Top Tips to Personalise your portfolio

by Cass Art

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It is a portfolio covered in MT, designed by our in-store artists. With school already in session and art students around the country heading back to college, you might be considering how to present your work to show it off to the full.

Liesel Thomas, who coordinates all of our Student Day activities and Partnerships, remembers putting together her portfolio: "I remember trekking to London in 2000 to hand in my portfolio to apply for a place at The Slade School of Fine Art to study Painting. There were so many applicants all nervously carrying their work in various types of portfolio. I even saw one girl with a suitcase full of work! My trusty Mapac A1 Premier Portfolio did the job. It’s a classic design and built to last."

Using our staff's experience, we have put together our top tips for personalising a portfolio...

1. Know yourself, and your work

Before putting together a selection of your work that best represents you, you should look at who you are as an artist, and take a look at your work as a whole. Artist & Lecturer Alison Heath, who led our self-promotion workshops 'Outstanding ways to stand out', recommends asking yourself:
'What motivates you?'
'What special approaches and qualities do you bring to your work?' 
'What would you say about your work in one sentence at an exhibition?'

2. Show your steps

Not every piece of work has to be finished. You should always include a few sketches and unfinished pieces that show your way of working. The method is most certainly in the madness, and tutors need to see this process.

3. Presentation is everything

Be sure to take care and mount your artwork using the same card throughout and be sure to stick it on straight. If you're wondering which portfolio to choose from, in-store illustrator Ailish Sullivan from our Kensington shed some light on the most popular choices for different stages in your career:

"A1 portfolios are very popular when applying for University as they allow large original artwork to be mounted and displayed. Although it is not popular to have sleeves for these, they are useful for protecting your work. After university you can usually choose between an A2 and A3 portfolio with presentation sleeves. These are a much more practical size and mean that you can display reproductions of paintings or drawings. You can use a portfolio case, which are much cheaper and practical, and these are very popular for students just out of or during university. The professional portfolios are usually leather and bound in a book format like the Prat Pampa spiral book."

Cass Art's MT bike in store

The Cass Art Deluxe Presentation Padded Portfolio was customised using MT, and you may have seen our in-store bike earlier in the store. You can shop the bright, colourful masking tape in any of our stores. Laura and Jeanette, who customised our portfolio are big fans. Jeanette says “Working with MT tape is great because it’s repositionable so you can easily rework your design until it’s exactly the way you want it. Also, it comes in a variety of great colours and designs”

It's not just objects that can be customised, but spaces too, as Laura recommends, “MT tape is perfect for creating colourful shapes and patterns that require straight lines. I’ve used it on a variety of different surfaces including walls and windows, and it never leaves a mark when it’s been removed. MT tape is perfect for students who want a temporary solution to the sometimes sterile aesthetic of student accommodation.”

Florence To designs the Cass Art window at our Islington store
Artist Florence To (pictured above) designed our MT window installation earlier this year is convinced of its endless possibilities,"If you disconnect the reality of an object and treat it as what it could be then you can use MT tape with anything. I suggest using the tape on anything from decorating an object you may be bored of or simply using it to fix something. If it has a surface that you can stick to then I would advise to give it a go."

You can now shop online for your perfect portfolio. Alternatively, if a splash of colour is what you crave this Autumn, our Islington, Soho, and Hampstead stores now stock Mapac A3 portfolios in Barbados Blue, Fuschia Pink and Sunset Orange.

Cass Art hosts a range of colourful Mapac portfolios

Show us how proud you are of your portfolio on Twitter #cassart #portfolio. You can also tag #cassart and the product code (found on our website, e.g. #P00013 for our Cass Art portfolio) to feature online and inspire others to try the products. Our Back to College collections are set up in store for you, at the best value prices. Head to your nearest store to stock up, or browse our college selections online.

With special thanks to Laura and Jeanette from our Islington flagship store, for personalising our portfolio.

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