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 stage of my life.
And coloring? My interest in coloring started in 2015 with the explosion of the adult coloring book market. 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.
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?
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.
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.