(*** The guideline information in this section only applies to students who wish to enroll into the "Advanced" level classes offered at CDA. For all other "Foundation", "Intermediate Design", "Digital" and "Monthly Workshops", there are no portfolio review required to enroll. ***)


The goal of the advanced class portfolio review is to help make sure the students applying have the strong base skill set needed to get the most out of the upper level classes.

For the advanced classes, it is targeted at students who already have a strong draftsmanship in drawing and painting and is familiar with the concept of designing for storytelling and function. The students should have already generated a volume of work/projects through the intermediate design classes and is in need to take a more advanced class where they will be pushed further by an experienced mentor.


The advanced class instructors will then take the selected students through a strict training with higher quality standards to push the students on the finer points of design choices, professional attitude and work flow efficiency.

In general, the foundation and intermediate design classes are better if you want to see more demos and process. The advanced classes tend to have less demos and focuses more on training and challenging students to be ready for a professional studio environment. 

The portfolio review is also designed to promote a positive competition for students to work harder. Due to this, the instructor will pick the top students that have the highest quality of skill, ideas or strongest work ethic into the class to create an interesting class dynamics.

If this sounds like something you are ready for and want to take your designs to another level, we would love to see you work submission :)




Please post your work samples on dropbox or blogspot and send us your portfolio link for easy review.

To get a free dropbox account, you can visit dropbox at:


For instructions on how to share your dropbox link, please follow the "Share a Link" instruction on this page:

(*** Please do not use "Share a File" as it will make it hard for the instructor to have access ***)

For a free blogspot account, you can visit blogspot at:


If you already have a website featuring your recent works, that will work for the review too. 

*** Unfortunately we will not be able to review physical portfolios or e-mail images. Please send a link to your work. ***

  *** Before we can review your portfolio, we will need to collect your tuition payment in full as a deposit. If you do not get accepted after the review, we will refund the tuition deposit back to your credit card or Paypal account in full. ***




The portfolio review will take place once a week, every Saturday. The cut off time for portfolio submission is on Saturday, 6PM PDT every week until the class is full. The first submission deadline for the Summer 2019 term is on Saturday, May 11th at 6PM PDT..





You can send your portfolio link to contact@conceptdesignacad.com





Bellow are the portfolio submission requirements for each advanced classes or workshop:

Vis Dev for Animation with James Finch

The Vis Dev for Animation course is focused on on training students how to explore and develop distinctive visual styles that helps sets up the visual language and tone of the story. Due to the more multi-discipline nature of the course assignments, it is required for the students to have the ability to draw forms in space, understand the basics of color & lighting in their paintings and have some previous experience in creating characters, props & environments.

For your portfolio submission, we need to see examples of:

- 2~3 environment design examples showing your proficiency in drawing basic forms in perspective and set dressing.

- 2~3 character design examples your proficiency in gestural form and capturing interesting personalities.

- 2~3 examples of other designs of props or painting/illustration pieces that best illustrate your strongest work.


If you do not have portfolio pieces that fits the exact requirements listed above, it is okay. Just send us your strongest works and we can review base on the work provided (the list bellow is just a rough guideline of what we want to see). You will need to submit a minimum of 8 images.

(*** Previous "Intro to Character Design", "Background Design for Animation" or "Intro to Environment Design" type of classes or work experiences recommended before taking this class ***)



If you are only missing 1 or 2 art samples, just do your best and include what you have (best work). The instructor will be able to judge based on your artwork to see if you are ready for the class.

If you have a lot of required artwork missing or don't have enough quantity to put into your portfolio submission, this might indicate you will still need to focus more on the foundation or intermediate classes to build your drawing, painting, or design mileage.

In this case, you can use the portfolio submission guideline above to help you know what areas you still need to work on before trying again for the advanced class.



Please allow us 1~2 weeks to get back to you on your portfolio review results. If your portfolio is a first pick, you will be notified right away. If your portfolio requires more time to review, the instructor might choose to hold your portfolio one more week to compare with the next batch of submissions in the following week. But, the decision will be made within the 2 weeks (usually sooner).