Professional Practice

Discover A Little Magic: 5 Ways to Empower Students with Mini Masterpieces


Note: Be sure to review all resources and preview all artists before determining if they are appropriate to share with your students.

Welcome to the world of Mini Masterpieces, where art teachers and students discover the magic of creating small-scale art. Whether it’s tiny stitches, bold brushstrokes, or other mind-blowing techniques, #aoeuminis is your ticket to a gallery of wonder. Art teachers from the AOEU community took snippets of their summer to create sticky note drawings and get back into the daily practice of making. Each “Mini Masterpiece” addressed an open-ended prompt during the month of July. And now it’s time to show them off! Let’s dive in and see the amazing minis art teachers made and how you can bring the same fun and creativity to your students this fall.


Grab the prompt list below. Then, keep scrolling to see how to use #aoeuminis in your art room this year!

Unlock a world of artistry with our fantastic download of Mini Masterpiece daily prompts! This special resource has inspiring prompts to ignite your students’ imagination. Each day, provide a prompt to guide your students’ exploration and bring their Mini Masterpieces to life.

downloadable resource

Download Now!

Make a big impact with a tiny art gallery.

Once your students have made a ton of tiny artworks, extend the magic of Mini Masterpieces with a tiny art gallery and show! Set up a dedicated area where student artwork can be proudly displayed in the classroom or building. It will serve as a source of inspiration and celebration of their artistic achievements. Create mini galleries by class, prompt, or student. Take it a step further by organizing an exhibition or art fair. Invite the school community and beyond to witness the beauty of Mini Masterpieces. This provides students with a valuable platform to share their artwork with a wider audience and fosters confidence and recognition for their creative efforts.

tiny gallery

For more connections, take a look at the Artists as Curators Collection in FLEX Curriculum.

Add a small touch of art history to build exposure and artmaking confidence.

Mini Masterpieces can serve as a springboard for exploring the world of art history when they create small artworks inspired by influential artists and genres. When students explore famous artists or styles, they gain a deeper understanding of the art world. They can learn about renowned artists’ techniques, styles, and the stories behind famous works. Creating miniature versions also promotes observation and examination of the original artwork. It also allows students to experiment with techniques without the intimidation of a large canvas or paper.


Share these five artists, inspired by all things small.

In addition to making mini artworks exploring historical artists and styles, students can also investigate artists of today who work on an intimate scale. Share these artists to intrigue your students this year!

  1. Willard Wigan: Wigan is a master of micro-sculptures and builds intricate artworks that fit on a pinhead.
  2. Lorraine Loots: Celebrate Loots and her tiny, detailed paintings capturing everyday scenes and objects.
  3. Hasan Kale: Kale paints miniature paintings on unexpected surfaces like seeds, grains, and butterfly wings.
  4. Joe Fig: Fig makes detailed miniature dioramas of artists’ studios.
  5. Tatsuya Tanaka: Tanaka composes and photographs miniature dioramas with everyday objects to make a calendar.


Put together a mini journal.

Mini Masterpieces can positively impact art journaling in an amazing way. Filling a full page is overwhelming for many students so starting small on something normally seen as temporary is extremely stress-relieving. Add Mini Masterpieces as a daily or weekly warm-up to get students into the practice of drawing. Each little masterpiece becomes a stepping stone. As students fill their art journals or sketchbooks with tiny art, a collection forms that show their growth and budding confidence.

Check out these three fabulous mini journals filled with Mini Masterpieces:

  1. @minimatisseart
  2. @mccraftyart
  3. @erin.s.hawkins


Tweak the prompts based on what your students are learning.

Mini Masterpieces was originally intended to be a daily drawing challenge however some art teachers pushed the boundaries and drew with a needle and thread, a finger on Procreate, or a paintbrush dipped in ink! If your students are in a medium-specific class or are investigating a particular material or technique, let that be an additional area of focus when they are illustrating the prompt.

tiny paintings

Use up your scrap paper!

Sticky notes for all of your students can get pricey. A free alternative is to use your scrap paper pile! Cut your scrap paper into smaller pieces for a more sustainable option. Cut them the same size for uniformity or cut a variety of sizes and shapes for students to select from.


In a nutshell, Mini Masterpieces brought an explosion of creativity and joy! Now, it’s your turn. Dive into this artistic adventure and proudly share your own Mini Masterpieces with your students. You can even add an extra sprinkle of excitement with some friendly competition! Create fun prizes for your students as an added motivation. As you ignite artistic passion and embark on this tiny trek with your students, remember to continue sharing on Instagram using the hashtag #aoeuminis. We’d love to see what your students create, so dazzle us with their tiny talent!

Here are some other prompt lists your students will enjoy:

How will you use Mini Masterpieces in your classroom this year?

What prompt are you most excited to share with your students?

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.


Rebekah Hower

Rebekah Hower, a middle school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She is passionate about creating an engaging and relevant environment for students to discover and experiment.

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