Creative Dundee

Spotlight: Portfolio Oomph

Introducing Julie Read, the genius behind Portfolio Oomph, whose mission is to provide support to the nation’s future artists and designers in the form of online study materials for students preparing their portfolios for application to Art College.

After 15 years teaching experience, Julie decided to create Portfolio Oomph to demystify the process of creating an art portfolio. “I’ve felt there’s a lot of confusion about what your portfolio should be, how you create it and what is expected of an Art College applicant. I really believe that a creative education is a great education and it’s in response to this that Portfolio Oomph was created; aiming to demystify this process and to share with you the experience and knowledge I’ve gained over the years.”

Competition for places is intense, with some colleges having over 30 applications for each space on a portfolio course. Julie also explains “the system for applying to art and design courses is not the same, or in my opinion as transparent, as applying to other subjects. The entry requirements for all university courses are stated in the universities marketing literature. This is also true of art and design courses, yet having achieved the university’s entrance qualifications, after writing a cracking personal statement, there is a further selection process, submission of an individual portfolio and often interview”.

Portfolio Oomph website (designed by the Evie Milo at Eskymo) provides tutorials that engage students in a personal journey that will result in a more unique and individual portfolio, which is not always possible at school due to the constraints of the curriculum; this way, students can add this experience to their existing curriculum.

The Portfolio Oomph site launched earlier this month and offers online study guides (completed guides by late summer 2012) with the long term goal of the site being to provide week-long, portfolio-building, face-to-face classes. Through this website, prospective students can enrol on eCourses, purchase eBooks on portfolio preparation, prepare UCAS statements, practise interview techniques, creative techniques and processes and obtain sketchbook advice. These eBooks are priced between £5-£20 and provide bite-sized chunks of learning. The optional opportunities to include half-hour tutorials by email or skype. You can also visit the Portfolio Oomph Facebook page, which has been set up to encourage students to discuss their experiences with Julie and each other.

So if you are thinking an artist’s life is for you – get online and take a look at Portfolio Oomph, with Julie’s expertise, help and guidance, you will be one step closer to getting that place on your dream course.

Twitter: @portfoliooomph


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