Art Teachers Share The Weirdest Things They've Seen Students Do

Artists get the reputation for being a little bit weird. You've seen it in movies and TV shows all the time. If you've seen Billy Madison there's a great example in that film. Remember the sequence where Ms. Lippy, the school art teacher, smears paste all over her face and is clearly enjoying it a little too much.

Reddit user u/actually_crazy_irl asked:

Art school teachers of Reddit: What's the weirdest thing you've seen a student do?

and from the looks of these responses - that artist stereotype exists for a reason. I've got friends who are artists as well as friends who are art teachers, but I've never witnessed anything like what half of these people are talking about. Here is a small fraction of the responses - edited for clarity where needed. Have fun!


A friend of mine was in a life painting class once where the exercise was to close your eyes and paint whatever came to mind. A classmate of hers made an array of violent paint strokes on the canvas, the teacher came around and said "oh, this piece is very interesting, what were you thinking about while painting?" The girl turned to the teacher and sharply said "FETUS." The teacher responds awkwardly, asking what inspired her to make the painting in such a way, to which the student responded "BIRTH."

- dandaman64


Ate paint. This was a fully functional 16 year old boy. He never struck me as being a dim bulb.

- TheSwedishCheif

This Running "Yolk" 

In my photography class, we had a theme each week (apple, eye, hands, landscape, trees, etc) no matter what the theme was a guy in my class would somehow incorporate a raw egg into the photo.

- livislame


While I'm not an art teacher by any stretch, I knew a kid in my high school art class who refused to draw anything except for tongues. Like didn't matter what the assignment was he drew tongues. It was super creepy, however he was pretty good a drawing tongues.

- Desilu027

Tom And Simba

Not an art teacher BUT there were two kids in my class who were best mates. One was the palest kid ever and the other, the darkest black dude I've ever met in my life.

We were using charcoal to do some arty shit and she left the classroom for like 5 minutes max. In that time, the white kid was able to cover all of his skin (that was open to see i.e. not covered up by uniform) in charcoal. The other dude had raided the art cupboard for white chalk and he was equally covered.

The teacher came back in and didn't notice for a few seconds. When she did, she told them to quickly wash it off before the administration came in but they refused.

Just to confirm, administration did find out but they couldn't do sh!t. Tom was not, at all, a favorite student and they had been looking for reasons to expel him anyway. They were going to try and frame it as Tom being racist with blackface - but with Simba, his best mate, looking like Casper the ghost, they couldn't.

- run_fast-eat_ass

The King Of All D-Bags

I went to film school with the king of all douche bags. Let me paint a picture: white guy, stubble beard, aviator sunglasses, obnoxiously tussled brown hair and always, ALWAYS in a leather jacket. He thought he was the next big director, man, and no one could tell him to change his creative vision. Never mind that we were in an intro to film class where we were learning the basics of how to put together a coherent scene. No! He had a VISION, okay?! And we were all just too stupid to get it.

Our first assignment was, "Shoot and edit a scene with two characters having a conversation". Really basic, right? You could turn in anything as long as it had that in it and pass. You just had to show a basic understanding of editing and filming. This was super intro stuff, lots of room to be as creative or basic as you like. This bro turns in a montage of street signs, and like seagulls flying at the beach...

I think I saw a shot of a toilet flushing, no joke. All set to horrible techno music. The teacher is flabbergasted and says she can't give him a passing grade for this. He loses his mind, ranting about how it was all symbolism, and we were just too narrow minded, and if she couldn't understand his work well... That's her fault.

This dude turns in something like this for every assignment. All the requirements are incredibly simple and leave plenty of room to be creative. But no, he's got to do his abstract montages and constantly waste time arguing with the teacher. So he's failing, badly, and constantly getting frustrated that the teacher just doesn't get HIS VISION. SHE'S TRYING TO DESTROY HIS ART. WHAT DOES SHE KNOW ABOUT FILM?! And the rest of us are like, "Dude, why did you even come to film school if you know clearly think you know everything already? Go shoot your weird montages in your basement and let us learn in peace." He never did explain why he had to be in film school, but I'm pretty sure it was so his parents would pay his rent.

Our final project for the year was a short documentary. So this dude... He goes out and buys a wig and makes a "documentary" about how our teacher is a stupid slut by interviewing himself in the wig as her. He has himself asking her questions of like, "So why did you want to be a teacher?" Then cut to "her" fellating a banana and then giggling disgustingly and saying something like, "Oh, cause stripping was too hard, tee hee." And then he cuts to a video he stole off her social media without her consent. It's of her dancing in a bikini at a party or something like that. Like, oooh, she wore swimwear once. Scandalous!

The video just went on like that with a mix of creepy internet stalking videos, images of her being "slutty" (incredibly mild Facebook fodder) and him interviewing "her" about her being a whore and trying to stifle her students because she's jealous of their talent and she's just a dumb bimbo who can only get work as a teacher because she can't make real ART.

He put this video on and stood next to the TV in his goddamn aviators with this sh*t-eating grin on while the rest of the class is just staring open mouthed at this hateful display. He even implied she was a spoiled b*tch because she was Jewish...? It was utterly insane. Our poor teacher left the room in silent tears, because, Christ, dude, how do you even respond to that? Of course, he was expelled. He claimed he was being oppressed and that they were just trying to silence HIS AAAAART. Sure, buddy.

- AdultSheep

Nailed It


Volunteering with a kids' art program. They're aged 6-10. One of the exercises is to cut half of a picture, usually from an old magazine, then use your skills to draw the other half. Most of the kids used various celebrities, but one young boy used... A Time Magazine cover of George W. Bush. He nailed it.

- whisperingmoon

In The Ear Of The Boy Next To Him

I am an art teacher!

I had a seventh grade boy make a large clay penis and try to put it in the ear of the boy sitting next to him. I took a picture and emailed his mom, she left her work and was at my school 30 minutes later to drag him out by the ear.

Best. Day. Ever.

- hi5yourface

To Her Former Lover

Fiancé of former art student. One of her classmates made a sculpture out of broken glass and shredded love notes from/to her former lover which was then doused in her own menstrual blood she had been saving up.

- Hunter_meister79


I'm a student, but a girl here EXCLUSIVELY draws images of rabbits cutting themselves. Also, her art looks like when you're in fifth grade and try to make a comic book, despite her having $300 worth of very expensive high-end markers to work with.

- fchickfila


The Assignment: low relief tile featuring a human form. The assignment was open ended, but meant to get students using clay modeling tools and creating depth.

What I Received: a poem about the ocean along with a clam and dolphin. Not a tile. Not a human form in sight. Just a free form clam and lumpy dolphin like kindergartners make.

- pancakecat

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