What Happened to the Hobby?

So I have this thing. I think it’s a desire to start my own business, though I’m not quite sure. Whatever I find myself doing, be it making Christmas cards or baby shower gifts or clothing, I always get, “You should sell that.”

It’s great, really. And it’s flattering and it makes me really proud of my stuff. And in my head I picture myself in an uptown studio surrounded by color and inspiration while making a living off my art. Yet recently I’ve taken a few steps back and thought, “What if I never sold anything?”

The art of the hobby has somehow gone by the wayside. At least in my world and in my heart. If I use my designs and my creativity to start a business, the “for fun” aspect becomes a little less prominent. Sure, I’ll still enjoy it, but if you’re going to charge people money for something, it better be good.

I’m sure I romanticize hobbies as much as I romanticize owning my own business. But when I think about life as we know it, how often do we leisurely do anything? Must everything become a money-making endeavor?

I know we have many creative readers out there. For those of you who have taken your passions into the world of business, what made you decide to take the leap? Do you miss having a hobby, or have you loved following your art into the world of business? Where should we draw the line?

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5 thoughts on “What Happened to the Hobby?”

  1. The way my friend suggested to me was that I overlap so I make crafty bits by evening and then work my normal full time job. The option I was working towards was that if I could cover a certain percentage of the bills by the craft stuff then I could leave my FT job and do the craft stuff.

    I could then do waitressing in a coffee shop or something like that to cover the rest of the bills because then would give me time to make stuff but also then I can still earn some money and if it's a slow month I can take more shifts as the coffee shop.

  2. I work full time in an office for 50 hours per week, but I'm always dreaming about working creatively. I imagine myself reselling vintage items, blogging, freelancing writing, and working on interesting creative projects for a living. Even if it required a pay-cut, I would feel more fulfilled.

    I've sold art at an art market and I'm glad I did it because it helped me connected with fellow artists and creative souls in my city. It was excellent for networking. But working as much as I do I never made anything I was proud of. I didn't get to make enough merchandise. I was not proud enough of anything I put out. I made a little money, but I think of it as only covering my start-up costs since profits were minimal.

    I suggest you try to profit doing only what comes very easily to you. If you paint or sew fast and easy, plan your line (super important!), plan your marketing, and get out there to sell! I realized I'm far quicker at writing, marketing, and staging so my new career goals will revolve around that.

    GOOD LUCK to you, miss. I can see you are talented and truly believe you should plan your trajectory and pursue your passion. Life's too short not to!

  3. I have always done something creative in my life starting at age 5 with my first cardboard store selling potholders in front of my parents store. I've tried many different creative "hobbies." My DH would tease me saying as soon as I had acquired all of the tools necessary for a hobby I would move on to the next. I've learned over the years that if you have a creative soul, you have to have a creative outlet. It's not an option. If I don't get time in my workshop, I become a very grumpy person. In 2002 I finally found the medium I love – glass. I started selling my work to pay for my tools and equipment. At some point I got caught up in the whole making money thing and quickly found that online marketing consumed my creative time. I'm slowly finding a balance. Unfortunately very few artists that I know are actually making a living from their art. But it is fun, and you never know you might come up with a product that will do great. I know a woman who does really well selling dog collars that she makes. There are online selling venues and shopping carts for blogs that are free to use. If you want more info feel free to contact me.

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