Today I’m sending out to the universe my wish for the term “side hustle” to finally go to its long awaited pasture.
My wish for the demise of the term is not because these poor words been coupled and overused to the point of abuse, it’s more so because the core concept of side hustle misses the entire point of anything.
In a society obsessed with monetizing everything, the notion of side hustle misses the critical concept of continuous discovery.
Continuous discovery keeps us creatively charged, constantly growing, and is what facilitates the invention of new.
The value of money feeds folks to do remarkably questionable things in the very public forums of the interwebs. And in this search for “success,” and for many, the development of us as humans is left in the dust in lieu of investing in the balance of their bank accounts.
The value of new is also something incredibly undervalued in our same culture of monetization. This seen blatantly and unapologetically in American popular culture. Endless television show reboots, movie remakes, and franchises. Fashion derivative of prior decades, popular radio has been playing the pretty much the same artists for the 2010’s, and award shows are always awarding the same folks.
In a culture dominated by a homogeneous media view of art, design, writing, and creativity, it is very easy to overlook the crucial nature of always having discovery projects going on. A discovery project may last a week, year, and often they can last several.
These projects are not about the hustle or the money, they are about discovery and growth.
What inspired me to start sharing abut the concept of continuous discovery, was the process of creating the inspiration galleries here on seed;
Parallel to running Design Seeds, I have always had blogs under different names (OG supporters may remember the Offshoots blog, I had the original Fresh News blog as part of my consultancy, this evolved into Fresh Hues which was a sub-blog of Design Seeds, the more recently I explored blogging through A Woman Your Age).
With each blog, I chose certain ways I could offer readers something from my toolbox of this-is-what-Jess-does-for-a-living, and I always try to create a designated inspiration resource.
The moodboards (which I was earlier referring to creating a gallery for here on seed;) were created from years ago when I use to pin boards inspired by a single Design Seeds palette for the @designseedscolor profile on Pinterest. I would share these image series on the Fresh Hues blog, and created said moodboards for Facebook (to help summarize the post in a compelling way for folks over there).
This process went on for months. As a result, there is a dense library of inspiration available for folks to discover here in the gallery.
I announced the gallery just this past Thursday, and the the interest and reception from folks has been gracious and overwhelming. Traffic to the site has quadrupled since the galleries have been live.
Now going back to the 18 months I spent pinning, creating these moodboards, and blogging about them…
In retrospect, I knew why I did the whole moodboard process years ago, as it is the same process I do to this day. I simply publicly documented it between Pinterest, Fresh Hues, and the moodboards for Facebook.
I ultimately stopped doing it because it was a tremendous amount of effort to sustain, and the relaunch of Design Seed was evolving into one of the most challenging experiences I had in my decade of doing this (the relaunch took twenty months).
My point in all this, is the moodboards are a creative product of my continuous discovery. They didn’t bring down the roof when I posted them on Facebook (originally), and I didn’t get any site warnings for my blog regarding traffic spikes as I did over this past weekend. However, they are a fine example of one of the countless lessons hidden in continuous discovery.
Anything we create as artists, designers, makers, or writers, “has its time.”
Clearly the moodboards’ time was not 2013-2014, but 2019.
Did their ultimate acceptance validate them? Heck no. The process did.
Don’t get me wrong, the recognition is something I am extremely grateful for not because took a sh*t ton of work and I love those little buggers as they still offer a lot of inspiration and creative value. I am thrilled that they are seeing the light of day again on the interwebs.
However, their validation through popularity, was not was critical to their value. The 18 month long process kept me fresh, kept me discovering, kept my skills for blogging and social sharp, and it was fulfilling to create some colorful gems.
As a result of all these ideas and insights rattling around my noggin regarding my experience in lunching the galleries and how they got me thinking about creative discovery, you’re going to be seeing posts sharing more on topic, and showing how the concept morphs in so many wonderful ways.