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SVA Advertising class

Continuing Education: Online Advertising Portfolio.  Instructors / Creative Directors: Rich Pels, Neil Raphan

Neil Raphan, SVA advertising portfolio class


 Advertising Portfolio Course 


      ONLINE    Continuing Ed 

The goal? Getting you a great job as an art director or copywriter.


 What you'll get:    

  • A live Online Course taught by a Creative Director team (copywriter/art director)

  • Classes designed for conversation, face-to-face live critiques, and class interaction.

  • Learn the best ways to improve your copywriting and art direction and think conceptually and creatively.

  • The added value of inspiring curated and downloadable asynchronous content. 

  • Ten evenings, ten different assignments across all media to diversify your portfolio.

  • Processes to strengthen and execute your ideas.

  • Options to prepare your work to be shown digitally for your portfolio.

  • Continued input from award-winning Creative Directors after class until your portfolio is ready.

This 10-session School of Visual Arts Continuing Ed online course is designed to help you create a copywriting or art direction advertising portfolio without having to commute every week to midtown New York.

Neil Raphan, Richard Pels, SVA advertising portfolio class

“Thank you for an amazing class.

I have only great things to say about it, and I learned a ton.


I feel like I now know more tips and tricks of the trade.” 

                   -Lauralee Harper, Art Director/Writer

Instructors:  Neil Raphan, Creative Director, Art Director

Richard Pels, Creative Director, Writer

Is this an Online Copywriting class or an Art Direction class?

Both. Before you write and before you have a visual, you need an idea, a fresh advertising concept. That is where this course lives and breathes. We focus on concept first, so your ideas connect, stand out, and persuade in any media or digital platform. Good ideas will be guided into great ideas and campaigns. You will learn to write better, art direct better, and think better. 

Our critiques are not lectures. They are conversations with both a CD Copywriter and CD Art Director team about how to make your work better and how to leave your not-so-good ideas behind and come up with better ones. 

Do I need to know Photoshop?

No. There are several workarounds for writers and beginning art directors that need them. We'll guide you with options to execute your final ideas and get them online. 

Adobe Creative Suite programs are free for our students who prefer to use them but are not at all necessary for this course. Not using Creative Suite won't hold you back in this class. This is not a technical class, but if you have the skills we'll push you further. 

 “The best online class I have ever taken.

Apart from your good teamwork, I think the selection of brands is vast, entertaining and engaging.” 

               - Kay Deng, Art Director

   “I wanted to express my gratitude to you for your class and ongoing support.
   I’d say the ROI was above and beyond what I could have hoped for.”
- David Hoffman, Art Director

   “Thank you so much…This SVA class was incredible for me, for my goals.
   I'm so happy to have some fresh work to show off soon.” 

          - Flavio Galvao, Copywriter

  “The learning experience and valuable feedback went above and beyond what I expected from an online course.”      
         - Linda S., Art Director/Designer

Guidance and critique by two award-winning Creative Directors in live online sessions will improve your ideas and your approach.

We use a combination of the best technology for online learning, including Zoom, our class portal, a Virtual Wall to upload your work, mobile app, and additional collaborative software. Students can attend and interact in live online classes and also view asynchronous content and presentations at a time of their choosing.

Each week, there will be an assignment to create an ad campaign for a product, service, or cause-related event/company. 


The assignments cover a range of products and services in a wide range of media. This will help you begin your advertising portfolio or enhance your current portfolio. We encourage using social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, etc, or content creation, pr, and other consumer touch points along with your big idea. For graphic designers seeking to bridge the gap between design and advertising, this class will help you raise the bar and improve your portfolio through fresher persuasive concepts and executions, bringing your work and abilities to the next level.

Having a top-level creative portfolio is the best way to begin your art director or copywriter career and the best way for current art directors and copywriters to improve their careers.

“It seriously might be my favorite class I've ever taken; The insights, feedback, and critiques are so thorough and  eye-opening”        

     - Sophie Leng, Art Director 

Best Advertising portfolio master class, Neil Raphan, Richard Pels, SVA Advertising portfolio

We combine real-world experience at many of New York's top creative ad agencies with years of teaching experience at SVA.

Throughout our careers, we've always made time to give back and teach. Our classes continually adapt as the industry evolves. We focus on ideas first, in any manner you can express them. Then we dig deep into your ideas to give direction. This is not a 'that's a good ad/that's a bad ad' class. Or a lecture class.  

Our in-depth conversations and reviews will bring the best out of your advertising ideas across all media and any platform. If you cannot attend a session, your work will still get reviewed, and the critique and advice will be available online from our video-recorded class sessions. 

Generally, students leave with several final campaigns for their advertising art director or copywriter portfolios and the ability to set up an online portfolio. But it's not magic-- you need to put in the work. The best options and technical guidance on putting your portfolio online will be discussed toward the end of the semester.

Who takes this creative advertising class?

Anyone interested in pursuing a creative career in advertising as an art director or copywriter, current Junior art directors, graphic designers, and copywriters looking to improve their jobs, or simply those interested in creative direction and advertising. 

We've had students from around the world provide an eclectic mix of ideas: From New York City, Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, Boston, Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Rochester, Dallas, and Hoboken, to Vancouver, Brazil, Italy, China, Japan, London, France, and more.

“Thank you both so much for such a great semester...
I learned a lot and we'll definitely be working on editing our three campaigns...
      - Audrey Siaw-Asamoah, Copywriter

   “I've found yours and Rich's knowledge invaluable.” 

           - Maxwell Spector, Copywriter

“The way you and Rich collaborated in designing the class and critiquing the work was a great window into the copywriter/art director dynamic.” 

                   -Hannah Anderson, Copywriter

What else? 

We will discuss relevant topics and news related to advertising and building your portfolios. Including reviews of current and past creatively awarded advertising campaigns, how to see things differently, enhancing stock imagery, options to put your portfolio online, job-seeking tips, interview tips, top 20 agencies, pre-recorded videos, media relevance, tons of asynchronous content for ad hounds, and more.

We strive to help you master your craft in a creatively rewarding career.

SVA Advertising portfolio class, school of visual arts advertising

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Why SVA?

The School of Visual Arts Continuing Education department leads the creative advertising education field. 

It is grounded in the school's heritage of innovative conceptual advertising that can integrate across all media. 

SVA continues to launch and revitalize the careers of countless copywriters, art directors, and creative directors.

Instructors/Creative Directors: 

Neil Raphan, Art.  Rich Pels, Copy.

Agency experience: 

Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO, DDB, Oglivy.

Brands: Pepsi, Doritos, Mercedes, Volkswagen, P&G, Tide, Old Spice,

Iams Pet Food, General Mills, Cheerios, Seagrams.

Awards: One Show Golds, Best of Show, Cannes Lions, Clios, 

Art Director's Club, Effies, Ad Club of NY, CA Annual, Mobius.

Sample session screens: Online Advertising Portfolio course                                      

Neil Raphan, SVA online ad portfolio class, advertising portfolio

SVA Advertising mantra

Online advertising Portfolio class, Raphan, SVA
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