The beauty of art is that it is subjective.
A painting, sculpture, music and cinema can all be interpreted in ways that will always resonate with someone.
While the methodology of grading artwork in a classroom is debatable, teachers can't deny how a student's project makes them feel.
When Redditor Sembaka asked, "Art teachers of Reddit, do you ever cringe at your students art? If you have, what made the art so bad?," teachers and non-educators had plenty to say.
One thing is certain. A feature of the male anatomy was a popular subject for interpretation.
That and feces. You've been warned before entering the gallery.
All Caucasians Don't Look Alike
"I used to teach art to kids in japan and they used to draw me with blue eyes and blonde hair even thought my hair and eyes are both brown lol"
The Well-Hung Guitarist
"I've posted this before but once I was a real life model for a college art class. I was clothed and playing guitar for about an hour. As part of my payment, the students gave me their drawings after the teacher quickly graded them after the class. One girl drew a great portrait of me that was very realistic except she gave me a huge dong that came out of my pants, went down my leg and wrapped around my ankle a few times. She got a B -"
"There was one girl who gave me a 3D pen art of a dog. If you don't know what a 3D pen is it's essentially a pen that melts plastic so you can create 3D shapes out of it. Well the dog she gave me was something that looked like straight out of a horror movie; like if John Carpenter's The Thing got a hold of a dog. It was a bit unnerving to look at. Sweet girl with the best of intentions. I kept it on my desk for as long as I could. Now it's in a box somewhere in my office."
"Not a teacher, but when I was in kindergarten we had an art assignment to draw a monster from a story we had read. We drew our monsters until the time ended and I turned mine in, problem was I gave the monster a dong. They called my parents in and asked me why I drew it like that. 'I didn't have time to give him pants,' was my answer."
"I led some arts and crafts projects when I was a camp counselor. One week, my kids made dip candles. One girl accidentally made a GIANT dong. This thing had a mushroom tip, shaft, and balls. The balls formed when the base of the candle melted a bit when it was set to firm up (dick joke unintended). To top it off, the thin, white wick hung perfectly out the tip of the candle."
"It took all my self control to not burst out laughing every time I saw it. Especially because the girl was super proud of it and kept it on her nightstand in her tent all week. The kids were super young so this girl definitely had no clue."
When You Can't Come Up With A Hollywood Ending
"I teach screenwriting at a college in San Francisco and, honestly, the number of students who can't even string a sentence together is astounding. That's just the beginning. Don't even get me started on the ideas they pitch or attempt to write."
"If I see one more, 'guess what, Hollywood, it was all a dream' endings I'm going to lose my mind."
When All Else False, Go With Dog Poop
"On my teaching practicum I was observing a boy in art class who totally hated being in art. He was constantly disruptive and hardly did any work. Eventually the teacher coaxed him into doing the final project for the class so he could pass. It was a mixed media assignment. If I recall correctly he found some tinfoil and painted it brown, and glued it to a painted green background. It was supposed to be a football I think? But it ended up looking more like a piece of dog poo. I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw it. The extremely low effort attempt just made me laugh."
"Other than that, I can't think of any examples of art that really made me cringe. There are definitely cliches in art that you see teenagers make. E.g. 1 fancy eye, emo fairies, but I see these things as a necessary developmental hurdle for budding artists."
What Mum Puts Up With
"My mum is an art teacher and she used to work in a private boys school. One day she came home all defeated because she had to give four detentions to a group of boys making penises out of clay."
"Or recently she had a senior cry in her class because mum tried to convince her that painting a grown man sucking on a cow tit wasn't appropriate for their Catholic school."
"Or the time she marked a art exam and one of the kids thought the statue was dolphins leaping but it was a running man. And was called 'the running man.'"
"She has a tough time sometimes."
"I used to be a highschool art teacher with a specialism in audio visual art. I've seen some things man. Give kids a camera and they pretty much will film anything."
"I learned to enforce strict time boundaries for everything these kids made after sitting through 2 hours of the WORST movie ever. EVER. It was basically 1 long shot of a few girls sitting on the couch pretending to smoke a joint and getting 'stoned'. Now mind you, this was a in a really religious region with fairly young kids (11/12 yrs old) who had never smoked weed before, so it was basically their interpretation of what being high would be like. And their interpretation was basically a super hysterical DARE ad. There was lots of freaking out, screaming and panicking and at the end they all OD'ed in the most dramatic fashion. Of course the most cringe bad acting you've ever witnessed. And did I mention it lasted 2 F'KING HOURS??!!!
"It was dreadful and they were so proud of it too. I made sure to put it on a DVD in the hopes they'd come across it 20 years from then and feel the same horror as I did back then. VINDICATION!"
Art And DNA
"In the Art high school of my city a 15 year old made a rather sh**ty looking painting out of her period blood as her 'big project' for the year."
"Two guys from the same school got expelled because they made sh*t art in the bathroom. Used their own sh*t as clay on top of the toilet lid. One of the guys transferred into my art course in another school, decent guy if you forget the sh*t ordeal."
Student Means To Give Her Art Teacher The Finger
"I teach English to Japanese high school students. A girl in class yesterday was drawing a poster for her 'emotions' presentation. She wanted to show an injury, so she drew a finger sticking up with a line across near the top. She tried to add curled up fingers, but it was at the edge of the page and there was only room for one curled up finger on either side of the sticking up finger."
"She was super embarrassed and called me over to ask if it was ok, whispering, 'does it look like finger? Or...other thing??'"
"It definitely looked like other thing!"