15 October 2013


We are very excited to launch our latest offering in NCAT's suite of courses in the creative arts: NCAT Create, a unique course designed to unlock mature aged students skills, through drawing, digital imaging, art studio practices and new media.

Over the years, we have taken more and more mature aged students into the Folio Preparation course. Some of these students have found it difficult to dedicate 4 days a week to course work due to the classic time demands of work, parenthood etc, that are an inevitable part of adulthood. Many of these students are seeking career changes and have studied previously in other fields but the high costs of tertiary education make further study difficult. And so, based on our experience of these students' unique set of needs it seems a logical thing to design a course especially for them!

What would such a course look like? 2 days per week. Civilised, family friendly hours: 9:30am - 3pm. An opportunity to work with like minded adults in a supportive environment. Mac based Adobe Suite training, Tutored Life Drawing classes. An opportunity to learn about new media. A chance to begin to plan for a career in the creative arts industry. And all this with NO tuition fees and a only a minimal materials charge.

It is no surprise that we have been inundated with interest and enquiries about NCAT Create. So, if you are interested send in your application form ASAP.

30 September 2013


It is that time of the year, when prospective students begin to think about their creative future.

If you are thinking about applying to Folio Preparation in 2014, we recommend that you come along to our information session on Tuesday 15th October, 6 - 7pm at NCAT.

Our staff will show you around the facilities and explain how tour courses work. They will explain the advantages Folio Preparation will give you and the elective options on offer.

NCAT Folio Preparation offers: 
CUV40111 Certificate IV in Visual Arts
CUV40311 Certificate IV in Design
VCAL Senior Extension - Folio enhancement

NCAT Create offers:
CUV30111 Certificate III in Visual Arts
VCAL Senior Extension - Folio enhancement

Both courses offer students an opportunity to build creative skills and confidence. All students have access to industry standard equipment and facilities, including apple computers and ipads, the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign), purpose built drawing studio, and stimulating creative environment.

In the meantime, you can complete an application form and email it to us at NCATfoliopreparation@gmail.com 

19 July 2013

NCAT Folio Preparation collaborates for Northern Exposure Success

A roving poet performs in front of the windows
NCAT Folio Preparation staff member Tracy Paterson has curated an exciting collaborative art installation called 'ABOUT FACE' for this year’s Northern Exposure Visual Arts Festival

Wanting to reconnect, Tracy sent out a call for self-portraits from ex-students of the College’s long-standing Folio Preparation course. The reaction was fantastic, with many of the ex-students submitting fabulous images - 120 to be exact! They ranged from Facebook profile images to elaborate photo shoots. Students sent in digital files that Tracy converted to coloured duotones and printed onto transparency film. They were then connected together and suspended in the windows of a vacant High Street Shop, to make a screen of portraits. Backlit, the images produce a stunning glow.

Two of the ex students who participated took on other roles in the festival. Yasmin Yusuf Les (currently studying Visual Communication at Monash University) produced paste ups which can be viewed on her Tumblr Quietlines and Helen Tran (currently studying VPhotoimaging at RMIT) was the festival's official photographer. Her work can be seen on her Tumblr A/P

High Views – Art in Windows are installation-based projects of site specific artworks that engage with the High Street precinct and aim to provoke, surprise and delight the viewer. The Festival is an exciting feature on the Northcote, High Street calendar of events. The theme of this year’s Northern Exposure Festival is change, which fitted with the idea of bringing together ex students in an artwork. Inspiration came from this quote:
"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly" - Henri Bergson

The piece has been reviewed in this week's Northcote Leader. The review can be found here.

Participating ex-students Helen & Yasmin
About Face can be viewed in the windows of 238 High Street, Northcote (The old Disco Beans shop). It is best viewed at night to the full effect of the glowing back lighting. 

NCAT also produced work for Small works - Small Spaces and High Events as well as a Visual Art Town Hall Exhibition titled Troubadour.

Northcote's Northern Exposure Visual Arts Festival opened on the 12th July and runs through to the 28th July, 2013.
A portion of the windows

17 June 2013


High Views – Art in Windows and Small Works Small Spaces are installation based projects of site specific artworks that engage with the High Street, Northcote precinct and aim to provoke, surprise and delight the viewer. The Northern Exposure Festival is an exciting feature on the High Street, Northcote calendar of events.

NCAT has had a long standing place in Northern Exposure's history. Traditionally we host an exhibition of artworks at the Northcote Town Hall and this year is no exception. In addition, this year we hosting a collaborative art project for an installation in a High Views window in High Street. This event called About Face, will be a collaboration between NCAT Folio Preparation and our ex students. Our course has been running for over 23 years and many of our ex students are leaders in the creative industries. This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with them and connect them with each other as well. Lets face it, we love networking!

The theme of this year's Northern Exposure Festival is Change, which fitted our idea of bringing together ex-students in an art work. The piece will be hung in the windows of one of the High St Northcote shopfronts (Yet to be announced which one). Our plan is to use coloured transparencies connected to make a screen of portraits.

Submissions are open to ex students to submit to us a fabulous photographic self portrait!... It can be as simple as using a Facebook profile pic or as complex as a full on photo shoot. 
Submitted pieces (to be printed by us) need to be:

  • A4 size
  • Self Portrait
  • Reasonable resolution, pref 150 dpi.
  • Image will be turned into a duotone on transparency film, so B&W is good - or just submit in colour & we can convert it.
  • Jpg file named with your name
  • emailed to NCATfoliopreparation@gmail.com
This is a great opportunity for ex students to add their involvement in an Art Installation to their CV/resume without all the palarva that usually goes with it! We do the work and they get their beautiful faces out there! Thanks go out to those who have already submitted portraits - They look great!
Submissions are also open to other artists wanting to participate in High Views or Small works, Small spaces. Northern Exposure opens on the evening of Friday 12th July and continues through to the 28th July - on High Street Northcote.

*All images ©NCAT & ©Northern Exposure Festival

5 June 2013


Calling all ex-NDS / Design Studies / NCAT Folio Preparation students!

We are holding an Online School Reunion across Twitter and Facebook this FRIDAY 7th JUNE, from 10am - 5pm.

No matter which year you graduated, we want to connect with you and hear YOUR stories about further study, starting your own business, or going into the creative arts industry. There are hundreds of you out there, maybe you even work with a fellow ex student... so tell us all about it!

On Twitter @ncatfolioprep, use the hashtag #NCATschoolreunion

On Facebook, share stories and links via wall posts on the NCAT Folio Preparation Facebook page:
or share with the Folio Prep staff (the fb person) on https://www.facebook.com/NCATfoliopreparationalumni

This will be a great opportunity for you to network with other creatives across a range of fields, including Graphic Design, Illustration, Fashion, Fine Art, Photography and Animation, among others.

Looking forward to catching up with you!

The NCAT Folio Preparation Team

5 May 2013


Anita Ryley
Matthew McKenzie
Former NCAT Folio Preparation student, Anita Ryley (ne: McArthur) been appointed as the new Vice President of the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA). 

Anita completed Folio Preparation back in 1999 (when it was known as NDS) and went on to graduate from RMIT University's Communication Design (Then Graphic Design) in 2002, where she met future Seesaw Studio co-partner, Matthew McKenzie. 

Melbourne's Seesaw Studio, of which Anita is Creative Director & co-partner, has recently won in the Identity-Range of Implementation category for the Flinders Hotel project at the 2012 AGDA Australian Design Biennale. 

As Creative Director, Anita "brings a passion for brand development, collaboration and strategy to Seesaw’s creative solutions. She has been past judge of both the Fairfax Employment Marketing Awards and Brisbane Advertising and Design Club awards". She is also a guest writer for Desktop Mag. 

Seesaw Studio is the brand agency that has overseen the wonderful creative collaboration that is the rebranding of NCAT (Northern College of the Arts & Technology) - from initial concepts to full roll out. It has been an exciting project for us, seeing our former student manage a difficult project with maturity and creative insight. Swapping roles from student to creative director | from teacher to real-life client was inspiring! 

Congratulations to Anita & the team at Seesaw!

NCAT Rebrand 
NCAT Folio Preparation - Northern College of the Arts & Technology

Images and quoted text reproduced with thanks to Seesaw Studio seesawstudio.com.au


2 May 2013


This year's AGIdeas International Design Forum proved to be as inspiring as ever. It is an awesome thing to see light bulbs go on for students who haven't previously been exposed to the richness and sheer breadth of the creative industries. And the brilliant AGIdeas books are extending the experience!

22 April 2013


To the disillusioned out there, change is possible! Every year we accept mature age students into the course from varied backgrounds who dream of fulfilling their creative urges but just don't know where to start. For them it is all about putting a toe in the water... building skills and confidence, getting exposed to the rich world of art & design and avoiding the preclusive costs of higher education.

At NCAT Folio Preparation we are working on a brand new course NCAT Create for those of you out there who want to build skills in art and or design but cannot currently afford the time to study full time. NCAT Create will be one or two semester based (14 weeks per semester), two days per week combining new media, drawing (optional) digital design & visual arts, with the option of doing the full 30 week Folio Preparation course down the track. 

Stay tuned people, change is possible!

8 March 2013

100% Success rate at NCAT Folio Preparation for the second year running!

We are thrilled to announce that 100% of our 2012 Folio Preparation students who went through the VTAC Tertiary/TAFE application process have been given first round offers! This follows last year's 100% success rate! Our students will be going on to highly diverse courses from within the Art and Design fields, which is really exciting to see. 

(Some) of the 2012 group.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them all on their hard work and persistence. Some students came to us unsure of their direction but they all left us confident, well skilled and really ready for Uni/TAFE. 

We wish them all well on their individual journeys and look forward to seeing them do wonderful things in the future! We will also enjoy seeing them return to NCAT to present at forums and Industry days in the coming years.

Here is a run down on the courses they have been accepted into!

Fine Art
 Monash University
Fine Art (Expanded Studio Practice)
 RMIT University
Animation (Fine Art)
 VCA - University Of Melbourne
Games Design
 RMIT University
Communication Design
 Monash University
Textile Design
 RMIT University
Interior Architecture
 Monash University
Animation and Interactive Media
 RMIT University
 La Trobe University
Visual Communication Design
 Deakin University
Games Design
 RMIT University
Landscape Architecture
 RMIT University
Photography and Photo Imaging
 RMIT University TAFE
Visual Merchandising
 Kangan TAFE
Sustainable Landscape Design
 Swinburne TAFE
Fashion Design
 Box Hill Institute of TAFE
Graphic Design
 RMIT University TAFE
Photography and Photo-imaging
Graphic Design
 Victoria University
Graphic Design
Beauty Therapy
 Victoria University
Building Design