Anonymous asked: Hi maya! I'm a senior in high school who is planning on applying to a few art schools, one of which is MCAD. Do you have any advice regarding academics this year, extra curriculars, after school stuff, or portfolios? I would really appreciate it because I'm a little overwhelmed and worried.
oh dang, good luck, anon! senior year is always stressful, but it’s also the most fun!
first off, keep your GPA up. i know they say GPA doesn’t matter as much in art school - and they’re right, as long as you’re passing you can get in - but a good GPA can help you get scholarships. any school, regardless of what its trade is, wants to know that students intend to apply themselves and work hard.
in the same vein, regardless of GPA, see if you can contact someone from MCAD to get them to look over your portfolio. if you are in Minnesota and can do an in person portfolio review, that is best. if not, have good quality digital images. it never hurts to get your work reviewed before you need to apply. their reaction will give you a good idea of what to expect come application time and can help you tailor your portfolio to that school! (since different schools are interested in different kinds of portfolios; a portfolio intended for RISD will look very different from one for MCAD or Ringling or any other school) plus, if your portfolio impresses the rep, they might even waive your application fee! (which is a pretty good sign that you’d get in) a good rep to contact at MCAD is Kermit Graber. he was the rep i was in contact with when i was applying. i don’t know how it works with other schools, but MCAD is an incredibly community based school and the more positive contact you have with them, the better.
as for the portfolio itself, make sure you have enough life drawing! gesture is good, too. and don’t hesitate to add samples of work from your intended major (if you have one). when i was applying i included several comic pages in my portfolio, some illustration, an animation, and life drawing. (if i remember correctly)
as for extra curriculars, i’m not certain how important that is to MCAD. i had a pretty good amount of extra curriculars because i did a lot of volunteer teaching and child care outside of school, plus doing volunteer tutoring as part of the honors program for school. i was also in about seven different clubs, though i didn’t keep up with them as well as i should have. but, to be honest, just do the things you enjoy? it’s good to show you have a community spirit, but if it’s something that makes you unhappy and is detracting from your work/GPA/etc, then put those first.
i hope this helps! and good luck
though to be honest, it is not very difficult to get into MCAD. what is difficult is staying! perseverance and hard work are key!
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