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Concept and Comic Art portfolio guidance

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Your portfolio plays a crucial role in determining your suitability to study Concept and Comic Arts BA (Hons) at De Montfort University (DMU) and should reflect on the breadth of your capabilities and provide insight into your skills as an artist.

Concept and Comic Arts focuses on fundamental, traditional art skills and contemporary digital techniques, so your portfolio should indicate that you have the underpinning skills to fulfil the programme's demands. In addition, it should illustrate your creative abilities as it will set you up for the journey in front of you.

Your portfolio should have a simple layout that demonstrates the logical progression of your ideas, creative ability and character and environment design. In addition, it should show care, attention to detail, and a passion for image-making with a broad range of influences. Finally, it should reference evidence through images from both your portfolio and sketchbook.

This guidance outlines specific aspects for applicants to consider while preparing your artwork and the requirements we hope to see in your portfolio when applying to study Concept and Comic Arts. We believe that the quality of work in a portfolio is more important than quantity, so we are keen to see focused work demonstrating potential development.

Your portfolio must include a range of personal artwork, coursework and sketchbook pages, enabling us to assess your capabilities. Also, do not miss out on showing us other personal creative activities you have developed that might be important to support your application.

What are we looking for?

Portfolio advice

Hear from Subject Group Leader Dan Morley and our other creative design academics as they share their top tips for what to include in your portfolio.

We believe that the quality of work in a portfolio is more important than the quantity, so we are keen to see the work that demonstrates your full potential as an artist.

It must include a full range of personal artwork, coursework and sketchbooks, enabling us to fully assess your capabilities. Do not miss out other personal creative activities you have developed that might be important to support your application.


  • Observational drawing skills that demonstrate a range of traditional art techniques, such as drawing from life, the human form, rural or urban landscapes and still life.
  • Show your current coursework that best illustrates your development through to the final artwork.
  • Examples of sketchbook pages showing original thinking and idea generation, engaging in drawing that creates the unexpected, and including quick, rough and playful doodles.
  • Show sequential storytelling, which displays a flair for visual narrative production. Present as comic book pages, narrative panels or storyboard frames.


  • Explore image making using digital software such as Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint and other creative apps that focus on good line work, colour and rendering techniques.
  • Engage in concept design of characters, environment and props that presents iterative design techniques.
  • Show a fundamental understanding of composition and perspective.

We also seek evidence of original visual communication skills and a curious mind. We encourage you not to present work that is purely a copy of fan art, photographs, film stills and other artists' work. We frown on visibly traced or copied artwork and suggest presenting artworks that acquire methods and styles from multiple influences.

Your application

Once you have made an application for the programme, you will be required to submit an online portfolio of high-quality, scanned work via with your full name and programme title. The contents of your online portfolio should be the strongest pieces in your overall portfolio, and should contain a full range of personal artwork, coursework and include sketchbooks.

Traditional Drawing

Your portfolio must include examples of human figures observed from life. It is beneficial to focus on proportions and anatomy. Also, you can draw rural and urban landscapes on the spot - do not copy from photographs or comics. Please show us your ability to absorb visual information and communicate physical form in 2D, a vital skill for concept and narrative artists.

traditional drawing example

Digital work

Show 2D digital artwork focusing on mark-making, rendering and colour. In addition, we would encourage you to explore character design, environment and props. And also present digital sequential art that can communicate at least one of your stories.

We are looking for enthusiastic artists, so we recommend you include examples of work done in your own time, in addition to school or college projects, to give us an idea of your motivation and passion.

Comic art example Digital art


We would like to see sketchbooks that show personal idea generation. Work should be experimental and playful but still coherent. Work with a range of mediums such as pencils and drawing pens. These sketchbooks can be related to coursework but mainly demonstrate a self-directed creative output. The sketchbook should be the place and time to explore your ideas.

sketchbook work

Submit your portfolio

Go to submission page