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resources and inspiration for art making: pre-teens and teens

Would you call yourself an artist?  Are you a crafter?  Someone who just likes to add creativity to everything you do?  Do you feel relaxed or get in 'the zone' when you doodle or color, write or listen to music?  Do you just like doing cool DIY projects for fun?  To make gifts for friends and family, or design something for your room?  It doesn't matter if you identify as one or all of the above, we have put together resources that we hope will inspire you to make something, teach you a new skill, or try something new.

Check it out and see if there's something that interests you!

Drawing, Painting, Doodling, Comics, Manga, Anime, Origami

There are endless amounts of resources for Free Art Lessons and Tutorials Online!

This New Website Is Offering Free Art Lessons from Professors and Artists

13 YouTube Channels to Teach You How to Paint for Free

20 YouTube Channels to Learn How to Draw for Free


Circle Line Art School - New Drawing Tutorials Every Week

Art ala Carte

Rapid Fire Art - Detailed Drawing Tutorials


Expressive Self-Portraits

Mary Doodles

Mr. Doodle

Illustration & Drawing Tips : How to Draw Comic Strips

How To Turn a Sheet of Paper Into a Comic Book You Can Sell

Beyond the Brush: Inventive Use of Media for Painting Students

How to Origami

Mr Doodle Doodles a Whole Room!

Hyperlapse Video

How to Draw Anime "Basic Anatomy''

Anime Drawing Tutorial for Beginners

How to Draw - Mandala Art


"The tool of every self-portrait is the mirror.  You see yourself in it.  Turn it the other way, and you see the world."

- Agnes Varda

the reimagined self-portrait

At some point in school you've probably had to do a self-portrait.  It's a pretty common assignment.  We love the idea of self-portraits but want to get you thinking about lots of different ways you can do one, and all of the materials you can use that you might not necessarily think of. ​


20 No-Face Photo Ideas (Self Portrait Ideas for Introverts)


masks and self-portraiture

Masked: Changing Identities" exhibit at Mexic-Arte Museum

"With their bright colors & intricate carvings, traditional Mexican masks serve as a window into the soul & are said to transform the wearer. In the "Masked: Changing Identities" exhibition, Mexic-Arte Museum brought together over 200 traditional masks from various eras & regions in Mexico. The collection illustrated a people's history that blends real life & myth & emphasizes the continued importance of masks in Mexican culture.  While some consider them works of arts & some see them as part of traditional dance costumes, others revere them as religious symbols. However interpreted, these masks serve as inspiration for contemporary art & are a unique feature of Mexican tradition."

A mask can be an interesting form of self-portrait.  Masks give you an opportunity to think about both sides  - the front and back - as different sides of yourself.  The front might represent the outside or the side you show to the world, and the back might represent the inside or the side you keep to yourself.  

Masks have taken on a whole new dimension today with the pandemic. Many artists and non-artists have begun sewing masks of all kinds for protection.  They've gotten very creative with designs and styles now that everyone is wearing masks to go grocery shopping and to other public places.  Check out a video tutorial on how to make a mask to protect yourself from Covid-19 below in the Fabric Arts section.

A mask can be an interesting form of self-portrait.  Masks give you an opportunity to think about both sides  - the front and back - as different sides of yourself.  The front might represent the outside or the side you show to the world, and the back might represent the inside or the side you keep to yourself.  

Here's an easy recipe for making a paper maché mask using materials you probably already have in your kitchen!  Click here for the instructions.  If you don't want to use your face as a mold, you can use a balloon or a bowl!  See below for a video of another paper mâché mask technique.

Check out these examples and projects for different kinds of masks for inspiration on how you might create your own.  There's also some info on the history and culture of masks and mask-making.

The Artists Keeping Up the Tradition of Mask-Making

Mask Off: 11 Artists Re-Thinking The Politics of the Face

Explore how Artists have Used Masks in their Work, to Protect, Disguise, Hide and Amuse

An Artist Creates Different Face Masks Every Day Inspired by Artists, Historical Figures, and '80s Movies

How to Make a Papier-Mache Mask


using non-traditional materials to make art

The use of non-traditional materials to make art can open up a whole world of art making.  You don't need markers, paper, paints and clay to make something interesting or creative.  Use whatever you have at home!  Here are some links to some great ideas and inspiration for creating art using different non-traditional materials.  There's also ideas for creating a self-portrait using lots of different kinds of materials!

20 Most Cool and Unusual Portraits

Found Object Self Portrait

Things to Know About Found Objects and Sculpture

25+ Works of Art Made Using Unusually Awesome Mediums

Junk Into Art – Kenyan Artist Cyrus Kabiru | DW News


Artist Mary Ellen Croteau - Tsunami

Mary Ellen Croteau is a Chicago artist who creates art with bottle caps to help bring awareness to the impact of waste on the environment.

Artist Kevin Sampson at Mystic Seaport

Kevin Blythe Sampson, 47, is a self-taught sculptor recognized for tackling difficult issues that concern him and being community 



Soundwave, 2007  | Artist Jean Shin

Check out the work of more artists who use non-traditional materials in their art at The Uncommon Canvas' website. The Uncommon Canvas raises the visibility and promotes artists who are using non-traditional materials, found objects, and other unusual materials to make their art, ranging from small scale artworks to large sculpture parks. They also feature the work of self-taught artists and artists working outside of the mainstream paradigm.



Click here for more info about The Uncommon Canvas!

fabric and textile arts

Art using fabric, yarn, string, looms, needle and thread, knitting needles, crochet hooks, sewing machines, and dyes are some of the materials that artists use to create fabric and textile art.  They also use weaving, embroidery, beading, and quilting techniques among many more to make art.  Here are some links to great ideas and inspiration if you'd like to try out some projects or learn new skills using fabric and textiles.

10 Pioneering Textile Artists, from Sheila Hicks to Nick Cave

Art History: Ancient Practice of Textile Art and How It Continues to Reinvent Itself

Textile Arts Center

A New History Of Fiber Artists Who Tried To Turn Craft Into Art

string art

8 Contemporary Artists Taking String Art to the Next Level

How to Make Your Own String Art

30 Creative DIY String Art Ideas



History of Weaving in Asia

History of Weaving in Africa

History of Weaving

Weaving Class: The Basics

African Textiles

Southeast Asian Islands Textiles

Navajo Weaving - A History

In a Small Village High in the Peruvian Andes, Life Stories Are Written in Textiles


Documenting Klukwan's Woolen Weaving Traditions -- An Oral History and Documenting Cultural Traditions Project  | Artist: Lani Hotch - Chilkat Indian Village

Manuela & Esperanza: The Art of Maya Weaving

Make a Simple Cardboard Loom and Start Weaving Today!

finger knitting, crocheting, knitting, yarn bombing

finger knitting



Materials Needed:

Your Hand



How to Finger Knit

Materials Needed:

1 Crochet Hook



How to Crochet for Absolute Beginners

Materials Needed:

2 Knitting Needles



How to Knit: Easy for Beginners

yarn art

Crocheted Object #10 (Bicycle) 2010

Artist: Agata Oleksiak


Tatei Nuariwame Releases the Rain Serpents

Artist: José Benítez Sánchez


How Yarn Bombing Grew into a Worldwide Movement

Magda Sayeg

Of A Different Yarn: The Crochet Artist Kelly Limerick

The Artist Weaving the World Together

How to SEW by HAND for BEGINNERS - Learn BASIC SEWING Skills

How to Thread a Needle Easily for Sewing & Embroidery

How to Use a Wide Eye Needle for Beading​

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