Hustle, part 1

Heidi’s brother, Hayden, is a senior art student at Valley City State University. As part of his last semester he had to put together a talk about his final art project and host an “artist open house,” where he presented his work and answered questions about it, etc. Rather than make the trip back to North Dakota for his graduation ceremony, Heidi and I thought it would be more meaningful to go back for his talk and art show. So we took some time off of work and flew in to Fargo to check it out.

Hayden’s got a ton of art talent — he’s awesome at drawing and painting — but really shines at ceramics. He does both pottery and sculpture and his show, titled, “Kids from the neighborhood” was focused on sculptures inspired by some of his childhood friends.

Before the evening show Hayden gave a presentation about his work and overall growth as an artist. He did a great job and it was so inspiring to listen to him talk about his passions and see how much he’s grown over the past few years, both as an artist and a person. I’ve been watching a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk videos lately and since he’s always talking about hustle, I’ve got that on the mind. As I was listening to Hayden talk, I kept thinking that the coolest thing about him isn’t his creativity or artistic ability. I mean, those are totally cool and I’m always super envious of people who have those talents, because I certainly don’t. No, the impressive thing about Hayden is that the kid’s got hustle — big time. Obviously, he’s going to school. But he’s also cranking out art project after art project. And working different jobs, sometimes till 3am. And creating hip-hop songs/videos. And selling pottery at flea markets. He’s hustling all over the place, completely crushing it.

He lost his dad when he was really young and had some rough times growing up. He has a supportive family and a bunch of amazing sisters to serve as kick-ass role models. However, there was a time when I thought he was gonna end up one of those people who had a ton of talent and potential, but somehow missed the mark and got stuck on the wrong path. But he turned things around. He found a solid mentor at school, cultivated his passions, and, most importantly, worked his ass off.

I’m super-proud of him and although I feel like I’m still getting to know him, consider him a brother. His creativity and worth-ethic energize and inspire me to work harder and be the best person I can. The kid’s only 22 so he’s just getting started. I’m expecting his best is yet to come.


3 Responses to “Hustle, part 1”

  1. Valerie on April 22nd, 2015 9:04 pm

    Matt, What a wonderful way to put into words how amazing Hayden is. I am so disappointed that I missed his open house so thank you for ‘showing’ it to me. We have met, but I’m sure you don’t remember, but I’m a friend of Roxie’s and the girls. Hope to see you next time you are back here. Please tell Heidi I said hello. Val

  2. Vickie on April 23rd, 2015 5:32 am

    Great comments Matt, I know Heidi and Roxann will appreciate them. Sounds like Hayden rocked it. (PS you have always had hustle just in a different way!!) Mom

  3. Ken Swanson on April 23rd, 2015 3:29 pm

    Well said Matt. Couldn’t have been better portrayed about some great kids. I’m so proud of them.