HUSTLE FILE #86: Abigail Portner

NAME: Abigail Portner

OCCUPATION: Still trying to figure out what to call myself. Professional juggler? I make drawings, play music, make videos and sculpture, usually all at the same time for myself and for others, including Animal Collective, Jim Henson and the skateboarding world.

LOCATION: Los Angeles, California

WHAT’S YOUR HUSTLE: Constantly trying to put out into the world what’s in my head sonically and visually. I like to try and create art and music that’s personal and organic even when its a job for someone else.

WHAT DOES YOUR HUSTLE MEAN TO YOU: It’s my whole being. Creating things is what I like to do all the time whether I’m getting paid or not. I think I hustle myself the hardest. I am constantly moving. I just finished animating a video for someone today, now I am practicing to go on tour on Friday. I get bored really easily so I think making art and music keeps me going. I also just want to get better and better at what I do, so I’m always working. I definitely do it for myself rather than ever pleasing anyone else (maybe that’s a bad thing, haha). It makes commercial jobs hard until you find the right people to work for, which I have been fortunate to find this past year.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONLY THREE TOOLS FOR YOUR HUSTLE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE: My family since they pushed me to start my hustle and also keep me afloat in my hustle today. A black pen, so I can always draw or take notes on things that I like. Gretel, my dog, because she is my escape from the hustle; even when I am stressed and working on something, I have to step out of my head to take her for a walk or to the beach. Everyone needs something like this in your hustle.

A WORD OF ADVICE TO WANNABE HUSTLERS IN YOUR FIELD: I think as a lady working in skateboarding and also the music industry and going on tour with a bunch of dudes, you gotta be tough and stand by what you create even when people doubt you. It always turns out okay. Also, make sure you’re having fun in your hustle, because if you’re not, there is no point.

About Shannon Flaherty

Writer. Creative. Freelancer. Freebird.
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