Is money just money?

Do you or would you spend money from your income differently to the money earned from your hobby? Seems like a ridiculous question, money is just money, right?

Imagine you spilt half your coffee that was paid for by your hobby. I can’t even explain the extent of my despair if that happened to me. My soy decaf cap is a treat for me (believe it or not) and I know the saying “no use crying over spilt milk” but in this case I most certainly would.

Certainly our perceived value of money increases as we discover the effort required in earning it, however I am suggesting that money earned doing something you are absolutely passionate about may hold a different type of special value to you. The type that would make spending habits impervious to the influences of consumerism and wastefulness, the type that makes saving that much more exciting, the type that brings greater enjoyment when chosen to spend on a loved one.

I would have been 5 years old when Mum came into the lounge room as I was watching play school when she rustled me up to go shopping. Not amused that I would miss out on flying in the air (or on the couch) with Big Ted and Jemima I wanted to know where we were going that was so important. When Mum had kneeled down to help me with my shoes I noticed she looked different. There seemed to be some sort of joy or happiness simmering under her skin just bursting to nudge her face into a smile so broad it was hard not to smile in return despite my feelings about the play school situation. “I sold a painting and I’m going to buy you some new clothes, let’s go”, well I wasn’t going to argue with that. Even at that age I knew that money could have been spent in a myriad of ways but she chose to spend it on me.

So, the point? I’m not sure. Does this type of money inspire us to bring joy to others, or to savour our purchases with mindfulness or motivate our resolution to save? If so, perhaps to reduce personal debt everyone should be working in something they are passionate about. Or, is it the joy of practicing the hobby itself and exercising our passion that changes our perspective on what is important. If so, perhaps everyone should have a hobby, follow their passion, even if unpaid as the satisfaction from a hobby that you love may replace any need to spend needlessly.

In writing this, I can think of people I know quite well who would argue that my thoughts here are wishy-washy hypothetical’s leading me to a destined path of poverty. Money is money after all and there is no room for emotion, it’s business. Well my answer to this argument would be if you feel this way, you haven’t found your passion … unless it is counting money.

Just this weekend I discovered a website call Paintings I love. I love it. You can upload artwork created on paper by hand (so not photography, digital imaging etc but drawing and painting) and you can receive some really valuable feedback as well as the opportunity to comment on others work. I have no idea how long it has been running but I am so glad I found it. It really gives me the nudge to try harder in my drawing because it can feel a little  (a lot) intimidating considering the talent displayed.

I am procrastinating from drawing now that I have put pressure on myself so I have turned to the sewing machine and screen printing instead.  Below is a combination of both.

Screen print of 'sunshine bike' on calico

Screen print of ‘sunshine bike’ on calico

Screen printed cushion for my son

Screen printed cushion for my son

Last year some time I was so eager to do some screen printing that I rustled together some drawings and sent them to the screen printing professionals in Sydney (I use Leapfrog Inkspot who have been absolutely fantastic, not to mention patient with all my silly questions) and he used the photo emulsion method to put my drawings on the screens and posted them to me with paint and squeegees and I was off.

I have been meaning to make cushions for the boys beds so one down, few more to go.

Screen printed cushion on boys bed

Screen printed cushion on boys bed


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