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Art & Design Scholarship Application Best Practices


Below are some quick tips and helpful resources that can better assist in you creating your scholarship application folder. Don't hesitate to reach out to a faculty member in your studio area for further guidance and feedback.

What type of work should I include in my application portfolio?

  • Work that aligns with your interests/reflects the type of work you want to make
  • Some works may be from entry-level courses and that's OK--include your best quality work that showcases a range of skill and understanding of media
  • QUALITY over QUANTITY--as long as you meet the minimum image requirements, no need to include other works that may not be up to par

File Formats:

For Photographs of Artwork, Print Design, and Digital Work:

  • JPEG or PNG
  • Be sure images are good quality/resolution
  • If images are grainy or fuzzy, double check your image save/export settings

For Video and Animation:

  • For time-based work submissions, MP4 Format is more versatile than .MOV, but both are too large to include in digital portfolios
  • Ideal Submission Format: Upload to YouTube or Vimeo, then submit the URLs to include time-based work in your scholarship application
  • Links should be copied/pasted into the Google Slides Template

Photographing Work

  • Be sure that the work is well lit; refrain from using harsh overhead lighting; natural or soft/diffused light works best
    • The Department of Art & Design has a few sets of studio lighting for this purpose, ask your instructor for more details
  • Focus on the artwork only, be sure to place/stage the artwork in a space that doesn't take away from the art; for example a neutral background, etc.
  • Provide detail and close up shots when necessary; close ups show details such as fine line quality, textures, etc.

Quick Video Resources for Photographing Artwork:

How To Photograph Your Art

2 Minute Quick Tips

Shooting Artwork with a Smart Phone

How Do I Draft a Statement About My Work?

  • Use good grammar, spelling, and complete sentences--get a proofreader, a human one 
  • Write a brief statement (1-2 paragraphs) that summarizes your work:
    • What motivates you to create?
    • Is there a central theme or idea in your work?
    • Why do you create this type of work?
    • What is your overall creative vision?
    • Where do you see this work/your creative direction going?
    • It’s OK to critique yourself and point out areas of growth/weakness/what you can improve on--just address how you are doing that and what your plan is

  • If you’re just starting out,  you may not have a full body of work yet that completely caters to your full creative philosophy, and that’s OK, just write about the variety of work as a whole
  • Need more help? Use the Link below for some useful tips/examples:

How Do I Write a Cover Letter?

  • Use good grammar and spelling--again, get a proofreader
  • Remember to address:
    • What scholarships you are applying for (Arrowmont, Financial, or Both)
    • Artistic / creative achievements
    • Academic achievements
    • A statement of need
      • This addresses financial need and how receiving scholarship money would alleviate or lessen barriers/boundaries towards paying for your education
      • How would being awarded scholarship money benefit/assist you in achieving your goals and advancing toward your degree and intended career goals?
    • Anything else the scholarship committee should consider, such as ways you’ve been involved in the department or arts / design community; leadership or mentorship roles you’ve taken in and outside of class; and all the ways you are awesome!
  • Also remember, this is a letter, be sure to address the scholarship committee and remember, you are writing to the Art faculty--it’s ok to be personable, but be sure to treat this as a professional letter/form of communication 

Also--we have a writing center on campus, take advantage of that!!

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 Last Modified 2/10/21