A hobby is an activity in one’s spare time that is undertaken for enjoyment and without a desire for profit or fame. Hobbies are often associated with play (activity), flow, and creativity.
Hobbies can be casual where the activity is infrequent or short-lived, or serious where people are dedicated to their pursuit. They can also be project-based where a person completes a set project for an extended period with a goal in mind. Examples include woodworking, painting, software projects like Photoshopping and home music or video production, knitting, cooking, sculpting, photography, cosplay (creation, modeling, and wearing costumes of existing creative properties), and papercraft.
The growth of hobbies occurred during industrialization as working people had regular hours and leisure time to pursue interests outside their work. Children are often involved in hobbies as they are enthusiastic about collecting and making things. Hobbies can also provide a way to socialize with other people who share the same interest. Many hobbyists also become involved in volunteering activities to learn new skills and interact with people.
A common distinction between a hobby and a profession is how easy it is to make a living from the activity. For example, few people can make a living from cigarette card or stamp collecting, but it is still a hobby for many. There are a variety of other factors that the IRS looks at to determine whether or not an activity is a hobby for tax purposes, including maintaining records, reliance on the activity for income, and a history of income and losses.