If you tell people you're a writer, a lot of people will laugh and ask what your real job is. Part of the reason for this is because it is very difficult to make decent money writing. But the other part is because most people only create things for fun and aren't too serious about it. They might want to write a book someday, but all they've ever done is write a chapter or two when they are bored. Art for them is fun and should never be difficult.
I'm both a serious writer and a serious piano player. I didn't realize that there was any other kind of piano player until recently. I was purchasing piano books off of Amazon and I saw someone write that their husband loved a certain piano book because it was so easy to read and play that they could sit down and immediately play any song in the entire book. I frowned and decided that it was a bad idea to purchase that book.
Because I want to be challenged when I do art. When I reminisce about my favorite times of piano playing, it's when I agonized and worked for days to months trying to master a piece. It's when I stayed up late at night practicing. It's when I practiced for so many hours that my back was spasming from the pain of trying to have perfect posture.
It's not when I played a piece and mastered it in five minutes. That's boring. I don't feel accomplished. I want to struggle with a piece. Learn to feel it and all it's keys. I want it to move me and make me learn.
Writing is very similar to me. I struggle with words for hours at a time. I write and re-write and cross out entire sections. I bleed across the page. I get so tired of spelling and grammar that I write barely literate texts to my husband.
Because that's what feels good. That's what makes me feel accomplished as an artist. When you struggle for your art.
And the more you struggle, the more you are going to get criticism. People have critiqued my piano playing (not just negatively reviewed my books) a ton of times. There's always that stereotype in television and movies about the mean teacher (in the arts) who swears at the student and tells them they're terrible. That stereotype exists for a reason. Because the further along you get in the arts, the more of those type of people you are going to face.
It makes you harder inside because you learn how to tolerate those types of people and even gleam wisdom from their criticism. You learn to let it not crumble you.
You're destroyed by their words, but your strength rebuilds you. You kill yourself for your art and you're reborn through it.
So when someone says that art is just a hobby. When they don't think it can be taken seriously. Don't get angry, feel bad for them. Because they'll never know the pain or the struggle of fighting yourself and the world to create beauty that you never even knew you were capable of making until people pushed you. They'll be content with their mediocre hobby of art and never know that they could be capable of so much more.