More than 33 million adults created a painting, drawing, or sculpture or engaged in printmaking in 2008, according to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. Participation in these fine arts grew 14% from 2002 to 2008. Participation in selected fiber arts and materials arts declined and participation in creating photographs and videos grew significantly.
Do not make overly-broad conclusions from this data, as the categories tracked by the NEA study do not include several large closely-related activities: knitting, beading, and mixed media.
The data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, a highly reliable source. Do not sum these numbers, as there are overlaps in participation between these creative activities. Data from the 2012 survey will be available in mid-2013.