Creating something is truly a joyous activity, but it can often seem superfluous in the face of more important parts of life. However, creative hobbies are an important way to enrich one’s life and strengthen one’s mental health. Furthermore, creative pastimes can become something more, and that has never been the case more than in the digital age. With the right tools in your arsenal, you can make your creative hobby a career. Here’s what you need to know.
Make It Official
One of the most important parts of a creative career is protecting your work from being used for the personal gain of others. Copyright and IP law are in place to protect creative works, but they can only do so if you take the initiative to register your Intellectual Property through the proper channels. While these laws have long protected creators, they become even more important where the internet is concerned. Social media is an important part of promoting your creative works in order to gain a following and eventually income, but it also means sharing your work for free and with no inherent copyright protection. However, beyond simply legally enforcing copyright, a common practice with visual mediums is to apply watermarks to any publicly shared works. Another important tactic is to keep older works on social media, just in case someone tries to infringe upon you IP. In this instance, you will have documentation that your work was posted prior to the stolen version.
Theory and Praxis
Creative endeavors are as old as the human species, and it’s often a seemingly innate part of people to engage in acts of creation. This leads to many practicing artistic hobbies for fun, and this is a wonderful thing. However, self taught creators often face unnecessary hardships, because thinking of art purely as a hobby can allow artists to develop bad habits and limit the scope of their skills. For example, many visual artists have lamented spending too much time drawing or painting a specific thing or archetype far too often, meaning that other skills have gone neglected. For the best possible results, a creator should study their craft thoroughly and practice a wide variety of techniques in order to round out their toolkit. Perhaps the best example in terms of drawing and painting is the problem of eschewing realism for a stylistic way of rendering. While realism may not be something that you’re interested in or something you desire in your work, taking the time to learn it anyway allows you to do more, even within a simpler style.
Another problem with the self taught creator is that missing out on a structured method of study means simultaneously missing out on much needed discipline. In order to improve your craft, gain a following, or publish a professional work, you’ll need to invest a ton of time into your work. For example, many professional illustrators have tons of drawings of hands and feet on hand to demonstrate the amount of effort that has gone into perfecting their craft. Hands and feet are difficult for beginners to draw, so spending time getting it right is crucial. Likewise, painting faces is monumentally difficult for beginners, and learning how to do it will take a lot of trial and error. Honing your skills consistently is also important for expediting your process, something that becomes ever more crucial for professionals and those who aim to achieve professional status. For example, creating a graphic novel entails drawing a vast number of individual panels that can take quite a long time, especially for an individual, and getting used to creating these panels efficiently is essential.
Achieving a creative career is something that many desire, but it’s necessarily something that is reserved for a select few. Therefore, making a career out of your creative hobby will require hard work and, more importantly, keeping your head on a swivel. It’s not an easy road to walk, but with the right knowledge at your disposal, you can achieve that goal.