Getting Down to Business: Preparing Your Portfolio

Hi readers!

This week I would like to get down to a more serious topic, preparing your college portfolio. I’ll be honest with you, it’s a difficult task to compile your work. As you try to put together your best pieces, it’s hard to not think about what other students are putting in theirs as well.

For the most part, the pieces you include revolve around the specific minor/major you’re applying for. By looking on FIT’s or any other college’s website, you’ll find specific descriptions of any projects and portfolio requirements that the school would like from you.

My sketchbook

SKETCH!! Any and all courses more likely than not will want to see your sketching ability. Don’t be frightened! Unless you’re applying to a fine arts program your sketches do not have to be as realistic as a professionals. Portfolio reviewers like to see how your eye captures an element and transfers it to paper. The ability to sketch also shows your level of patience which is very important in any creative industry.

Another key to sketching is to work on larger pieces of paper, filling up a given space shows your ability to draw with more than just your finger tips. Noting that you use your wrist, hands, and arms to draw an image is very important.

It’s good to keep a sketchbook on hand to practice wherever you may be! Practicing will make you better at sketching as well as help you gain patience to execute bigger projects in the future.


  • Try to fill the whole page instead of just a small section

Trust me I know, I love to draw things on a smaller scale and make them more detailed, though it’s more beneficial to you if you practice drawing on a larger scale. By doing this you train your hand and mind to remain in a detailed mindset, plus it’ll look good in your portfolio.

  • Draw from life

Portfolio observers like to see how you interpret objects from life to paper. While showing your creative side with different drawings from your mind, be sure to include drawings of the basics like flowers or buildings.

A page from my sketchbook When it comes time for you to go through this process, take your time and do things to your best capability. Breathe and do your thing. I can assure you everyone is nervous when submitting works of their own, it’s good to be confident but it’s 100% okay to be nervous. Even though the process is a stressful one, continue using your strengths to enhance your pieces in your own personal way and see what happens from there.

If you have the opportunity, reach out to your art teachers for assistance and if you’re lucky enough even a professor. They’re there to help YOU! Asking won’t ever hurt and who knows, hopefully it’ll make you feel better along the way!

Thank you for reading and good luck on pursuing any passions you may have! We all take many different paths in life so stick to what you love and you’ll make it one way or another.

-Emily Kelly

Fueling Your Fire

Hi everyone!

This week I wanted to focus on the heart of your inspirations. Sometimes narrowing down the specifics of what inspires you isn’t as simple as it may seem. You could draw inspiration from a big idea, such as nature or a certain location; or you could even pull inspiration from everyday household items like a vase or furniture.

Things that inspire you should take your breath away and leave you in awe. Well, at least for me it does! A specific place that inspires me, practically beyond words, is the rooftop of a building on West 11th street. roof of west 11th street building

The first time I stepped foot onto the rooftop of this building my heart paused but nearly exploded at the same time. Staring ahead of me, the wind blowing my dress upwards like Marilyn Monroe, I couldn’t help but fixate my gaze on the bustling yet muffled sounding metropolis. I took the photo above after a few times of being up top; rain or shine, the feeling that flooded my body the first time still lingers.

Sunflowers on my window

Flowers. The colors and silhouettes of each petal on a flower complement the detailed center softly. It’s funny to think that a plant can just beautifully form like that with ease. I’m also a lover of shadows. Different contrasts of light, whether it be flowers or buildings, admiring how light settles on either is inspiring to me.

Staying on the topic of nature, autumn is my favorite season. The vibrant colors of leaves popping off the sky like a comic book is so fulfilling to me. The crisp air and twinkling sun ignite a spark in me that leaves me happy and content.

fall in CT

Everyone interprets a scene differently. No one can tell you what your inspiration is, it’s something you run into along the way.

Photo of Frank Sinatra

Reposted from apostrophe9

I constantly use fashion as an inspiration of mine. I love looking at the patterns and fabric designers use in their pieces.This shot of Frank Sinatra ties in a flare of musical taste as well as dapper attire. The suit really owns the photo, between the checkered picnic blanket design and the spring fedora; there’s so many bits to explore!

Last but not least, family. My family always inspires me to keep my drive and to try new things while taking risks I normally wouldn’t take. Having a group of people behind you who inspire you and not tear you down is important in all aspects of life; remember that.

These are just a few sum up pieces of my inspirations though as life goes on our inspirations keep evolving with us! Seeing one single detail could inspire you to create something big and that’s all that really matters! Inspiration is all around us, waiting to be discovered. Change is wonderful…if it wasn’t for change we wouldn’t grow into the thinkers we are today.

So tell me, what inspires you? Leave your inspirations in the comments below!

As always hope you enjoyed reading and have a wonderful day!

– Emily Kelly



A Precollege Student’s Guide to NYC

NYCHi Everyone!

After reading my blog last week, hopefully all of you have found a great new friend who can join you in exploring the big city!  FIT classes are obviously the best part of the day, but before and after class, and during breaks, here are a list of restaurants, museums and shops that you and your new friends should visit!

Restaurants: My friends and I love all of these places to eat because they are within walking distance of FIT and are all extremely good. There are a few café’s that are nice for the fifteen minute breaks (times may vary) that are given during workshops/classes. There are some restaurants near FIT that are a good option for after and before classes!

  • GiGi’s Café (no reservation required), 307 7th Ave. New York NY
  • Cafeteria (reservation required), 119 7th Ave. New York NY, 1 (212) 414 1717
  • Antique Café, 234 W 27th St. New York NY
  • Green Tomato, 295 7th Ave. New York NY
  • Argo Tea Café, 275 7th Ave. New York NY

Shops: Next is my personal favorite, the shops!  Some of these stores are located in SoHo, which is about fifteen minutes from FIT, but are definitely worth going to with your friends after or before class!

  • Brandy Melville (my favorite in the city because there are others), 499 Broadway St. New York NY (located in SoHo)
  • Zara, 580 Broadway St. New York NY (located in SoHo)
  • Urban Outfitters (Near FIT), 1333 Broadway New York NY
  • H & M (Near FIT), 435 7th Ave. New York NY

Museums: Last but not least is a list of great museums with changing exhibits monthly. The FIT museum is definitely the best for fashion exhibits. Last semester my class went to the featured Yves St. Laurent and Halston exhibit, the Lauren Bacall exhibit (which were open to the public) , as well as the Vintage Costume exhibition (that was only available for Precollege and FIT classes.)

  • The Museum at FIT, 227 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave. New York NY
  • Art Scene, E 28th St. New York NY
  • Rubin Art Museum, W 17th St. New York NY

Thanks for reading! If you decide to go to any of these locations, please comment on your favorites and what you thought of them!


It’s incredible to think we’re nearing the home stretch of this FIT experience. It feels like not even a few days ago I was walking into orientation, wide eyed and ready to learn. Being at FIT has definitely broadened my horizons and taught me far beyond what I expected. Many of our lessons I’ve already been familiar with (I have a bit of experience in most of the Adobe suite, so all the introductions to the programs and basic lessons I had already knew) but the one thing I’ve been exposed to that I could never been on my own has been the class critiques. And let me tell you, I’m in love.

A critique is just about exactly what it sounds like, you take you work, present it in front of the class, and they tell you what they like/dislike, what you should add/remove, and/or any bit of advice or insight to further improve your work. I know, sounds daunting, but getting the opinions from others is one of the best possible things you can do for your work. Or at least, it’s one of the best I can do for mine.

After looking at the design for so long, I definitely can begin to get a little numb to it. It’s like when you get used to a smell because it’s been there so long, or when a song just becomes background noise since you’ve heard it so many times. Having a fresh set eyes look at it helps me notice some faults I didn’t realize was there, or realize my direction. Think back to the old writing exercise, which is to read your piece backwards in order to make sure it makes sense, since you’ve read it forward so many times and might just skip over the mistakes.

Not only are critiques great for your own artwork, but they’re also a great place to be heard and really show your knowledge. There’s always the fear that if you just go up to someone and tell them all the things you think could be improved you’d come off as rude, pretentious, and/or other negative descriptions. Critiques provide an open environment to let people know what you really feel, and give you the opportunity to talk about what you love. It’s a win win! In the end, critiques break the ice. At the beginning of my class, no one would really say anything regarding other people’s work. However, after participating in our first critique, it’s rare someone doesn’t make a comment as they’re walking about the room. Do critiques sound as daunting as they did in the beginning?

Have you participated in a critique, and if so, what’s your favorite/less favorite part? If you haven’t, what’s one thing you’ve learnt in your class that you couldn’t have learnt anywhere else?

As always,


What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

What do you want to be when you grow up? A question asked to every single person under the age of 22 from their first day of kindergarten to the day they graduate college. I hate it because I think it’s a cop-out from adults who don’t know any other way to relate to kids. Who don’t know what to say or how to act so they try to relate in a way that they can understand. It’s a definition. A way to compartmentalized people into groups. All any of us want is definition. A way to explain everyone and everything.

I personally hate answering it because I feel some sort of commitment. Like after I say what I want to be that that’s it. That’s who I am and what I have to do. For the longest time when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up the answer was plain and simple: a fashion designer. Now I have begun to change my mind. My definition of myself had changed, lines have been blurred, truths have been lost. My future isn’t so clear anymore. I don’t know what I want. Now my cop-out answer to that cop-out question is fashion designer because that’s simpler than the truth: I don’t know.

After writing this blog I have become interested in fashion journalism. Working for a magazine or some blog sounds like a lot of fun, who knows if in the next ten years there will still be real magazines.  I have turned into a thing I used to hate and have become what I thought I didn’t want, but what I realize now was that I didn’t know what I was talking about. I love writing about fashion, I love sharing my ideas with people. I have lost some motivation for sewing and designing but who knows. I have years ahead of me to decide, we all do. Nothing is really permanent. We put so much weight on decisions like college and career because we are afraid of making a mistake. But if we regarded these things with more of an open mind, and remembered that there is always room and time for a second chance, maybe things would be a little easier, and maybe we would all be a little happier.