Taking Art Further Than a Hobby
There are people at many different stages of art-making, from dabbler to professional. What defines an artist as opposed to a hobbyist? How does one take his hobby further? This is something I’ve been thinking about recently, and I wanted to share my thoughts.
A hobby is something done for fun in one’s free time. Hobbyists typically do not sell what they produce as it is solely for their enjoyment. Furthermore, they are not necessarily looking to better their skills. Cooking is a hobby of mine because it is something I like to do in my free time. I don’t call myself a chef and I’m not looking to make money doing it. I like to try new recipes and techniques, but I’m not interested in pursuing culinary school.
When a hobby ceases to be fun, the hobbyist will stop doing it. The artist will continue to push through, even when it is not “fun,” because they find greater fulfillment in what they are doing. Most of the time, I enjoy making art, but at the same time, it feels like work! Something that helped me take my art further was studying studio art in college. For those who are not looking to go back to college, there are other options for art education. Taking a class at a local art center is a good place to start. Having an instructor to guide you can really help you grow in your abilities. There are even art courses online if you want to learn at home.
Another thing that is really important is setting aside dedicated time for your art. If you develop a routine, it will help you to push through the times when you just aren’t feeling it and keep going. This can be a real challenge if you are busy, but just setting aside half an hour a day can really make a big difference over time. I like monitoring the open studio at the Dunedin Fine Art Center because it means I have a 2.5-hour time-frame to draw the figure every week. I also like to work on my art over the weekends and sometimes after work. One of my goals moving forward is to develop a more organized and specific art routine.
Once you’ve honed your skills and have a large body of work, you can look for opportunities to display your work. I started with local exhibitions and outdoor art shows. You want to get your work in front of a lot of people, but it is also good to be selective in where you show your artwork. I recently turned down an offer to display my work in a gallery because I didn’t feel the gallery was a good fit. Creative Pinellas is a good place to start looking for art opportunities. Another site I’ve used is St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.
I will be teaching a portrait drawing workshop on Saturday, February 29th, from 10AM to 2:30PM. Spots are still open and details can be found here.