One of the reasons that all of our students get into such competitive art programs, is that we encourage exploring a lot of ways to express one idea, and to push that idea more and more until it's an outstanding portfolio piece.
Landscape and Still Life paintings or drawings are important to have in your art portfolio, but they don't have to be straight forward. You can show your originality and your own style and interests like here- where she's using a consistent color palette throughout her portfolio, and adding elements that are surreal/abstracted, also consistent with the [...]
There are standard things that art school admissions counselors want to see in your art portfolio, like a self portrait, landscape, a still life- but if you want to- you can and should include conceptual work as well. Like this work in progress- conceptual work pushes the boundaries of what art should be, it’s where you let go [...]
The sooner you get started on your portfolio the better. Most schools require 10-15 pieces for your portfolio, so you should shoot to make 20 + so you can pick the best of the best to submit to admissions. Generally Admissions at the Top Art Schools want to see originality and skill in each piece. [...]