Results of the Reader Survey for all Deep Space Sparkle art teachers feature image

Deep Space Sparkle Reader Survey 2022 Results

It’s been seven years since I asked about you.

I mean really asked…

So, I decided it was time I asked again. Over 1,200 of you said yes to sharing more about your art career dreams, what you love, what you don’t, plus some surprising insights into what you love and don’t love about DSS.

So let’s dive in shall we?

Art teacher’s rule!

Over 65% of all survey responders are art teachers who teach in a private or public school. That’s up from 49% only seven years ago. I’m super happy art teachers are finding us and using our resources.

Art studio and small biz owners make up the smallest group in our audience, but if you are in this category, fear not. Deep Space Sparkle is planning some pretty cool resources for you in the not-too-distant future (you heard it here first!).

And you’re quite experienced. Over 53% of you have been teaching for 15+ years!

The majority of you are full-time art teachers (50.25%), with the once a week crowd coming in second.

38% of those who are actively teaching are teaching classes that are at least 40-minutes long. That makes me happy because that truly is the sweet spot. The 4% who have 30-minute classes are a minority and I think we can all be happy about that because any administrator who allocates 30-minutes to thirthy-two, 4th graders is a bit bonkers.

But that’s just my opinion.

It’s worth noting that 25% of teachers are in the scary zone of class sessions between 30-40 minutes. Which is quite challenging for any grade beyond 1st.

I love that 23% of teachers are creating their own standards and almost 20% are not using standards at all. That means teaching art for art’s sake is alive and well!

One thing that I have loved most about Deep Space Sparkle is that it has offered me the chance to hear from teachers who teach in many parts of the world.

While most of you are from the US (80%), we have readers from all over the world: Ireland, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Pakistan, Bermuda, South Africa, Germany, Philippines, Hong Kong, Sinapore, France, Asia, India, Caribbean, Qatar, South Korea, Slovenia, Thailand and so many more.

Art Program and Teaching Preferences

Birds of a feather flock together

I guess the old saying is true, birds of a feather, do indeed flock together. … Watercolor lovers (like me!) topped the favorite medium list. I just knew we’re kindred spirits!

Tempera paint followed closely behind and paper collage followed next.

You are brave

Many teachers expressed that they avoid certain techniques like clay because of budget restraints, space and not having a kiln, but some have a healthy fear of ceramics. I am impressed there are not more teachers who admitted to blowing up your kilns, cut a few certainly did!

As someone who fired hundreds of clay dinosaurs too early which resulted in a mass extinction, I understand the fear. For any kiln newbie, that just means that the clay wasn’t 100% bone dry before firing. Newbie mistake).

Many… and I’m talking hundreds of teachers cited anything messy as something they avoid. Wait… you are art teachers, right?

I blame this frustration on time (see above!) and not your avoidance of messy materials.

Techy Teachers with Time Troubles

For most of you (44%), lack of prep time is your number one struggle followed by behavior (37%). Followed by space, class length, budgets, organization, lack of respect, students at individual desks, decor and being on a cart.

Got to love these teachers…

I don’t really have struggles once I get a great idea from you!

Honestly my children are so well behaved and I have a great classroom management plan in place which is SOO helpful.

Technology is still surprisingly absent in schools due to budgets but for those who did use technology in their classroom, a document camera seemed to be the most common.

Fairy Godmothers Needed:

I asked, if you could wave your magic wand, what skill would you love to have so that you could teach art more effectively?

You replied…

“Finding the right words to explain/demonstrate a lesson, quickly, precisely and accurately!”

“The ability to talk without being interrupted or ignored by students to slow lessons down a bit, which is what I am focusing on doing this year!”

“I’d love to have a twin – an extra set of hands to help out with younger children to monitor and make sure they are using best practices and understanding the standards/concepts.”

“More money for supplies!”

“Magically be able to seal student mouths closed during instruction.”

“I’d love to have the skills to impress upon those who create our schedule how important it is NOT to run children through my studio like it’s a babysitting service or a factory. Art cannot successfully be done this way.”

“I wish I could draw. My own two grown kids are incredible artists, and painters. My daughter thinks I could draw and paint if I practice more. I would like to grow in this area.”

“Make all kids be kind and try!! (and instant clean up would be lovely!)”

“A counselor in my room to take care of the behavior problems/social disagreements so I can teach and not stop to handle a situation! We lost so much time in my room because kids don’t know how to get along and I’m constantly fielding tattles!”

I know first hand that teaching art is a lot harder than it looks. So hang with us as my team works to create more resources to help grant your wish.

Behind the scenes of our SMALL BUSINESS + ART STUDIO friends…

I have a soft spot for my fellow creatives who are forging their own paths. And while Deep Space Sparkle offers only a trickle of small biz help (that is changing BTW!…deets coming soon), I want to give my small biz friends a chance to share their struggles.

Where do you conduct your art business?

An equal number of studio owners host their classes in their own homes, in community centers or churches, plus in after-school clubs and teach between 2-5 classes a week (35%).

For many business owners, or teachers who charge for classes, this might be interesting to you:

21% of studio owners charge $16-20 for a class per student. 15% charge a bit higher $20-30 per student. I’ll just go out on a limb and say that anything less than $20 per students per hour is far too little. But I’ll save that conversation for another day.

Teachers who have transitioned to teaching art classes at home or in their community have struggles too, but strangely enough, they are very similar to school art teachers.

It’s no surprise that marketing tops your list. It has taken me over 7 years to learn what I now know. And I hope to share my knowledge with you all through DSS…but again, we’ll eave that for another time.

If you can dream it, you can do it…

I’m a dreamer and love seeing what’s possible. Without dreams, we’d be nowhere. Thank you for sharing YOUR dreams for your small business…

Here are a few of my favorite dreams…

“I would like to find a space where I can hire teachers.”

“My own studio space!”

“I would love to earn enough to quit other side jobs I have to that I can just work 2 days at my private school job and 2 days doing private classes with leftover time in the week for my personal art.”

“I would love to be able to develop an art class for kids but I’m not qualified as an art teacher and feel like an imposter to charge for that. I’m just an arty homeschool mom.”

“More Mommy and Me art classes, Girls’ Nights, Wine Glasses, Face Painting. Retiring in 4 years. Could be my next challenge!”

“I would love to own my own art studio and teach art through a studio instead of a school. I don’t like giving a grade for Art.”

Back to our art teacher friends….Let’s dive into what YOU love…

Art teachers are also quite bookish… 65% of you love to read in your spare time, and 54% love to create even more art or do something creative.

Other activities are church, care giving, listening or playing music, gardening, hanging with friends, rock hunting, raising kids, renovating houses, meditation, dancing (west coast swing and flamenco to be exact!), and one person said she had absolutely no time for anything.

Learner’s Welcome…

Looks like you love learning, too! Photography, painting, tap dancing, pottery, online business, cake decorating, Pilates, quilting, canning, and theater acting are among the top responses.

And I thought I was the only one who loves canning.

Spare time?

For those who could add more time to their week, you would want to travel, create more art, exercise, garden, sleep, boycott social media, learn ukulele, tend to your children and throw some pottery… plus, re-enact fur-trading (which is a real thing I guess!).

But what I really like is that one person would sell ice cream on a beach and make people happy.

Our DSS Friends…

You are a loyal bunch. 15% of all reader survey have followed DSS from the beginning and 48% of you have been with us for 1-4 years.

And it just so happens that exactly 4 of you had no idea who we are, even though you got to question 23 in this quiz. Kuddo’s to you!

Free you say?

Our free art lessons on DSS is an overwhelming favorite resource for 69%. But our membership, The Sparklers’ Club is not far behind at 48%.

Here are a few of my fave responses…

“As another resource to find ideas, understanding and positive vibe!”

“I love everything that you have to offer… the lessons are so well written and with such great examples, that it really helps with time and prep.”

“Connecting on FB with other teachers, seeing the finished art the children create.”

“Book recommends great books and podcasts.”

“Beautiful love, kindness and generosity shown by you and your team in helping us to navigate the challenges of successful teaching. I’m an amazing art teachers, but I started in the wilderness, NO support, no lessons, no real budget and I had to invent the wheel. SUCH a treat to have you come along with your brilliance and helping hands 🙂 Thank you.”

“Sub lessons with VIDEOS (have used to hell out of them. Can we get more !?!?)”

“No closed captions provided for deaf person like me.” (note: all of our brand new videos offer captioning but we need to update the oldies!)

So thank you, dear reader. It has been our privilege to come to work everyday to create content for you. To know that you are out there, teaching your heart out, in a world where it just isn’t as easy as it used to be, is humbling.

You mean the world to us so keep sparkling!


What do you think?

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  • Meredith

    Where can you find Sub lessons with videos? I downloaded the sub bundle and The videos that are included are on the Deep space website, so how do we leave that for a Sub without being there and logging into the website??

    • Tricia

      I would like to know also!

      • Bethany

        Hi Tricia! In the Substitute Plan Bundle 2.0, click on any of the lessons that have a “Draw Along Video Included” sticker on the cover. In the description of the lesson, there is a link that you can share with your substitute teacher. That link contains ALL of the sub plan videos in one place, so you only need to share one link with your sub.

    • Bethany

      Hi Meredith! In the Substitute Plan Bundle 2.0, click on any of the lessons that have a “Draw Along Video Included” sticker on the cover. In the description of the lesson, there is a link that you can share with your substitute teacher. That link contains ALL of the sub plan videos in one place, so you only need to share one link with your sub. Enjoy

  • Anne Engnoth

    I have put myself on the Sparkler’s wait list for the last 3 years, but I never hear back. Is it really that long a wait? I am about ready to give up. I love your ideas and lessons and am a huge fan. But always on the outside, looking in.

    • Bethany

      Hi Anne! Thanks so much for your interest in The Sparklers’ Club. We have two public open enrollments every year where everyone is welcome to join. Please reach out to Customer Support at support@deepspacesparkle.com. We’d love to welcome you into The Sparklers’ Club!


    I learn to much from you! Thank you so much!

  • Sara Warnock

    These were fun to read over! Thank you for the fun graphics to showcase each question’s results. 🙂

  • Tracy Silber

    Could not have survived last year without my Sparklers’ Club membership and I primarily used GAP! This year I am continuing to primarily use the GAP curriculum to complete some favorites from last year but also explore some of the projects we did not get to in each grade level. I also will go the opposite way around the world this year as I felt the time crunch at the end of the year. Seriously could not have done a quarter of what myself and my students completed last year without you!!

  • Kelli

    Thanks so much, Patty! This survey was very insightful. I can’t wait to see what’s in store. DSS rocks!

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