While many pursue a creative career in avoidance of the 9 – 5 slog (and then proceed to work seventeen hour days and through countless nights), these desk-bound bunnies effortlessly hop into completely different territory when the school bell rings, following their various creative pursuits. More than hobbies, the side projects they take on over and above their demanding day jobs range from hacking, to blogging, to running full-blown businesses. It’s hard to believe they have the same hours in a day as the rest of us. They’ve obviously never heard of Game of Thrones, right? Here’s our list of 13 moonlighting creatives inspiring us to get off the couch.
Lucie de Moyencourt
An architect by trade but a painter at heart, Lucie uses any free time she has – whether at home, on the beach or at a restaurant – to paint scenes from her daily life in her illustrated sketchbooks.
Mpumelelo is a full-time digital designer at Woolworths and a self-taught part-time photographer, but somehow he manages to shoot so often that his portfolio could convince you otherwise. He started taking photos on his phone a few years ago and he couldn’t get enough. He taught himself to shoot in various styles as he went along and recently founded Basement Pixels, a photography and design studio which he runs after hours.
By day Pammi-Joy works as a casting director at Scout’s Honour with Candice Hatting from My Friend Ned. In her spare time she runs Presents in the Post. She founded this surprise present service and online shop as a platform for local designers and artists to sell their work in a fresh, exciting way. The concept is simple: you choose a style that suits you (or a friend) from one of their moodboards and they’ll send you a beautifully wrapped surprise in the post.
A full-timer at digital agency NATIVE VML, Gisele makes beautifully striking jewellery in her spare time under her very own label WAIF.
During business hours Nathan is a creative technologist at Hellocomputer and after hours he experiments with digital art. But take note, he has a Masters Degree in Interactive Digital Arts and his experiments are more than just a hobby. His most recent exhibition, titled Fingers In The Outlet, focused on reworking existing objects to create new functions and experiences. The piece titled Set In Motion is the result of tampering with the simple motion detector hidden inside a McDonalds Happy Meal Toy. Now this toy is activated by simply walking past it, which sets in motion a sequence of events that build up to a crescendo and then return to its original state in a reversed order.
Also included in this exhibition was A Very Complicated Wrong Answer – an attempt to replicate the technical workings of video with a slide projector – as well as Drop and Throw: A Presentation of My Findings which is based around a broken Sony Video Camera that Nathan was able to convert into an oscilloscope of sorts to visualise the waveforms created when various objects were dropped or thrown in front of it.
See more of Nathan’s digital art on his website.
All photographs by Christo Doherty (2013).
Emma Maria Strydom
Emma works as a designer at 140 BBDO and documents whatever she does in her spare time through hand-painted illustrations. She prefers to document her own memories (and sometimes those of other people too) in illustrations rather than photos, because then she can add a bit of French Victorian decadence – a period and style she adores.
Ross is a freelance Web Developer who runs a small electronics based company in Cape Town. Whenever he gets a spare moment, he whips out one of his paper squares (yes, he keeps some in his wallet, just incase) and folds something, anything. He started White On Rice, an origami-oriented venture which folds everything from lampshades to 250 tiny pigs for the Pop-up Bacon Bar in Franschoek. He is currently busy with his 365 project, folding a different origami figure each day – some of which take up to two hours!
Gareth Pearson and Michael Tymbios
Gareth is the co-founder of Twenty Fifty, a co-working space in Cape Town’s East City, and Michael is a graphic designer/art director at digital agency Isobar. Together this duo started and still organise the hugely popular Cape Town edition of First Thursdays, which has now grown into a monthly highlight on the local creative calendar where participating galleries, shops and studios stay open late on the first Thursday of each month.
Director Jono Hall recently joined Hey Darling.tv (watch this space – it looks promising!). When he’s not directing Jono draws a beautifully illustrated web-comic series titled Salmon-wrestling in the Yemen.
Another filmmaker on the list, Hanneke Schutte is the award-winning writer/director who won last year’s Jameson First Shot competition which saw her creating a short film, Saving Norman, in the USA starring Willem Dafoe. Her first feature film, Jimmy In Pienk, was released last year August and went on to be named Winner of the UK Film Council/NFVF 25 Words or Less Contest and Winner of the Best Feature Film Award at the Beloit International Film Festival. As a side project, Hanneke runs the regularly updated blog Handsome Things celebrating all things art, design and craft in South Africa.
Writer Cayleigh is the online editor of Glamour South Africa and a digital content co-ordinator at Condé Nast. In addition to her fast-paced, numerous deadlines a day job, she has just published her first novel, Close To Home. Told through multiple narration, the story follows the events around a mysterious death that interrupts the privileged, indulgent lifestyle of a group of Cape Town university students.
A producer at Clearwater by day job, Nandi Dlepu is also the creator of Joho Moms, an online collection of interviews with dynamic Johannesburg-based women about their roles as mothers. Putting her production skills into practise, Nandi is also one of The Other Girls, a group of women who strive to create innovative events that bring together the right people in an authentic and creative way. The team of friends bring The Wknd Social to Johannesburg once a month.
In the age of slashies, there must be many more double-lifers we’ve forgotten to mention – please send us your suggestions in the comments!