My father was an ardent hobbyist. You might also call him a “generalist” because he didn’t focus on a specific hobby or category of interest. He was a music lover and amateur musician (trumpet), gardener (vegetables), BBQ master (with a killer secret sauce), meister mechanic, weekend golfer, and smooth social dancer (the waltz). While he didn’t have a creative arts background or formal training and never thought of himself as “talented”, a few hobby classes taken while serving in the US Air Force sparked a passion for the creative process, and he spent many happy hours in his private studio (the garage), exploring his varied interests and testing his handcrafting skills while working on a variety of arts and crafts projects.
Dad made really beautiful things in ceramic, wood, metal, and leather.
All are treasured pieces. Most importantly, he found joy in creating, and inspired our family to love ‘making things’. Let his story inspire you — Make your soul grow.
To help you get started on the search for your passion and the joy of creating a work of art, below is a list of arts and crafts hobby categories for inspiration (including a few links to topical articles) as well as Zola’s arts & craft photo gallery, and there’s a collection of video documentaries on the Art Works and Creative Perspectives channels that include insightful stories from artisans about their work, motivations, and approach to the creative process.
But, please….before buying a bunch of hobby supplies, do a little research and consider the things required for the crafting (time, money, work space, tools, supplies, basic skills and physical abilities) and what you’d like to try. Then, start small. For example, it doesn’t take much to start coloring, and many find the creative process of ‘coloring within the lines’ to be relaxing and therapeutic. Find FREE adult coloring books → HERE. Also, look for arts & crafts instructional classes offered in your community by colleges, museums, art galleries, recreation centers, and local artisans. If that doesn’t work for you, search libraries and book stores for crafting books, and do some googling. You’ll be amazed at the variety of instructional books, online courses and ‘how to’ videos available.
The Arts & Crafts Idea List
Candle and Soap Making
Glass: Cutting and Blowing
Model Building (replicas of cars, planes, ships, railroads)
Paint/Watercolor/Sketch [Check out 2017 Yosemite Conservancy art workshop schedule → Yosemite Art Center ]
Paper: Papermaking; Decoupage
Welding and Metalworking
Wood: Woodworking; Woodcarving/Whittling; Woodburning
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Feature photo is courtesy of Gratisography CC0