Media & Techniques

The Best Excuse to Make Your Own Art

artwork by Jackie Pozderac

It’s no secret that art teachers are busy. In fact, one of the most common comments I get from my AOE students is that they wish they had more time to create. What’s more, many cite their beloved art teaching jobs as the main reason they don’t have time to make their own work. Of course, this makes sense. Who has time to paint when you’re cleaning up after a color mixing lesson with kindergartners? Who has time to throw pots when you’re in charge of maintaining a high school ceramics program? It can be tough.

Studio: Printmaking to the Rescue!

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about AOE’s Studio: Printmaking course. With this graduate-level course, you have an excuse to create!

printmaking tools

In order to learn new tips and techniques to take back and use with students in your classroom, we REQUIRE you to make your own art. Fun, right? Although the idea of an online studio class might seem strange, I’ve seen first-hand what a wonderful experience it is. Students in my classes love taking the time to express themselves creatively and to share that passion with other teachers. Just look at some of the comments I’ve heard:

“I realize I do not spend enough time on myself and my art. In doing these assignments, I would literally find myself giddy and never wanting to stop. I came to the conclusion that if I am having this much fun doing these prints, then I know my students can feed off of my enthusiasm.” – Class Participant Michelle Sauer

“I spend so much time focused on the needs of others… my children and my students. I want them to have the best of me as a mother and as an art educator. But in that drive to serve others, I forget that my needs for creative expression are just as important, if not more so. Who needs a cranky, burnt out mother? Who wants an art teacher who no longer finds joy in the art making process? This studio class was just what I needed. I don’t have the time or a good sitter so I can take an evening extension class at the local college or university. Taking a studio class at home? GENIUS. I loved the fact that I was forced to commit time for myself, pushing myself creatively not only for my students but also for my own personal growth.” – Class Participant Tara Hookano

Of course, this class isn’t just for you. It’s also for your students.

Many teachers had so much fun exploring different techniques that they couldn’t wait to share them with their students. That’s another great part about this class. It allows teachers to explore techniques from a student’s perspective and find ways of working them into the curriculum. For example, teachers who taught younger students found they could apply higher-level techniques, like linocuts, to similar lessons using styrofoam.

Check out some of the stunning work being produced in this class!

Reduction Linocut Birds by Stephanie Spencer

artwork by Stephanie Spencer

Acrylic Monoprint with hand-painted details by Tim Laizure

Artwork by Tim Laizure

Fingerprint chameleon by Jackie Pozderac

artwork by Jackie Pozderac

Because of the variety of grade levels taught within the class, teachers were often able to experience techniques they didn’t normally teach to their students. I found these teachers seemed to have the most fun with the assignments. They were able to focus on the techniques and artwork for themselves. Some were challenged with a material that was out of their comfort zone. These teachers quickly realized the anxiety their own students often feel when given a new material or technique to work with. They were able to work through challenges and, in turn, share that experience with their students.

So, if you find yourself itching to be creative with your own work, but feel guilty about taking the time to do so, this could be your best excuse. Taking an AOE Studio course allows you to explore your own creative side while earning graduate credit or professional development hours. It’s a win-win!

What questions do you have about taking a studio class online? 

How do you find time to feed your creative soul?

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.


Theresa Gillespie

Theresa is an art educator with 20 years of experience. She has expertise in multiple areas of art education with a special interest in technology integration.

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