Henri Matisse studied law to please his parents and worked in the field for a couple of years before turning to painting.
Wassily Kandinsky actually taught law before devoting himself to art.
Paolo Venini practiced law for a few years before turning to his true love, glassmaking. Almost singlehandedly, he revitalized the tradition of Italian art glass by founding the Venini glass factory, world renowned for its beautiful objects.
Philip Moulthrop, a nationally known wood turner, also practiced law.
Montana ceramicist Peter Meloy and his brother Henry devoted many years to creating their own wares as well as endowing a collection now housed at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts.
Although he never practiced, Stuart Drysdale, a Scottish lawyer, founded Perthshire Paperweights. (Note that Paul Levenson, a New York City intellectual property attorney, has had to become expert in the area of quilt patterns; one of his clients is the designer and quilt maker Judi Boisson).
Sally Forth is the creation of a lawyer-cartoonist, Greg Howard. (Trivial Pursuit fans take note: Calvin’s father (Calvin and Hobbes) is a patent lawyer; Hazel‘s employer “Mr. B.” is a lawyer as well). Australian lawyer John Spooner turned to cartooning as well.
Leo Castelli, the famous art dealer, earned a law degree from the University of Milan before moving into the art world.
Gardner Fox earned a law degree from St. John’s College and practiced for a short time before beginning his career as a creator of classic comics. He wrote for Batman and created the characters Skyman and The Face.
Nathan Sawaya quit law for LEGO in 2004; now he’s a full-time artist creating sculptures out of those tiny plastic pieces.
Gregory Stein, Albany Law School, gave up an insurance law practice to work full time as an artist. He also has an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art. Included in his body of work is a collage of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which uses her opinion in United States v Virginia as a major part of the piece.