Illustration courses portfolio guide
Help and advice
You'll need this guide if you're applying for any of the following courses:
- BA (Hons) Illustration
- HNC Illustration
What to include in your portfolio
This illustration course is a very diverse programme of study, so applicants should attempt to show a variety of work in the presentation of their portfolio.
Project material could include drawing, photography, print, hand lettering, 3D work, and sketchbook pages that show working processes and ideas. You may not have examples from all of these specialisms and want to present other creative projects too, but a selection of images that evidences what you are passionate about regarding your current study is important to us.
We need to see a range of ideas regarding research and practical experiments.
Please include the following elements, adding a short description with each image. You should include notes on books, annotations, articles, relevant exhibitions or cultural visits that have influenced your work.
10 sketchbook pages
These should show the development of an idea or theme from the original rough idea to a finished piece, including examples of research from visual influences and any texts you have used. We want to see images from your sketchbooks and sheets of developmental work.
10 examples of past project material
Some of which may have developed from the sketchbook pages above.
5 examples of your latest project
These should be different from those included in either of the above.
What we're looking for
We are looking for your portfolio to demonstrate your:
- Understanding of illustration as a subject
- Ability to express your creative process and decision making
- Ability to reflect on what is, and is not, successful about your work
- Interest in history of art, contemporary culture, critical theory and media studies. (e.g. design, print media, moving image, Fine Art)
- Enthusiasm and commitment to study illustration at university level
We want you to show your potential for creativity, aptitude for design and evidence of visual communication skills.
Your portfolio should be of a size that complements your work and demonstrates evidence of:
- Enquiry, research and observations
- Original idea generation
- Conceptual development
- Experimental work
- A good level of technical ability (both traditional and digital)
- An ability to select and present a range of work to a high standard