What we’ve learnt from Cerebrans’ passion projects

Cerebra Submitted by on the 13th of August 2015

Every day we see examples of how passion changes things, how it serves as the difference between success and failure, between average and great. Passion, though, is nothing more than a state of mind. It’s free, if you can find it.

Passion is interesting in that it’s transferable. If you find passion in one area it can positively impact other areas, which is why we get so happy when we see people getting passionate about their side projects.

Here are five amazing passion projects from Cerebrans and the lessons we’ve learnt from each.

The Kitchen Thief

The people: Danielle de Souza and Nicole Olwagen

The project: @thekitchenthief on Instagram

The synopsis: An Instagram account that inspires and excites people about food that isn’t bacon.

The inspiration: The Kitchen Thief started out as a shared obsession with food. Dani and Nicole are vegan and vegetarian respectively and they do an incredible job of visually answering the question, “but what do you eat if you don’t eat bacon?”

The lesson: Simplify. They both felt a blog was the obvious start for The Kitchen Thief, but the effort involved in building a blog delayed it for months. That’s when they decided to simplify and start with an Instagram account – a platform they already knew and loved.


The people:    Janine Jellars and Tshego Senne

The project:   Frank Podcast on SoundCloud

The synopsis: A South African focused podcast that discusses feminism, pop culture and hip-hop.

The inspiration: The pair started playing with the idea of hosting a podcast – there aren’t many in SA – but were reluctant because they felt that nobody would want to listen to them for 30 minutes. When we asked them about it, they said, “We wanted to create a platform where women of colour could have conversations that are important to us, and validate and affirm ourselves without the voices of ‘anti feminist trolls’.”

The lesson: Even though they both give their all at work, Janine and Tshego didn’t see work as an expression of themselves. They feel this side project in particular feeds another side of artistic expression as well as providing like-minded young women in South Africa with a much-needed platform.


The person: Craig Rodney

The project: @SouthAfrica on Instagram

The synopsis: Craig curates (in his opinion) the best pictures on Instagram that profile South Africa through the hashtag #ThisIsSouthAfrica

The inspiration: Craig is passionate about the account because it shares incredible images and features the many people who take the pictures. Knowing that a little bit of effort every day creates happiness and inspiration for so many people makes it all worth it for him.

The lesson: We couldn’t put it any better than Craig when he said, “Passionate side-projects are critical in making the owner both the creative, the client, and everything in between. You have to think of everything, you’re responsible for everything, and the success / failure sits squarely on your shoulders. There’s no one to blame, just you and your ability to make it work. It’s both liberating and terrifying.”

Lucy Sarah

The person: Lucy Heaney

The project: Lucy Sarah on WordPress

The synopsis: A lifestyle blog with a big focus on fashion

The inspiration: While working in London’s print magazine industry, Lucy came into contact with a lot of bloggers and was really inspired by their passion and how they had found a way to get their voices heard.

The lesson: Lucy feels that taking ownership of her work and her expressions in such an open space impacts all other aspects of life too. Lucy states, “When I push myself with Lucy Sarah, I push myself with work, and I push myself in my personal growth – it’s all connected.”

Polygon Art

The person: Tanya Hirst

The project: Polygon art is featured on Tanya’s personal Instagram profile called @isheyelike

The synopsis: Poly Art is the style Tanya uses to design art about the things she finds interesting. She prefers designing animals, but she’s also experimenting with people portraits at the moment.

The inspiration: She got inspiration from shopping for art online. She realised that while she appreciate others’ art, she should take pride in and start producing her own to hang on her walls as well. After much persuasion from her colleagues, Tanya has started selling prints of her work.

The lesson: Tanya never realised how important it was to have a side project until she started this one. She mentioned that she had a few other ideas but they never materialised, but is now having the best time with these pieces. She’s also getting better as she goes along, and says it feels amazing when other people take notice and enjoy it as much as she does creating it. When we asked Tanya about it, her answer was simple, “I think that a side project keeps your creative energy alive and get’s you excited to go home and keep thinking creatively instead of waiting for the 5 o’clock hour to strike so that you can just get out when you’ve had a crappy day.”

We’re thrilled to have the pleasure of working with these creatives every day, so follow them, share this post, and help our colleagues shine. Nothing excites us more than when our team members excel both inside and beyond the borders of Cerebra.