Just cheat on it
It just feels so right when you first met. You know you’re meant to be, but for some reason, you guys aren’t in a proper relationship?
So, what’s the first thing that popped into your head?
Mine is Vikkipedia.
My side hustle.
To keep things fresh, the most creative people I know all have something in common – they all have an alternative creative outlet on the side.
It’s like having an affair from your day job.
Challenging, passionate, unpredictable, irrational… The side hustle defies all the rules and reason. You’re ‘with’ your day job but your side hustle is constantly on your mind. 😂😂😂
A little while ago, Sky, an amazingly talented hair stylist who happens to be a great friend of mine, and Nick, a talented streetwear designer who happens to be my boyfriend, collaborated on a side project – a photo shoot that showcases what they’re great at; fashion design, hairdressing and photography.
I wasn’t involved in the shoot as a model so I offered to help out on the day as a photographer’s assistant / lackey / cheerleader.
Since I thought I won’t be in front of the camera, I said to myself, “Hey! I don’t need to look good for this!” So, I went out on a massive bender the night before the shoot and woke up with, no joke, one of the worst hangovers of my life! (I can make a fair comparison ‘cos I’ve had quite a few of them lol…)
It’s not very often that Vikkipedia slips into a room and stays quiet but it was one of those days.
I dragged myself through the front door of The Black Studio, plonked myself on a chair and observed.
Spotify was pumping.
Nick was busy running around sorting the camera gear out. Sky was busy fixing up everyone’s hair. The models were busy trying the Charlie’s Laundry outfits on.
There was an aura in the room.
I felt #fomo.
When we arrived at the location, I couldn’t help myself from wanting to be a part of the shoot in some way, shape or form. I pulled out my vlogging camera and started documenting the shoot when Sky said to me, “Viks, just jump in!”
I eagerly got in front of the camera.
All of a sudden, my headache miraculously disappeared!
I came to realise that imbibing creativity, actually made me feel physically better.
We knew we got something good ‘cos everyone was on a buzz after the shoot. These photos became the entry for Sky’s Industry NZ hairdressing awards.
We didn’t have high hopes. But what came out of this, was a finalist selection.
I feel like Donald Trump writing “The Art of the Deal” ‘cos I don’t think I’ve completely nailed the art of having a side hustle yet. But after sampling 3 human specimens (Sky, Nick and I) and analysing the data collected, I’d like to publish the findings from the Research Centre of Vikkipedia. Read on if you’re planning to cheat on your day job and start a side hustle! Here’s how we do it:
1. We don’t play by the rules.
If you’re a hair stylist, you’d think Sky is fucking nuts for submitted a street style shoot.
Because shooting in a studio is a no-brainer.
Everything will be under control in a studio setting. The hair, the makeup, the lighting, the weather… We wouldn’t have to worry about power points, the wind, or the backlighting or not getting enough daylight…
Which means the other X,000+ stylists in New Zealand would have submitted similar shots.
So, what did we decide to do?
We decided to fuck being safe and shoot on the street instead.
Let’s address the other elephant in the room. I’ll give you 10 seconds to find out what all these faces have in common?
Answer: We’re all Asian.
Asian New Zealanders are underrepresented in the creative fields.
We could sit around and bitch about injustice and discrimination, or we could channel our energy into something productive.
If the opportunity doesn’t find us, we’ll create it.
By the time I finish writing this post, we still won’t know whether we’ll get to walk on stage at the awards ceremony and parade the streets of Auckland after.
Regardless of what the results will be, one thing I’m sure of, is that our photos will look fucking different from the rest of the bunch.
2. We put unnecessary pressure on ourselves.
Nick manages properties and has his own clothing business.
Sky owns a hair salon and is the creative director of his studio.
I work as an art director in advertising.
What do we have in common?
None of us are putting food on the table by putting in these extra hours!
Nick doesn’t need to do photo shoots.
Sky doesn’t need to enter the competition.
I don’t need Vikkipedia.
We all have our day jobs that bring home the bacon but we still choose to do projects that doesn’t generate any money (yet!), in our own time.
After starting Vikkipedia, I’ve got so much respect for people that are holding down a full-time job whilst working on their side projects.
You’ll probably look at each photo on this webpage for a maximum of 0.03 seconds, scroll to the bottom and go, “Is this it?”
Even if no one’s watching, reading or liking, we all share this almost-masochistic inner stubbornness that drives us to keep going.
It takes commitment, grit, resilience and the belief that “someday, this is going to work out” to keep putting yourself out there to be rejected, unfollowed, turned down, just to repeat the whole process again.
3. We have a great team.
It’s so important to surround yourself with people that genuinely want you to do well.
Good on them if they also want to do well in whatever they’re doing - nothing motivates me more than seeing people who are also going hard at it. But don’t let them linger around you if you can smell jealousy, malice or ulterior motives.
Sky, Nick and I always help each other out in different projects and we’re constantly looking forward to working with people that motivate and inspire us – like these guys.
Everyone in this photo gave up their weekend to make this shoot happen.
It’s like wolves hunting together. We work in packs. When you work with the right group of people, even if the going gets tough, you will still find enjoyment.
I can’t really put words into this instinctive feeling in my gut. It’s like, when you work very hard together on a school production. The show went well. Everyone goes back to living their normal lives but there’s this yearning for the next time you see everyone again.
Which leads perfectly to the next point…
4. We’re already thinking about what’s next.
What’s next? It’s not an ad campaign for Air New Zealand.
It’s the mentality we all have as “side hustlers”.
9 times out of 10, we’ll create imagery / content / poetry / songs (whatever your choice of creative outlet is) we’re not entirely happy with. But that one time when shit feels right, you try your hardest to talk it down when you tell someone about your creation, but that smirk in your face betrays your put-on modesty.
Because you know you nailed it.
And you want to do it again. To feel that sense of achievement again.
It’s like an insatiable high and you’re forever and a day chasing the next one.
(We’re already planning the next shoot as I’m writing this article!)
5. We do it for the love.
Doing these photo shoots, blogging, shooting YouTube videos haven’t made a us a cent.
If money is the key driving force for your side hustle, I’m sorry to say that you’ll most likely find it incredibly demotivating – because money doesn’t come straightaway. It probably won’t come for a long, long time.
The only motivation that keeps you burning the midnight oil, that keeps you putting shit out there despite the haters leaving unfair comments on your feed, that takes you back to the drawing board when your initial idea bombs, is the genuine love for creativity.
If there’s a genuine yearning in your heart to do something outside of what you’re normally comfortable with, start today!
Write a book, paint with your fingers, blog about your fishing trip, trade Bitcoins, sell balloons, take photos of birds… (To all the people I know that are working on your side hustle, I’d like to give you my utmost R.E.S.P.E.C.T.! You know who you are! x)
Don’t quit your day job. Just make sure you have a night one to go with it...
So, when will my side hustle become my main game?
Who fucking knows? But at least I’ll die trying.
Vikki | Fashion, Fun & Fail 😂
🌞 Advertising Creative 🌝 Aspiring #YouTuber📍 Auckland NZ 💌 firstname.lastname@example.org