To most, art is subjective and you probably never really know if you are actually getting better! But, when it comes to making its can be clear to see where your progressing and where the roadblocks are. Here are 4 indicators I look for as I’m teaching. They apply to everyone young or old!

How well do you engage in the task at hand? The more you engage with it the more effort they are likely to put in.
If you aren’t showing interest, maybe its because the idea, material or method doesn’t connect with you? So, change something to see if that makes it any difference!

2. Complexity of ideas or use of materials
I look for layers of complexity in the idea or work. Often, the more complex, detailed, elaborate the idea or work, the more the artwork resonates with the maker. So, is it a quick scribble, or did they take time to give it thought? In young children, the simplest of marks can have huge meaning so make sure you talk with the maker (whether its you, or your child).

3. Skill Development
Did they you a new technique, have you perfected an old technique? Did you come up with a new inventive way to use something? Did they push their abilities to use that technique or have they tried to use it well and perfect it? These are signs of pushing boundaries, taking risks, giving things a go. A sign of self confidence.

4. Behaviour and Attitude
are you happy, excited, confident or contented with a project? Or is it frustrating and too challenging? There’s a fine line between pushing the boundary for growth, or pushing too far and not recieving enough support. Young people will act out when its too hard, and adults have that negative voice in their head.

I offer children the opportunity to work across a range of materials and some will come more naturally than others, so its normal that in a term one project will fit perfectly that child, but the next project won’t suit them quite as effortlessly. But, I do believe exposing young creatives (whether kids, teens or adults) to a range of experiences will only help you work out where your strengths are.