Talk to a few people, deeply, about the things they're interested in, one person at a time.
I had an opportunity to do a lot of this at Handmade Seattle, it was definitely worth it, and I definitely recommend people looking to get to know people working on the projects you apreciate the most at these kinds of events.
Thanks as well for your story about working on an app to help out other people working doing your hobbies, better to try to break ground applying what you know to the area you are already in/interested in being in but after actually submerging yourself into that culture for a while. I think even psychologically, it was really important for me to meet, in person, the people working in my field of interest, to affirm that they exist in real life and actually do said work for a living. Knowing that makes working towards that more mentally sustainable, and makes the next steps towards networking a bit more straightforward once you know the ins and outs of what people are looking for and need from people joining the industry.