Please don’t call it my “hobby”

If someone has a part-time job, do you refer to it as a “hobby”?  What if they also hold down a full-time job–does that make the part-time job a “hobby”?  If they aspire to make the part-time job their full-time job someday, is it still a “hobby”?

Probably your answer to all three of these is “No”.  Yet if the part-time job is making and selling art, many people dismiss it as a hobby.  This happened to me at my full-time job today.  I wanted to ask this person where they draw the line between “hobby” and “job”.

If a hobby is something you only do for enjoyment, then what about people who really love their job?  If a job is something you make money doing, then what about the fact that I have  sold originals, prints and cards, and done many commissioned works?  If a hobby is what one pursues on evenings and weekends, then what about people who work a second job on evenings and weekends to make ends meet?  How about aspiring actors and actresses who work part-time so they can pay the rent while they answer casting calls, hoping for their big break?

I take my art seriously.  I don’t call it a hobby; I call it my other career.  I’ve done a lot of research to plan how to advance myself in it, and am executing on it.  A business plan, goals, milestones, website, exposure opportunities, networking, social media.  Regarding it this way gives me the discipline to carve out the time to make art that is meaningful and will hopefully advance my career, not simply dally for personal amusement.  I enjoy the work very much, but I’ve had to sacrifice the time I used to spend on multiple interests–hobbies–to keep it up.

So please, don’t call it my “hobby”!

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