Changing Hats:

Turning Passion into a Side Hustle

By Blackdog - one year ago


Creating and creativity is what we’re all about at Blackdog, and our skills and talents are what make us a strong and efficient team. But that creativity doesn’t always stop when we leave the office. For many of us, we wear rather different hats in our downtime.

There are numerous benefits to a multi-hyphen career, where you’re able to exercise multiple talents and make space for side hustles around your main job. It’s founded on diversifying your skillset, fulfilling your passions and building connections. And far from taking away from your primary role, these additional projects are very likely to add to it, as well as contributing to your well-being.

So, we chat to three members of the Blackdog team about where their talents have taken them outside of the office and how these side hustles complement their primary roles.

Georgia: Blackdog DTA Team Leader/Pet Portrait Artist

“I’ve been a Pet Portrait Artist for around 10 years alongside working full time.

I’ve always had a love for animals and drawing. I originally wanted to be a vet but, being a bit squeamish, this was never going to become a reality! I find this to be a brilliant way to combine my passions.

Quite often I’m commissioned as my clients’ pets have sadly passed away. It’s so nice to be able to bring to life their beloved pets on paper, so they have a memento forever.

My eye for detail definitely plays a huge part in both my role at Blackdog and my pet portrait business, as well as the fact that I have to work to very tight deadlines for both while juggling multiple projects at a time.”

Phil: Blackdog Executive Creative Director/Musician

“I’m a singer, keyboard player and harmonica player in various bands.

I’ve been playing since school, and in the 90s I was in an original band called B Movie. We supported some major acts and were looking to get signed.

Music and marketing have crossed over literally over the years, as I worked with a producer for several years writing and performing music for TV and radio ads.

Writing and playing music has always been a passion; it’s another creative outlet and being part of a band is a great way to meet and entertain people.

And in some ways fronting a band is like being a creative director. It teaches you to have confidence and entertaining a crowd has parallels with presenting or pitching to clients.”


Jackie: Blackdog Client Services Director/Fitness Instructor

“I teach group fitness training sessions and personal training sessions inside health clubs as well as outdoor spaces, concentrating mainly on HiiT, LiiT and Bootcamp.

I teach 3–4 fitness sessions a week and dedicate time to concentrating on my own fitness loves: cycling, running, tennis, golf and yoga.

I was into sport from a young age, and in my early 20s I decided to complete a 10-day intensive fitness instructor course, which was pretty hard going, but I passed with flying colours.

For me exercise is a real release, particularly if I’ve had a busy day. As a fitness instructor your persona is happy, cheery and very personable, and they’re very similar traits as in my client director role.”

What are your thoughts on the rise of the multi-hyphen career? Do you have one yourself? Get in touch and let us know.