10 rules for admission to creative arts universities in the Czech Republic

Design, illustration, audio-visual art are attractive specialisations for many applicants. Getting into creative arts faculties in Czech universities is not as easy as it may seem.

Creative arts education in the Czech Republic is one of the best in the world. Studies are usually based on individual work with supervision from the tutors. Only 3 or 4 new students are admitted to every specialisation every year. The competition is very high.

We share 10 rules for admission as well as useful comments from our graduates who are currently studying creative arts disciplines at the Czech universities.

Photos from the open day of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art in Plzen

Photos from the open day of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art in Plzen

1. You must have previous experience

Czech creative arts universities expect their students to already be proficient in the specialisation they are applying for.

Applicants, who graduated from an art school, have much better chances of passing their entrance exams, as opposed to those students, who did not go to an art school.

“I studied at the Kaliningrad City Planning College. They provided me with an excellent technical training summary. We were taught to always carry out study assignments as a job: to work through all the drawings and all sizes.”

Anna Kreyza, now studying architecture at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (UMPRUM)

2. The portfolio should consist of work samples in your specialisation + sketches

The works must be related to the specialisation you are applying for. If you are applying for graphic design, there should be no still-life paintings in your portfolio.

“To be allowed to sit the entrance exams at the creative arts universities in the Czech Republic, you need to prepare a strong portfolio, consisting of 20-25 samples of work/projects, in advance and you could also include your sketches in addition to that”.

Ksenia Borokhova, studying Digital design at the Faculty of Multimedia Communication in Zlín

3. You need to have several back-up options

For Czech creative arts universities, it is considered normal to be admitted on the second or third attempt. There are very few chances of getting accepted to some specialisations on the first try. It is very important to have several back-up options.

4. It is important to be able to talk about your work

Presentation and defence of your work are very important during the initial interview. You need to be able to explain what your work is about, and what thoughts and emotions lie behind them.

“The examination board is not so interested in presentation or technique as such. They want to know your thought process, everything else can be taught later. “

Anna Kreyza

5. Do your research to find information about university, studio, tutors, graduates and students.

If you want to study at a specific studio, research about what do they teach there. Be sure to go through the university website or the studio website, see the projects of the studio supervisor and their students. Many teachers, graduates and students have their own websites.

6. It’s important to have your own style

Your work must have your own distinctive style.

7. You should ask for advice from the studio supervisor

It is very important to visit the university you want to join more than once. It is advisable to attend open days and student exhibitions, which are held twice a year: in December and in June. You will also need to sign up for a consultation with the studio supervisor if you want to study there.

“Before choosing a faculty and a studio, it is very important to attend an open day with your portfolio. Perhaps after that, your choice of a studio or portfolio composition will change. You will be able to show your portfolio to several tutors from different studios? talk to them, see presentations of different studios and their work”.

Luba Shamaeva, studying illustration at Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art in Plzen

Most of the students, who were able to successfully join the university, were very active. They got to know the studio supervisor, their assistant and students in advance. They had a chance to have more than one consultation.

8. It is important to be actively interested in culture and arts

When applying for a creative specialisation, it is obvious that knowledge of the history of art and design, fine techniques and aesthetics is required. It is important to actively follow all current trends and events, related to your specialisation: attend exhibitions, follow important events and names in contemporary art.

«I would suggest that you should follow the news and go to exhibitions. Attend master classes held by famous designers. Familiarise yourself with different art and things that you like. Visual experience is very important! The more you see, the more interesting ideas you will have. I suggest that all applicants should be interested in the work of people, who have done something interesting in design».

Ksenia Borokhova

Where to find contemporary art

We recommend the following books: Hal Foster. Art since 1900 and Art Now 4.

Follow contemporary art events at www.contemporaryartdaily.com

Follow important exhibitions in the Czech Republic at www.artmap.cz

9. It will take maximum time and effort

You cannot study at a Czech university without working hard.

“I drew a lot and not only work for the portfolio, but also just sketches and drafts. I drew all the time and everywhere: on the subway, at home, during a walk, in a bar with friends, at parties in a hostel, even during Czech lessons (I probably shouldn’t have done it during these). You will not be able to use the Internet during the exams, but no one will remove everything that you drew or saw out of your head. I tried new materials and new techniques. I was looking for something that would be most convenient for me to work during the exams. There are examples of tasks on university websites. I recommend you to complete all of them, so you get an understanding of the areas where you lack experience and work them out in more depth. For example, for me this area was character development for video games (I had no experience in video games at all), so I had to look at a couple of examples and draw several dozens of sheets. ”

Luba Shamaeva

10. It is important to receive professional judgment and criticism

Everyone can prepare for admission to a creative arts university on their own: draw at home, train visual techniques and study literature. But the basis of growth is critical feedback from experts, artists and tutors. It is important to find a specialist who will assess your level, assign you certain tasks, offer constructive criticism, inspire and guide you.

Fashion Design Studio, UMPRUM

Fashion Design Studio, UMPRUM

It is also very important to learn the Czech language to a good level. Consultations, examinations and training are all in Czech.

Alina Baeva 15 December 2020

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