Best SVA advertising class

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

Class Portal + Live Sessions

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Sample Assignment

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Portfolio Tips

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Class Portal + Live Sessions

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Do What New York Creatives Do.

Build a Portfolio at SVA.


      ONLINE     Continuing Ed - Advertising Portfolio      

Instructors:  Richard Pels, Creative director, writer    Neil Raphan, Creative director, art director

This School of Visual Arts course is designed to help you create an advertising portfolio without having to commute every week to midtown New York. 

This is a 10-week online course. In that time you'll learn the best ways to think creatively and conceptually, how to strengthen and execute your ideas, and how to prepare your work to be shown digitally for your portfolio. The goal? Getting a great job as an art director or copywriter.

  “The learning experience and valuable feedback went above and beyond what I expected from an online course during this pandemic time.” 
     - Linda S.

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. Good ideas will be guided into great ideas and campaigns. You will learn to write better and to art direct better. 
While this is happening, you are on your way to creating or enhancing your portfolio. 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.

Is this a Bootcamp? A Masterclass?

If you wear boots and work hard you can call it a Bootcamp. If you want to master your craft, this is a start. Our live, virtual class is structured similarly to our in-classroom courses' successful methods, where live discussion, interaction, and helping you push concepts further is vital. Ideas will be taken from concept to layout to execution. Digital, printed, social, outdoor, ambient, guerrilla, and any other form of messaging or content that can enhance your creative idea will be explored. 

“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

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

We use a combination of the best technology for online learning, including Zoom, our Canvas portal, 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 we choose will allow students to work on various products and services in a wide range of media to help diversify their advertising portfolio. If you already have an ad portfolio, this class will help you raise the bar and improve your portfolio through fresher concepts and executions, bringing your work and abilities to the next level.

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

                  - Sophie Leng

Our reviews of your ideas combine real-world experience at many of New York's top creative ad agencies with years of teaching experience at SVA in NYC.

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. Students deserve more than that--we strive to not only advance your work but to recognize how you think and nurture you along, so your approach continually gets better. Generally, students leave with several final campaigns for their advertising art director or copywriter portfolios.

Our in-depth discussions and reviews will bring the best out of your advertising ideas across all media and platforms. If unable to attend a session, your work will still get reviewed, and the critique and advice will be available online from our video-recorded class sessions.

Who takes this class?

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

We've had students from varied locations providing an eclectic mix of ideas: From New York City, Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Rochester, Texas, and Hoboken, to Vancouver, Brazil, Japan, London, and more.

“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

Live sessions + tons of new asynchronous content each week.

Stay connected using our App 24/7

“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

What else? 

In addition to creating ads, we will discuss relevant topics and news related to advertising and building your portfolios. Including discussions 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.

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 and art directors. 


Instructors/Creative Directors: Neil Raphan, Rich Pels.

Agency experience: Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO, DDB, Scali.

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

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

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

       - Maxwell Spector

Sample session screens: Online Advertising Portfolio course

Neil Raphan, SVA online ad portfolio class, advertising portfolio

SVA Advertising mantra

Student Work