1 million years ago (ok, actually 14) when I walked into my first art room there was absolutely nothing in it. Other than tables and chairs, there were no supplies, no white board, no decor. Nada. I had taken a job at a brand new beautiful school which certainly had it’s perks (clean, brand new, not having to inherit a hoarder art teacher’s mess) but also came at the realization that every single thing in the room needed to come from me. Back when I first started teaching there was no Teachers Pay Teachers or really anywhere I could go for classroom decor…. So, I had to make it. Yes, everything! Peep this picture of my classroom and some of the first visuals I made when I first started teaching.
This was the year that I made my first “Blabber brush” as I called it, hand drew a color wheel, and created my line direction friends to hang out in the front of my room. Over the course of the next few years, I continued to hand draw nearly everything in my classroom until I began to digitally convert them upon opening my TPT store in 2018.
Now, so many years later, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the bright, bold, modern yet kid-friendly art visuals that I have in my room. The best thing about these visuals is not only are they decor, but they are educational tools that my students reference all year long! Double bonus! Here are my absolute favorite eye-catching visuals:
In case you can’t tell, I’m really into word bubbles in my art room. I love adding extra personality to my visuals as a way to further connect with my students. I drew up this cute little cartoon Frida Kahlo as a way to remind students of different things around the room. Whether it’s to reminder to get in a straight line, or sanitize your hands on the way out the door. It just seemed like a fun way to gently remind my students vs me blabbering away at them. Frida comes with a few word bubble options as well as a blank template, but I also bought whiteboard contact paper that I cut into a word bubble which makes it super easy to update her when I need to! She can be downloaded here.
I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it! These are 100% my favorite visuals in the art room. Hands down. Over the years I have had so many different famous artist posters in my classroom but not only were they unappealing to reference (full of tiny text that students would never be able to read from a far distance) but it felt like there was NO diversity in the artists provided. I was so sick of only seeing “dead white guys” being deemed as “famous artists” that I knew we had to make our own if I wanted to see a change in artists being represented. In this Famous Artist Bundle, we currently have 24 artists and growing that represent diverse races, genders, ethnicities, etc. Not to mention that many of these artists are alive and working currently. My number one goal with these visuals was to be able to have my students look at this wall and see someone they could identify with. Not to mention they are bright, colorful, modern and make such a statement when you see them hanging in my room. Plus, the BEST part about these artists is my students automatically turn around to look at the wall every single time I introduce a new project and artist. They use these visuals all the time! You can grab the bundle here or find them separated by volumes 1-4 in my TPT shop.
This poster is one of my favorites because it’s short, sweet and positive. Laying out clear expectations for my students is really important to me so this poster is one of the first things they see as they enter my room. It’s pretty self explanatory and makes an impact. You can grab it here.
8. Painting Visuals
Ok, this actually a 2 in 1. Teaching proper paintbrush care is incredibly important to me so let’s just say I have quite a few visuals that provide "gentle” reminders to my students about my expectations when handling painting supplies. This Paint Brush Care poster was created many many years ago by hand as a way to help my students be more mindful of the care of the bristles of the paintbrushes. I am a big fan of personification so making these brushes kind of come alive was a blast. My students get such a tickle when they compare my slick and smooth bristled paintbrush to the “BAD HAIR DAY” paintbrush. I greatly depend on my “Dip Wipe Swipe” poster when teaching my young students how to paint with watercolors. Nothing would drive me crazier than the * tap tap tapping* of paintbrushes on the rim of the water cup. I wanted to come up with a catchy slogan to remind them to wipe their brush on the lip of the cup vs. tap. You can find both of these visuals in my TPT shop!
A staple quote and visual in my art room. I have always loved this quote by Picasso so why not make it so all students know that they are each an artist whether they realize it or not. Above you will see a large bulletin board display in my art room but we also created a poster with a similar aesthetic below available for download here.
10. Blabber Brush
If you remember from earlier in this post I shared a photo of my original “Blabber Brush”. This was my art teacher solution to monitoring the noise level in the classroom. I have this visual hanging on my front board near my rules and procedures. On each color, I have a small piece of velcro and the corresponding piece on the paintbrush. I then place the paintbrush on the color/ noise level I would like to keep them on while they work. Many times they work on red- but this is not a bad thing at all! This is simply when I need my students to be quietly focused on their own work, or as I also say “how real art studios sound”.
I hope that these visuals help spark some ideas for you as you set up your art room. If you’re looking to purchase the visuals I shared above you can find them all and much MORE in my Classroom Decor Growing Bundle in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. Have fun and best of luck this school year!