A mobile art school requires mobile art supplies. As the owners of Pop up Art School we don’t have the cost and headaches of a brick and mortar location, but we’ve had to master the art of packing for art lessons on the go. If you’ve ever camped or traveled with children you know that a forgotten item can ruin your day.
Here’s a breakdown of our fails and 11 ways you can pack for a successful art class.
Recently, we tested ROYI cart. A three-foot stack of canvases made this cart unstable; it rocked back-and-forth almost pitching the canvases onto the ground. Plus, the plastic hook broke within two weeks!
DON’T buy dollar store tablecloths. They slide around the table and the kids like to rip holes in them. I don’t blame them, it’s fun. Do yourself a favor and buy flannel backed tablecloths. We get them for five dollars apiece and they last for years.
It makes us look unprofessional if we ask the client for a charger.
For workshops where we use 12×18 pieces of paper it takes up less room to roll the paper, but then you have to wrestle with it to get it flat. Better to carry it flat sandwiched in between two pieces of cardboard.
Small Bottles of Glue
They get clogged and they are hard to refill, and it’s cheaper to buy a gallon of glue.
If the brushes are left behind for a canvas painting workshop the workshop is going to bomb. Always use a checklist.
Google maps is only as good as the address that you enter. A few times we’ve gone to the wrong library. Some towns have more than one.
Our first official T-shirts with our logo were white. What were we thinking?! White is not a smart choice when working with messy art supplies.
Room Set up Chart
After we book a workshop, we send a room set up chart. When we arrive the room is just the way we like it and it gives us more time to get the supplies out.
For every workshop we print out the project supply list and cross it off as we pack.
A sturdy box cart holds the paints and loose supplies much better. It’s wider at the bottom which makes it more stable.
The bright red offsets our logo nicely and the dark color helps hide splotches of paint. We spent more to get a feminine cut, but it’s worth it during the summer, when we teach 5 or 6 days a week.
We keep our slideshows are on Google slides, but sometimes the Wi-Fi is unpredictable. Slideshows converted to PowerPoint on a thumb drive to the rescue!
Packs away neatly and makes it easy for students to choose colors.
Stickers With Instagram Info
If we put stickers on canvases before the class students have the info when they leave. We post a photo of every piece of art made in our workshops on Instagram. The sticker makes it easier for them to find the post.
Our Instagram Photo Booth is inexpensive and easy to carry. It makes our photos look professional.
Easy to pour and pack. Clogs are a thing of the past!
Extras of Everything
Life happens, spills and perfectionistic students who want to redo their work.
Sketch Artist Game is easy to carry and it’s always a hit. It comes in handy for early finishers.
If you’re taking the show on the road, we hope you’ll learn from our mistakes. What’s your favorite hack for packing art supplies? Have you had a packing fail? Tell us about it in the comments.
Leave a comment below or join us in our Facebook group Freelance Art Teachers in Libraries. The group is for sharing ideas about teaching art and other subjects in public libraries. Whether you are a librarian looking for new ideas or a teacher seeking a profitable AND enjoyable side hustle, we are here to answer questions and support you!