In Praise Of The Hustle

When I lived in New York (late 1990’s) I first started to notice that, although I had a lot of artist friends, we never talked about the actual work much.
 
We just got on making our own stuff, and talked about other things: Sex, power, fashion & trends, culture, money, restaurants & bars, the news, and of course, the endless New York search for decent, affordable apartments.
 
And amongst all this, more than anything else, of course, we talked shop.
 
We talked about the hustle. We were talking about shows we were doing, who was up, who was down, who the hot galleries were, where the hot places were, and where we could find paid work (bartending, waiting tables, ad agencies, design firms, temp agencies, house cleaning, dog walking) in order to support the artist lifestyle.
 
Eventually, I concluded that the conversations about the side hustle were generally far more interesting than talking about the actual art.
 
I reckon this was because talking about art is pretty theoretical, whereas making a living is practical. Without the former, life goes on. Without the latter, you don’t eat.
 
Even worse, you don’t get laid….