When I began designing my first San Francisco maze map in 2016, I had no idea if the project would turn into prints (my end goal) and/or if anyone would be interested in buying a "maze map!" Fast forward two and a half years later, and I have now designed 13 maze maps and sold prints to people all around the world! It seems I can now officially call myself a "print artist."
Dirt Alley Design started as a side hustle - I worked on the first maze map designs while still working full time at a web mapping startup called CARTO (based in NY and Spain). I worked remotely for CARTO from 7AM - 3PMish, then worked on my side hustle after work. After running my business and working full-time in tandem for a year and a half, I decided to take a break from working full-time to focus on my business but also self care, which, not surprisingly, I had neglected over the years in order to work full-time and make art.
I took a moment last month to reflect on all that I had learned these past few years, then laid it all out there for the Side Hustle School podcast! Every day, the Side Hustle School podcast features a different side hustle. The short episodes (around 10 minutes or less) give an overview of the side hustle, the back story, and commonalities to other side hustles as far as what worked (or didn't work!) The podcast is hosted by Chris Guillebeau who is passionate about encouraging everyone to start a side hustle as a valuable way to explore a passion project, earn passive income or just gain new skills outside your regular job.
Side Hustle School Podcast Features Dirt Alley Design
Give a listen online to the episode that features Dirt Alley Design!
Episode 861,"Artistic Cartographer Maps Out Successful Side Hustle."
Also, check out a recent blog post of mine where I share more about my creative journey as an artist, personality traits creative people share, and how to be more creative in your every day life!
If you are interested in starting your own side hustle, or just want to learn about more unique businesses from around the world, here's a few recent Side Hustle School episodes I recommend giving a listen to:
Episode 811, "Colorado Artist Quist Job, Goes Back to Work, Then Quits Again"
Episode 806, "Weekly Recap: The Conversion Problem"
Episode 803, "Shy Expat Uses "Deep Questions" Cards to Spark Conversations"
You can also listen to all of the episodes online for free. Episodes can be sorted by business category to help you in your quest in listening to them all!
About Dirt Alley Design
Dirt Alley Design was founded just off a dirt alley in San Francisco in December of 2016 by artist Michelle Chandra. Inspired by the beauty of street grids, Michelle invented maze maps in which she transforms street grids into mazes.
My maze art isn't just decorative art for your home, it's a real puzzle maze you can solve (if you dare!) I think my maze maps are pretty cool, but don't take just my word for it! My maze maps have been featured in LaughingSquid, The Creator's Project, Untapped Cities and UpOutSF.