A Hobby Away from My Hobby

Well, it seems I can not avoid this little text box any more! I’ve been so holed up away from human contact in order to press ahead on some deadlines that I’ve sorely neglected my little corner of cyberspace.

In truth, I’ve also been taking time out for myself to visit with old friends and break the shackles from the computer and art desk for a few evenings. Sometimes we just need to unplug and get out of the darkness, especially for work-at-homers who don’t get to socialize with others as much. Sitting in the dark on the computer or art desk, while effective for producing a vampire-like pallor, is not conducive to good health in the long run!

It’s become even more apparent to me lately the subtleties of switching from an art hobbyist to a professional work-at-home type. Not only is there the lack of a social workplace, but there is also the fact that if I’m not careful, I’ll work myself into the ground! It’s an easy thing for me to think up things that need to be done and much harder to sit and relax with idle hands. I’ve always been a bit of a work-o-holic and I can guarantee those that think working at home is nothing but laziness and fun will think differently if left to their own devices! If you don’t work, you don’t get paid, you don’t get your next job, and you don’t have anyone to blame but yourself.

In order to keep myself sane these days, I’ve turned to a ‘hobby away from my hobby’. With drawing and painting my main job, I find myself sadly less willing to paint and draw on my own personal projects. My friend, who plays iphone games that pay real money recommended it, and the urge is still there, but the exhaustion can prevent me from really putting my all into personal pieces. I’d rather not work on them at all if I can’t put as much love and attention into them as I do for my professional work!

And that is where my old love of handicrafts has arrived to save the day! I was an avid friendship bracelet maker, a knitter, a pop-up book maker, and a sculptor back before painting and drawing consumed my life. If I could not create 2D things for pleasure, than I can create 3D things to appease the muse! This has led to a flurry of new jewelry experiments and a renewed interest in leathercrafting. I love to experiment and learn new things and it feels so wonderful to have an outlet that gets me away from the computer and using my hands in a more physical manner.

(The morbidly curious can go see some of my latest handicrafts here)

More importantly, I enjoy the change of pace as I have not quite gotten used to the monotony that is sleeping, working, and relaxing all in the single room that is my studio and bedroom!

So if you can’t find me at my art desk or computer these days, look for me in the beading aisles of Joanns and Michaels where I am happily immersed in saving my own sanity!

How about all of you? Work-at-Homers, how do you deal with the monotony of home life? What are your other hobbies that keep you from going insane? Or are you already insane and hoping for a change of pace?


  1. Coty says:

    Since I do have a day job I do not get tired of the office at home, however in the Summer I am off from my day job and it can get overwhelming. My hobbies are reading, exercising (outside in the warm season) and also taking stock photos ­čÖé which I do as I take walks outside.

  2. Hayley E. Lavik says:

    I’ve really found the value of getting back into hobbies during the past few months. Once I was utterly full time, no school or anything, I found I couldn’t ever really just sit and do nothing. Never just be. If I wasn’t working, I wound up spending entire movies and ‘quality time’ poking around on the internet and doing things that felt productive but are actually a waste of time.

    Poking a little bit at drawing again, and moreso experimenting in a bit of jewelry making and wire-wrapping has given me something to turn to and unwind with while not feeling like I’m just sitting around wasting time. The other thing I really love about them are that they’re completely visual, where writing requires a lot more of my brain to focus on the task. When I don’t need to string sentences together, I can talk, watch tv or movies, or do other things while my hands keep working. Writing anything beyond notes just doesn’t work that way.

    Otherwise I try to kill the monotony with changes of scenery for where I work, and I decided early on in the process that my office space would not be the same place I sleep. Unfortunately I know that’s not the option for everyone. At least you’ve got time with Frank to get you out of your cave and remind you that you aren’t actually imprisoned, right?

  3. Angela Sasser says:

    Ah exercising. I’m trying to get back into an exercise hour, which used to be walking my dog down the road. But winter has nixed my outside time.

    DDR on the Wii helps as a substitute, but man is it difficult trying to convince myself exercise isn’t a waste of time since there are no immediate results! I know it will help in the long run, but I have a bad habit of just working straight on through the day and night (workoholic galore XD)

    Reading and stock photos sound like great hobbies to have! I need to do more of both of those myself:)

  4. Angela Sasser says:

    That’s good that you’ve rediscovered the value of hobbies. I think it’s important that they engage another side of your brain that does not feel so obligated to do what it does most of the time (ie. writing/researching, or in my case, drawing/painting/more drawing)

    I think that’s why I’m enjoying leather and jewelry so much. I can still feel productive and artistic, but there isn’t as much responsibility attached to that as if it were my job. I can do both while watching tv and it engages that part of my brain that’s learning something new and pressing creative boundaries.

    One thing I’m finding right now is I don’t really feel like I’m progressing much artwise (at least not in subject matter and in challenging my boundaries). I’m very safely within a certain area (and for good reason!) which is what always motivated my personal artwork before it became my job. Now, while I’m keeping consistent for the sake of a project, I press boundaries in other ways.

    As for changing scenery, I’d really like to get involved in the local gallery and go to life drawing events, it just takes money to drive into Atlanta, to pay for joining the groups there, food, etc. I’d like to start a weekly sketch group closer to home, but just a matter of logistics to be figured out, which has been something I’ve been too tired to think about these days. It’ll happen I’m sure, just…geh so much going on! I will stick to my own cheap company for now.

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