Professional Learning

Poetry, YouTube, and the Zero Budget Art Room (Ep. 416)

In today’s episode, Lindsey McGinnis joins Tim to discuss all of the recent happenings in the magazine and on YouTube, including passing the milestone of 20K YouTube subscribers! Listen as they discuss the plethora of articles published about teaching with poetry, new Cribs videos that have us touring the homes of other art teachers, and why cardboard is one of the best materials you can have in your classroom.  Full episode transcript below.

Resources and Links


Tim: Welcome to Art Ed Radio, the Podcast for Art Teachers. This show is produced by the Art of Education University, and I’m your host, Tim Bogatz.

As I said at the end of last week, AOEU has been publishing some really cool stuff that I have been excited about. And while people are still looking for a few ideas to end the year, others are looking forward to summer, and others are looking for a little bit of an escape or a little bit of a diversion that can entertain them while they push through to the end of the year. So I’m hoping that today’s episode can have a little bit for each of you, and you can either find suggestions for things to help, things to entertain, or things to look forward to. Lindsey McGinnis, our media content manager, is here to talk about everything that’s been publishing (and will be publishing) on the Magazine, on youtube, and on Instagram. I’ll bring her on in just a minute.

But first . . . it’s time to talk about the NOW Conference!

1.5 weeks left for early bird pricing with the NOW Conference, if you’re thinking about buying, do it soon. If your admin are paying for you and they need a kick in the butt to get it done, here’s what they need. The end of May is the end of early bird pricing, and you want to register by May 31st.

I can’t wait for the conference–Amanda and I have some great stuff in the works for the kickoff, the lineup of presenters is coming together very nicely, and I just went this week to Atlanta to interview our featured presenter, can’t announce it yet, but it’s going to be a good one. You don’t want to miss out on any of it. So if you’re not registered yet, you can do that on the AOEU website, and you have about a week and a half, until May 31st, to get the early bird pricing discount.

Okay, let’s move on to the interview!

Lindsey McGinnis is joining me now. Lindsey, how are you?

Lindsey: Hey, Tim. I’m doing well. Very busy. Lots of projects, which I’m excited to talk about today.

Tim: Yeah, for sure, for sure. I feel like this is just the busiest time of the year for everyone with end of school coming, springtime stuff, and it just feels like May is always so busy. So yeah, I know where you’re coming from there. So yeah, like you said, we have a lot to talk about. Before we do that though, I would love for you to just share with everybody what you do at AOEU, just so we know where you’re coming from with all of this stuff that we’re going to talk about today.

Lindsey: Sure. I am the media content manager, so I oversee the online magazine, YouTube, some social projects, and before that I taught high school.

Tim: Nice. Nice. All right, thank you. And I guess to start, I want to chat about some of the cool stuff that’s going on in the magazine. This is more last month, but I’m still excited about it. A few weeks back I had Kyle Wood on to talk about his poetry articles with concrete poetry and ekphrastic poetry, but then just the magazine just kept publishing more and more stuff. So there’s stuff about blackout poetry and using poetry for advanced students, another two or three articles. So my question for you is why did you lean so heavy into poetry? Not a criticism. Just curious about that. Is that just a case of demand? Is that something that people are looking for or are you inspired by it or writers just having a bunch of great ideas? How did all of that come about?

Lindsey: Great question. So yes, there have been a ton of articles on poetry during the month of April because I found out that April is National Poetry Month, and I thought that would be a very fun and different topic to dive into on the magazine, and it’s something that hasn’t really been covered in a while. I did an article a couple years ago when I first started on poetry in the Art Room, and then there was one from, I don’t know, a decade ago.

Tim: That is my favorite when… Yeah, those of us that have been around for a while, we can dig up articles every once in a while from like 2013, 2014, and you’re like, “Oh, what is this?” So sometimes they’re good, sometimes not so good at all, but no, that’s always fun to find them.

Lindsey: But I personally wouldn’t say that I’m a poetry person and I remember we had a poetry unit when I was in high school and I worked so hard on this assignment, I spent hours and I even asked my mom to help me and then I got a D on it and I just hated poetry for a long time. But it does have a really great place in the art room and it really can help boost literacy. And it doesn’t have to be a super structured thing. It’s just like art. It can help to foster creativity, especially for students who don’t have the technical skills to draw, it gives them another way to express themselves in conjunction with imagery. It’s also a great way to pair images with words to reinforce connections, to improve comprehension, strengthen communication skills, generate ideas, great for English language learners too.

Tim: Yeah, that’s awesome. So many benefits. And like you said, there are just so many ideas to dive into. So of course we’ll link to everything that we talk about today so people can check that out. And even though it’s no longer National Poetry Month, there is still value in doing that. Well, and I think too, we’ve had so many people just asking about, “Oh, what’s an easy one-day thing? What should I do with my kids at the end of the year? We’re done making art. What else can we do,” and there are so many good ideas that were shared with that, and I think that’s worth diving into for sure.

Lindsey: Yeah, they would make great one day lessons and then also keep them in your toolkit for the fall when you need to generate ideas for longer projects.

Tim: Yeah, for sure. For sure. And Kristina Brown had a really good article about doing that to help with planning and idea generation and things like that. So yeah, definitely worth checking out. I also want to ask you about YouTube because there’s a lot of cool stuff going on there. So I guess first thing first, congrats on 20,000 subscribers, which is amazing. So I feel like that number has really taken off recently. Like I said, just been publishing some great stuff. I really enjoyed Jennifer Hamilton and the Art Teacher Cribs. That might be because I am a child of the 90s and I of course remember MTV Cribs, so I enjoyed the art teacher version of that. But can you talk about how that episode came about?

Lindsey: Yes. Well, first thanks for the 20K congratulations. When I started-

Tim: It’s a big deal.

Lindsey: We had 8,000 subscribers, and so 20K is just a milestone number, so that’s super exciting. Okay. So I love watching home tours. I like visiting people’s houses and just snooping around. Super fun. And same when I would go visit a lot of classrooms. I would just like sitting there while I’m observing the lesson, just letting my eyes wander and seeing how the teacher, whether it was art or not, how they set up their classroom. There’s so much to learn and gain inspiration from. And I think it also tells you a lot about their personality, how they work, what they value, things like that. So I watched MTV Cribs when I was growing up too. It was a lot of fun. And I’ve been toying with the idea of bringing Cribs to YouTube for a while. And I also… I don’t know, have you seen Architectural Digest Open Door series?

Tim: Oh, absolutely, I have. Yes.

Lindsey: Those are fun too. A little more sophisticated than Cribs, but also a lot of fun to get a peek inside of celebrities’ houses. So Jen Hamilton did two Day in the Life episodes with us, and she’s just super fun in person, in real life, and on camera. She’s a dynamic personality, but she’s also genuinely fun, super nice, super organized, great art teacher. And I had asked her if she had any ideas for any future content for us because she’s done so much for us. And she was like, “How about a Cribs idea?” And I was like, “I was just thinking about that.”

Tim: Yes, yes, I love it.

Lindsey: “Can you pilot it,” and she said yes. So it was like a meant to be connection, which was really, really neat. I also like playing with the style of how different miniseries on our YouTube channel feel like. Most of them like Run the Art Room and Artfully Organized and Day in the Life are pretty structured, but I wanted Cribs to have a different feel and just be purely fun. So it’s faster paced, has a lot of pans in it, lots of clips that sync to upbeat music, very abrupt transitions, totally different feel. We also include fun stats for different spaces because I mean, art teachers love to collect the weirdest things.

Tim: Yes, absolutely.

Lindsey: Really fascinating. So in Jen’s episode, she gives us a tour of her art teacher closet because if you follow her on Instagram, she loves to share these wacky, colorful outfits. And one of her stats was she has 99 art teacher T-shirts, like just art teacher T-shirts. I’m sure she has more right now, but fun stats, and aside from the series being purely fun, like I said before, I hope that art teachers watch and get inspiration for their own homes and classrooms. We are all visual people and so we get a lot from the spaces that we are in each and every day, and we spend all of our time in our home or our classroom pretty much.

Tim: Oh, yeah.

Lindsey: So how those spaces look like are really important for our mood and how productive we are.

Tim: That’s an excellent point. Are there more Cribs episodes coming soon?

Lindsey: Yes. We will have another one in June, I believe, and then we’ll have one come out every month after that unless there’s a miniseries planned.

Tim: Okay, sounds good. Now I’m just excited to see more of them, so I’m looking forward to that. Another thing on YouTube that I also really loved is the Zero Budget Art Room. I know the budget topic is something that a lot of teachers, it’s just a constant worry for them and it’s a constant struggle for them. So can you talk about what people can see, what is published so far in that series and what else is coming next with Zero Budget Art Room?

Lindsey: Yes. So Zero Budget Art Room is another amazing miniseries on our YouTube channel, and I hope it will be very beneficial and also inspiring for art teachers to get a ton of ideas from and to empower them to advocate for larger budgets, more resources, garner support from the community. Tim, do you remember you came up with a name for this miniseries back in our last content meeting? You remember that?

Tim: To be honest, I do not remember that, but anything you want to give me credit for, I will be happy to take so…

Lindsey: You just threw it out there and I was like, “That’s so catchy. We have to do something with it.”

Tim: All right, good.

Lindsey: Great work.

Tim: Can you put that on all of the episodes, just when you have the title slide to say, “Credit to Bogatz”? No, that’s-

Lindsey: Too late for that. I’m sorry.

So our host for the series is Renae Greene, and she’s super bubbly, very high energy, full of ideas. We had a planning meeting and she just threw out a thousand ideas in one minute. It was crazy.

She’s the perfect host for the series because even though she has a beautiful art room right now, she didn’t start out that way. She had to build up her program. So in I think her first teaching job, her first school, she only had a budget of $150.

Tim: Mm-hmm. Sounds familiar.

Lindsey: And it’s where a lot of teachers start. I just saw a Facebook post in an art teacher group where an art teacher was freaking out because they only have $100 or something like that for next year.

Tim: I have 700 kids and $200. The math does not work.

Lindsey: Right? You just get copy paper and that’s all you get. Renae shares tons of hacks, how to save money without compromising the quality of your art projects, which is really important. Plus, in the last episode coming in mid-June, she shares great tips to advocate for your program, how to ask for help so you don’t have to spend any money out of your own pocket, which is important. And this series is just a really fun and fantastic way to celebrate how creative and resourceful art teachers are and give them confidence and tips so that they can grow their own program and budgets.

Tim: Yeah. The first two episodes are up. The first one, well, we originally started with just one episode for cardboard, but like I said, Renae had so many ideas, we had to do two plus cardboard is every art teacher’s favorite tool.

I mean, we talk about that so much on the podcast here. Cardboard is the greatest, so I’m glad there’s multiple episodes. Cardboard deserves multiple episodes.

Lindsey: Well, there’s only two in this one. Maybe we can do another miniseries of just cardboard one day. But the first one is Cardboard Tools and Creative Ways to use Cardboard just in the art room, for example, she uses them as hot glue mats or paint palettes. And then the second episode is art projects using Cardboard for all Grade Levels so you can tweak and adjust from kindergarten to high school.

Tim: Yeah, great stuff. So I think that’s really cool. Now, I guess to wrap up the YouTube talk, anything else coming that we should know about? Can you let us in on any summer secrets?

Lindsey: Secrets? Yes. Coming up for Zero Budget Art Room, there’s going to be an episode on Art Room Hacks. That was one of our popular miniseries. So we’re bringing a Hacks episode. We have a really big miniseries coming in August for back to school, and it’s really big in so many ways. So one, we’ve been working on this project and film… I say we. Two art teachers, not me, have been filming for an entire school year, which was an exceptionally long time to film for a YouTube video. So it’s been a long time in the making. And it features two art teachers, so Jenn Russell and Sarah Krajewski. Super fun, vibrant art teacher personalities. And it’s going to be a very bingeworthy I hope series that will provide teachers with a ton of tips and just be just super relatable for where they’re at at all points of a school year. It’s going to be a really fun series.

Tim: I’m intrigued. This sounds good.

Lindsey: I can’t tell you what it is, but I’ll say who’s in it. And then we have a ton of other things coming. So we’re working with Joe Boatfield and Harris Waltuck again, and Joe did a very popular Day in the Life video for us a few months ago. Harris joined us for our art room makeover, and I believe they’ve been at the NOW Conference, right?

Tim: They have been at the NOW Conference. So yeah, I don’t know, familiar faces there. So that’ll be good.

Lindsey: But both of them together are just very, very fun. Awesome. So I’m excited about that pairing. They’re collaborating on some great content that doesn’t exist on YouTube yet for art teachers. I think we’ll be the first, unless-

Tim: You’re so mysterious with all of this.

Lindsey: Well, they’re secrets. And it will also highlight one of my favorite parts of FLEX Curriculum, which are artist bios.

Tim: Okay, cool. Cool. All right. No, that all sounds incredible. And we should probably just tell everybody to subscribe, so they can catch all this stuff when it comes out?

Lindsey: Yep. Subscribe and make sure notifications are turned on so that you can get notified of episodes. Typically, they come out on Thursdays.

Tim: Okay, sounds good. And you know what? 20,000 art teacher fans can’t be wrong, right? So we’re good.

Lindsey: Good place to be.

Tim: All right, cool. Now before I let you go, I have one last question about summer and what’s upcoming. Last year you were in charge of the Mini Masterpieces on social with Kayla Koslow and Katie Gray. That was a huge hit. I love seeing art teachers everywhere creating every day, all the things that came along with that. Are we doing anything like that again this year? Is that something that people can look out for?

Lindsey: Absolutely. So we are definitely going to do Mini Masterpieces again, because it exploded last year on Instagram.

Tim: Yes.

Lindsey: But for those that don’t know, Mini Masterpieces is a daily drawing challenge that we did on Instagram last year during the month of July. And we provided a prompt for each day similar to Inktober, and teachers had to draw on sticky notes. So it was something that was small, attainable. They could do it in five minutes or five hours if they wanted to. And it was a way to encourage art teachers to get in a practice of making art every day or regularly during the summer, and then provide ways to bring that to their students when they went back to school in the fall.

So like I said, we were thrilled and super surprised that it was so popular and we decided to bring it back for another year. So this year we have two more amazing co-hosts, and I’m really excited for what they’re going to bring to the challenge this year to level it up. So we have Nylah Khan, and she is one of the sweetest and most encouraging art teachers on Instagram. She gives everyone very genuine compliments in the comments and shout-outs in her stories. She’s just a lovely person. And then we have Chris Hodge to represent our secondary teachers, which I’m very excited about. So he participated in the challenge last year, almost every day, and his drawings were so intricate and beautiful.

Tim: Yes, I remember seeing his work. It was so elaborate and so impressive because I just have these expectations of quick doodles and the ones that I participated in, I do in five minutes or something, and seeing his work, which obviously took hours for each one, it was just so incredible.

Lindsey: I would put that in a frame and hang that in my house even though it’s on a sticky note. But yeah, his little pieces were amazing. And so I wanted him to co-host this year to bring the challenge to another level and show us what we can do, one, if you’re a practicing artist, to boost your skills and techniques and processes, and also how to bring it to your advanced students if you teach IB Art, AP Art, any advanced drawing courses. So I’ve already seen some of his drawings for this year and they’re stunning already. So I’m excited.

Tim: I love it. That’s going to be so cool. So I’m looking forward to that for sure. All right. And when is this starting? When is Mini Masterpieces going to run?

Lindsey: We’ll have an invitation going up in June, and we’ll start on July 1st again, so the whole month of July.

Tim: All right, sounds great. Well, Lindsey, thank you for coming to chat with me today. I appreciate you giving us a little peek behind the curtain at some of the stuff that’s coming up and just going over everything that is going on. You’ve been publishing some wonderful stuff and hopefully we can get everybody to check it out. So thank you for all that.

Lindsey: You’re welcome. It was fun to be here today.

Tim: Thank you to Lindsey for coming on, sharing everything that she has been working on, and for giving me credit for titling a YouTube series that I don’t even remember! But It was a good review of what’s been happening along with a little bit of intrigue for the future, so I think we’re in good shape. And I like I said in the beginning, we’re sharing all of these things for you, whether you need teaching help, a little bit of escapism, or something to look forward to in the coming months, it’s all there for you! I’ll link to as much as I can, and I hope you can find what you need.

Art Ed Radio is produced by the Art of Education University with audio engineering from Michael Crocker. Thank you as always for listening, and we would love for you to share anything that you find helpful with someone who you think could use it. Whether it’s this episode, one of the videos, one of the articles, or anything else, we really appreciate it if you pass it along so we can continue to reach and continue to help as many art teachers as possible. We will talk to you next week!

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.