Sometimes, or maybe more often than sometimes, designers get really overwhelmed. We get so consumed by our commercial work that it leaves little room for much else. We might spend so much time in front of a computer during the day that a computer is the last thing that we want to see in our free time. As glorious as it is to exist in a vegetative state from time to time, maybe we should try to dedicate more of our free to actively doing something else rather than letting our time slip away. Hobbies are so important in the aid of getting our minds off design.

Hobbies serve many purposes. Not only do they help us to relax and take our minds off design, they also help us to become better designers. As much as we might love what we do, I don’t think there are any designers that would say they never get tired or stressed out. If we incessantly slaved designing I’m sure there would be a lot more broken computer screens out there. Finding hobbies that entertain us can go a longer way than many might think.

Take photography, for example. Many graphic designers often list photography as their hobby. Not because it is related to the field, but because it is such a beautiful art. Our curious minds love to explore different art forms. Not only is it a form of relaxation for many graphic designers, since there is no pressure involved, but it also helps us to appreciate the world in new ways. We see things we would not have prior to picking up the camera, we learn a great deal about composition and design, and we just have fun. We learn new things and sculpt our minds without even realising it. This principle applies to numerous hobbies, not just art related ones.

Hobbies can even help our careers directly. Many designers have an area of expertise in which they would love to focus their designs. Some would like to be known as the best logo makers or others would like to be known for their particular design style. The areas in which one can focus are endless and developing one’s hobbies can help direct their design work in the direction of a particular hobby. Personally, my biggest hobby is probably listening to music. I’m often inspired to design based off various songs or artists. One of my eventual hopes is to be known as a designer that specialises in creating artwork for musicians. That’s just example of a way in which one’s hobbies can direct one’s career.

Thinking about it, even this blog started simply because one of my hobbies is writing. I might not think that every blog post is as good as the last but that’s no reason to stop writing. The main reason we have our hobbies in the first place are because they’re fun, not because we want to be the best at them. If you have no hobbies, don’t worry. They’ll progress and develop naturally and end up a part of your life before you notice. However, if I had to give advice on how to explore new hobbies, I would say don’t be afraid to try new things even if you think you might not like them at first. Experience is one of life’s greatest teachers.

Life is about balance. Of course, our craft has to take top priority. However, if we can manage our hobbies in there as well we can become better and more refined designers. Not to mention, our careers will become even more enriched and more packed with things that we love , helping us to live more fulfilling lives as human beings.