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


                     ONLINE     Continuing Ed - Advertising Portfolio                       

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Online Faculty


Neil Raphan,

Creative director, art director


Richard Pels,

Creative director, writer

“It seriously might be my favorite class I've ever taken;

   The insights, feedback, and critiques are so thorough and eye-opening” 

                  - Sophie Leng

Why take an Online Advertising Portfolio Class?

Is this an online copywriting course or an art direction course? Both. Before you write and before you have a visual you need an idea, a fresh 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 not only the best way to begin your art director or copywriter careers but also the best way for current art directors and copywriters to improve their careers.


This class is structured similarly to the successful methods of our in-classroom courses, where live discussion, interaction, and pushing concepts further is key. 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.

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 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 remote sessions.

We use a combination of the best technology for online learning, including Zoom, our Canvas portal, and additional collaborative software. Students can attend and interact in live online classes and also view course materials 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 a variety of products and services in a wide range of media to help diversify your 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 your abilities to the next level.

“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

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 evolve 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 discussions and reviews will bring the best out of your advertising ideas across printed and digital 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. Or current Jr art directors and copywriters looking to improve their advertising portfolios. 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.

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

 - Maxwell Spector

What else? 

In addition to creating ads, each week we will discuss relevant topics and news related to advertising and building your portfolios. For example; 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, and more. We strive to help you master your craft in a career you will find creatively rewarding.

Why SVA?

The School of Visual Arts Continuing Education department is grounded in the school's heritage of conceptual and innovative advertising, and big ideas that can integrate across all media. 

Taking an advertising class online at SVA gives you access to the country's foremost art school and advertising department. SVA continues to launch and enhance the careers of countless copywriters and art directors.



Instructors/Creative Directors: Neil Raphan, Rich Pels.

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

Combined 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

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