We like to separate work and art because, generally speaking, one is fun and one is not. And to a point, I'll agree, but I also contend that your approach to any work can be as much an art as paintings and music.
Work is not by any means art in and of itself, but even artists must apply themselves via "work" to improve that art. That's any easy one, picturing your favorite musician, or perhaps even Michaelangelo or Leonardo working hard at painting and sculpting and the like, learning to be better. But why is the application of paint or marble or music or other "creative activity," alone, considered art?
Put a well-grilled, juicy interior crispy exterior meat patty with a flour-dusted bun, fresh lettuce, juicy tomato, grilled mushrooms, dark cheddar cheese, crispy bacon with a little mayo or special ranch sauce and ... mmm mmm mmm ... damn, I'm hungry for one and I'm waiting on a pizza. That is art, folks. That is art. It takes serious creativity to come up with culinary awesomeness: make no mistake.
But what about number crunching?
No, no. Couldn't be that. That's all calculation and following rules.
But ... don't they teach you rules on painting styles and music? Isn't music directly related to math?
Trust me when I say there is more than one way to calculate math, no matter what your tenured high school math teacher told you. There are still untapped fields in math and science that will require serious creativity to imagine greater and reach higher. There are Picassoes of coding, Monets of management, Agrippas of accounting ...
Art is the beautiful expression of ordinary objects.
Now, does a twisted piece of metal planted in a park decrying the plight of the Antarctic beetle going to connect with my soul? Chances are: no. But does it connect with you?
I'm a huge minimalist and I love putting things that are in chaos back into order: processes, yards, homes, filing systems ... believe it or not, it requires a great deal of creativity and can be an art form to itself.
What in your life is an art? Have you thought of it only as work because others can't see the beauty in it that you do?
Try thinking differently. Live your art!