Journaling and Coloring: From Hobby to Creative Enterprise

I have been into journaling some 30 plus years ago, back when fancy journals weren’t in style. My journal was my go-to pal at various stages of my life.

And coloring? My interest in coloring started in early 2015 back when the adult coloring book market was flourishing. The books looked awesome, the designs to me were a source of envy. I thought “I must create art like that.”

I bought all sorts of coloring books, courses, apps, learning materials, and anything I could to get a grip on this thing called coloring.

I got a number of software applications that create designs automatically. They were okay but I wasn’t pleased with them.

To make the story short, I painstakingly learned to create my designs – from hand-sketching to transforming them into digitized print quality images.  I packaged my designs as coloring journals and published them at CreateSpace and Amazon. I also sold them at Fiverr and Etsy.

Since taking on my creative hobby, I have gained new meaning in life beyond being a work-at-home mom. Although I had creative streaks while at a young age, like all of us probably did, now I am confident about the idea that I am an artist.

Lessons from a Hobbyist

Here’s what I found out through the course of roughly four years pursuing my hobby:

  • First, it’s fun. It is like child’s play and enjoying a treat at your favorite candy store!
  • Second, it’s rediscovering my long-lost creative self again. It’s liberating.
  • Third, it blessed me with a strong sense of pride in my hands. It feels really good to let things come out of the realm of imagination and give it form.
  • Fourth, it can be a great source of income. I haven’t fully maximized my earning but I did earn something.
  • Fifth, it can be a life-long career especially when taken seriously so that it matures from simply just a hobby.
365 Days of Journaling Prompts

How to Transition from a Hobbyist to a Careerist

You know that a hobbyist is one who pursues a particular hobby.  A careerist, on the other hand, is one “whose main concern is for professional advancement, especially one willing to achieve this by any means.” (Source: Oxford Dictionaries)

It’s great to have a hobby. It keeps you up and going and always young at heart; but how about making a career or business out of it?

Why not? 

I am not there yet but I have learned valuable lessons that I live by, moving forward:

  • Have a goal. What do you want to achieve with what you have? Where do you want to be? How do you see yourself years from now?
  • Small steps matter. As a saying by Confucius goes, “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.” It’s also about practicing the Tortoise mindset: “Slow and steady wins the race.”
  • Practice, practice, practice. As you may have already known, practice makes perfect! It is also by practicing that you earn experience.
  • Learn from others. You don’t always have the answers nor the skills needed so you have to turn to others as a rich resource.
  • Develop your own techniques. You may copy or emulate how others do things. Let it be a start, but it should not be the end. There’s no place for stagnation in this dynamic world. Soon, you’ll discover that you are unique on your own. You can never replicate others nor can they replicate you.
  • Believe in yourself. It’s so easy to succumb to insecurity and self-pity upon seeing the remarkable works of others and how far they have gone. However, you should always believe in yourself. If you don’t, who would? No matter how well people cheer you on, it would all be for nothing if you run away from who you are and what you could be. As Jason Mraz’ song Details in the Fabric says, “Hold your own, know your name and go your own way… everything will be fine!”
  • Take action. After all is said and done, brilliant ideas are useless without action. Action makes things happen so go for it with the belief of success despite the odds.
8 Simple Ways to Practice Daily Gratitude and Keep the Habit Growing

So what now… or what are you waiting for?

If you’re a hobbyist, you may want to think about taking your hobby to the next level. However, if you are happy basking in the joy and solitude you get from your hobby, by all means, stay on with it. After all, you are the captain of your ship and there’s not one single path to everything.

But if you’re ready, why not?

It’s worth a thought, a try, or a challenge. For sure, everything starts with a single step.

You decide.


6 thoughts on “Journaling and Coloring: From Hobby to Creative Enterprise

  1. Great insight here, thanks for sharing. I do disagree with Confucius though (I know blasphemy, right?) He said, “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.” I think it’s okay to stop once in a while to catch your breath, check out the scenery, and get your bearings. You want to make sure you’re still going in the direction you want to go. I enjoy my hobby of sewing and quilting and have no desire to take it further, however, I also enjoy speaking and helping others who have been through the death of a spouse, so that’s the direction I’m headed.

    • You do have a point about Confucius. I think he forgot to append the word permanently after stop. You do need to stop, for sure… but not for long that you lose traction, and not permanently that you lose it all. And yes, hobbyists don’t always have to go the entrepreneurial or business route. In fact, they may stop completely when they have outgrown it and it doesn’t serve their purpose anymore. All the best and thanks for your comments! I appreciate it. Cheers.

  2. As a fellow journaler of over 30 years, I loved your article. You bring such dimension to it and while I love to journal to release and heal, you do that AND turned it into an art. I’m impressed and inspired. Thank you for letting me into your world, Maria.

    • Thank you, Fran! That’s so inspiring to hear and such a great source of motivation, especially from a fellow journaler. Working at home or as a freelancer can be lonely but not much or anymore when connecting with kindred spirits. Cheers!

  3. Great post! I took up the art challenge 2 years ago. I had dropped it over 30 years ago. But I spent all those years talking about how it was my great love but never did anything with it. I’ve made great progress and learning lots and lots but I’m happy to keep it as a hobby for now.


    • You’re right! Not everyone is on the same boat about hobbies and passions and there’s no wrong way… only fun way! Time unfolds in one’s own terms and we never know what appears in our midst or what we do with what we have. Enjoy whatever it is that makes you happy. 🙂

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