35 Hilarious Observations Made by People Married to Art Teachers

A while back, I asked my husband if he wanted to go with me to the National Art Education Conference. I needed a travel buddy for the 13-hour drive and he wanted a mini vacation. As we sat eating breakfast in the hotel lobby on the first morning of the convention, my husband’s eyes grew to the size of the grapefruit on his plate. When I asked what had caught his attention, he replied that he had just spotted someone who was FOR SURE an art teacher.

I looked around and saw the one and only Cassie Stephens. I immediately gushed that I wanted a picture with her and squealed that I was a mere twenty feet from an art teacher celebrity. My husband looked back at me and laughed out the phrase, “Oh the things I’ve learned about art teachers since I married you.”

That phrase got me thinking, what else had he learned with only a year of marriage under his belt?  For that matter, what have all of our significant others learned since they’ve been paired up with us? What would they tell others that were thinking about spending the rest of their lives with an art teacher?
I asked several art teacher friends and our very own AOE staff to get to the bottom of this question, and they did not disappoint. I hope your sides hurt from laughing as much as mine have from reading through these. Don’t forget to have your significant other chime in with their own thoughts!

35 Hilarious Observations Made by People Married to Art Teachers

1. “We have enough arts and crafts supplies in our house to stock Hobby Lobby for a month.”
2. “It’s normal if she refers to her paintbrushes as ‘Mr. and Mrs. Paintbrush.'”
3. “If had a dime for every Pinterest project my wife has asked me to make for her classroom, I’d be self-employed.”
4. “When we are around our friends’ children, I can instantly tell when she switches into ‘teacher mode’ with them.”
5. “I’m often the first person in 8 hours to tell my spouse that she has paint on her face.”
6. “‘Clay Week’ is a rough week. Alcohol helps.”
7. “There is no greater joy than the last day of the school year and no greater anguish than when school supplies go back on the shelves…unless she gets to buy a new box of Crayola markers.”
8. “She will always be a celebrity when we are out and about if we run into any student from her school.”
9. “Jeans are an acceptable professional clothing choice for art teachers, every day, all year long.”
10. “Four-year-olds are not the only humans who can still wear funky headbands and do their hair in incredibly interesting ways.”
11. “It is ‘awesome’ being asked to help cut out 300 wooden ‘somethings’ because my wife ‘has a great lesson idea.’ Especially since this usually happens the night before she needs it.”
12. “Her idea of sleeping in is 7 AM, even if I’m in no way, shape, or form ready to embrace the day.”
13. “We have to leave town (maybe even the state) before she will stop worrying about ‘my students seeing me somewhere.'”
14. We must always stop at all manner of garage sales/flea markets to make sure we aren’t missing our on some ‘good stuff’ that could be re-purposed.”
15. “Everything can and should be saved for a future art project–including almost everything people set out by the side of the road.”
16. “She can wear whatever she wants regardless of color, style, or pattern because she is an art teacher, but heaven forbid I wear brown shoes with black pants!”
17. “I GET to help hang up artwork for shows and special events at the last minute, and I usually do it wrong anyway.”
18. “We must stop at every bookstore where hours of my life are spent waiting as she peruses the children’s section.”
19. “Our 4-bedroom house is actually a 3-bedroom, 1-supply-room house.”
20. “My opinion will be asked on decor…but it is never taken into consideration.”
21. It no longer phases me when my wife says things like, “I need to remove 100 student weavings from their looms during our road trip.”
22. “I am expected to keep track of 400 students’ names, so when she needs to tell me a ‘really funny story’ I know exactly which Aiden she’s talking about.”
23. “Picking out paint colors for anything requires, at minimum, a 3 hour time commitment.”
24. “Yogurt and egg containers are not actually disposable.”
25. “Teaching art isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle.”
26. “My car is not used for taking passengers, as it’s a rare day there aren’t supplies traveling in the available seats.”
27. “When a drink or dessert magically appears at the table when we are dining out, I do not need to look for some handsome stranger in a dimly lit corner, but instead for waving parents and kids at another table.”
28. “A 2000-square-foot-house will lose footage every year to the layers of paint on the walls.”
29. “My wife wants to change the color of our walls more than I want to change my underwear.” (Note: Art teacher wife is a little concerned about this.)
30. “Many Pharaohs would be jealous of the collection of pottery on display in our home.”
31. “The look of pride on her face when our 3-year-old colors ‘inside the lines’ is absolutely priceless.”
32. “I have to reassure house guests that my wife isn’t as vain as it may appear when they see the collection of self-portrait projects from college in our basement.”
33. “There is actually a difference between Off-White, Beige, Ivory, Mother of Pearl, Cream, Eggshell, Almond, Taupe, and Toasted Marshmallow.”
34. “The true meaning of one man’s trash…is always my art teacher wife’s treasure.”
35. “While the number of projects she starts is infinity, the number completed will be one or two.”
Time to spill…what has your significant other learned about art teachers? Let us know in the comments!

Jennifer Borel

Jennifer is an middle school art teacher in Kansas who is passionate about creating an organized, well-managed environment where students feel comfortable to learn and explore.


  • Nic Hahn

    Well done. These were really funny to have listed by your pool of contributors. It might not be the easiest job to be an art teachers significant other… but it sure is a colorful life!

  • Kelly Betz

    My husband is tall, he is doomed to help me put up art for the rest of his life.

  • Heather

    Spot on!!

  • Phyl

    Yup. My husband is always cutting wood into strange sized pieces for me, drilling holes in things like wood blocks, papier-mâché creatures, or Scrabble tiles (or when I can convince him I won’t hurt myself, loaning me his drill to do it myself), hauling rolls of roofing felt in and out of the basement, and so on. And he’s used to the fact that the strange colors on my hands and under my nails are not something creepy, but something that will fade with time. And he’s no longer embarrassed to have his senior-citizen wife sporting turquoise hair, or Sharpie-decorated shoes, or driving a car covered with flowers and dragonflies. And then there’s his willingness to vacuum those seed beads out of the carpet, after a typical bead-spill…

    • Oh I love it Phyl, thank you for those additional insights!!

  • Vicky Siegel

    Love them all! I think we can all agree with number 25! My husband and his brother recently starting coaching a varsity team. They cannot believe how all-consuming it is and it’s all you think about. I said, “now you know how it is to be an art teacher!!”

  • Sue Langseth

    Two art teachers in the same household more than double the amount of “reusable treasures” stored in every available nook and cranny.

  • Cassie Stephens

    OMG, I just read the beginning of your article to MY husband and he cracked up…”what were you even wearing? Wait…I can only imagine.” LOVED this article and nodded my head to just about every one on your list!

    • I just squealed again to my husband that you read the article. He looked at me and laughed. He also told me you were wearing your pop art outfit. I love that he remembered.

  • I’m the child of an art teacher and DEFINITELY relate to this list. i inherited a bunch of these traits and didn’t know they were odd until i was an adult.

    • K Hyman

      I love hearing that you didn’t know the traits were odd. I bet my daughter would reflect this as well

  • Christa Knox

    Paint on every piece of clothing is normal.

  • Phyllis

    It’s way easier for an art teacher to walk backwards in a walking class because she has found a line to focus on, just like cutting a straight line without a ruler. My husband couldn’t believe how straight I was walking and didn’t realize I was until he pointed it out. Oh the things you learn in art class !! Only taught art for 10 years, taught technology for 13 years. Hard to distinguish which I loved more. Either way, a big learning curve and a problem solving guru. Have fun thinking about your impact on students.

  • Mike Ellis

    I definitely know from personal experience that there are more art mumuseums than ball parks in these United States.

  • Lmbc

    Shared the list with my new, OCD neat nick husband, who is beginning to understand all the unfinished and multiple projects in the house and all the saving of stuff, the you never know I might need it, pile! There were quiet a few he could relate to!

  • I WISH #9 were true for my school! Sadly, I’ve ruined too many clothes for the sake of ‘business casual.”

    My wife can TOTALLY relate to #23 since her idea of picking out colors involves selecting 2 to choose from whereas MY idea of color selection involves at least 2-3 color families and a couple tints and tones per color family. After all, I may need to change my mind based off of the lighting, right? It’s all about options, baby! : )

    • Jill Vickers

      Same here, many business clothes can’t withstand the art room little fingers and splatters … although Resolve spray clean works better on some fabrics than Oxy.

      • Joan Hebeisen

        Just keep wearing the dressy clothes with paint blobs on them. School is where they came from in the first place.. They will get used to you.

    • That’s hilarious! We sound like the same person when it comes to picking out paint colors.

  • K Hyman

    What a fun article. My husband is still sleeping in at 9:00 am; I’ve been up since before 7:00. I think I see myself, us, in your list!!!

  • MJLinford

    My husband’s comments…”It’s good that I’m a handiman, and that the custodians and I are on a first name basis…”

  • Lisa

    My husband complains that I work 60 hours per week and wants me to cut back. The problem is that since I married him I have cut back on work hours. I don’t think the job can get done but working less.

  • Cassidy Young

    Everything in our house (including our offspring) has at some time been used as, use to create, or used to organize art supplies.

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  • Gwen

    I constantly take things from our house and use them as art supplies. Tin foil? Mine. Cutting boards, pots, rolling pin, etc. My husband asks me where things are and how we’re out when he just bought some and, well, I used it. Clay week is a hard week? Yes, especially when you are an art cart teacher and have to build and break down a classroom outside for clay class. The word “clay” strikes fear and double doses of blood pressure medication in art teachers everywhere.

  • Colin Mitchell

    No mention of sweating glitter. Glitter appears spontaneously on my wife’s face and in her hair days after term has finished.

  • BossySnowAngel

    I wish my principal would buy into #9. I have ruined more nice office casual wear with paint and clay than I care to think about.

  • mina

    Its okay to go to work with your hands that are stained with paint, because your and art teacher :)

  • Darrell Imhoff

    An actual conversation that took place at our house.
    Art teacher – “Can you go to the garage and make me 30 frames for silk painting?”
    Husband – “Really? It’s freezing outside and it’s 8:00 PM. I don’t have the lumber.”
    Art Teacher – “Yes, I know it is below zero and you will have to go to the lumber store to get lumber.”
    Husband – “I guess I could get it done. When do you need them?”
    Art Teacher – “Well, you have to do it now! I need them for tomorrow!”

  • Eileen L’Heureux

    Just read this with my husband, we are hysterical!!! Wish i could wear jeans ago week, but I do get Friday. He likes the, me wanting him to know all my 400 students, comment.
    He said to add all the artist bio video clips he has to watch on the weekend with me while I’m lesson planning.

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