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Is Art a Hobby?




painter working on his canvas

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Grandma Moses wouldn’t be as renowned and successful today if she had not begun painting as a hobby when she was 77 years old.

Van Gogh wouldn’t have created the masterpiece, “Irises,” if painting was not his hobby.

Even though most people see art as a creative outlet, a task to do during your free time, or when you are feeling stressed, it can be more than a hobby.

Case in point, over the years, Picasso’s art has become more valuable than when he painted it.

For instance, in 2017, an anonymous buyer bought one of Picasso’s famous paintings, ‘Salvator Mundi,’ a painting of Jesus Christ for $450.3 million at an auction. 

This demonstrates that art lives on even after the creator dies.

Therefore, here are five reasons why you should view art as more than a hobby.

Modern artwork paint on canvas, fine art artist finishing her masterpiece

1. Art Is a Powerful Medium for Emotional Expression

Sometimes, emotions take hold of you and no matter how hard you try, they are too complex or elusive to pen them down. 

But art is something else as there are no boundaries with how to express emotions. 

You can create any art, be it a painting or a sculpture that evokes many feelings at once. 

For instance, over the years, artists have used art to showcase their emotional state or evoke feelings.

 These include:

  • Edvard Munch’s iconic painting, ‘The Scream,’ shows his feelings of anxiety in 1892 as he was walking with two of his friends. 
  • Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night,’ dominated by swirling blue and yellow brushstrokes, may have shown the condition of his mental state at the time of painting, in 1889 as he was in an asylum. 
  • The famous ballet solo ‘The Dying Swan,’ in 1905, originally performed by Anna Pavlova and choreographed by Michel Fokine as a reminder of the fragility of life.
  • The award-winning song ‘Hello’ released in 2015 by English singer-songwriter Adele, is about loss, regret, and hope.

Therefore, letting your creative juices flow as you create a masterpiece can help you express your emotions, most of which will resonate with other people.

Young artist painting wood art piece inside art home studio atelier

2. Art Therapy Positively Impacts Mental Health

Art not only helps you express your emotions, but positively impacts your mental health.

Since you utilize your creative juices while making art, this helps your mental health by reducing anxiety and managing stress. 


Because most of the time overthinking fuels anxiety or stress which may happen when you are idle. 

So, by indulging in a task that requires your utmost concentration, you are able to avoid overthinking thus impacting your mental health positively. 

For example, here are a few ways people and organizations are using art to help with mental abuse:

  • A French organization called The Centre for Services in Restorative Justice (CSJR) holds art and poetry therapy sessions to help victims and aggressors get over the damage the mental abuse may have caused.
  • The Perspective Project by Mark Anscombe showcases art by artists with mental health problems from the UK, the US, and Canada.
  • The University of California uses art to help students heal, improve their wellness and personal development called The Art of Healing.

As a result, rather than just being a passing interest, art can serve as your emotional release.

Young intercultural man and woman discussing one of paintings

3. Art Has a Potential for Financial Success

Art has the ability to help you live a comfortable life. 

You can create a masterpiece and then have your work seen or bought by many people all over the world using strategic marketing, especially through social media.

Take Jeff Koons, an American artist who has leveraged strategic marketing to create a huge following and loyal fan base.

This enabled him to become the only living artist to ever sell the most expensive art when he sold his ‘Balloon Dog (Orange)’ sculpture for $58.4 million at an auction in 2015.

The table below shows some of the most expensive paintings and highly-grossing songs with their respective artists:

ArtworkArtistPrice (in millions)
Salvator MundiLeonardo da Vinci$450.3
InterchangeWillem de Kooning$300.0
The Card PlayersPaul Cézanne$250.0
Despacito (2017)Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee$7.1
Old Town Road (2019)Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus$179

This shows that art has the possibility of making you a lot of money. 

For example, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift made the 2023 Forbes Richest Self-Made Women List with music contributing significantly to their fortunes.

Furthermore, you can monetize your art by creating a non-fungible tokens (NFTs) version of it and selling it online. NFTs are unique digital assets that represent art ownership of anything from paintings to music to in-game items.

Therefore, as an artist, you don’t have to limit your masterpieces to only your eyes, tucked away in your bedroom or study when you can showcase them for monetary gains.

And who knows, you might yet become the modern-day Leonardo da Vinci and dethrone Jeff Koons by selling one of your masterpieces for more than $58.4 million.

the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza against a colorful sunset at Giza

4. Art Preserves and Documents Cultural Heritage

Art preserves and documents culture with vivid brushstrokes by capturing historical events. Art also acts as a cultural artifact. 

For example, the Pyramids of Giza, tell tales of ancient Egyptian civilization power, spirituality, and craftsmanship. Through these tales, we have been able to understand how the Egyptians lived centuries ago.

Also, the Egyptians used hieroglyphics, a complex writing system full of pictures and symbols to represent words and sounds.

Through hieroglyphics, we have learned a lot about Egyptian culture and advancements that are the backbone of today’s technology and sciences.

Therefore, you can use art to showcase and document to future generations how life was in your time.

 This will help them see life through your eyes, and understand the diversity, challenges, and achievements of your society and the advancements available at this time. 

Young woman sculptor artist creating a bust sculpture with clay in an art studio

5. Art Helps in Personal Growth and Self-Discovery

Art has profoundly impacted self-discovery and personal growth.

In fact, Beyonce stated in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar that music helped her overcome her shyness.

Through art, you have the ability to transform from the person you are to who you have always wanted to be.

You can also cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and your place in the world when you use your creativity and express it as art.

modern dance teacher rehearses the steps in the school by dancing elegantly

Explore and Appreciate Art Beyond Its Hobbyist Image

Art is not just a hobby. It allows us to feel and evoke emotions.

So, you should not just keep your art to yourself as you can provide therapeutic benefits while honoring your culture.

Also, it serves as a source of income that can help you elevate your way of living.

Therefore, pick up that brush, write that song, create that dance, and as you widen your perspective, embrace art as more than a hobby.


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