Do you have a budding artist in the family? Does your son or daughter love to draw or paint? Does he constantly pester you for coloring books or art materials? If so, encourage them to continue what he or she is doing. Those meaningless scribbles might be the start of a bright future. Your kid might not become another van Gogh or Salvador Dali but he or she will surely benefit from a good art education.Unknown to many, a strong art education is important, as it helps children develop skills that they need to be successful in life. Among the many benefits of art education are self-directed learning, improved school attendance and better creative skills. Recent studies have shown that the creativity and innovation used in the artistic process are highly valued by employers.Creative arts programs play a big role in shaping students’ self-image and increasing their skills in math, science, geography and language. Early exposure to visual art, music or drama is known to promote brain activity. It encourages learning and helps people understand other subjects easily. Art also promotes creativity and inventiveness and helps develop self-esteem, self-discipline and self-motivation.But that’s not all. Art activities help kids understand the human experience. It teaches them to respect other people’s’ ways of working and thinking, helps develop creative problem-solving skills, and enables them to communicate their thoughts and ideas in many ways. Unfortunately, the hard times have affected the way people see art. Often, art programs are the first to be sacrificed in implementing cost-cutting measures. Several schools have limited classroom space and art “studios” are mostly found in a cart that is transferred from room to room. This greatly limits the art education that students receive.How do we solve this problem? Start by encouraging kids to draw. All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper, yet this simple process provides the basis for other creative activities, such as painting and sculpture. Drawing is a direct link to reading, writing and math. This is the most accessible art form available that will go a long way in making your child a better person someday.