Note: Be sure to review all resources and preview all artists to ensure videos, music, and content are appropriate to share with your students. Follow all district and school policies regarding social media.
TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to post short, entertaining videos. At its inception, TikTok videos were mostly used by young people to show off their dancing skills. Even now, it’s common to see students recording themselves doing coordinated TikTok dances. They do them in school hallways and bathrooms and, when they can get away with it—in class! While dancing videos are still popular, TikTok has evolved into a social media platform people of all ages use to share a variety of content.
Let’s take a look at how students and teachers in the art room can benefit from TikTok. We’ll highlight inspiring art educators to follow and artists to share with your students.
When used correctly, TikTok can be a valuable educational tool. Students often get information, life tips, and current events through TikTok as opposed to search engines. The benefits of TikTok aren’t just for students though. There are many perks for teachers too—just check out AOEU on TikTok for advice, humor, and hacks!
Here are eight ways art teachers can benefit from TikTok:
- Learn other teachers’ tips and tricks.
Educators on TikTok share what works and doesn’t work in their classrooms. Hop on and search for solutions to problems you’re currently facing.
- Connect with other educators.
Like other social media platforms, TikTok allows you to message other users. You can ask other educators for advice or clarifying information, making it a valuable networking tool.
- Share your voice.
You can have a TikTok account and view other people’s posts. You can also create your own content to pass on your experience and valuable perspective.
- Get art project ideas.
Many art educators post project ideas. Simply following creative people on TikTok can get your lesson-planning juices flowing.
- Hone your own craft.
You don’t have to only follow educators. You can follow artists who show their processes and share tips. Even as a seasoned artist, you can always learn new techniques!
- Stay relevant.
If you’re on TikTok, you’ll likely be much more up-to-date on your students’ subtle references to trending topics. You’ll probably earn extra points with your students if you can engage in their conversations about viral videos.
- Take a brain break.
If you need bite-sized entertainment filled with art teacher humor, TikTok is a great way to get a quick laugh.
- Enhance project introductions.
If you find a video on TikTok you want to share with your students, add it to your curriculum. Keep reading to discover medium-specific TikTok accounts to hook students.
Art teachers are wonderful resources too! If you’re the only art teacher in your district or school, social media can be a great way to connect with other like-minded professionals. Use TikTok to build an art teacher community full of tips, tricks, lessons, advice, and relatable content to keep you going on tough days.
Here are three art teachers to follow:
Andrew Kiczek is an organizational master and rainbow decor enthusiast. Andrew will have you motivated to color code everything and recreate giant art supplies for decor. If you like to laugh, and love to organize, give this account a follow!
Sarah Mundy is a self-described “eccentric” high school art teacher. While her content mainly focuses on her students’ sculptures, she also has two-dimensional work from her Fundamentals of Art course. She’s funny and engaging and loves to show off her program’s artwork. She also has a super fun “inspiration machine” you can recreate in your own art room!
Art teachers Flannery and Emma in Charleston, South Carolina run this account. Their content includes everything from wonderful tips on organizing art stations to art teacher outfits. They also post humorous, relatable videos about life as an art teacher. If you love 80s style, getting a good laugh, and getting fun lesson ideas for your elementary students, the Eclectic Collective is an entertaining follow!
TikTok is also a valuable resource for tutorials and contemporary artists for students. Incorporate them into your project introductions or add them into your curriculum as supplemental resources. Your students will appreciate your efforts to be relevant on a platform they are familiar with. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find an artist you love too!
Here are three TikTok painters to show your students:
Introduce students to these three artists on TikTok to broaden their view of what’s possible beyond the traditional paintbrush.
- Fritz Does Art
Show Fritz Does Art videos the next time you introduce color mixing. Fritz demystifies color mixing and shocks viewers with his ability to perfectly match any color on the planet, whether that be skin tone, animated characters, or candy wrappers. If students have their own TikTok accounts, they’ll get lost for hours watching this color-mixing magic!
- Paul Kenton
Paul Kenton creates massive cityscapes. His vibrant, expressionistic artworks incorporate one-point perspective and dynamic movement. He starts off by splattering paint on the canvas and then creates the impression of buildings using a variety of straight-edge tools. His videos are a perfect accompaniment to the Perspective Collection in FLEX Curriculum.
- Tahlia Stanton
Australian artist Tahlia Stanton creates ethereal, layered, mixed-media paintings. She shares her techniques, business tips, and ways to make your own fine art prints.
Here are two fiber artists to show your students:
Students need to know fiber art isn’t something only old people do. Introduce them to new possibilities by showing your students these two fiber artists’ videos.
- Nneka Jones
If you want to show students how to level up their embroidery, introduce them to Nneka Jones. Her pieces are so detailed, they often get mistaken for paintings. Her artwork is a beautiful example of using fiber art to advocate for change.
- Vanessa Barragao
Vanessa Barragao is a textile artist in Portugal. She creates gorgeous, dimensional tapestries about corals and the environment. Her process includes rug making and crocheting.
Here are two printmakers to show your students:
There’s something satisfying about carving linoleum! However, it can be intimidating for many students. Show them these two young TikTok-ers to pique their interest in the artform.
- Javi Lopez
Javi Lopez is a New York-based printmaker who loves Manga and anime. Lopez carves designs from woodblocks to create his prints. As you introduce the projects in FLEX Curriculum’s Relief Printmaking Collection, capture students by showing them Lopez’s artwork.
- Art by Laish
This Detroit-based artist is a painter and printmaker. She carves linocuts and makes silkscreen prints and then sells them online. Her gorgeous art celebrates her culture and places her characters in vintage settings. She’s a wonderful creator to show business and marketing applications.
Here are two sculptors to show your students:
Because there are many different sculpture mediums, it’s important to expose your students to as many as possible. Here are two TikTok sculptors to start with.
- Birdie and Blossom
Birdie and Blossom create needle-felted animals. While this might fall in the fiber art category, the account shows the foundational sculptural process of making armatures. Learn how to teach your students needle felting with the Needle Felting Basics Pack in PRO Learning!
- Michel Torres Costa
Michel Torres Costa is a Brazilian metal sculptor. He welds common metal objects like silverware to create sculptures of animals and humans. Show Costa’s art to introduce students to assemblage sculptures with everyday objects.
Here are two potters to show your students:
Clay is always a student favorite—especially the pottery wheel! Show these two TikTok accounts to pique student interest even further.
- Zisha Craftsman
Many students don’t have an understanding of how ancient or technical the artform can be. Zisha Craftsman shows the beautiful, meditative quality of creating pottery from Zisha clay using traditional methods. It can instill an appreciation for the history of pottery and remind students that beautiful things take time and discipline to create.
- Rabab Something
Throwing on the pottery wheel usually looks much easier said than done. While Rabab creates wonderful ceramic pieces on the pottery wheel, she also isn’t afraid to show when her process goes wrong.
Like Instagram and Twitter, art teachers can leverage TikTok for professional support and to supplement the curriculum. Use it as a virtual PD to see other art teachers’ tips, tricks, and relatable content. Use it for students too and introduce artists who use mediums in successful and out-of-the-box ways. Even if you don’t end up using TikTok in your art room, staying aware of current social media trends can help you relate better with your students. It’s worth some scrolling to check TikTok out and determine what art education applications you can find!
How do you use TikTok as an art teacher?
What social media tips do you have for other art educators?
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.