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Don’t Be Labeled a "Hobbyist"

May 22, 2011

Ooo!  I feel the urge to create a hand-made greeting card coming on…

So how do you dodge the “hobbyist” label? Unless you are okay with art just being a hobby and being known as a hobbyist or armchair artist, you need to consider your motivations for making art, art that is more than an ornamental.  Here are a few points you can consider: 

  • Autobiographical – The art you make is a prism of the world through your eyes.  It contains your ideas, hopes, fears, loves, dreams, etc.
  • Political or Activist – This does not have to be on the surface.  You can make very pretty work and sell it, donating all or part of the profits to a cause that you believe will help other people.
  • Social – Art that you hope will inspire dialogues between people or groups of people.  The art is a medium of communication meant to provoke further communication.

Some art historians reject the work of Frida Kahlo as “her therapy”, an emotional dumping ground, and not “art”.  Anyone can get labeled a poseur, it seems, so don’t sweat negative labels too much.  If other people don’t get what you are doing, just ignore the griefers.   It is easier for others to rip on you for making art rather than find the courage to try and make something themselves. I sometimes like to make art that is intentionally silly or sarcastic to resist the people in the art world that are boring, elitist or just have a total stick up their ass.

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Categories: Painting, Uncategorized
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