Kick Off the School Year With an Art-Inspired Music Video!

Visual arts and music go together just about as well as peanut butter and jelly. The Egyptians and the ancient Greeks created images of people playing harps and flutes, while Renaissance and Baroque artists painted lutes. Modern artists have been equally motivated by music. Consider Picasso and the guitar or Stuart Davis and jazz. These artists were all influenced by music, but what happens when musicians are inspired by art?

The following is a list of my all time favorite art-inspired music videos.

music videos


1. Losing my Religion by R.E.M.

In this Grammy-winning song, R.E.M. used Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro technique to inspire the lighting and individual scenes. Moreover, when considering the theme and lyrics of the song, it was a great idea to pay homage to this artist who used common people to depict iconic Biblical scenes.

2. In Your Arms by Kina Grannis

It took 30 people, 22 months and 288,000 jelly beans to create this incredible stop-motion animation video. You gain even more appreciation for this work of art once you watch the “making of”.


3. Strawberry Swing by Coldplay

It’s easy to get lost in the story of this music video, directed by visual artists Shynola, but try not to lose sight of the time and effort that went into the making of this video. The entire video was shot from above while three artists created chalk drawing after chalk drawing on the street below. 


4. The Writing’s on the Wall by OK Go

This is not your momma’s perspective! OK Go takes the illusions created by localized perspective artists such as James Hopkins and Felice Varini to a whole new level. 

And yes, there is a “making of” video, also a must watch!


5. Until The Luck Runs Dry by Ruarri Joseph

This video spotlights the work of environmental artist Tony Plant as he transforms a beach into a work of art only to have the tide rise and wash it away. 

Have you seen these videos before or used them in your classroom? 

Do you have any others to add? We’d love to hear about them!

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Ian Sands

Ian Sands, a high school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. He is a co-author of The Open Art Room and believes art teachers shouldn’t make art—they should make artists.

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