Artistic Behaviors: guiding questions and rubric

Artistic Behaviors

Guiding Questions

Where do you stand?

Artists Create Original Art

think creatively

-develop original ideas

-personal responsibility

How did you use your own unique ideas in your art work?

Did you use a source for inspiration, then combine it with your own ideas to make it something new and innovative?

1. Ideas are un-original, copied, or plagiarized.

2. An attempt has been made to use original ideas that is somewhat unsuccessful, low level changes are made.

3. Ideas are original–unique to the artist or borrowed ideas are merged/changed to create something new.

4. Ideas are original and creative. A personal style develops.

Artists Communicate Through Their Work


-include personal interests

-examine important issues

What is this artwork intended to say?How is it achieved?

What ideas are you exploring through your artwork? How does it convey meaning?

How is this artwork about who you are or what you like?  What features did you include in your artwork to communicate with others?

1. There is no original message or meaning in the artwork.

2. An original message is attempted, but it becomes lost or confused.

3. The work has a discernible message that is accessible to the viewer.

4. The work has impact and makes a personal connection with the viewer.

Artists Collaborate / Community

-share ideas and knowledge




-volunteer outside classroom (Arthaus, or other organizations)

-attend artist talk or gallery opening.

Did you ask another student for feedback during your work process?

Did someone help you understand important information or inspire you?

How did you participate as an art community member?

1. Artist works alone. Sitting quietly by one’s self and not sharing or caring about/with others.

2. Artist collaborates passively. Learning to interact as an artist with other artists.

3. Artist actively collaborates. Only interacting with those in our art studio.

4. Artist takes on leadership roles within groups.   Searching out other art communities, or starting one when one can’t be found.

Artists Plan

-do research

-make sketches

-create maquette

What is it you want to know about your subject matter?

How is your sketch or maquette different from your final artwork?

What did you learn from your sketch, or preliminary process?

What ideas did you explore while planning your artwork?

1. Artist “goes” with first idea.

2. Artist creates a sketch and edits as artwork is constructed.

3. Artist creates multiple sketches of similar quality and detail, all plausible solutions.

4. Artist creates several sketches and/or models, based on research.

Artists Take Risks

-try new media/processes

-experiments with materials and techniques, applies results.

What did you try that you weren’t sure about as part of this project?

What did you learn from selecting a material or technique that was new or different over something that was familiar?

1. Artist selects familiar options with predictable outcomes.

2. Artist takes limited risks where the outcome is somewhat predictable.

3. Artist selects options where the outcome is unsure.

4. Artist embraces the potential of risk to take work to the next level.

Artists use materials and tools in an appropriate and safe way

-keep clay, material and project from drying out.

-follows clean up procedures for tables and floors

avoids creating/distributing clay dust

-safely use tools, equipment and materials

Stuck? Respond to this classroom example.

How do you use and maintain tools and equipment to make creative ceramic artworks?

How do you store and maintain materials, equipment, and/or artworks in the studio to prevent damage?

What are some of correct procedures you have learned and practiced  while using potentially hazardous materials and/or equipment in the art studio?

1. Artist does not maintain materials, tools, or equipment in appropriate or safe way.

2. Artist attempts to maintain and use materials in an appropriate and safe way, but the effort remains incomplete.

3. Artist uses materials, tools, or equipment in an appropriate and safe way, with reminder or assistance.

4. Artist independently uses materials, tools and equipment in an appropriate and safe way.

Artists Research

-find multiple photos of the subject

-read about a subject

-witness firsthand

-find relevant artists/artwork

What did you set out to learn about your topic, subject matter, or form through research?

What sources did you use for your research? How did you evaluate their credibility?

What did you learn from your research?

How did you apply what you learned to your artwork?

1. Artist finds one image and goes with it. Or only what is presented in class.

2. Artist does research, but only bases artwork on one image.

3. Artist does research and collects research into a single place.  Uses several sources to determine the “look” of, idea, or form

4. Artist does first-hand observing of a topic. Artist includes both written and visual research. Artist draws from multiple sources.

Artists Develop Art Making Skills

-learn techniques and processes

-explore media

What new techniques or processes have you learned? How did you apply it to your work?

How did you increase your skill with familiar materials or techniques?

1. Artist stays at their current skill level.

2. Artist attempts to learn new skills, but gives up when presented with challenges.

3. Artist puts forth needed effort to develop new skills successfully.

4. Artist’s development/effort exceeds expectations.

Artists Reflect

analyze work and process


When did you step back and analyze your work during this project? What was the result?

If you could create this artwork again from the beginning, how would it be different?

1. Artist does not reflect.

2. Artist needs help to analyze work.

3. Artist can independently understand strengths and weaknesses of artwork.

4. Artist can independently analyze artwork and apply observations to past, present, and future work.

Artists Have a Global Awareness of Art making

-art history

-what is happening in the art world outside of the classroom

– primary source, contemporary artist/historian

How did you find inspiration from another artist or culture?

How did you use ideas or tools from another content area in your artwork?

Did you research and make connections to another artist, art period, or art movement?

1. Artist understands art in a personal context.

2. Artist has limited awareness of art outside of their personal experience, may be limited to artists/cultures presented in class.

3. Artist understands and can talk/write about specific examples of art outside their personal experience.

4. Artist understands and takes inspiration for art making from current/historical global sources.

Artists Solve Problems

-try alternative solutions

-use mistakes as learning opportunities


How did you respond to challenges that occurred as you worked?

Did your work take an unexpected turn due to a mistake or something unplanned or considered? How did you resolve the problems?

1. Artist gives up when confronted with problems.

2. Artist can solve problem with help.

3. Artist is self directed in seeking out and attempting solutions.

4. Artist generates solutions to problems independently.

Artists Observe

-looking closely

-seeing beyond “ordinary looking”

-may include making connections of meaning, nuance of form/design, relationship of the form and its surface.

Did you notice anything new about your subject matter or your artwork?

How did you apply what you observed in your artwork?

How does your work guide the viewer to a new understanding due to your careful observation?

1. Ordinary “looking”.”I saw it.”

2.  Artist can “see” things more closely with help. i.e. qualities of the form or negative space.

3. Artist moves beyond ordinary “looking” and notices things that otherwise might be overlooked.

4. Artist attends to details in visual, audible, and written contexts.  Artist applies these details and highlights these details. 

Thank you Melissa Purtee, Ian Sands, and Jean Freer Barnett for sharing your rubrics, wisdom and inspiration!

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