Ever since I can remember, I love creating art. I started by drawing when I was a kid, then I discovered Digital Art in my early teens, and only then, a few years later, I discovered watercolors. Then came a time when I had to decide about my career. What I loved doing the most? Art, obviously. But was it the best career path for me to take then? I was only 17 when I had to decide - it wasn’t easy!
Art is not an easy career. Becoming noticed does not only evolve being talented, but also being able to create what people want, create what makes money, and perhaps a little bit of luck. Making art a business means that you won’t make art just because you love it, you will not always draw/paint whatever you like or whenever you wish. It will be your job and you will depend on it to pay your bills. For some people, that is not a problem at all - it is a beautiful, admiring profession - but for me, at that moment, it wasn’t what I wanted.
I desired to have art as my escape, as my unique way to express myself. I ended up enrolling in Medicine School, then in Medical Residency, and now a Sub-Especialization… I had to sacrifice myself and my free time for a long period (because Med School is no joke! R.I.P. social life) but whenever I could, I created art. And that worked for me. It still does.
And it can work for you too! It is okay to approach art as only a hobby. To be an artist without worrying about any income from your artworks. To work/study and to have art as your escape from the world. To create art and gift it to whoever you care about.
Professional, Amateur or Hobbyist - What am I?
Not really sure? Let’s see some characteristics about each of them:
Create for leisure and pleasure.
The art is not their source of income - they may have a part-time or full-time job that is.
They are not really concerned about selling their art or making money from it.
They have no deadlines, can take their time with personal projects, can create art whenever they wish and improve at their own pace.
They can take art lessons but have no commitment to professionally develop their skills.
They have a back-up plan.
They are willing to sacrifice their personal time or job in the pursuit of making art and selling it, but they’re most frequently not sure how to really do it.
Art is their full time job.
Art is their (possibly only) source of income.
They have goals that have to be worked on daily. They need to constantly work on their art, improving skills and developing their style and abilities.
They may have to work with deadlines and commissions.
They know how to price their art and know how to sell. They know how to present it on the market.
They need to invest in promoting themselves and their art in order to stay competitive in the art field.
What are the benefits of being a Hobbyist Artist?
The benefits of being a hobbyist artist are that you will be free to choose when and what to draw/paint/create, there will be no pressure on you regarding deadlines, production or improvement; you can take your own time to improve, you will be able to have your own personal projects, and on top of it, art will never be an obligation to you - not in the mood today? That’s ok!
What should Hobbyist Artists do?
Let me ask you first: what do you expect from your hobby?
Is it only a way to express yourself, to relax, to distract yourself from your troubles…? Or do you aspire to become very skilled in what you do? Do you have a personal project (per example, you want to create a collection of bird paintings, or you want to create animals sculptures to decorate your home)? Or is it just for fun?
What you should do actually depends on how you answer my question.
If you want to become skilled, then you should definitely focus on your artwork and practice, maybe read some tutorials on the internet, watch a few educational videos (there are a lot of free high quality material on the internet!). If you can, you should also take some art lessons. There is definitely no secret to become a good artist - PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE - as much as you can. And you will get there!
If you have a personal project in mind (like the birds paintings or animals sculptures examples), try to study about the topic of your project, search for some inspiration around, practice it, set some personal goals that can work with your schedule (per example - create one painting per week, or working at least 30 minutes on a sculpture per day).
If it is just for fun, to relax - then do whatever you want! Try to organize your schedule so you can have some free time reserved for your art - sometimes, if we don’t have our activities planned ahead, we’re not able to accomplish everything we want to.
Should / Can I become a Professional Artist?
Yes, of course. That is your choice. But this is a very serious and difficult decision - you should take your time before you make it and plan it ahead very carefully.
So, what do you think? Tell me in the comments, what are you - Hobbyist, Amateur, Professional? Share your experiences :)
With love and dreams,