Is my kid artistically talented?

I mean, I know she’s talented, but is she Talented, as in, far enough beyond her peers that I should particularly cultivate and encourage her artistic endeavors.

She has always impressed me with her observational skill, and with her drawing prowess. She has typically drawn human figures with necks, eyes, noses, mouths, ears, hair, and fingers - even when she was just beginning. When she was four, she produced a series of drawings depicting fruit and flowers, which had a clearly cohesive feel that I found compelling. There was no doubt that these drawings were part of a whole concept.

This evening she made a card for me. It actually looks pretty squirrely and childish at first, but the visualization required really floored me. It’s an overhead view of our eating area, with the family having dinner. Chloe’s “art wall” is shown at the top (we have her drawings hung from a line across that wall), the windows and back door are along the right side, and the kitchen counters and island are at the bottom. Each family member is sitting in a chair (and yeah, we don’t have fingers in this one, I admit). There’s a candle “centerpiece” with wax dripping down and grapes draped over it (I’ve been letting her watch too much Sandra Lee).

So, I was pretty surprised with the sophistication of this drawing. But, I am her mother after all. And no matter what, I’ll be encouraging her to do art and enrolling her in art classes, but if she’s really talented I’d be looking at private drawing lessons and such.

So what do you think? I personally don’t see much art by kids her age so I don’t have a gauge for her level. In any case, it’s a fun picture to share.

Hard to say at this point whether it’s artistic skill or basic analness. That she has a good memory is probably a given, and a decent internal “eye”.

Getting good at art depends on whether she has an interest in it and continues to practice. But those same skills could work just as well in advertising, architecture, or any other number of fields (all of which pay better than “art”.) If, as a parent, you’re going to try and push her to develop along certain paths, I would recommend to stick to the generalities–good memory and visualizing the end product–rather than focusing on “art” in particular.

You didn’t say how old she is, only how old she was. Five?

It’s a cool drawing. If you’re interested in getting into art with her, why not start with a book called “Drawing with Children”? AFAIK it’s very well regarded. I don’t think art classes at 5 are necessary, but you might keep an eye out for fun art classes given by your local park district–you know, the short-term kind of thing that lasts for a month or two, doesn’t cost much, and is aimed at fun and some skills development.

If she’s talented, she’ll produce tons of stuff all on her own. For now, all you need to do is give her free rein with the art supplies and put up with having your yarn, Scotch tape, pencils, and scraps stolen. Why yes, I do speak from experience.

It’s hard for me to see if she’s talented. My girls both did something similar–they had good fine motor skills and drew a lot of very detailed stuff. I took one drawing to the pediatrician when my oldest was 3 and asked her if it was normal; you could do that. But although my girls love their art, they probably aren’t infant Matisses either.

I work with a lot of young children. The drawing looks pretty standard for a four/five-year-old. Skill develops through practice, though. As a child, I drew and doodled almost constantly. People who see me draw or who have seen my paintings frequently ask if I have had formal training. Nope, I just enjoy it.

Yeah, as I reflected more on it, I thought I was probably getting a little overexcited. Still, I think it’s a cool drawing.

I do regularly enroll her in Parks & Rec art classes. We’ve had egg carton dragons, lucky horseshoes on plastic plates, and there’s a tube sock caterpillar up in her room right now. Not to mention the clay creatures on display on our mantel (I have no illusions about that - clay is not her medium!). And yeah, I have to work hard to keep her from using up all our masking tape, glue, post it pads, postage stamps, and various other office and household supplies!

Come to think of it, we have parent-teacher conferences on the 30th, I’ll ask her teacher what she thinks about the art. I know her preschool teacher pushed for theatrical extracurricular activities, so that’s on our radar as well.

But yes, I like the idea of encouraging her observation, concentration, and spatial manipulation skills. But please don’t tell me she’ll go into advertising. Couldn’t she just be a stripper or something instead? :smiley:

Yep, that’s damned impressive.

The drawing skills themselves aren’t remarkable. What is remarkable was that she drew it from such an unusual perspective and that she accurately rendered a real-life scene. Kids draw pictures of their lives all the time, but they don’t usually draw floor plans.

I can’t imagine how Pyper sees that drawing as “standard for a four/five year old” unless she’s only looking at the motor-skills aspect of it.

Exactly how old is she? What grade is she in?

I work with children ages 2-7. In my experience, that level of ultra-detail is in fact typical of the four-year-old set. I even have pictures I drew myself at that age that bear a remarkable similarity to Unauthorized Cinnamon’s daughter’s drawing. But hey, people think I’m a great artist! :wink:

Parents are so adorable!

My 4-year-old has done some similar types of drawings, although I still think it’s totally impressive. I will also share a painting she did a few months ago: MiniWhatsit’s painting. We framed it and hung it on the wall. (Yes, we are THAT sort of parents.)

Oh yeah, sorry, she’s five years and two months old. And I agree, the fact that she was sitting at the table and visualizing the room from above was what really caught my attention. She told me she looked around the room and “worked bery hard” on it. Heehee. Then she danced around her bedroom like David Brent. She cracks me up.

miniWhatsit’s painting is really incredible! I would frame it too!

Being the mom of two incredible children myself, now nine and ten - your daughter’s drawing seems about par for my kids at that age - less realistic than my son at that age (who does seem to have some artistic talent - a good eye and the fine motor skills to translate that eye - even at four), as good as my daughters (who has little artistic ability - well, she is a fantastic weaver for her age, but not a great drawer, but turns out all that detail is a sign of non-artistic intelligence - even if her horses still at nine look far more like cows and her girls all look like Marzipan from Strongbad).

Be patient, give her lots of opportunity to explore different things. My son has shown little interest in it since about six when drawing dropped off his radar in favor of video games, the piano (he also has a great ear), skateboarding. It is my belief that with the Arts - it must be HER passion - and if it is her passion you won’t be able to stop her anyway. My son seems to have Talent, but no Passion.

(Which is fine, his grandmother is an artist and it isn’t exactly a lucrative field for supporting yourself. Its a great activity for self exploration and self fulfillment, but if you want to support yourself, your odds of ending up in that evil Advertising or teaching are really high.)


She’s wasting her time going to art school, tell her to get a job already.

The perspective is interesting, other than that, you have a five year old’s drawing.

I recall seeing a friend’s nephew’s drawings at that age, and was blown away by his use of color (mom is an artist). He’s now about 20 and iirc was recently kicked out of a seminary school. Maybe he should have stuck to art.

One thing I would say about art is that it’s not necessarily the kind of skill that requires private instruction to be nurtured.

Good art pretty much comes from within - either you’ve got It, or you don’t… the only thing you can really learn from most art classes are basic building block like perspective and colour theory and proportionality (all of which she’d learn in any half-decent high school art program).

For now, I think the parks and rec classes you mention are a perfect fit, because they’re introducing her to all sorts of interesting ways to express her creativity. You could also supplement it by setting up a little “art space” at home with lots of different art supplies for her to try out, and maybe try out some art projects together (making Fimo beads and then stringing them together to make jewellery is great fun, for example).

Is the family all murdered at the table? Why are they all laying on the table?

I’m sorry but we have a zero tolerance for this sort of threat. Your child will be expelled.


Heehee. Yes, this is the aftermath of us making her try broccoli!

I think I will set up an art space. She has her art cabinet, but trotting stuff back and forth to the kitchen table (and getting it all cleaned up for dinner time) is a bit of a pain.

Frankly, I’m glad to hear that she’s most likely around average. As exciting as it can be to think your kid might be exceptionally good at something, speaking as a former gifted student I think there is something to be said for being normal.

Graphic Artist/Father of 7 & 8 year old daughters/Husband of first grade teacher here. I love her card! I think what got you excited about this picture in the first place was what should keep you excited. Her technical skill is average for her age, but the good part is the conceptualization. Encourage art as much as you can, but the part of her mind that makes this interesting will show itself in many different ways, not just visual art. this is the same basic skill needed for writing, music or even science. My 7 year old comes out with spontaneous songs that have real depth and surprising combinations of original thoughts and they spring from the same source as your daughter’s drawing. They’re taking in vast amounts of information all the time, but they are better at organizing and combining than most kids!

MiniWhatsit’s painting is really amazing too!

Five years, two months- that’s pretty good!
I was afraid you were going to tell us she was nine or over. :smiley:

(The overhead perspective & the candle centerpiece are the most impressive factors. How many kids would think to look at things from above?)

I’m resurrecting this because irishgirl’s scary smart kid thread reminded me.

So I was both jumping the gun and totally on target with my assessment, and some of you quite accurately pinpointed the issue. Turns out she’s quite good at art, but she’s exceptional at spatial relations. She’s now 8, and when she took the CogAT this year, she scored in the 99th percentile in “non-quantitative” section - the part where they have to predict what shape box a flattened shape will make and stuff like that.

Not only is this cool in itself, but it’s nice for my husband, since he finally gets to see his genetic influence in what otherwise appears to be a clone of me. He’s got an engineering degree, while I suuuuuck at this stuff!

I was going to use the word “precious.”