Homeless people in Paris mostly rely on the "cute" factor in their begging strategy. That is, they use a dog, cat or some instances both to gain attention and a sympathy vote. Though I love animals, I do not find this cute and in fact am less inclined to give them money. So far the only person I have given money to was a street artist. He looked scruffy enough to be homeless, but had a collection of what must be expensive pastels and was drawing a large picture on the pavement outside the Louvre. He was working for his money. Still seemed to have the isolated aura of a street person, and rarely interacted with people stopping to look at his work, but he seemed happy enough.
Later in the day we did have an interaction with another artist. Initially I thought he looked like a typical Frenchman. As such I took a sneaky photo. We then realized he was actually sketching and that he had work for sale. Small ink sketches, with watercoloured detail his work depicted Parisienne streets, buildings and bridges. He had a chat to us and showed us a second folder of work to choose from. Two original sketches for €50. The quality of his work and the experience talking to him became a highlight of our day. Frank chose a street scene looking up the hill to Notre Dame Cathedral, while I chose a detail of a typical apartment building.