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How to Tell If Your Child Is Becoming an Artist

Updated on July 2, 2010

What Have You Noticed?

Does your child have a proclivity for color, a passion for paper, or a good eye for shapes?  Chances are you could be raising an artist.  Even though art has largely gone high tech, the traditional methods are still being used a great deal today, and it's good to get them started on learning what they can do.  Given opportunity, an artist child will draw, trace, color, or paint for hours.

Careful Encouragement

Kids who attempt art need encouragement, but don't fall into the typical trap of saying everything they do is good.  Praise is necessary, but learn how to use it.  When you find something especially well done, be generous with your applause, but don't numbly applaud absolutely everything or they will begin to detect that you may be faking, and they may begin to doubt their abilities.  Above all you must be honest.  If you don't like something, do not criticize.  Decline to comment on things you dislike, and steer towards the things you do like.

There Will Be Messes

Cleaning up after paints or clay are going to be part of your regular chores if you are raising an artist child.  Consider it the price for the privilege of caring for a possible future million dollar painter.  Even if your child doesn't become rich or famous from this gift, however, he or she will still benefit from your patience.  Busy children are intelligent children. 

Gifts for the Artist Child

Here are a few gift ideas for children who like art. Actually all children seem to like art, but some like it more than others.

1. Washable markers. These are wonderful in that they apply color brightly, are easy to hold, and wash from hands and clothes with ease.

2. Washable watercolors. Ditto the washing, they are delightful to use and can really hold a child's attention. Be sure to keep a roll of paper towels handy for inevitable spills, and remember that it's just water, not soda or battery acid.

3. Washable crayons. Until your kids are older start with washable crayons. The colors aren't quite as deep as standard crayons, but their washability is incomparable.

4. Drawing pads, coloring books, construction paper, cardboard scraps, and empty boxes. Allow your child to experience a variety of surfaces on which to experiment with various media.

5. Stencils.  If your child is old enough, mechanical pencils work best with stencils because the tips are very fine and fit in the grooves well.


Raising a child artist is a rewarding experience. If you're lucky enough to know one, whether it be yours, your friend's, your nephews and nieces, or your grandchildren, make sure you supply them with what they need and support their creativity. One day you may be glad you did!


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    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      workingmom: Glad to hear you are providing your budding artist with the tools to succeed!

    • workingmomwm profile image

      Mishael Austin Witty 6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Voted this up. This is such a relevant hub for me right now. I think I might be raising an artist. She's 2, and she loves to draw and color. She just got a Crayola Beginnings Color Me a Song (along with a bunch of other stuff for her birthday), and she played with that longer than anything else. She loves her colors! Of course, now I'm encouraging her in everything she does. I'll try to take your advice about always being sincere though, which isn't at all hard right now. By the way, I love your profile pic!

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 7 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Everybody is an artist to a certain degree. Not everybody can be a Rembrandt or a Monet, but everyone has a natural and inborn sense of creativity that can be developed in one area or another.

    • profile image

      3cardmonte 7 years ago

      Excellent advice, I wish I were an artist!