I am currently a junior in high school interested in going into college to major in industrial design or a related field. How should I get started and learn the skills necessary to build a portfolio? My school does not offer these kind of classes and I private instructors seem to be geared toward adults. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Very few high schools actually offer industrial design classes. Take as many art classes as you can: train your observation, eye/hand coordination, sketching, visualization. Portfolio pieces have to be done on your own time (which you have a lot of in most high schools). Think of something you use in your life that you are really unsatisfied with, and try to redesign it. Don’t over think it: just try to make it better and explain your design in a few pages/boards.
It would be worth your time to check out schools first to find out what kind of portfolios they are looking for. RISD looks for a very drawing-centric portfolio, while other schools like CMU would look for your thinking and process behind your pieces. Good luck!