Blender creators with unrelated professional careers, how do you find time to use Blender?

I’m a college student studying the social sciences, and I have been a Blender enthusiast since middle school. I’m still an avid supporter of the program and its mission, but I have seen all the time I used to have to learn and experiment with Blender swallowed by my other activities and professional aspirations. For example, I always feel the time I have to use Blender could be better spent on improving my R programming because it’s more in line with my current career path. However, I find that I have much more fun using Blender. As a student, I worry this reality will continue into my career.

For those who have negotiated this balance, what’s your advice?

Are there ways you remain involved within the community without using Blender yourself?

I can relate. It can be hard to find time for blender sometimes (most times for me recently). And it can be frustrating.
Although there is a difference between balancing responsibilities (“I want to blend, but changing diapers is more important right now”) and the passion to use blender (“I like blending, but I prefer to spend my time doing other stuff”). Also, using blender and supporting/following blender are different things.

While i probably don’t fit your exact problem specification (for one i’ve not yet completed my studies). I’ve probably, at times, put to much focus/energy on Blender when it should have been elsewhere. As such, if you intend for Blender to be a hobby, then it’s a hobby and nothing else. So as long as you are confident in your other tasks being completed to whatever standard you set for yourself, what you do with your free time is up to you.

If that’s not something that is acceptable, then other options could probably be to incorporate the reason you enjoy blender in your career, in some way. But that could prove tricky (depending on the focus of your studies) and you would probably need to do some research in how that would work. For example, trying to make your studies fit a company you are interested in could perhaps be a solution, but how Blender (specifically) would fit in there i can’t answer.

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While I do not have a career or one in IT, yes I agree that blender has to be a strong interest, I have tried myself, and not good with it, made a few projects which I am pleased I got somewhere with it, I had wanted to years ago before I did create some projects.

But sure, lack of finances, or what ever can affect something like IT interest/ it does bog down to interest on the whole.

Don’t give up… is a journey

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I should be using 3DS Max more as it is more in line with my career but I find Blender to be faster to work with. You do not have to add modifiers as often you just have to remember the shortcuts to each action such as adding loop cuts or creating holes in meshes for windows or doors where in 3ds max have to add a modifier to the stack. I know I can get used to it but blender is far lighter and simple to use as I grew up using maya and 3ds max

I went into the office one Saturday and installed a video card, added an SSD, and threw a 4K screen and a gaming mouse on my work machine, and now when I have downtime at work, it’s Blender Time. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m a full time software developer, but like any hobby I just make time for Blender when I’m not at work. I usually try to get an hour or two in the evening where possible, and a few hours over the weekend. Do I wish I had more time for it? Of course, but that’s life. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you’d like, and you just have to pick your priorities and try to balance them.

I’m in the @markholley school of thought, downtime is Blender time :smile_cat:

The problem is when you’re studying, that when you have free time you’ll wonder “maybe I should be studying…” or do something pertaining to your studies.
However, when you have a job, you’re free time is truly yours. So you can do whatever you feel like. I know for most people freetime = Netflix. That’s not very interesting though, having a diverse set of hobbies will make you a more interesting person, especially to the fairer sex.

Also, try entering weekend challenges:
https://blenderartists.org/c/contests/weekend-challenge
You’ll test your blending skills versus the free time you have. It’s a lot of fun.