In Defense Of The Side Hustle

I'm the daughter of a tapestry weaver. When I was little she was a stay-at-home mom, but she was also an artist. She wove commissions and had work in galleries. She didn't weave full-time, so in today-speak I suppose her work would have been considered a "side hustle". 

Elena weaving

Lately, side-hustles have gotten a lot of flak. "Why can't hobbies be just for fun?" "Don't people weave just to weave anymore?" "Not everyone needs to sell their work." And I get it, I do. I want people to feel like they can weave for the sake of weaving and not with an added pressure to have to sell their work. There is something sacred in that. 

But I feel the need to defend the side hustle. First of all, selling your work might be the thing that allows you the time to weave. Yarn is expensive. Beads are expensive. Time is fleeting. If selling that bracelet is what it takes to give yourself the time and materials to create, that's fantastic. 

Second: Selling your work or your patterns or your projects can do wonders for your confidence as an artist and can help you grow as a creator. 

Third: A side hustle can be a step to a full-time hustle if that's your goal and it also doesn't have to. There's some beauty in that. 

When it comes down to it, it's all valid, be you a full-time artist, a teacher, a craft-fair seller or someone like me who mostly weaves to stuff my weavings in a drawer never to be seen again.