Undoubtedly there is no other aspect of your college application that is as critical, challenging and ultimately rewarding as creating your personal series as part of your portfolio. Unlike the range section of your portfolio, which is often teacher-directed and shows your range of artistic abilities, your personal series demonstrates your ability to delve deeply into one idea or concept and express it through a series of works (usually 8—20 depending on the school) that are visually unified. Your range section is a group of stand-alone works whereas your PS is a series of works that form a collection.

To create your personal series you have to make the decisions. You have to initiate the idea or concept, research it and develop the concept making decisions about subject matter, media, techniques, processes and scale. In order for the series to be powerful all your artistic decisions need to reinforce your central idea. It is through this self-initiated series that you will communicate your ability to work independently, the depth of your thinking, your ability to problem solve, the degree of your resourcefulness, your artistic skills and mastery, the degree to which you create honestly and authentically, how prolific you are and what interests you as an idea to explore visually.

In the gallery below you will find a few works taken from a variety of student portfolios highlighting their Personal Series. Note the range of media, techniques and subject matter that have been explored by different students. See if you can try and guess what concept they have been investigating before you read about them and attempt to understand why they made certain artistic decisions about scale, media, subject matter and technique.