I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since the last time I posted! If you really want to realize how fast time flies, start a blog! I’m not going to apologize or make any promises to post more often because life happens and I’m sure I will go back on my word. But I am happy to say that I am back on track in a way I had only dreamed of before.
Starting this past June, I took my first class at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It was really a surreal experience, walking the halls of an institution I had always wanted to attend. As a high school kid, you are so overwhelmed by all of your school work. Taking AP classes, studying for SAT’s, researching and applying to colleges – when does anyone have time to put together a portfolio for art school? If your high school was like mine, all the art classes were during the honors classes, and you unfortunately had to decide between the two. On top of it all, I was highly intimidated by the portfolio requirements for most applications and ended up steering clear of all Fine Art programs. And when it came to fashion design, I didn’t know how to sew! How could I ever get into a fashion school?
Well if I knew what I know now about higher education, I would have done things quite differently. But for all of you high school kids out there, or even adults looking to go back to school, here’s my advice for putting together a portfolio.
1. Take Pre-College Classes! Taking a class over the summer, even at a local community college, will do wonders for portfolio growth. They are made for students that are looking to get into design schools and will provide you with the exact components that the schools are asking for.
2. Take Non-Degree Classes! If you are an adult who is looking to get back to school or start from the beginning, these non-degree classes are perfect, and many times transferrable! At FIT, I took a sewing techniques class over the summer which I can transfer to a degree program once I am admitted. Not only am I on my way to earning a degree, but I made two perfect sample garments in class which I can use for the sewing requirements on my application.
3. Utilize Online Resource! If you are strapped for cash, there are plenty of sites online that promote learning at an affordable price. Skillshare is one of my favorites. Classes range from illustration, to sewing to graphic design.
4. Don’t Apply to a Bachelor’s Program Right Away! If you are not ready to apply for your bachelors, don’t! Don’t waste your time and money switching majors, floundering around and questioning why you got the degree you did. Take a step back. Take non-degree classes in the field you think you want to get into. Once you’ve decided that’s the degree for you, apply to the program using your non-degree classes as credit and all the work you created as your portfolio. Trust me, it is not a waste of time. It is the smartest thing you could do if you are not sure what you want, or simply unprepared for the degree you want to pursue.
After successfully completing my sewing course, I am excited to continue on this fall with pattern making and illustration. I am confident that by the end of the semester I will have all the components of a completed portfolio, and will be ready to apply to the Associates Degree program in Fashion Design. FIT is a really amazing school if you live in the New York area. It is extremely affordable for residents and has a world class reputation. In just a month, I feel completely comfortable sewing on an industrial machine. I’ve become much more confident in reading patterns, and I have conquered my fear of sewing curves! I am so much better!
So if you are interested in a career change or just looking to get back to school, check out your local art schools. They are not there to deny you acceptance to the school, but instead, they want to provide you with the resources to succeed. Trust me, they want new students! Be confident. There is always a way.