Spike Series – Visual Arts and Architecture

CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its spike series webinar on Visual Arts and Architecture in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with a Bullseye advisor. Our presenter will share their insider perspectives on how to develop an application spike in this area and how they applied successfully to colleges with this spike. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!

Date 10/17/2020
Duration 57:34

Webinar Transcription

2020-10-17 Spike Series – Visual Arts and Architecture

[00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to the Boulevard, mission spikes series webinar on the Visual Arts and Architecture. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.

So let’s see. Again, hi everyone. My name is Philip. And I studied architecture and planning at MIT. I’m currently an urban planner and designer at an architecture and planning consultant firm based out of Boston. I used to also work for the city of Boston as a planner in my free time. I I love cats.

I’m hanging [00:01:00] out with my two cats, Cody and papaya, exploring cities and restaurants, and of course drawing. So that’s why I’m here talking about. So my, a little bit about my college process. So I’m originally from Houston, Texas grew up in a suburb of Houston called Sugarland. And in high school I did a lot of art, but I also did a lot of kind of science and engineering things.

A competition called science Olympia. I did science bowl and just generally loved science. So I thought architecture was a hybrid between these two things. And that’s what I wrote a lot about in my essays. And we’re going to talk a lot about how you can find your own unique take on architecture or art as you consider how.

Do it in your application. When I was applying to schools, I was accepted into the Ark, the bachelor of architecture program at UT Austin, rice and Cornell. MIT does not offer a bachelor of architecture program. We can talk a little bit about that in the Q and a, if you have any questions about the specifics by applied to a pre-professional program or [00:02:00] just the general school at MIT, I decided to go to MIT.

Sorry, having a bit of technical difficulty

sorry about that. My monitor died and just that moment. So I’m going to have to readjust a few things. Okay. Sorry about that. So I decided to go to MIT instead of Reiser Cornell B, just because I thought it was a better fit for me in terms of what I wanted out of my college experience. But I also thought I really wanted the flexibility to explore a little bit outside of my outside of architecture before honing in.

And I always thought I could always pursue a master of architecture program and it worked out in the end because I ended up pursuing urban planning as main profession.


Okay. Just to get us started we’re just going to take a quick poll. [00:03:00] So what areas of the arts and architecture are you most passionate about when creating so.

Sorry, the poll will come up in just a moment. Okay.

Sorry, Tess. I don’t actually know where the poll went. I saw it. I can run the poll. I’ll start playing right now.


Hi everyone. Hi. I think we’re having a little bit of technical difficulties, but also [00:04:00] let’s be joining us. I’m going to read out loud. The poll answers that we’ve seen. 33% of you are interested in design slash industry. Like user experience, design, industrial design, graphic design, illustration, animation, and film.

There’s also 17% interested in the fine arts, like painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics, textiles, glass, and furniture making. And 50% of you are interested in architecture, interior design, landscape, and urban design.

I think we’ll take we’ll pause for a moment. Like we joined into our presentation, but I’m really sorry about our technical difficulties.[00:05:00]

Again, if you have any questions that you’re thinking of throughout this presentation, feel free to put them into the Q and a tab of the chat.

Hi, Lisa. I think I accidentally pressed something and my web browser decided. X out of everything. Sorry about that, everyone, hopefully that gave, some folks who are running a little bit behind a chance to jump in before we dive into everything. What do art in architecture school look for?

So if we’re going to talk about your Unique [00:06:00] spike and how you’re going to develop that. It’s I think it’s really important to first think about what these programs are really looking for. So they’re really looking for potential and growth. They don’t want you to be, the perfect artist or the perfect architect, before even going into school.

That’s what school’s for. That’s what colleges work they’re going to teach you. And it’s a little bit egotistical how they think about it. It’s like we are the only ones like qualified to teach you, not anything goals wants to see creativity and risk-taking, so while you’re developing your artistic voice, they really want you to see push the boundaries.

They don’t just want to see the same kind of old thing. They want to see your personal perspective on art. They also want to see curiosity and exploration, which is the same thing. They want you to see. They want you to explore beyond just one single medium. They want you to really just seek out new opportunities.

They also want to see skill, dedication, grit, and perseverance. That kind of put those all in the same bucket because they want to know that you work. You can work really hard at your [00:07:00] goals. You can work really hard on this painting and push yourself to new levels that maybe you didn’t even think you could Even get there.

So I call these core values and I think these core values are generally best represented in your portfolios, your letters of recommendation from your teachers and essays.

So sorry, a lot of words, but how to enhance your spike through extracurriculars. So first I’m going to talk a little bit about visual arts and then we’ll talk about architecture. So for visual arts, just focus on what you love, whatever you love right now. So painting, drawing, ceramics, illustration, photography, whatever you decide to focus on.

It’s okay to. Go. There’s no right answer. Someone who does oil painting is not a superior artist. Who’s someone who does colored pencils or pastels or digital media or photography. They’re just different. And However you decide to explore that is what you want to talk about in your application and whatever you start [00:08:00] creating is eventually going to make it into your portfolio.

But the only caveat is no matter what you focus on, you should really push yourself on free hand sketching. So what do I mean by free hand sketching? So if you see an object and the real. Draw it draw things, draw people, draw your friends, draw your cat. I draw my cat all the time. Jaw objects.

I also really, I find drawing chairs to be one on a really interesting exercise because you can put them in a lot of different angles and understanding perspective and how that works is really great. So another way to enhance your spike. And we’ll, I can say is submit your art to competitions, such as the Scholastic art and writing rewards competition.

So that’s a national competition that you just submit your art and you wait and see, and there’s different levels. Like the silver key, I believe in the gold key, then you qualify to be considered in the national pool. And then there, there’s another level of different levels.

Distinction. So our competitions are [00:09:00] really good for schools that might not accept portfolios or don’t really, or our portfolio optional because they might. The, your admissions officers are not the ones really evaluating your portfolio at some of these schools. Instead, they might send it to a different department, whether it’s the art department or in MIT’s case, actually sends the architecture department to evaluate, and these awards can help give your application a boost.

And also it’s encouraging. It’s very encouraging to get an award and someone acknowledging your really hard work. And of course take art in school. My article. And was amazing. It was an amazing community that. Couldn’t ask for anything better. We supported each other. And I wrote actually quite a little bit about my studio kind of life and why that was really important to me.

And I connected to that too. Why what I wanted in school but also take courses outside of school to really push your interests. My teacher, she was a kind of expert at pastels and dry [00:10:00] media graphite and charcoal. Painting. Wasn’t something that she could really mentor me in. So I found a painting teacher at my local Chinese community center and he was really great and he taught me to paint, which is a very different thinking that then.

Dry media. Whether you’re interested in photography or illustration animation, find those resources whether they’re free, such as things you find on YouTube, or even like some kind of paid version. So like Skillshare or something or find a mentor. And I personally learned the best when I work with someone because they’re giving me feedback, they’re working with me actively.

But there are a number of ways to find ways to improve your path. Here’s the little bit of targeted advice based on where you are in this application process. So if you’re a freshmen or sophomore, I would say focus on building your artistic skills and technique. Really challenge yourself to draw complex things.

Don’t just draw the same thing that you’re [00:11:00] comfortable with. I think I was really comfortable drawing buildings because it made sense to me, their lines are straight lines. I did my APR concentration on architecture, but portraits were always a struggle for me. So I always had to really push myself to get portraits really Or maybe there’s some weakness that you have, try to push yourself in those different ways.

And you’ll be surprised how it improves your overall technique and skills. If you’re an upperclassmen. So junior or senior, you should be focusing on building your portfolio and. Another way to enhance your spike through extracurriculars is to implement, implement what I call one great project or initiative.

So what do we mean by that? I think a lot of other extracurriculars outside of visual arts and architecture have concrete kind of organizations and clubs. I had national art honor society. I was president of it and that’s fine. And I think it was a great learning experience and I really enjoyed the position, but I think.

You [00:12:00] can really stand out is coming up with really creative ways to build on your passion, to help others or do something. I think I will talk a little bit more in depth and then later slide about that. Okay. So architecture surprisingly only works very closely to the visual arts.

You should focus on art and other visually creative pursuits. So what I mean by that is, music and writing are really great. I play piano. Since I was like five or something, and music was really important to me and how I thought of creativity create creatively. And it’s also helped me relax, but you still need to generally demonstrate you have this idea for space and visuals.

That’s what architecture schools like Cornell are really looking for in your. Portfolio submission, I would say generally avoid high school drafting courses. It sounds like contradictory, but this also just depends case by case on your school. But I did [00:13:00] not have a really good drafting teacher at my school and it just didn’t seem like a place that I would flourish creatively.

It was just a place where you would draw. Something really boring or end up with a very suburban looking house. And that’s not what I was really interested in. Actually, most schools aren’t even looking for architecture in your portfolio, like architecture schools, they want to see you push the bounds of your creativity because architecture and design that’s when you’ll learn in school, how to really think logically through these different things.

So a lot of people have always asked me like, oh, do I need architecture, internships and everything to bolster to prove I’m interested in architecture. I would say not necessarily. I hadn’t. Architecture internship, no architecture experience before applying school. I just demonstrated, I love.

Creating things like, again, it’s back to those core values. I love creating things. I love exploring things. I’m curious whether it’s science or art. [00:14:00] And I do love buildings and the potential of space. So I read a lot, I read books about foreman space something called but my favorite kind of the book that kind of sparked my interest was a kind of coffee table book about Frank Lloyd Wright.

So you should definitely be well-versed in kind of architecture and the terms and just understanding how to read a building and start being passionate and excited about that. If you travel a lot, look at the different buildings, think about them. Take photos. That’s one way to really explore architecture, but architecture internships can be really helpful, but don’t do it just to pad your resume.

Do it as a genuine interest in exploring your exploring architecture. As in is this the career I want is this direct direction I want, when you go into a bachelor of architecture program, it is pretty much a commitment to saying, I want to study architecture and. Working in architecture office and kind of do that kind of [00:15:00] pathway.

That’s not to say you can study batch architecture and do other things, but It’s definitely a commitment. And if you had chosen a more flexible path, you could have done something. Else that was really interesting with your unschool rather than do architecture, like 80 to 90% of your time.

So advice for underclassmen versus upperclassmen. If you’re a freshmen or sophomore focused on building artistic skills and technique, just like visual arts focus on learning more about architecture. As I said, read, take photos, explore cities, travel. I spent a lot of time playing SIM city in the sense.

And I didn’t mention that in my Activities lists by definitely wrote about that in my essays. I love to post my creations on like the Sims community and share them. And then they got a lot of likes. People love downloading them, and that made me feel powerful. It was like I’m sharing a creation with the world and like little virtual people are occupying these houses that I D design.[00:16:00]

And I really talked about that in my essays rather than like here’s a thing on my activities list that looks fancy. So again, architecture, internships, they can be great. Don’t fret. If you cannot find one, really the best way to get one is. Networks and connections with your like family friends, because I most architecture offices well are very hesitant to take on really inexperienced high schoolers.

So it’s, and if you take this architecture internship experience, really use it to ask a lot of questions, go to lunch with the principals or the different designers working there and understand why they decided to architecture and feel like understand. Do I really want to pursue it? And then if you’re a senior or junior focus on building that portfolio, and again, focus, as I say, implementing that one great project or initiative.

And as a side note from the extracurriculars for [00:17:00] architecture, you definitely also want to have a somewhat stronger background in math and science than required for visual arts. And I think generally the. Threshold is a little bit higher as well. And you also should demonstrate really good English and writing skills and communication.

So essays, how do you demonstrate your passion for art or architecture through your essays? Maybe I think about the essays as almost like your creative or artists statement. It’s asking. This is what I think this is why I care about art. This is what art means to me. This is what my art means to me.

So ask yourself, why do I make art? Why do I want to pursue design? Or illustration, or why do I really want to be an architect? What does the combination of the personal and creative reasons of like your personal history, where it all comes together and go beyond the cliche? And what I mean by the cliche is.

If you say I want to be an architect, it’s I, because I love [00:18:00] buildings. That’s not going deep enough. You want to make it really personal of why buildings really matter to you. I talked a lot about kind of the monotony of kind of cheap McMansions and then why that really upset me and what I wanted to do to try to change kind of our values around suburban housing and what we value in housing and try to make it more.

Livable and sustainable. And that’s really came from my experience growing up in Canada. Most immaculate, suburban exists, but what’s a way to go beyond it. So for example, one of my students was inspired by his extended family’s hometown in Iran. He loved the feel of the public life in the alleyways.

And he talked about how different nooks and crannies just created naturally and organically really created these different spaces for the little old grandmas to Gossip. And then the children playing, and it was a street that was safe for everyone because it was [00:19:00] designed that way. I’m over time.

So that really inspired him and he wanted to be in, he wants to be an architect or create these spaces that bring people together. How did he really develop that? He started a community initiative in his neighborhood to liven up the rear alleyways in his neighborhoods, which he saw as really dead and alive.

Definitely. There are a lot of creative ways to really build on your personal experiences and your history. So beyond the essays, you also have your activity list and interviews. Don’t be afraid to. Use your activity list descriptions to describe the creative process, rather than just describing what you do, because if you put my activity is art or drawing and you say, I draw a lot, or I spend X amount of time in an art room drawing and painting that doesn’t really say anything additional about.

You only have 150 characters, but you can give a hint of this is what really motivates me to create in your interview. Don’t be afraid to have your portfolio [00:20:00] ready. So this is definitely the case for schools, such as schools that aren’t art schools and you’re just having an alumni interview.

So I’m thinking, if it was like, whether it’s Harvard or like duke course, anything. It, don’t be afraid to just have your portfolio ready, whether it’s printed or even just on your phone. It’s a fun conversation piece, especially if you’re talking about an art piece, why not show them, that people are always saying show don’t tell.

So a funny story. I showed my artwork to my MIT interviewer on my, I think it was actually an iPod touch rather than a phone. And actually later I emailed her when I was finished, the piece that I was showing her. And she really appreciated that follow-up in the interview, talk about why you get excited about art.

The piece I showed my interviewer was a study of like glass chess pieces, and I just put them all in a giant pile and I was really interested in how to really render the different reflections I thought I would go at it really super try to go for super [00:21:00] realism, but then I realized that it was a losing battle and I really want to create a unique way of like process to capture the reflections and my own style.

So I talked about the challenges of interpreting the intricacy and complexity of glass and reflected glass. And through specificity, through how I talked about the art, it really, the passion for the art came through. For architecture, it’s important to explain why you want to be an architect.

When I had my Cornell interviews of fun fact the only required interview at Cornell is with the architecture department. So if you applied to architecture, you have a mandatory interview, not going to try to scare anyone, but it was probably my most intimidating interview because it was with an architect, all my other interviews.

People are very different backgrounds. But this one, he really grilled me on the art pieces and my process. He really wanted to know why I wanted to be an architect, but, because I studied and read all about architecture. I [00:22:00] knew, the current events I knew who won the Pritzker prize. I thought about my favorite buildings that inspired me.

I think that demonstrated my knowledge and interest of architecture. And that was really important for the applications.

I skip anything. Nope. So these are those. So these are kind of opportunities to enhance your spike around kind of activities list. I talked about competitions and how they’re evaluating your application. If it’s a school, that’s not an art school. So by art school, Pratt or Cal arts, then these competitions can help your application.

But the reason that art schools don’t care about them as much as because you send a portfolio to them and they really spend the time to evaluate those rather than look at external awards. I broke down these competitions into kind of a few different layers. So there’s national competitions like the Scholastic art or national young arts.

I chose examples in [00:23:00] Texas, the state we had the Texas vase, which is a statewide competition. There was first the regional level. And then if you qualified, you have to go to the state and present your art there. That was definitely. Great experience. And there was also a portfolio workshop at these little, at these kind of conference slash competitions.

And I always found that super helpful. And then there are local competitions. Sometimes it’s a one-off. So you just send in your piece. So the example I have here is the Houston rodeo. So the Houston rodeo has a pretty, yeah. A renowned kind of art competition and people’s summit rodeo in Texas themed art and they really love realism.

So you try to push your skills and technique. In that way. And sometimes competitions, if there are themes, say like the Google doodle competition, it just helps you think outside the box. Sometimes having a prompt really helps your creative process constraints sometimes help because.

Forces you to think how you can solve a problem. And [00:24:00] that’s part of creativity, pre college programs. So these don’t necessarily look good on your resume, but I always find them to be helpful for you to understand what is it like to actually be at art school? What is it like to be at architecture school?

Unfortunately these can be expensive. Some do offer scholarships or need-based aid but probably the most important thing about these pre college programs. They help you build your portfolio schools like architecture schools will generally not consider high school drafting class things to be in your portfolio.

They’d rather see art, as I mentioned earlier, the exception is if you went to a pre college program and did architecture at the level of a college studio, that they will be interested in that because a lot of times they’re very conceptual. You’re not really designing buildings, you’re designing kind of spaces or forums or ideas.

So one example of a really strong pre college program is the one at rusty or the Rhode Island school of design. So another way to stand out. [00:25:00] I think of it as creating contrast and compliments. So find, and because it’s a contrast and a compliment, it’s not just, I like art. It’s I like art and something else.

That’s how you present yourself in a unique and personal way. And this is what kind of drives your creativity. For me, it was this hybrid of science and art, this logical problem solving aspect of science versus kind of the open-ended inspirational world of Part and, they’re not actually two different, which is the realization I had as I was reflecting on my, the different aspects of me.

So some ideas for visual art to stand out. So what if you prepared your work for a gallery show? What if the gallery show was for a charity and you auction the work off you can use your art for activism. So if you have a political or social kind of thing initiative, if you’re really interested in whether it’s black lives matter or kind of sustainability issues.

Then you can use your art as a [00:26:00] way to kind of channel that your voice and your energy. You can use art to build community. So maybe you want to do a, you can work to create a mural in your community that really spruces up a underused area and represent the neighborhood or you can pursue mentorship.

So finding a way, finding an organization where you can teach art to other kids and think about. The kind of closing the circle in a way, think about your mentors and who taught you over time and how you can connect that. So in a way, a lot of these are finding a way to use art to help others.

Another creative way is combining art with technology in your projects, such as coding. I think we’re moving into a world where having experience with coding can really help. So maybe it’s video, maybe it’s a different medium that really pushes your boundaries. Don’t be afraid to break down the barriers between your interests and find ways to.

Merge them. So other kind of creative ways to stand out for architecture one really creative way I’ve found is [00:27:00] find a way to engage your fellow peers and students to provide feedback for local development projects, whether it’s like a school renovation or something. Especially if you, as students are stakeholders, maybe a local park is going through a redesign, find the local planner or the.

The architect landscape architect in charge and say, Hey, we, as a students who use this park, want a voice in this process and you can lead that charge. And that’s very powerful. It’s very interesting kind of perspective on architecture. Build things like you don’t have to go work in an architecture firm when you can just build something in your backyard.

Maybe it’s a tree house. Maybe it’s like a little structure. Maybe it’s a dog house. I don’t know. Building things is always a great way to you can put in your portfolio and it shows this willingness to get down and dirty and work with your hands on something. When you work with your hands on something, it’s a very different kind of.

Feeling rather than drafting on a [00:28:00] computer, which doesn’t help you under really understands the space. One thing you’ll definitely love to do and studio is make lots of architecture models and other things to build. You can design like product prototypes woodcarvings or even just cool circuitry program projects with a raspberry PI or Really or even design apps, as long as you’re creating stuff, whether it is physical or maybe a little more digital it can all demonstrate that kind of thinking process.

So another way to stand out leadership through action. So again, as I mentioned, it’s not just being your president of your national honor society, your art club. What did you do as president? That’s what’s really important, even if you’re not president demonstrating leadership through other ways through your initiative, take the initiative, don’t be afraid to just do stuff.

I think colleges really respect when people do stuff and don’t wait for the permission. And [00:29:00] you can demonstrate leadership through those projects and initiative. You can do it through mentorship, as I mentioned earlier, or a community service or activism. If you find leading a project challenging and like dealing with people challenging, then you’re growing and that’s good.

Talking about failure in your essays is actually really powerful. Like I failed to do this initiative or it all went wrong. That’s a great learning experience. The more you failed, the more you grow. The portfolio. So we talked about essays, we talked about activities and how to kind develop that. So art schools care a lot more about the portfolio rather than awards.

As I mentioned for other schools, the unique achievements, as I talked about the extra curriculars and the essays can be a lot more impactful. So if you’re applying to or Cal arts focus more of your energy and just developing your portfolio, unique voices here is a poll. Are you planning to submit a portfolio?


All right, we’ll just give it 10 more seconds. I do a lot of polls for my work for zoom meetings, and I never know when to close that poll. One, five, second warning. 3, 2, 1. All right. A lot of you said maybe some are saying yes, and they’re working on it or planning to start soon.

Yeah. And I’m only in the Q and a, I’ll be happy to answer questions of whether or not you should submit a portfolio. Sometimes submitting a portfolio actually can be denture [00:31:00] harmful to your application. If you can stand out through your Oh, extracurricular awards are like the, as I mentioned, demonstrate leadership through action, just because you never really know who’s judging your art.

I wasn’t necessarily the most, the best technique, best artists in my class, like technically, but a lot of my schools did require it. The portfolio, but if I wasn’t that strong in art, I might have not considered applying. I’m using my portfolio for some schools that don’t necessarily require it. So here’s just some quick feedback or advice on how to build a portfolio.

So on the left if you attended my other webinar, I did show these before, but maybe if I repeat it. Be a great addition. So on the left is a weaker portfolio example because while it’s a great rendering of this driftwood or something it’s just in the middle of the page, there’s not a [00:32:00] lot kind of happening in the background.

It’s just a. Blank space and there’s while it’s great to just sketch things and learn how to render them as a finished piece in a portfolio, you want to push the boundaries. You want to have a background and really explored the page. The one on the right is a really strong portfolio example because they didn’t just take this cake and put it in the middle.

They have really thought about the composition of this piece and put one cake on kind of the top, right? And then another, you see just the reflection. You also know that this artist is really exploring materials and how they can explore textures, the texture of the plastic versus a texture, the whipped cream versus the crust.

Just talking about it makes me hungry.

As a kind of side note, a really great resource of understanding strong slats or slightly weaker pieces in our portfolio, how to develop a portfolio is the art professor. They have a really fantastic [00:33:00] YouTube series as well as a what site that you can dive a little bit deeper and the links you can download the presentation, the links are in below the pieces.

So on the left are two graphite drawings on the right is also a graphite drawing. The reason the ones on the left are weaker, follows what I talked about earlier. You see that. The one in the top left is unfinished. There’s a weird thing where they didn’t, they, it seemed like they were afraid to push the drawing to the boundaries in the edge.

And the background looks like an afterthought and they just focused more of their attention is still while choosing and being delivered deliberate about how you treat different parts of your piece, like where you want to put more focus on in is important. You still want a complete piece.

The same issue happens with the turtle because the turtle is just sitting in the middle of the page. The reason the one on the right is really strong. As you can see that why the faces of course are drawn really [00:34:00] skillfully, but they did think a lot about the composition. How do these faces radiate through the page, literally in the spiral in the blink space, it didn’t just keep it white.

They really thought about. Should I use these kind of zigzag lines and to add to this piece and kind of add what does this excite that? What do the zigzag lines really mean in this piece? As it’s radiating out and you can see that they’re really interested in exploring these really complicated facial expressions.

So last pieces of advice for building a portfolio, don’t be afraid of critique. I’m always a little bit scared to show my part to others, but it’s really important for growth because a really good critique can help you understand where your weaknesses are and where your strengths are and how to develop those.

Ask a lot of questions. If someone says something that doesn’t make sense to you about your work. Ask them about it, but not in a defensive way, just clarification or how you could do something differently and, constantly challenge yourself when you’re making pieces for your [00:35:00] portfolio.

Be intentional, make artistic decisions, questioning everything. Why am I using this color? Why am I putting this here? Why am I putting it on this background? What is the meaning. All of it. Maybe there is no meaning, but maybe you’re just, I’m interested in exploring textures. She just like that cake drawing earlier practice, sketch skit, sketch just do it all the time you see you’re bored, doodle stuff.

I doodled in class all the time. And I like to doodle people and I doodled my teacher. I doodled. Just objects around and that’s just a great way to build your eye and develop your skills and draw from life, break away from using that photos, using a grid drawing. You have your reference voting, you do a grid and then dry schools are really good at figuring out what things came from drawings and what things came from life.

It’s okay to draw from references. Even the masters did it. So like the Italian masters. [00:36:00] References aren’t bad because oftentimes you need them to do something that’s really complex or you don’t have the subject matter right in front of you, but demonstrating some life drawing is always really great, whether it’s figure drawing.

Yeah. Post pandemic. You can find a class where you can sit in and do figure drawing of people and they’re moving and you have to do it in five seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, two minutes. That is a really fun experience. And it really challenges you to be intentional about your lines and how to draw the shape.

Use online resources and tutorials or work with your teacher slash teachers. Again, find those external teachers and talent is an overrated concept. Be inspired by your classmates mentors and idols. And they’re like, wow, they’re so good. And they’re so talented, but don’t compare yourself to others.

Just don’t it’s a very unhealthy practice. It’s I know it sounds contradictory, like challenge yourself. Be compete with yourself and not with others in terms of your [00:37:00] artistic journey, because you might think that their artwork is amazing, but they might be thinking the exact same about you. So now we’re moving on to the Q and a portion.

So I think if you go to the Q and a tab, you can ask a question and be happy to answer them. Okay.

And the little thing disappeared. Tests, how do I, the little tab where the polls and kind of questions disappeared, do you know how to get it back? There should be a little blue button in the bottom left that says chat, and then you can click on that. It should open it up. Great.[00:38:00] How many pieces do well? Drafted portfolios contain. So when you’re applying to a school make sure that you understand what the portfolio requirements are.

I generally think that it’s between 10 to 20, but it’s really depends on the schools, which the 10 to 20 really does match up pretty well with your AP art portfolio, which I definitely do recommend. Take if your school has that how to build a robotics portfolio. That’s a really interesting question, I think I think it depends on the school.

So what I’m thinking about is MIT and they have a maker portfolio. So again, read the requirements and yeah. Show your process. If especially they’re asking you, show us these different things, show us your sketches. And that’s what you would, might include in a robotics portfolio, just because, the end product might not look really good.

I did robotics as well. And our robot looked like it was taped together from, with duct tape, [00:39:00] but It was still, it worked really well. And that’s what kind of mattered the most. So I hope that answers your question. Annabel, you sent in a question, but it’s blank. So maybe if you send it again, I’d be happy to answer that.

So while we’re waiting for other questions to come in, I might answer some questions we got before the panel that I thought were really important and probably really useful. So someone asked me, how do you become an architect? What’s the potential path? I do have an, a little appendix slide by I’m worried if I go to that, everything will get ruined.

Maybe it’s still there. Sorry about that.

Okay. Nevermind. I’m not going to do that, but there are three paths to becoming an [00:40:00] architect and kind of getting the right education. The first path is to do a bachelor of architecture program. These are typically five to six year programs. And the schools that kind of offer them are like Cornell and rice.

You can also do a pre-professional program, which is what I did. I went to just standard four year college that had a really strong architecture school and there’s an architecture curriculum, and I was really preparing you to do the masters of architecture. Some schools do offer what’s called , which means that you’re in a more accelerated position program.

So instead of doing like a three and a half year mark, you might do only a two year, for example and then the last one is to do just a liberal arts style education or study something completely different. Setting what I mean by that is maybe say art history or music or anything or just any other subject that’s not architecture related and that’s also okay.

Or you studied art. Eventually that will, you’ll [00:41:00] just have to make a portfolio at school. And some people discover they want to do architecture later. It’s definitely not too late to pursue that during college and then your graduate studies. So it question that came in most of the drawings were in black and white does adding color to the drawing make a difference or no color is definitely amazing to explore.

The reasons though, what’s the word? Black and white. Or just because the ones I chose you can definitely have you want to have some variety. So if you are really strong at graphite, I would encourage you to add color and explore that because if you have an entire portfolio of black and white and it can definitely feel a little monotonous.

So hopefully that answered that. Question. So you do want color in some drawings but it’s okay to have some black and white, because those are, those can be really amazing, like charcoal or graphite.

So someone asked me, [00:42:00] is it better to have a technological computer made portfolio than a drawn on paper portfolio and applying to college for architecture? Very simply. Don’t avoid like CAD. So computer aided drafting drawings, like sections, elevations, and plans avoid, screenshots or fancy renderings from SketchUp or rhino or or, oh my God.

Revvit. That’s what schools do not want to see that they’d rather see your creative process through art or drawing or painting or photography. So advice on building my photography portfolio. And do you know of any strong photography schools? So I will say like the art world is so big and one piece of really big piece of advice I learned was don’t just apply to a school that is, has a general, good prestige. So Rezdy is known for being a really strong arts school, but there maybe their animation department isn’t as strong. So it’s really important to figure [00:43:00] out where maybe your favorite photographers went to school and understanding their paths and figure out and understand where are the strongest photography schools for you and what you’re interested in.

Even within any kind of discipline, you’re going to find that there’s a spectrum. Very traditional approaches to photography versus maybe like very experimental. So advice. Yeah. Building a photography portfolio. Again, photography is a little bit outside of my realm of expertise, but you don’t want to fill this portfolio with simple composition.

There’s a horse in a frame you really want to explore. Kind of something about this horse or where’s this horse and kind of create really interesting thought provoking compositions that show that you’re being extremely intentional photography for me is even more challenging than drawing because you’re doing it in a click and.

It’s very hard to demonstrate that you put a lot of thought and effort into that click [00:44:00] and you do, and the post editing. So photography by no means is a very easy, it’s definitely very tricky. I think some of the resources I mentioned the art professor and other websites and tutorials will definitely help you understand how to become a stronger photographer and then finding that mentor teachers also really helped.

So that was a great question. Yeah, definitely feel free to keep submitting those questions. Someone asked. What the best software to use when designing and creating for architecture. That really depends on what you’re doing. And again, focused on art rather than the architecture part, but I find SketchUp to probably be the easiest one to get into.

I personally prefer rhino but it’s best not to even really worrying about How do, how much do the arts admit admission staff value academics versus your portfolio and other achievements? How hard is it to study architecture? So I guess your two questions art schools don’t [00:45:00] value academics as strongly.

The portfolio is very important when they’re considering that, but if you’re applying to a school, that’s generally. I’m very competitive. So if you want to study art at Yale, you’d have to be at the same standard of all the other applicants that are going to Yale. So that means really strong test scores, really rigorous course load, really curious in many different ways beyond just art, but yeah, it would be a really fantastic place to study art.

When should I start creating a portfolio? Hopefully you already. I think the best answer is now in a way by you should be always practicing sketching and making, creating, but by junior year, you should be really thinking about these are pieces. I want to include. I find pieces you’re going to include in our AP art portfolio to be really strong candidates for that.

You talked about art competitions, anything that should be specifically included in the writing assignment? Definitely as I talked about earlier, like [00:46:00] why you are drawn to art and why creativity matters, it’s define creativity to yourself, define all these kind of core values that may seem generic.

If you say I persevere, I’m very persevering. Tell me what perseverance means to you. Everyone has their own definition of it. Don’t just give me a textbook definition. Give me a personal story about your version of perseverance. I think one really strong example of this that I developed was one of my students this year is he says I work I’m hardworking and I.

And I’m very, I persevered through things and we talked about that and he’s to me, perseverance means working at something to even if I don’t like it. So he worked a lot in his parents’ chicken houses and it was very hard work. And he always thought that hard work meant, doing something you loved and being super passionate, but he realized that hard work to him.

Him working in the chicken houses to help his parents. So they can leave a bit earlier and take some burden off [00:47:00] of their back. So he uses hard work to help others. And that’s his personal definition of hard work. And that’s what you develop in your essays. So any other questions, happy to answer?


So at my school, you’re only allowed to take a music course or a drawing course, not both. Is it okay to take an art class outside of school? It does taking an art class in school. Look better on a college application. I don’t think taking an art class outside of the school versus taking it in school really matter.

They don’t. I only think that taking it in school means there’s a lot more kind of time commitment because you’re probably you’re there like every day versus, my class, my outside class, I don’t really have time to go there once a week. Or twice a week. So that’s [00:48:00] the only difference, at the end of the day, it’s your portfolio that matters, or the stories you tell about creating art that matter.

So let’s see any other questions until I figure out. Let’s see. All right. I guess we’re pretty close to finishing. So I want to talk about how you, if you want to get help in your college apps, for me, Caitlin or any of our other bulls advisers So Bullseye has two advising plans. The starter plan and the scholar plan.

They’re both monthly subscriptions where you get matched with an advisor of your choice and you get one or two hours of one-on-one advising. Each month as advisors we’ll work with you on your college essays, choosing schools, interviews, and more. So I’m sending everyone at this panel to send a link to get started.[00:49:00]

Great. So that’s sent

so yeah hopefully that answers your question about kind of the differences between the two plans. One is one hour versus the other, which is two hours.

So the offer links to our page to sign up and get started. Our students have bulls. I have tons of success working with an advisor. This past admission season. We had Bullseye clients get into all the IVs and every top 25 schools in the country, our clients rate us 9.8 out of 10, and that’s because advisors put a ton of care into work.

I’m with you, one-on-one through every step of the application process. So if you want to discuss one-on-one with me, this is a great chance to work with us.

So I don’t see any other questions about the visual arts and architecture. So this is pretty much the end of the webinar. I had a really fantastic time telling you [00:50:00] about Just the journey of how to get started, or if you’re in the middle of the journey of where for visual arts and architecture, if you want to pursue that in school.

So I really hope that this webinar was useful to you and that you’re feeling more prepared for your college applications. And we’ll just keep the up this information about us just in case you missed it at the beginning. If you want to learn more about more before working with either of us on your essay.

And if you want to learn, sorry, more working with either of us on your essays. So here’s more info about me again and just my bio. And if I didn’t get to your question we’ll also send out a feedback form later this evening, where if you think of something else later and you want to ask me, feel free to go ahead and definitely give us feedback to let us know how we can improve our webinars.

And thanks for bearing through my various technical difficulties. And our next webinar will be [00:51:00] tomorrow. And there’ll be another spike series session on the programming hackathons in first robotics. So I remember, so I mentioned robotics and how they can best present that. So that’d be a pretty awesome webinar to ask Amanda about how to best present it.

She also went to MIT and she’s really fantastic. I’ve worked with her. MIT students really love creating. I think there’d be really great feedback on that. And along with that, we have our entire October. Spike series to better understand how you can really build your application, whether you’re a sophomore, freshman, junior or even a senior about how you can best represent yourself.

Thank you so much for coming out to tonight’s panel. I hope you all stay safe and good luck on your applications and have a fantastic weekend. So to sign up for the webinars, there’s a link down below it says join bulls-eye dot com [00:52:00] slash spike series. All right, thanks everyone.