Guelph Business Gets Kids into Art College

Guelph art students get into the art college of their dreams through the help of Portprep's Karen Kesteloot

The results are rolling in, local and international art students are turning to Portprep for help getting into their chosen art college. Guelph students such as Zoe Cullen, Blake Nicholson and Mahan Navabi have had amazing success working with Portprep, and have all gotten into their selected colleges. It's effectiveness can be seen in the numbers, 100% of students who have come to Portprep have got into their selected art college, and we are looking for more students to help keep this number strong

Blake Nicholson, a student from Guelph Ontario was also looking to get into the Architectural design program at Ryerson, but he underestimated how hard the program would be to get into. He put off doing his portfolio to the last minute, and as a result, was not accepted. Desperate to get in the following year, he sought out Karen and her services through PortPrep. Through a year of instruction and portfolio advice and help, Blake was able to get in upon reapplying the following year. About Karen's instruction he had this to say "Thank you so much for all your help along the way, I truly attribute my success to your teaching and instruction. I honestly couldn't have done it without your help". But not everyone looking to apply to Ryerson had to suffer rejection like Blake did. Mahan Navabi, who Karen had previously taught through the Guelph School of Art saw ahead that he was going to need a lot more skills to get into Ryerson while he was still in high school. Going beyond his weekly lessons, he began taking private lessons and really working on improving his portfolio for application. Through a combination of Karen's instruction and his own efforts, Mahan was able to become one of the 110 students accepted of the over 1000 who applied that year

Guelph Student Juilee Raje also saw great success working with Karen. Looking to study Museum Preparation and Curation at OCAD, she found her drawing and painting skills were not up to what the program required. Her father and sister had taken classes with Karen at the Guelph school of art before, so they pushed her in her direction and she eventually received private instruction. Juilee was able to up her skills enough to get into her program and school of choice after only 3-4 months of private instruction. Juilee's mother, an abstract artist who exhibits worldwide said Karen's help and guidance was "instrumental" in her getting in, and she would "highly recommend her services to students considering a career in art.

Finally, local Guelph student Zoe Cullen has also seen immense success in her work with Karen Kesteloot and Portprep. Discovering part way through university that she wanted to completely change her major to interior design, she was taken back when she found out she would need to be able to draw extremely well in order to get into her program. Having never drawn before in her entire line, and after only a month and a half of practice with Karen, Zoe was able to build up her skills enough to get the last spot in the interior design program at Humber College. Zoe continued taking lessons with Karen during her time at Humber college, as she felt

All the life changing and helpful advice these students received (and more) will be taught at Karen Kesteloot and Garth Laidlaw's "Portfolio Building Art Boot Camp", being held this summer in Necessary Arts. The camp contains a large number of group classes from both Karen and Garth aimed mainly at helping kids get into their chosen art colleges. For more info on how to sign up email Karen at or Garth at

About PortPrep
PortPrep gets high school students get into an art or design program in college by helping them build a winning art portfolio.