Portfolio Video Essay

At ArtCenter, we believe that communicating the motivation and process behind your work can be as important as the final piece itself. So, we ask you to share the story behind one of your pieces of work (related to your intended major) in a video essay format.


Creative Direction, Film, Fine Art, First Year Immersion, Interaction Design, Photography & Imaging, Product Design, Spatial Experience Design, and Transportation Design.


Entertainment Design (Animation and Concept), Graphic Design, and Illustration.

Address the following questions in your essay:

  • Why did you choose to create this piece?
  • How did you approach the making of this piece?
  • What aspects of this piece satisfied your intentions?
  • What, if anything, might you change about your piece?


  • Select one piece from your portfolio that is related to your intended major.
  • Identify the title and date of the piece at the beginning of your video essay, and make sure to list the title as it is listed on your uploaded portfolio so that we can reference the correct piece.
  • The length of your video essay should not exceed 60-90 seconds in total.
  • Upload the video essay with the rest of your portfolio in the online application. Make sure you name the piece “Portfolio Video Essay.”
  • While it is okay to plan your thoughts before recording the video, please do not write out an essay and read it aloud. The purpose of this video is to see how you communicate your ideas verbally.
  • It is the spoken content of your submission that we are interested in, your ability to reflect upon your creative process and articulate your ideas. Don’t be concerned about production quality. Use the technology and resources that are readily available to you. Feel free to use your phone, for instance, to create your video.
  • Your portfolio will represent your ability to communicate your ideas visually, so we prefer that this video essay simply consists of you speaking to the camera. However, if you prefer not to appear in the video, you are welcome to also create visuals to support your presentation instead.

Please note:

If English is not your first language, this video may be used—in addition to your TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English score—to assess your ability to communicate your ideas effectively. Think of this as a demonstration of how you might participate in a classroom discussion about your work.

Submitting your Portfolio Video Essay

  • Your video essay should be uploaded as a part of your portfolio as a video file or a non-password protected YouTube, Vimeo link on the Portfolio Upload tab of the online application. You can also upload the video after the submission of your application, if you have not finalized your portfolio.
  • Please make sure you title the piece "Portfolio Video Essay."
hand painting portrait of a woman

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