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Sarah N. (Oakton HS, 2022) Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)


  • Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) - Illustration

  • University of Virginia (UVA) - Studio Arts

  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) - Early Action, Communication Arts, Dean's Scholarship $32,000.00

  • William & Mary - Illustration, Monroe Scholars $3,000.00

  • George Mason (GMU) - Early Action, Communication Arts, Mason Distinction Award $16,000.00

1. How do you feel about your college acceptance? I am shocked and grateful, especially since I had low expectations when I started my college portfolio. I definitely wouldn't have been able to do it without ISA!

2. When did you start the portfolio class, and how did you prepare your portfolio? I started the portfolio class in the summer before my senior year, so in order to prepare my portfolio, I went to open studio and portfolio class to work on fine art pieces, and I worked on my sketchbook and illustration pieces at home.

3. How did you find your inspiration? I naturally gravitated toward surrealism, human figures, fantasy, and storytelling in the artwork I admire, so these elements ended up in many of the pieces in my portfolio. The digitally painted keyframes in my portfolio were specifically inspired by visual development art.

4. Do you have any advice for the new portfolio students? Make sure to follow a plan for your portfolio and the colleges you want to apply to. This will relieve a lot of the stress that comes with making a portfolio, so you can focus solely on creating high-quality work. Also, make use of the critiques and teacher guidance at NYSA to improve your work!

5. Tell us your thoughts about the NYSA! NYSA was helpful not only with my portfolio but with improving my art skills and work ethic in general, even though I didn't do much fine art training previously. The environment at NYSA is welcoming, and the teachers are great, as they even use time outside of to class help students with pictures, projects, and feedback.

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