Is the difference between a hobby and a passion project just branding? While building and racing remote control cars sounds like classic hobby country and creating incredible video content with a drone has been called a passion project many times over, both look suspiciously like a bunch of grown-ass adults playing with really cool kids toys.
So maybe passion projects are just hobbies with better storytelling? Is a hobby just a passion project that no one posted about online? Take your grandmother’s bridge club: she’d never call it a passion project but it’s certainly not lacking in intense enthusiasm.
Perhaps hobbies are a leisure time unwinding thing, while passion projects are just all-consuming endeavors that aren’t our jobs? Batman is a classic passion project guy in this regard – he certainly seems more engaged in his side gig protecting the citizens of Gotham than he does in running Wayne Enterprises efficiently. At the very least, his evenings and weekends clearly influence his 9-5.
In 2016, we’re all Batman. Especially for those of us in creative industries, the lines have gotten increasingly fuzzy. We do work in our free time and our in-between time and we scroll through our interests and obsessions while at work. It’s become clear that, via the collective push and pull of their social feeds, Sid Lee’s employees were already engaged in a discussion about what inspires them. It also became clear through conversations in offices, hallways, and dark corners of great parties that there were a million moonlighting stories to be told at Sid Lee.
These things do make us better at our jobs. They provoke unique and inspired collaborations and new manners of tackling atypical problems. They redefine the outer boroughs of our comfort zones. They fill up the lol tanks and the wtf reserves. Call them hobbies, passion projects, side gigs, or just a chance to run around at night wearing really tight black clothes, we don’t have to do them but we do need to do them. Which is why they’re so fucking important.
Written by Brendan Murphy