Reflect on Your Creative Process with Studio Thinking

Art EducationBrigida SwansonComment
How to reflect on your creative process with Studio Thinking from Yardia by Brigida Swanson | art, leadership and education

A few times a year I have my students reflect on their creative journey with a self-reflection rubric based on Harvard Project Zero’s Artist Habits of Mind, also known as Studio Thinking. These eight habits show how artists and art students develop their work in the classroom or studio. I developed a rubric based on both the Artist Habits of Mind and the new art education standards to help my students reflect on their creative habits by naming their strengths and stretches. Here are 24 questions to consider.


1.      When observing visual references, do you pay attention to the details?

2.      Do you search for imagery that is unexpected or interprets your topic in a new way?

3.      Do you try to interpret the artist’s intent or mood in artworks you view?

Develop Craft

4.      Do you practice techniques and experiment with materials?

5.      Do you show attention to detail in your work?

6.      Do you select and use materials with care?

Engage and Persist

7.      Do you use positive self-talk to work through creative frustrations?

8.      Do you take risks in your art and embrace challenging work?

9.      Do you practice perseverance to develop your craftsmanship and creativity?


10.   Do you plan your work through sketches, lists and color palettes?

11.   Are you self-motivated to seek knowledge about new ideas for your artwork?

12.    Do you sketch multiple ideas for each project so that you can choose the most creative one?


13.   Do you convey ideas and feelings in a way that others can connect to your artwork?

14.   Do you look for ways to personalize your artwork?

15.   Do you create artworks with personal meaning that goes beyond the literal image?


16.   Do you step back from your work to see it from a new perspective?

17.   Do you make changes to your art based on feedback and critical reflection?

18.   Do you reflect on how your choices in composition and imagery support the idea or topic of your artwork?

Stretch and Explore

19.   Are you open to constructive feedback and use it to improve your work?

20.   Do you see mistakes as opportunities to be creative?

21.   Do you tackle difficult problems that don’t have easy or obvious solutions in your artwork?

Understand Art Community

22.   Do you ask others for feedback throughout your creative process?

23.   Do you give feedback on an artwork, and not on the person who created the artwork?

24.   Do you respect the need for individual focus during studio work times?


Ask your students to think about which habits are their biggest strengths and which are their biggest stretches. What changes or risks can they take to work on improving the habits that are the most challenging?