I am a designer and as such, I have many creative hobbies. I love having these hobbies because it allows me to be creative without worrying about deadlines or trying to please specific people. But having creative hobbies has also helped me with my design work.
So today I wanted to do something a little different and share some creative hobbies you can try. I’ve tried to select a broad range of hobbies in terms of cost and the skill you need to get started. I think especially while lockdown continues, and the fact this pandemic could be around for a good while yet, it’s a good idea to have something to work on so you don’t need to think about all the scary things happening in the world.
Why Have a Creative Hobby?
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be creative, it can still be a good idea to try out some creative hobbies. Hobbies are a great way to relax and can help your mental health. I think especially right now we all need a little distraction. I know that with doing something creative there is always the urge to make “good” work. But hobbies shouldn’t be stressful, you should do something because you enjoy it.
Learning new skills can have lots of benefits, creativity gives you a new outlook. It can help with problem-solving, possibly giving you a new way to think about work. You never know, it might get to the point where you could turn a hobby into a job.
7 Creative Hobbies You Need To Try
Could be anything you enjoy, but I always recommend having a hobby where you create something. There are far more creative hobbies than I’ve mentioned here. I just wanted to give an idea of where to start.
I enjoy journaling, you can use it to record your day or even specific events. There is something satisfying about looking back through old journals. The thing I love most about journaling is how creative you can get with it. Yes, you could keep a journal which is pure writing, but you could also try art journaling.
The great thing about journaling is you can customise it to your skills. It could be art, writing or a mixture of the two. You could even use an art journal as a place to improve your art skills and try new things. Or you could keep a journal where you save things you saw on holiday, this is a great place to keep all those tickets and other bits of ephemera you always collect while on holiday. If you want to see an example of a nice travel journal check out Alicia Aradilla on youtube.
Of course, I can’t mention journaling without talking about bullet journals. The bullet journal can be whatever you want. If you want to keep a bullet journal as a way to record your day, that is possible. Likewise, if you want to use your bullet journal as a more artistic hobby, that’s possible too. I love the bullet journal system because you can do whatever you want.
I’ve said this before but I love collage. This is a very fun and easy hobby to get into. I love it because you don’t need any artistic skill to get started. You also don’t need much in the way of materials. Just scissors and glue. I don’t buy specific things to collage, I work with the magazines and other bits of paper or artwork. I hate throwing paper out so collage is a great way to turn rubbish into something else.
If you think collage sounds like a kids craft it’s really not. Some very well known artists have worked with collage over the years. Matisse is probably one of the best-known artists who worked with torn paper. One of the reasons he did this is because collage was something he could do from his bed while unwell.
I think I’ve also mentioned in previous posts how you can use collage as a way to decorate pages in your bullet journal. If you want to learn more about collage this video is a great place to start.
Calligraphy is one of my creative hobbies. I’ve always had an interest in writing, but I started learning calligraphy 4 years ago. One thing I have found with calligraphy is that it becomes more complicated the more I learn about it. But one of the great things about calligraphy is that it’s really easy to get started.
I think before I go any further I should explain some basic terms because I see them get mixed up quite a bit online. Calligraphy is the act of writing letters with some sort of tool, for example, a pen or brush. Lettering is when you draw the components to make a letter. You know that weird S shape everyone used to draw at school? Yeah, that’s lettering.
Modern calligraphy is extremely popular right now and is very easy to get started with. You don’t need to buy many materials, just a dip pen or brush and ink. And you might already have the things you need to get started with calligraphy.
You can also do calligraphy with a regular pen or pencil, there are some forms of calligraphy where the line thickness never changes. Though if you want that more classic calligraphy look you can get into faux calligraphy (this is more lettering than calligraphy but oh well).
I have a whole post on my favourite calligraphy books for beginners. But there are also some really good Skillshare classes if you want to learn the basics. This class by Bryn Chernoff is particularly good. If you want to try out Skillshare I also have a code where you can get two free months of premium *affiliate link*.
Okay, here is a secret that a lot of people outside of the art world don’t realise. You don’t need to be good at painting to make something that looks nice. Yes, you need to be skilled if you want to paint something true to life. But there are no rules are saying you have to paint true to life.
Illustration is sort of like fine art but also it’s not. Illustration is about sending a specific message to the viewer. But if you think you aren’t good enough at art, you should take some inspiration from illustrators. With illustration its a good idea to have an identifiable style. You want to do something that only you could do. So if your art looks like a kid made it, who cares, keep practising and you will get better.
Right now I’ve been taking part in the 100-day project. This is where you commit to doing something creative each day for 100 days. I’ve been painting houses I find in Google maps (yay lockdown). Painting can be a great creative hobby, you don’t need to do full landscapes. You can start out doing little patterns. For medium, I prefer gouache, but acrylic and watercolour paint work just as well. Just try things out and see what you like.
Photography is a great hobby to get into because you need very little to get started. You don’t need to go out and buy a fancy expensive camera. Chances are you have a camera phone and these are getting so good now you don’t need to buy a camera. Photography is great because of how challenging it can be. You don’t need to go outside to take photos.
If you like the idea of photography you could always get into analogue photography. Lomo cameras are great because they are so low quality you get really interesting photos you would never get from a good camera. If you like the photographic process you could also look into cyanotype which is still technically photography but done using chemical processes.
6. Block Printing
I love block printing because of how simple it is. You can choose to go detailed and carve a full illustration into a piece of Lino. But you could also do something really simple, making a repeating pattern using simple shapes.
There are specific block printing tools you can buy, like ink, brayer, lino and cutting tools. But you could also go simple and cut shapes into vegetables and use those for printing. Now you may think this is a hobby for kids, and you would be right. But you can still get some really interesting results from simple techniques.
The great thing is that after finding an illustration or repeating pattern that you like. You can start printing on fabric, you could customise a tea towel or tote bag with your unique design. If you really want to get into printing I would highly recommend checking out this video.
7. Book binding
One of my creative hobbies is bookbinding. This is a little more technical than some of the other hobbies I’ve mentioned on this list. It also requires some very specific tools. But I love making my own sketchbooks, especially when I integrate old prints or other bits of artwork into my book.
If you’re an artist I would highly recommend you give bookbinding a try. One of the great things about bookbinding is how you can make sketchbooks exactly to your preference. I know it can be tricky to find watercolour sketchbooks which I like. Bookbinding fixes this problem because I can choose which paper and how many pages will be in my sketchbook.
Of course, you don’t need to just make sketchbooks. In the past, I’ve made notebooks using the same bookbinding techniques. If you really want to get into bookbinding I would highly recommend checking out Sea Lemon on YouTube. Almost everything I know about bookbinding I learned from her channel. I would also like to give Shepards of London a little shoutout. They sell bookbinding supplies and are the main shop I use (not spon, they just have great customer service).
I hope you got some ideas from that of creative hobbies to try. I think one of the most important things you need to remember is that a hobby should be enjoyable. You shouldn’t go into it with the intent to make incredible pieces of art.
You don’t need to share anything you make, either in person or online. The point of a hobby to do something you enjoy. As a way to de-stress and maybe not think about the world for a little while. If you try out any of the hobbies mentioned I would love to see what you make.