Credit: Lucy Stobie

How to make art your new favourite hobby

By Lucy Stobie

Uni can be stressful, but art might be the de-stresser you’ve been looking for

In the absolute carnage that comes with university life – exams, looming deadlines, late-night cramming and somehow balancing a social life – it can feel impossible to make time for creative hobbies. However, finding ways to incorporate art into your downtime can be really rewarding. Growing up, I always enjoyed being creative. Only until recently, I felt I’d lost that side of myself since coming to university. Incorporating art into my student life has acted as a form of mindfulness, and I’ve found multiple budget friendly (and time friendly) ways to do so.

GoMA Youth Group

Over the summer holidays, I signed up for weekly art workshops with the GoMA Youth Group, located in the City Centre, at the Gallery of Modern Art in Royal Exchange Square. The classes are completely free of charge, and targeted at people aged 16-25 from all backgrounds. There are many events that run throughout the year, which you can keep up with via their Instagram page (@goma.yg). My personal favourite workshop so far has been a screen-printing workshop that explored themes of poverty and social inequality. I developed a completely new skill (screen printing!) and was also shown around an exhibition created by local female artists shining a light on poverty in Glasgow. This is an accessible way to explore new mediums, in an inclusive and beginner friendly environment.

Scrapbook journaling

Something that has massively helped me de-stress is investing in a cheap A5 notebook and using it as a scrapbook/creative journal. I’ve found this to be a really encouraging way to get back into art, as it only requires setting aside a few minutes of your day. I use my scrapbook journal as an expressive way to organise my thoughts via doodles and sketches, as well as making sentimental collages out of personal keepsakes (such as old photographs, restaurant receipts and travel tickets). This is a particularly good stress-relief exercise, where you can set positive intentions, affirmations, or even just jot down all your to-do lists and do a big brain dump!

Finding a motive

Upkeeping any hobby can feel easier when you find something that motivates you. Gift giving is definitely one of my love languages, so something that motivates me to keep up art as a hobby is making gifts for my friends. I bought a few packs of porcelain modelling clay from Amazon (Sculpey and DAS are two good inexpensive brands of clay), alongside a jewellery making kit, and used it to make earrings for my friends. Similarly, I have a friend who loves baking cakes and often brings them to social gatherings. 

Joining a society

A classic way to get more involved in any hobby at university is to join a society. Luckily, Glasgow University has various art societies to offer, and it’s super easy to get involved. In March, I spontaneously joined the Photography Society by signing myself up for a print sale. I submitted a couple of photographs I’d taken around Glasgow, which the society committee turned into A3 prints and sold at a stall on campus! No fancy equipment was needed, I took mine on my phone. I even made a £3 commission from my sale (the customer being my friend, who proudly displayed my print above their bed). There’s an endless list of other societies with the SRC, including the Art Society, Zine Society, Arts Crafts, Life Drawing, and so much more. 


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