Identifying Artistically Gifted Students

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

In this lesson, teachers will learn about some common traits shared by many students who are artistically gifted. Teachers will also learn strategies for supporting and encouraging artistically gifted students.

The Importance of Identifying Artistically Gifted Students

Art can be an incredibly subjective topic. One person might think Picasso was a genius, while another might think his artwork is too linear and boxy. One person might appreciate abstract art, while another thinks her three-year-old toddler could do a better job.

Since art can be so subjective, not all teachers are equipped to recognize artistic talent within their students. Unfortunately, if this talent goes unnoticed, it may never have the chance to fully develop.

Let's look at some common traits that are generally present in students who are artistically gifted.


For starters, artistically gifted students often demonstrate talent in their chosen medium, whether it's sculpture, painting, pottery, drawing, or another area. Although what constitutes 'good' art can be subjective, talent is usually evidenced by attention to detail, accurate representations, and skillful comprehension of concepts like proportion, shading, and perspective.

Furthermore, artistically gifted students typically show these signs of talent from a very young age. For example, even if your artistically gifted kindergartener's paper-plate-and-macaroni lion project probably won't be on display at the local art gallery anytime soon, you wouldn't hesitate to say that it's quite advanced for his or her age.


Artistically gifted students typically exhibit a strong sense of creativity. They are risk-takers who employ innovative methods, use interesting materials, and test artistic boundaries. For example, when the rest of the class is still drawing stick figures, they're experimenting with three-dimensional figures.

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