroom as jpg files.
The portfolio is divided into two parts:
- four required drawings: the four required drawings are themed. Below are six themed options to choose from. Therefore, you should use this opportunity to make the themes you select a reflection of your interests and how you see the world.
- four optional images: the four optional images are intended to show other forms of creative work such as sculpture, digital work, photography, and may include dance, theatre, fashion design, textile arts, or making skills such as woodwork.
3 (a). Required Drawings
The four required drawings focus on technique (how well you draw), and creativity (how well you interpret the theme). It is up to the discretion of the applicant whether they use one technique (pencil drawing) or multiple techniques (watercolor, oil paint, and charcoal drawing).
Works can be mixed media. We are increasingly wary of fully digital work, so consider this technique sparingly.
Intentionally open-ended, the themes invite creative reflection rather than literal responses. Drawings are to be executed by hand and are to be prepared specifically for this application. These works should be in a variety of analog media (made by hand): drawing, painting, ceramics, sewing, etc. (for photography and digital work, please include those as optional images).
Please include the titles given above for each of these images. Images may be different sizes. Each topic is open to interpretation; if you are fascinated by and enjoy drawing a certain subject, you are welcome to use it for one of the images, making appropriate adjustments in response to the topic. Finally, because architecture is concerned with spatial relationships and qualities, not isolated buildings as such, we encourage you to favour drawings endowed with spatial and light qualities, a sense of rhythm and relationship between things, over drawings of isolated “things.” Assessors also take note of how you have chosen to draw a particular subject: choices in technique, line work, media, materials, all are important.
Our Advice: We are looking for non-literal translations of the theme. Start early and consider different interpretations, and then, after careful consideration pick the response that best reflects your creative thinking. Photograph or scan your work carefully. Make sure the space is well lit, with a monochrome background and that the photograph is sharp. Your hard work deserves proper presentation.
Drawing themes (Select only four themes from the list below):
- Drawing Theme 1: “The world around you”
– consider the broader social, cultural, political and environmental context
- Drawing Theme 2: “Something made”
– consider the material and actions that make an object or an idea
- Drawing Theme 3: “Where you belong”
– consider your community, and your group of peers
- Drawing Theme 4: “A special gift”
– consider a gift as something broader than an object
- Drawing Theme 5: “A tiny detail”
– consider a fragment and reveal it
- Drawing Theme 6: “Re-considering the existing”
– consider a present-day object or building and re-consider its future
3 (b). Optional Images
Applicants are also invited to submit up to four more images of their choice.
Optional images (images 5, 6, 7 and 8) can show any other forms of visual work– for example, ceramics, photography, graphic, stage or fashion design, cartoons or comic strips, images produced through digital programs, which you produced on your own or within the context of a class. You are allowed to include more than one image of a given work (such as a sculpture) on the same JPG file but in this case, be sure not to crowd the final image. Instead, place a key image of the work in question in the centre of the page with smaller images (showing other views of the same work) along the right margin. Keep in mind that portfolio assessors will review your images on standard computer screens so please refrain from unnecessary graphics such as frames and borders so as not to waste compositional space. In most cases, it is not necessary to include titles on the image itself. You are however invited to include a title and brief description of each image in designated boxes at the time of digital upload. The descriptive text may list factual information including date of completion, technique, media and materials, process, and size, and the work’s general subject or theme (please refrain from long explanations).
Your works and topic choices tell us about your interests, your critical and creative thinking, and your sensibilities. As such, please refrain from submitting drawn copies of famous artworks, internet images, or technical drafting exercises. Please provide a title for each of these images. (For example: Image 6: “Wrought Iron Sculpture.”)
** We do not accept videos, PowerPoint/Keynote presentations or web links.
Our advice: Like the text, show us what makes you a unique and compelling applicant. Many applicants have concerns that they are not strong visual artists. Use this opportunity to show your creativity in other critically important ways.
Use each image as an opportunity to reveal your sense of and approach to the world as well as your affinity for spatial thinking and design. This is your work—it may be abstract or representational, painterly or minimal, colourful or black and white.
You may ask: “What if I cannot draw that well? Do I stand a chance of being admitted?” While we do appreciate graphic and technical skills in the execution of work, the ideas and intentions that come across in your images are equally important.
Those who are admitted and join the School will have intensive courses in drawing and multimedia during the first year of our program and will be introduced to many drawing skills, media and techniques both analog and digital.