Published On: 19/09/2023745 words3.9 min read

One of the most common reasons we get into teaching art is because we love creating art ourselves. As any art teacher knows, it can be challenging to maintain your own art practice when teaching art and inspiring others. As teachers we give so much of ourselves to our students and with a full art teaching load, it can be difficult to have the time and energy to create your own work.

These suggestions may help you to set aside some time to get creative for yourself.

See Some art!

Being inspired is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing. Visit exhibitions and see what local and international artists are creating. Some cities have art walks where you can visit public art works and find out about the work and the artists. If there are open studio events, they are a great way to see contemporary work and to meet the artists. Many artists are generous and happy to talk about their work, processes, and inspiration.

‘I recently attended some open studios and met so many inspiring artists. I came back ready to create all sorts of new works for myself and my students.’ (Jane McKay)

Pottery wheel work

Attend a workshop or class

Attending workshops is a great way to meet others interested in art and to develop some new skills with like-minded creatives. There is always something new to learn and professional development is a requirement for most teaching positions, so you may be able to claim the workshops as an educational expense. Many art teachers prefer to organise their own professional development as most offerings at school are not relevant (or fun) for art teachers!  Be proactive and find something that interests you.

If you are at home, there are artists to follow on Facebook and Instagram, find some works you like and see if any run workshops, online or in person. Contact your local art centre or council to see if they have any art events running. Sometimes local shopping centres even run art classes for residents.

Maybe your state or area has an art education association, contact them, and see if they run classes or workshops. If you are in a remote area there are lots of videos on You Tube to inspire. Facebook (Meta) and Instagram give you access to all sorts of art and inspiration worldwide. Find an artwork or process you like and try creating something with a similar idea or materials.

Artists and art teachers are often isolated so finding some like-minded creatives can be a real boost for yourself and your own creativity.

‘I booked in for a weekend workshop with a local art education group and driving there in the pouring rain I wondered why I had even bothered. It turned out to be a great weekend. Not only did I learn new techniques and processes, but I found a group of creative people just like me! We became friends and regularly attend workshops to create together.’ (Jane McKay)

Find a space to create

Have a Creative Space

Having a dedicated space set up at home makes it easier to create art as it reduces set up and pack up time and you are more likely to spend some time creating. If you don’t have the space, you just need to be more motivated.

‘I used to spread out my art project on the lounge room floor after my son had gone to bed!’, Jane McKay

Set an artistic goal for yourself. Maybe you need to know about working with clay or are interested in trying out collagraph printmaking. Set yourself a project or find a class to attend.  Whether it’s mastering a new technique or completing a series of artworks, having a goal can give your creativity a sense of direction and purpose.

Experiment with materials and create a personal art project that will excite you and align with your interests. Maybe you have some pet dogs that you adore, create a dog-based artwork that you will enjoy.


Painting space

Why Create?

Setting aside some time to create is not only important it is also great for your sense of wellbeing. It reduces stress and can improve mental health and self-confidence. By focusing on the present moment, we are practising mindfulness, using our imaginations. Creating something new gives us a sense of achievement. If you attend a class or participate in a group workshop there is also the benefit of social interaction and finding some new creative friends!


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