It’s all about how you view things.

Income or expenditure – Is only one of value, or are they both?

I’m talking about the income of investments, those we make in ourselves and our time to gain knowledge and skills and to build relationships enabling us to create and express meaningful art – and to share that with others too of course.

By investing in ourselves, and by extending ourselves we must improve – after all we’re investing in ‘us’.  And that could include up-skilling such as seeking further knowledge, learning a new technique or even doing something completely different for a change.  Whatever drives you forward to create should be looked at as an investment.

But investment for me also relates to what I put into my art to be able to work more efficiently and effectively, including the tools of my trade.  And that often means monetary expenditure.

I couldn’t work without a sewing machine and have invested in two beautiful Bernina 720’s – one I’ll use for six months or so prior to servicing.  So an expense can also turn into an investment.

All these things have value and compound, so I consider them income-producing.  Not everyone wants to sell or exhibit their work, so I consider income as an investment in self.

Different forms of expenditure can also be looked upon as income or at the very least, as an investment.  Giving back, supporting organisations, mentoring, while all expenses of time and skill, really are investments in our industry – something we really need to foster and encourage.

And the ugly expenses, those that deplete, exhaust and consume, we learn to expel naturally I hope – a skill quickly learnt.

So income and expenses, investment and expenditure, are all really a matter of attitude.

Invest in yourself and your industry – and if that’s an expense, then it’s the most worthwhile of all.

cathy jack coupland