Get your creative juices flowing and unleash your inner artist

Posted October 13, 2011, by Andrea Riddell

If you’ve always dreamt of becoming a writer or wish you could take your drawing skills further than just doodles on office memos, now is the perfect time to realise your dreams and your potential.

Whether you have a hobby or talent that you wish to turn into a profession or you simply want a break from your professional life, studying a creative course can refresh and inspire other areas of your life, including your day job. And in some cases, your creative outlet can become a rewarding career.

Nowadays there is a vast range of short to long courses that can help you express your talents. And with the rise of distance education, you can learn how to create a masterpiece from the comfort of your own home.

Finetuning your hobby

With a love of art in his blood, Adam Stratiotis chose to study a course in Freelance Cartooning and Illustrating to gain the skills to match his enthusiasm. ‘I belong to an extremely gifted and artistic family, which has shown me that passion and dedication go hand-in-hand like pencil and paper. This course taught me the different aspects of illustration and gave me the edge and knowledge I needed to bring my dreams to reality, which are now limitless,’ says Stratiotis.

Even if you plan on keeping your talent all to yourself, letting your creative juices flow can help you find that elusive work–life balance. As the proverb says, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ – and finding something that you enjoy can also help to banish boredom and stress, particularly after a long day at work. And it never hurts to add more skills to your name.

If you have a passion for fashion, then studying a certificate in fashion design and technology can unleash your inner designer. Alternatively, an interior design course can help you with the home renovations you’ve been dreaming about.

With a passion for creative cakes, Jo Goh decided to expand her skills by studying a beginner’s cake decorating course at the Paris International School of Cooking, Sydney. Looking to gain confidence using professional tools and meet other like-minded people, Goh, who works in the media, attends class once a week for three hours, for a total of eight weeks.

‘I want to learn how to make beautiful and interesting cakes for my friends, family and eventually my future kids. One day when I’m at home with the kids, I hope to make cakes on the side for extra money. Or even just volunteer to make cakes for charity with a bit more finesse than your run-of-the-mill buttercream icing slapped on,’ says Goh.

Having a hobby is also a great thing to add to your resume. Showing that you have interests outside of work will help employers realise that you are a well-rounded and interesting person – all the more reason for them to hire you.

Bringing home some bacon

Particularly in the arts world, sometimes a little faith is needed to turn your hobby into a profitable career. Creative success depends on a combination of interest and skill, and if you have the enthusiasm in spades then a creative course can give you the professional credentials to launch your new career.

Sharon Harper chose to study a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art and Visual Culture) by distance education with Open Universities Australia (OUA) so she could concentrate on refining her talent in her own space.

‘It suited me to work in my own studio and access the learning material online. There is great potential to study at your own pace and at your own level without the distractions of campus life,’ says Harper.

Studying a Master of Arts (Writing) through OUA gave Kim Falconer the right mindset to become a successful, published writer.

‘Studying at OUA has turned my world around! I attribute the MA program in writing directly to my success in the publishing industry. I’d been trying to sell my fiction for years without getting my foot in the door but studying through OUA changed all that,’ says Falconer.

‘I’ve found that studying expands my mind. It gets me thinking in new directions, and when you think in new directions, your life follows suit!’

Your creative talents can also help to bring in some extra pocket money. Sites like and have allowed people to share and sell their crafts with minimal costs.

Like online versions of a craft fair, these sites have created a platform for people to buy, sell and swap their homemade wares, creating an opportunity for hobbies to be a viable source of income. For some, their creative outlet has become a full-time job.

The regular ‘Quit Your Day Job’ feature on Etsy’s blog shares the success stories of Etsy sellers who have taken the leap of faith and quit their regular jobs to focus on creating and selling their art.

The brains behind jewellery line dlkdesigns, Dana, channelled her creative energy into a successful outlet, selling her designs on Etsy.

‘After graduating I never truly had the job of my dreams. I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit and never let go of the dream deep inside to be a business owner someday,’ Dana said in her Etsy ‘Quit Your Day Job’ interview.

In the past there has always been a distinction between our creative pursuits and our careers. Now more than ever, people are beginning to see how they can complement each other and in some cases even merge into each other.

To meet this wave of creativity, course providers are catering to demand, offering creative courses in everything from photography to floral design, to give you the professional edge to turn your dreams into reality. So why wait? Enrol now and see where your talents can take you.

Feed the right side of your brain today! Browse our art and design courses, photography courses and writing courses to help you develop your creative skills.

Andrea Riddell

AIM Business School
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