Art students hope persistence will pay off in portfolio season


Sheridan Art Fundamentals students are breathing a collective sigh of relief because one of the biggest crunches of their portfolio season has come to a close.

The students rushed to complete their portfolios by the February 27 deadline.  Hundreds of dollars were spent on art supplies, paint flowed and pencils dulled, but they managed to finish building their portfolios.

Frank Chang, an 18-year-old first year Art Fundamentals student, was one of those anxious students who completed their portfolios. It was his second attempt to get into the Animation program since enrolling at Sheridan.

“[My portfolio] went pretty well. Nothing really stood out, which I’m kinda worried about.”

He said that new Art Fundamentals students should make their portfolio unique. “Make it about you and not what the professors wanna see,” he said.

Chang knew about Sheridan’s Animation program before he left high school. Indeed, high school students have been known to apply to the program.

“I kinda set myself out for [the animation program.] So I applied [in my final year of high school,]” Chang laughed.“[I] Didn’t get in.”

Chang wasn’t alone.

Katie Terpstra, a former Art Fundamentals student turned IT support worker has tried to get into the Animation program three times. Still, she was determined to get in. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you should give up,” she said.

After submitting her portfolio for the fourth time, she’s nervous.

“My nerves are shot,” she said.

A Bachelors Degree in Animation takes four years, much like the Bachelor of Illustration. A newer program, known as the Bachelor of Game Design  and is also offered at Sheridan, will take four years and requires a portfolio.

Megan Williams, a figure drawing professor in Art Fundamentals, has seen lots of students try to get into Animation or Illustration programs.

“I had a student once who was probably the least likely to succeed she tried three or four times [to get into animation] and now she’s in one of her final years of animation. She was absolutely not somebody I thought would make it but she refused to give up.”

Williams believes that effort is just as important as skill. Williams has a motto that she believes should be stamped on a students’ forehead.

“Don’t confuse a lack of ability with a lack of practice.”

Chang, Terpstra and Williams agree that effort, practice and the desire to get where you want to be are the biggest factors in succeeding. You have to be realistic and know what is expected and put the time in to have the best chance to succeed.

Students who submitted their portfolios will learn whether they got into the Animation program later this month.

 Animation program information
Portfolio aid blog