25 Art Hobbies to Help You Explore Your Creative Side

There are hundreds of ways to express yourself through art. Art hobbies allow us to convey our thoughts through imagery, song, and the written word.

If you’re searching for the perfect method of artistic expression, consider dabbling in these 25 artistic hobbies. Some are easy to learn, while others require intense practice to perfect.

Whether you want to explore or become a grand master, consider trying an artistic hobby to showcase your creativity.

Top 10 Artistic Hobbies To Check Out

When people think of art, a few images immediately spring to mind. Maybe you thought of Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, two of the most famed paintings of all time.

Instead, maybe you thought of yourself sketching a portrait or designing a new meme on your drawing tablet.

Here are some of the most common artistic hobbies to consider.

Fine Art Painting

Fine art is the epitome of artistic expression. We wander museums dedicated to the form, celebrate the grand masters from centuries past, and marvel at the immense talent required to make a form come to life with paint.

Styles of Fine Art Painting

Painting is a fantastic hobby because it’s so versatile. The different art styles offer many options for artistic expression.

Those who want to step outside the world of order can let loose with abstract painting, while those looking to showcase the beauty of the world around us can embrace realism. Recreate a dream world with surrealism, or embrace your love of mathematics with geometric abstraction. 

How Do I Start?

Though you can use many mediums to paint on canvas, the easiest to start with are oil or acrylic paints. Acrylics are easier to clean, dry faster, and are more versatile for playing with textures. Oil paints are easier to blend and have a more professional look.

If you’re painting for fun, start with acrylics, which are a little easier and cheaper, but if you love it, graduate to oils to see how much more you can achieve with layers and blending.

The only other supplies you need to get started are a canvas, palette, and paintbrush.

Watercolors

Though watercolor painting can be a form of fine art, the medium is much more challenging. Traditional watercolors require the perfect mix of water and pigment to prevent running.

Watercolors are easy to clean and often the top choice for children’s art sets, offering paint-by-numbers. Most art stores now offer watercolor pens, which allow artists to create stunning watercolor effects with less effort. 

How Do I Start?

If you want to try watercolor painting, consider getting a travel set. These sets typically include a small palette of different colors, a brush, and space for mixing.

Because watercolors are so watery, they aren’t ideal for every painting surface. Many papers will warp and break when you apply the paint, so you need special watercolor paper designed explicitly for this media.

Pastel Drawing

For a different type of artwork, consider drawing with pastels. Pastels are great because you can draw sharp, bold lines and smear them for fabulous shading effects.

Pastels come in both chalk and oil. Both are fun to play with, but oil pastels are more professional grade.

The biggest downside to working with pastels is the mess. They stain your hands while you draw and can be challenging to wash off.

How Do I Start?

To start with pastels, you only need a box of pastels and paper. A mixed-media art notebook is an excellent option for works in pastels. The mixed media paper holds the medium well, and the bound paper makes it easy to take with you wherever you go.

Traditional Sketching

Sketching is a classic artistic hobby. It’s easy to start and doesn’t require any cleanup. It’s also low-cost for those looking to explore their creativity on a budget.

Consider taking your sketchbook with you and drawing the things you see outside. Sketch your neighborhood, your dog, library aisles, or the pretty tree in the nearby park. Make up your own fairy tale creatures or clothing designs.

How Do I Start?

Drawing is the most accessible art hobby to start. All you need is a pencil and paper. If you want to dive in, consider getting a sketchbook and a graphite pencil set with different weights. The various tips will help you create bolder lines and more delicate shading.

If you want to get colorful, consider sketching with a colored pencil set.

Graphic Design

Not all art hobbies require pencil and paper. Digital art is exploding, and you can create fantastic effects with a drawing tablet and graphic design software.

A bonus of learning graphic design as a hobby is that it’s an in-demand skill. Those looking to make a little money in their free time should explore the world of graphic design. Small businesses and creators around the country look to freelance designers for logo designs, business card designs, custom emotes, web design, and other digital arts.

How Do I Start?

Graphic design has a steeper learning curve than many other artistic hobbies. You’ll want to find a program you enjoy using, such as Illustrator. Gimp offers a free suite of design elements for those getting started.

You can also invest in a drawing tablet to quickly transfer your sketches to your computer for editing.

Collage

Collage uses a multitude of different media to create a work of art. Consider combining images from magazines with markers and stickers on a whiteboard to create a vision board or use imagery you find in newspapers to compliment your message in oils.

Collage allows you to use imagery you find elsewhere to supplement your work. Perusing magazines, newspapers, books, and other items and searching for the perfect image is part of the fun.

How Do I Start?

To start with collage, you need to start collecting images. Search your favorite magazines for words, phrases, and photos that speak to you. Cut them out and keep them safe in your art box.

Next, consider your surface. White posterboard is an excellent choice for collage if you won’t use any other media. You should consider mixed media paper if you are highlighting an oil or acrylic painting with a collage.

Finally, you will need glue or tape to fuse your chosen images to your work.

Animation

Animation is a step up from graphic design. Instead of just drawing graphics, you can animate them and watch them move around the screen.

Design your own characters and make short videos about their adventures. Create humans, animals, or beings from other planets and illustrate their entire worlds.

Animation is an artistic hobby that allows you to create new realms of possibility.

How Do I Start?

The best way to start with animation is to learn how to do it. Most other art hobbies are easy to learn as you go.  You can pick up a paintbrush and have fun with canvas without knowing much about the hobby.

Animation is different. The programs used for 3d animation and sculpting aren’t’ user-friendly and can be difficult to figure out on your own. Consider taking a beginner’s class using your chosen platform to get the basics down before you start.

Photography

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A single image can speak to us in ways that paragraphs of written text simply can’t convey. People can experience joy, despair, anger, serenity, and the entire range of human emotions with a single shot.

Consider dabbling in photography to capture the artistry of the mundane. Photograph life as it moves around you to get snapshots of a time and place that will never again be repeated.

How Do I Start?

You can dabble in photography with your Smartphone. Take a step back from the hustle and bustle of life to observe the world spinning around you and the true artistry of each moment. Have your camera ready to snap the beautiful, the obscure, and the natural.

If you love it, invest in a professional-grade camera. Higher-end cameras allow you to experiment with exposure rates, shutter speeds, and other unique effects.  

Sculpture

3d model unique creations in real life with sculpture. Create your own pottery with clay, and use modeling paint to decorate them with fun color combinations.

If you get into sculpture, you can start casting with a metal such as bronze. In addition, you could weld metal scraps to create unique sculptures out of recycled materials. The options for building an exceptional design are endless and only limited by your imagination.

How Do I Start?

The easiest way to start with sculpture is to invest in modeling clay. These clays are available at most arts and crafts stores and cook easily in most kitchen ovens. They are low-cost and the perfect way to dabble in sculpture to see if you like it.

Sculpting with metal is a lot harder and not something you can do at home. It requires a studio and intense heat. Many art colleges have studios capable of casting, so consider taking art classes or joining an art club to gain access. 

Cinematography

Cinematography is the art of making movies. As artistic hobbies go, it’s one of the more complicated as it takes sophisticated tools and considerable creative skills. However, those who love the art of filmmaking can explore this craft for minimal start-up costs.

Developing ideas for your cinematic universe is the first challenge.  Capturing a video and uploading it to TikTok isn’t enough; it’s about the artistry of telling a story through film. The rest of the art makes your ideas come to life.

How Do I Start?

The cinematography doesn’t have to be expensive. Start by shooting videos on your phone, and use a free program such as Blender to edit your film.

More Artistic Mediums

There are many other artistic mediums to explore on canvas or similar painting surfaces. Use charcoal to create thumbprint sketches or dabble in alcohol paints to create mesmerizing swirls of color.  Grab some stencils and fill in fun designs with spray paint. Make ink etchings with carved blocks.

Creatives can find a way to turn many different things into a niche artistic hobby, don’t be afraid to explore the possibilities.

More Ways to Express Yourself Artistically

We often think of art as paintings, sketches, and other images created for consumption. However, the arts encompass far more than visual mediums. Art hobbies aren’t limited to things you can create on canvas.

Consider these artistic endeavors if you want to find other ways of expressing your creativity. 

Creative Writing

Creative writing allows you to explore the world of your imagination. Put pen to paper and let the characters running around in your head come to life.

Creative writing allows you to build worlds or make a statement about modern society. It lets you dig deep into your subconscious and unleash your inner dreams and desires.

The best part about picking up creative writing as an artistic hobby is a cost. All you need is a pen and paper. If you need help developing ideas, you can use a creative writing prompt to get your juices flowing.

Play an Instrument

Music is a universal language of emotion. Songs can fill us with unimaginable joy or cast a cloud of despair over us.

Let your emotions come free by learning to play an instrument. Write music that speaks to your soul. When you’ve mastered your instrument, join a band or orchestra to share your gift with others.

Singing

We all sing, whether in the car to our favorite songs or in the shower, where no one can hear us. If you can carry a tune and hit notes out of reach for normal humans, consider pursuing singing as a hobby.

Take voice lessons to perfect your craft, and start with fun karaoke nights where others can sing along. Consider joining a choir or starting an Accapella group to make your hobby more social.

Dance

Our bodies can tell remarkable tales. Dance is the art of using motion to tell a story. Let your body be your guide as you showcase the range of emotions visible in the human condition.

Dance is an artistic hobby that doubles as a fantastic workout. Get in shape as you express yourself creatively through all kinds of dance, from interpretive to ballet. Dive deeper into your creativity with choreography, and make dance moves that tell your story.

Acting

It takes a true artist to become someone else. With acting, you get to embrace your inner creativity to bring someone else to life.

Acting is a complicated art form to master. You need to put everything you have into mastering the mannerisms, speech patterns, and thoughts of someone else, someone who’s often not even a real person.

If you want to pursue acting as a hobby, consider joining your local theater group or creating short films for YouTube.

Needlework

You can create exceptional works of art with needle and thread. Needlework is an art with many uses, from the great tapestries filling the halls of medieval castles to the cute crochet animals you can find in stores.

There are hundreds of ways to explore needlework as an art hobby. You can create helpful works of art such as slippers, blankets, hats, and scarves by knitting, sewing, or crocheting, or you can embrace the decorative aspects of the hobby with something like needlepoint.

There are thousands of things you can do with needle and thread. Let your imagination be your guide.

Baking

Express your creativity through food. Baking as an art hobby requires many skills, from food science to sculpting and design. Combining ingredients into a mouthwatering batter and cooking it at just the right temperature is the first art, while decorating the tasty treat allows you to flex your design skills.

Baking is an artistic hobby that delights your taste buds and eyes. 

Journaling

Journaling is a fantastic art hobby because it’s so versatile. Consider keeping a traditional diary to dabble in creative writing or a bullet journal to combine your desire for creativity with a way to keep yourself organized.

Specific types of journals offer even more options for artistic expression.  Fashion a junk journal out of items you have lying around the house for a unique piece you can use for anything. Keep an art journal, so you have an on-the-go sketchbook or canvas for whenever artistic inspiration strikes.

KitBashing

Kitbashing is a newer hobby where you combine the best parts of different toy kits to create your own figures. Build toys using scraps from various sets, and invest in cheap acrylic craft paint to give them a uniform look.

To try kitbashing, head to your local dollar store and buy five bucks worth of cheap toy packets. Get the plastic dinosaurs, a few army men, and a cheap build-your-own tank set. Take these items home, cut them apart, and glue different pieces together to create legions of new creatures with enhanced capabilities.

Kintsugi

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing a broken item with gold to highlight and embrace the flaws. However, you don’t have to wait until something breaks to explore your creativity with Kintsugi.

Grab a cheap ceramic plate set from your local store and casually drop them on the floor. Glue the pieces back together with gold and silver craft glue to make impressive designs on your new dish set.

Be careful with intentional kintsugi, as porcelain shards can be dangerous. Be sure gently break the pieces gently, so they don’t completely shatter, and clean up any small parts.

Woodworking

If you love working with your hands, consider woodworking as an art. Carve statues, toys, and decorative furniture out of wood.

As a bonus, working with wood as an artistic hobby will teach you how to use the tools you need for home repair and DIY, making it as useful a hobby as it is enjoyable.

Scrapbooking

If you’re looking for an artistic pursuit that doubles as a keepsake, consider scrapbooking. Collect all the ticket stubs, wristbands, newspaper articles, and photos of the events you attend and use them to tell the story of your life in your scrapbook.

Scrapbooking is more than gluing photos and tickets to paper. Fill your pages with creative designs and imagery representing your feelings and emotions so you’ll be transported to that specific time and place when you look back.  

Clothing Design

Want to express yourself artistically and through fashion? Consider making your own clothes. Invest in a sewing machine to make shirts and dresses, or opt for a Cricut to create unique designer logos.

You don’t have to invest in fancy equipment to make a statement with your clothing. Grab some white t-shirts and fabric dye to make tie-die shirts, or grab fabric stencils and jewels to bedazzle your jeans.

Jewelry Making

Artisan jewelry is all the rage. Invest in quality beads, metals, and charms to create jewelry at home.

Jewelry making is an art hobby that allows you to put together gorgeous pieces to match any outfit. Do it for fun, so you have the perfect accessory for any look, or consider putting your creations on Etsy to make a few bucks off your favorite hobby.

Crafting

Crafting is a general term that encompasses the wide range of niche artistic hobbies left off this list. There are thousands of things you can craft. You can specialize in one or dabble in different things for different occasions.

Craft ornaments around Christmas, make paper monsters on Halloween and create an epic centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner. Dabble in paper Mache, discover the joys of felt, and make sock pockets. Invest in a Cricut machine to make stickers, clothing, or gretting cards. 

When it comes to crafting, your only limit is your imagination.

Art Hobbies Abound – Find Yours

The art hobbies on this list only scratch the surface of possibilities. There are thousands of ways to express your creativity through art.  Get your start by dabbling in the options presented here, and let your imagination do the rest.