Two PP points!

1. Show me pictures (“visual evidence”)

There must be visual as well as written/text documentation of process.

It should be obvious – but of course just writing comments and explanations is not enough: is there visual evidence of what has been happening? Don’t just write about it; you must also show what has been considered, explored, etc.

(Just saying that you did something is easy and lazy and open to question: how does the examiner know that you actually did all the things you claim you did?)

So you must get into the habit of visually recording what is happening while it’s happening e.g. TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS.

Taking photographs of the process is a quick and easy thing to do – but is of VITAL importance to the Process Portfolio.


Visual Arts Journal

Of course, if you are using your visual arts journal effectively then successful pages can also become a natural and important part of the PP.

It’s helpful to record thoughts and reflections alongside the photos in the visual arts journal, e.g.  “I am now reconsidering the use of photographic collage, because on refection it does not really fulfill my original intentions. As can be seen, it looks confused rather than focused.”

This kind of real-time comment establishes immediate and current process, and makes a stronger impact than just writing in the past tense.)

The journal – in whatever form it takes – should show regular planning, brainstorming, researching, sketching, experimenting and reflecting, and photos should regularly document work in various stages of completion. These images can be compiled, arranged and annotated in the visual arts journal.

Evidence can then be drawn directly from the visual arts journal and used in the Process Portfolio.


2. Explain! What are you doing and why? (process not product)

The clue is  in the title: it’s a PROCESS portfolio. You should answer – and demonstrate/illustrate the answers to these questions:

  • What are the reasons that underpin your choice of forms, media, techniques etc?
  • Why did you select, compose, arrange etc certain imagery?
  • What alternatives did you consider?
  • What changes (e.g. improvements, refinements etc) have been made?
  • How has awareness of and research into the work of other artists informed this process?
  • What meaningful changes were made because of this influence?
  • Are these ideas, decisions etc merely discussed – or are they actually shown?
  • What have your learned? Is there evidence of honest, thoughtful and insightful reflection and review of this process?

Can I include final pieces in the Process Portfolio as well as in the Final Exhibition?

Yes, providing you state loud and clear in your PP that the artwork is also in your Exhibition. But your intention and/or the ideas are far more important than the final artwork.

(Even if a final piece is not included in the Exhibition, it’s not hugely relevant to the Process Portfolio.)


The photographs show visual arts journal pagers created by previous visual arts students.