Artist painting

The joy of taking up art as a hobby

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our daily lives.

And staying apart from our loved ones means we need to find other ways to communicate, express ourselves, and feel less lonely.

So, have you thought about picking up a paintbrush, a pencil, or even a felt-tip pen and letting your creativity and imagination flow?

Childrens Art Workshop
Raul leading a children’s art workshop

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been interested in art before or if you don’t think you’re “any good at it”.

Anyone can take up art as a hobby and now could be the perfect opportunity for you to try it for yourself.

But if you’re still not convinced, here are few ways that getting creative could benefit you…

Stress relief

Your brain and emotions need a break from the all-encompassing presence of the pandemic. Art will distract you and put the brakes on the negative thoughts that might be crowding your brain and all those worries about the safety of you and your loved ones.

Good Morning Silence
Good Morning Silence by Raul Speek

Keeps your brain active

Art encourages your brain to work. It stimulates the connections between various parts of your brain and then outwards into the outside world, a world we’re currently restricted from travelling to.


Art isn’t governed by rules, as with science. It allows you to be creative by coming up with your own ideas.

Give 20 different people a piece of paper and a pencil, and then ask them to draw the house of their dreams – each creation will be different.

Raul Painting
Raul Speek at work on a painting in Solva, Pembrokeshire

A sense of achievement

Art doesn’t have to conform to perfection to bring you a feeling of achievement.

Even when you can’t get out to do the things that are part of who you are, you can still paint, draw, use clay, or make jewellery.

And if you’re spending most of your time indoors, you can create still-life artwork inspired by what’s inside your home, such as fruit in a bowl or a houseplant.

Lady Fruit Head
Lady with fruit on head by Raul Speek

Art therapy

Studies have shown that art is valuable in treating issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Depression often creeps in when loneliness and separation are unavoidable. And PTSD is going to become more apparent, particularly in people who have lost loved ones or who work in the NHS.

You can be your own art therapist and gain immense benefit. If you feel overwhelmed, you can explore picking up a brush or a pencil and making marks on a sheet of paper.

It’s not about trying to emulate Leonardo da Vinci; it’s about focusing on the process and exploring what you’re feeling, at your own pace.

Ventana y Caracol by Raul Speek

Useful art resources

Online workshops

You’ll find a variety of online art demonstrations on YouTube to help you get creative.

Raul has recently uploaded a series of free video tutorials to encourage people to take up art or restart it during the coronavirus pandemic. In this series of three ‘Art Vivo’ videos, he explains about creativity in lockdown and inspires you to lay down your ideas on paper.

Grayson’s Art Club

The artist Grayson Perry launched Grayson’s Art Club last year to bring the nation together and encourage us all to unleash our creativity during the pandemic.

Nearly 10,000 people submitted their work in 2020, and the Channel 4 show is set to return for a second series next month (February 2021).

Raul Speek Gallery

If you’d like help with selecting art materials, please email Raul and Heather at Raul Speek Gallery on

For more art inspiration, explore our website. You can also follow us on Instagram @raulspeekgallery or on Facebook @RaulSpeekGallerySolva