Professional Practice

10 Ways to Reconnect With Your Inner Artist This Summer


If you’re like me, you’re having daydreams of sleeping in, laying by a pool, and having lunch dates with friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love my young artists and helping shape their creative paths, but it’s time for summer!


It’s easy to lose focus of your own artistic outlets when managing life and work each day. But with summer right around the corner, it’s a great time to think about how you plan to reconnect with your inner artist.

Here is a list of 10 things you can do to get your personal creative juices flowing again.

1. Revive your sketchbook practice.

Grab your sketchbook and favorite drawing tools and get sketching. There is something therapeutic about the way a sharpened pencil touches a blank sheet of paper. It is an open canvas awaiting your creativity. One of those sketches could become your next masterpiece!

2. Take local classes.

How about being the student instead of the teacher for once? Check your local museums, community art studios and local shops for various classes. These classes can be so much fun and a great way to connect to a medium you enjoy or to try something new.

3. Try a new medium or technique.

The summer is a great time to experiment and explore. If we expect our students to learn new things, it is important for us to maintain a growth mindset, too. Personally, I love just walking into an art supply store and wandering around. It’s instant inspiration! There are also many great resources in the forms of classes, books, and online tutorials. In fact, AOE has a growing list of Studio Courses where you can learn new techniques and earn credit at the same time. You can check them all out here! Whatever you choose, learning new techniques is a great way to use your creativity and do something that will impact your future teaching.


4. Dig into a good book.

Books are a great way to unwind and learn a wide array of new information. There are several books related to visual arts and creativity that are beneficial to our growth as educators but are also enjoyable reads. I recommend Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley. You should also check out Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner.


If you’re looking for even more reading inspiration, you can check out these recommendations from our archives.

5. Visit a museum.

Do you have a local museum you have been meaning to visit or is there a new exhibit that piques your interest. Go check it out! The school year gets busy, so make some time this summer to be inspired by the works of art at a museum. Check out small galleries for fresh and new exhibits as well.

6. Experiment with technology and art.

Have you wanted to try a certain technology app to use in the art studio? Summer is the perfect time to get started. I love a variety of apps and they are also fun to use with traditional artistic methods. Taking a work of art and digitally editing it can be loads of fun.

Here are 10 of my favorites to explore.

ipad art

7. Join a PLN on Twitter.

Twitter is a great way to connect with other art teachers from around the world. Join a professional learning network (also known as a PLN) to chat, share ideas, and get inspired.

Here are a few different PLNs to check out:

There is also an art challenge called #K12ArtChallenge. It has daily drawing prompts and is a great way to get inspired to create, especially if you are having artist’s block. Go ahead and search the challenge hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to see all the fun.

8. Get out and see the world.

Traveling is not only good for your soul but it is a great way to expand your horizons. It also provides time to learn about the local culture. While traveling, set aside time to visit local museums and cultural events to gain a new perspective. Indulging in local food, exploring, and setting aside time for these opportunities will be invaluable. Local artists’ work can be great resources and shared with students.


9. Find fun professional development.

Teachers do not always get a choice about their professional development. Take the summer to find professional development opportunities of interest to you. You can find online professional development such as the relevant courses from AOE or the upcoming Summer ‘Art Ed Now’ Conference, or see what your district has to offer.

10. Relax!

While this article lists several things you can do to reconnect with your inner artist, don’t forget to relax. Whether you are on vacation or at home, it is important to unwind and recharge during the summer. Try to make an intentional effort to not plan out each day. Go with the flow, sleep in when you can, take naps, eat great food, and enjoy your family and friends.

Personally, I plan to relax as well as do many of the listed activities. I already have a museum visit and lunch planned with my art teacher bestie to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. No matter what you do, have a great summer and reconnect with your inner artist!

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Which item on this list is your top pick for the summer and why?

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.


Wynita Harmon

Wynita Harmon is AOEU’s Chair of Faculty Development and a former AOEU Writer and elementary school art educator.

More from Wynita