Hints for Teaching Art Workshops


Teaching art workshops is a rewarding way to foster a new generation of artists. Plan ahead for an action-packed class to keep the students interested. Set aside time for individual student meetings and instruction. Teach your students to rely on their own instincts and inspirations. Your students will thrive in this free and supportive environment.

Plan Ahead

  • Show up early and fully prepared with plans and supplies. Respect your students' time enough to have every minute of the workshop packed with activity. Be prepared with more supplies so faster workers will not run out of things to do. Start the workshop by explaining your time line in detail so that everyone is aware of the plan. Explain to students that they will be invited to continue their projects at home if they run out of time during the workshop. This allows them to work at a pace that is comfortable for them without fear of time constraints. Initiate a five-minute break halfway through the workshop and ask students to walk around the room and stretch. Set aside at least ten minutes at the end of the day's session for artist discussion and feedback. This allows your students to feel they have input in the direction of the class and give them pier critiques on their projects.

One-On-One Time

  • Address your students' individual needs by giving them one-on-one time with you. A blanket teaching approach to a subject matter will not reach every student. It is your responsibility to seek out students who need additional personalized instruction. Customize your teaching methods to meet the individual needs of the artists in your class. Directly ask each student during your alone time how this class could be better tailored to their aspirations as an artist. Clear your mind between student meetings and try not to compare one artist's perspective to the next. When students know they have this time to openly express themselves to you, it builds a relationship of trust and understanding between both of you. Open yourself up to your students in an honest, heartfelt way and create free forum for them to express their art.


  • Realize right away that you will not be able to inspire every student who attends your workshop. This really isn't your job. Instead, you should seek to help students find their own inspirations. You will not always be there to give them ideas and feedback. Challenge your students to come up with project ideas outside the class, and they will learn what it is to seek inspiration. A true artist is someone who is always creating and always being inspired. Explain to your students that art classes should only be a catalyst on a journey of self exploration as an artist. Students will thank you for guiding them to find their own artistic voice instead of forcing them to mimic yours. It takes a humble teacher to be open to the wisdom of their students.


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