An Art Student’s College Process By: Brianna Blue

Painting by Brianna Blue

Recently the college season has approached us. This means I am curating a portfolio. I am an art student at Edward R Murrow High School. I have been looking forward to this moment for a long time. I have been training and preparing myself for this crucial and essential stage of my life. It has been my dream since I was little to be an artist. As I was doing some spring cleaning, I came across a book my class made in kindergarten, “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up!” To find this book was empowering because years later here I am applying to art schools.

This is not how I envisioned the college application process. I thought things would be more stressful and I would have no idea what I am doing. This is not to say that I have everything figured out, but I would say I’m doing a decent job. I have a bit of an added component to my application process. Many students stress about having extracurriculars more than a page long or that one defining experience that will get them into college. But for me what determines about 70 percent of my applications is the portfolio.

Just until two weeks ago, I had three solid cohesive pieces. What that means is that traditionally your portfolio shows all your skill levels that may consist of figure drawings, a grand sketchbook and maybe that outstanding painting. It can still go that way but in my portfolio, I am showing more of my conceptual abilities. I decided the theme for my portfolio would focus on domesticity. It is a dear topic to me because here I can develop upwards to 20 pieces around this topic. While my portfolio seamlessly forms, I have started to dive into who I am as a person, who I’ve become of my home life. I’ve added objects and colors in my works that may look like what they are to a viewer, but those objects represent so much more.

I’m proud to say that I have found my touch in my art that when you look at it someone will say “That’s Brianna’s work!” I find that so invigorating since just 4 years ago, I truly learned what it meant to have an art style. In the fine arts community that is a big deal because it becomes your signature. It’s as if you no longer need to sign your paintings or piece of work per se.

I’m currently at 15 pieces that I will be including in my application on November 15th. I can’t believe that some of those intricate pieces were only created a week ago, five paintings, oil paintings within one week. If you know anything about oil paintings, they do in fact take a while to dry. Looking back on that week is a testament to not only my work ethics but my skills. I learned to paint just about a year ago; now I’m creating at the speed of lightning in all different mediums. I’m fortunate enough to create my portfolio because for the first time in my academic career. I can move hearts and push the threshold far beyond 100 percent.

To anyone reading this going through the college application process or soon will be, I want to say that when the time comes, remember you are worthy and grades, numbers do not determine your worth. It’s easy to lose sight of who you are and compare yourself to the next person, but I believe that what we have to say for ourselves far outweighs any numbers or class rank. 

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