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Artistry and it’s benefits: New Hobbies for a New Year

I know I am not the only one who will be glad to say goodbye to 2020. Whilst there is always something to be learnt from the year gone by, it almost feels as if this one has lasted 10. And for all that we have endured, there may be some benefit in focusing on calming activities and creativity, especially coming from a year of hardship and entering the uni scene once more. Art can be a stressful hobby; it is hard to escape the expectation of greatness, especially when you follow art bloggers on Instagram who make it easy for you to want to put the pencil back down. But indulging in artistry can be a great stress reliever, as two lockdowns and a global pandemic taught me this year. And whilst traditional art may be daunting, here are some additional artistic endeavours to experiment with in the New Year 




Long gone are the days of young ladies darning socks (though that may be a new hobby worth trying as well). Inspired by contemporary artists Inge Jacobson and Ana Teresa Barboza, I took to Pinterest over Lockdown to experiment with different styles of art. Though some may find the repetitive act of stitching monotonous, instead I found it calming, a hobby that allowed a different approach to my work. And though the artists online can be intimidating with their intricate pieces, ultimately what is needed to start is an embroidery hoop, a piece of fabric, a needle and some thread.




Akin to embroidery, knitting is a hobby that has been around for many years. Though this one may be somewhat harder to hack, knitting is proven to reduce stress, finetune motor skills and at the end, rewards you with a homemade clothing item (or present for a someone on a uni budget).  




This one is slightly more unconventional. What may discourage you artistically is the need to be precise and perfect with your work, which usually is encouraged by the use of paint and pencil. However, there is something gratifying about expressionism, being rough and loose and messy. Charcoal is perfect for this, allowing for a different dimension to art and freeing oneself from the constraint of traditional art. I was fortunate to take a class with artist Ian Murphy a few years ago, who layers newspaper, card, tissue paper and charcoal together to create sketches of architecture, an inventive and inspiring way to evolve your artistic eye. 




As a Bristol student, my Instagram feed is full of artistic shots of iconic landscapes, such as the Wills and various greenery, to make sure my friends know I am in-fact, a uni student. Though these are quick snaps, Bristol has many diverse walks and spaces perfect not just for exploring, but for practicing with a camera. There are different ways of printing too, investing in a polaroid camera can produce keepsakes, or FreePrints, where you can get up to 500 free prints per year to decorate your dorm with. This hobby can allow for you to enjoy the scenery and discover different sides to your university.  



Amy Jones

Bristol '22

Second year English Lit student
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