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Camille Meisner, Art and Design Portfolio Development Short Course, 2021

Key details


  • 26 May 2022

Read time

  • 3 minutes

A good portfolio is the byproduct of understanding your practice.

In this three week short course, starting from 29 June 2023 and delivered over 9 live online sessions, you can gain the tools to reposition and revitalise your current practice.

  • Better understand what is relevant and important to you now about your practice
  • Define your key values and motivations
  • Put into practice branding and editorial strategies to create a portfolio using InDesign

Participants must bring an existing body of current creative work in a digital format, to work on during the course. This body of work is what you will be using from the start of the course to discuss and present your work, learning to shape it into a more distinct and relevant portfolio. Ideal for those intending to progress in higher education within an art and design discipline or seeking career progression and personal development in professional practice.

“A portfolio translates a body of work through thoughtful art direction, critical writing and content curation. A successful portfolio is the manifestation of a clarity in understanding where one’s practice is situated and how it is positioned.”

Richard Nash RCA Short Course Leader Art & Design Portfolio Development and Tutor Art & Design Graduate Diploma

“The course was a great foundation for building a portfolio and understanding how to define and contextualize your practice for a variety of audiences. It was surprising to learn how portfolios are meant to not only present your final products, but also a chance to showcase your personality, interests, brand identity, processes, and experiments.”

Gabriela Lehman Rodriguez Portfolio short course participant August 2022

“Not only do you learn how to create the best portfolio, you also learn how to shape your future around art. This was a priceless experience with the top professionals industry.”

Sun hi Moon San Francisco, Portfolio short course participant August 2021

Student story

Daisy Ye is a Fine Art graduate from Alberta University of the Arts in Canada. She attended the Art & Design Portfolio Development short course in summer 2021, then went on to complete the Graduate Diploma Art & Design at the RCA and is now studying in the MA Painting.

What made you choose to study at the RCA?

RCA is a big name with a profound history and cultural heritage. My motivation to study here is to immerse myself in an international and interdisciplinary learning environment.

What was the most surprising on the RCA short course?

The most surprising thing I learnt is how to professionally position myself as an art & craft practitioner and package my portfolio into a cohesive body of work.

This course offered me professional resources and constructive feedback for my artistic practice. It was an effective platform for understanding RCA expectations before applying to study at the RCA in the future. In addition, the dynamic learning process facilitated a thorough reflection on my thinking and making, and synergised the collective creativity through the group's proactive interaction.

This course brought new insights through collaborative exercises and enabled me to successfully further my studies in the GradDip and MA programmes at the RCA.

How are you finding your current study with the RCA?

My current study with the RCA prepares me for academic advancement, especially in finding my voice and conducting independent research. The unique thinking-through-making process empowers me to experiment with new things constantly. Meanwhile, the tutorial sections foster the habit of self-reflection.

Daisy Ye portrait
Daisy Ye ‘Dwelling 2’ 2022, Oil and thread on canvas.

Summer 2023 course team

The course is convened by academic leader Richard Nash, Tutor (Research) in communication design on the Graduate Diploma Art & Design at the Royal College of Art and overseen by Gary Clough, Head of Programme, Graduate Diploma Art & Design.

The course contributors for the 2023 programme are:

  • Dr Ekua Mcmorris, Tutor Graduate Diploma Art & Design and Artist, Academic Researcher and Photographer
  • Dr Susannah Haslam, Tutor, Graduate Diploma Art & Design and Visiting Lecturer Critical & Historical Studies
  • Cato Barend van Schalkwyk, Visiting Lecturer on the Graduate Diploma Art & Design and Creative Director
  • Benji Jeffrey, Visiting Lecturer on the Graduate Diploma Art & Design and RCA Alumni MA Sculpture
  • Alkesh Parmar, Tutor (Research) Graduate Diploma
  • Whiskey Chow, Tutor (Research) MA Sculpture, Associate Lecturer MA Digital Direction and MA Information Experience Design

Disclaimer: The list of contributors is subject to change depending on availability.

IN SESSION talk 'Portfolio as Practice' five key questions to ask yourself:

Editor and curator Dr Gerrie van Noord spoke to Gary Clough and Richard Nash about the importance of art direction, critical writing and content curation in the construction of a portfolio. Here are her five key questions to ask yourself when approaching a portfolio:

  1. What work motivates me?
  2. What is most important and valuable for me to focus on now?
  3. How do I define and situate my practice?
  4. What is relevant to select for the person I am sending or presenting work to and how can I show the connections between different aspects of my work?
  5. How do I focus my portfolio for specific audiences / contexts / purposes?
IN SESSION - Portfolio as Practice


Royal College of Art summer schools from June to August 2023 attract a global mix of participants from over 60 countries.

Areas/job titles of previous people that have taken the Portfolio summer school include: Student, Graduates, Software Engineer, Product Designer, Sculptor, Founder, Marketing Manager, Print Specialist, Gallery Assistant and Curator.

Take a look at the summer 2022 timetable here.

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