Professional Practice

The Top Five Types of Tattoos for Art Teachers

If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, there are many decisions you’ll need to make before the ink meets your flesh. Tattoo parlor and placement aside, the most pressing question is, of course, “What tattoo should I get?” To assist in your quest, we’ve put together a list of the top types of tattoos for art teachers!

First, a word of caution: Although tattoos have become less taboo in recent years, it doesn’t mean everyone approves. Some school districts have dress code policies that include rules about displaying tattoos. Another obvious consideration is to remember that tattoos are permanent. What you decide on today might not be what you will want on your body in 20 years. An educated consumer is one who takes all information into consideration before making a decision. So if you’re in the market for a new, life-long work of art, consider the options below!

1. Famous Artworks

Famous Artwork
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Chances are, if you currently have a favorite artist, he or she will be a favorite for life. This makes art history tattoos an easy choice for art teachers. The range of tattoos is as endless as the history of art itself. Michelangelo, Van Gogh, MC Escher and Keith Haring are popular choices. While the work of the masters is often recreated, sometimes the artist’s portrait becomes the tattoo itself!

2. Media

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Are you a painter, a sculptor, or a draftsman? Immortalize your craft with a tattoo of your tool of preference. Paint brushes and palettes are commonly thought of as the mark of an artist, but, as you know, there are countless other mediums from which to choose. One graphic designer loved her profession so much she decided to get a tattoo of the Photoshop toolbar.

3. Art Teacher Sayings

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The written word is a popular trend in tattooing. Famous quotes and words of inspiration are often selected, with the saying often containing a deeper meaning to the person donning the tattoo. There are many art teacher related expressions that would make excellent tattoos. Look for the classics.


4. Spills and Splats

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Though any decent tattoo artist can depict an image of the tool used to create art, some artists are taking the concept of art media to a whole new level. These artists are stretching the concept of both art and tattoos by creating works that replicate paint. These tattoos can resemble oil, watercolor or spray paint with the one exception being, they won’t wash off.


5. Children’s Art

Children's Art
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This category is the ultimate in dedication to your profession. You teach art, your students create art, and now you can have their art turned into a tattoo. Keep in mind that if you have one student’s work tattooed, they will all want their art tattooed on their favorite art teacher!


Would you ever get an art-related tattoo? Do you already have one? We’d love to see a photo in the comments section!

Does your school have a tattoo policy?


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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