Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) - School of Design
New York University (NYU) - Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Maryland College of Art (MICA) - Fine Arts, Scholarship $94,000.00
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) - Early Action, Graphic Design, Virginia Merit Award Scholarship $16,000.00
George Mason (GMU) - Early Action, Communication Arts, Scholarship $16,000.00
Beatriz M. (Oakton HS, 2022)
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
1. How do you feel about your college acceptance?
My first acceptance really felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders, and as I received more, I felt a lot of pride for the work I did in applying and creating my portfolio, and I really felt that it ended up being worth it, not just for colleges. I also feel incredibly grateful for all the help I received along the way, from my family, teachers, and of course from ISA. I also felt more and more confident about the schools I chose being really good options for me, and I think this is because I chose schools with a wide variety, not just in one field, and I applied to places I liked even when I knew my likelihood of getting accepted was low. Taking those risks was important for me and gave me the assurance that I won't regret not submitting applications to places outside of my comfort zone a couple years from now. Although choosing a school will be difficult now, I am glad to have that array of choices.
2. What was the most difficult aspect of your portfolio preparation?
I think the most difficult aspect of it was keeping it up and feeling like I was creating good enough work. It is easy enough to start creating art but it's very hard to feel like what you're creating is something worth making and finishing, then showing to others and even to colleges. But I realized that, in terms of colleges, they want to see what you're a little scared to show them, because it's uniqueness makes you a very valuable student in their eyes, one who has confidence in their ideas and carries them through all the way. And, creating what you want to instead of what you feel you should will always be better in the long term, because when you put passion and work into a piece, it clearly shows.
Towards the end of me creating my portfolio, I began revisiting my old pieces, from when I first started my portfolio, and restarting them. They all were interesting concepts but very underdeveloped. It became clear that I never really embraced what I wanted each piece to be, I just made them as good as I thought they should be. When I decided to really put the work in and tried to make them look exactly as I imagined in my head, they transformed into something I felt absolutely worthy of being put into my portfolio.
3. What is your favorite artwork that you made?
I can't say I have a favorite, but I really like the sculptures I made, I feel as though my art started taking a different direction when I created my Luta Livre sculpture, and I haven't looked back! I also like my digital work not because I think it is really well done, but because I'm excited for the potential that has been created and the level I know I can take it to.
4. Do you have any advice for the new portfolio students?
Yes, absolutely. The first thing I would say is that although creating a portfolio is something that takes a lot of work and even sacrifice, it should be something you love doing. I think creating a portfolio is always a great investment of your time, regardless of whether you'll submit that work somewhere (you never know). There is also really no template to a portfolio, whether you're pursuing fashion, design, videography, or just general fine arts. I would encourage new portfolio students to not be afraid to create something completely out of their comfort zone and even out of the theme of their portfolio, because it could end up being an entire new path of art they explore, or just a unique look into the creativity of each student. Even if a student believes they can only do one kind of art, the reality is that branching out and creating things you'd never expect yourself to be making can be one of the most interesting parts of your portfolio. Lastly, it really does take a lot of work.
5. Tell us your thoughts about the ISA!
When I first started at ISA, I saw art as more of a hobby and pouring myself into it, seemed like a risk I wasn't willing to take. But, before I could even realize, I was creating so much work and being exposed to so many new and interesting kinds of art that I had no choice but to dive into it. The support from the ISA teachers, however, was what really convinced me to pursue art as much as I have.
Something else I really didn't expect when I first started was how much talent there is. It seems like every student who decides to take a class at ISA, regardless of their grade or skill level, brings so much interesting work and ideas that there is never a lack of inspiration. Working hard is really easy in an environment like ISA, and I've had so many days where day turns to night and I haven't taken my eyes off my work! I never knew I would be capable of sculpting, figure drawing, doing videography and design and more when I began, but the teachers here really support everything you want to pursue and help you take it as far as you can.
I think that is one of the best parts of this school, because I would have abandoned so many ideas and artworks if not for the teachers pushing me further and making me believe my idea is worth spending time on.