So who is Claire Gath?

Wow if you had asked me this two years ago, the answer may have been different to who I am today, and that’s purely down to joining Julie’s ‘Happy Side Hustle’ challenge.

I’ve worked in retail for most of my working life, have had the opportunity to live and work in my favourite city Venice and a place that will feature in my next body of work. Travel has always been my passion and have said I want to see as much of this beautiful planet as possible. My mantra is “I am throwing as much colour at it as I can “.

I care deeply about the people I choose to surround myself with and was guilty of putting myself last on more occasions than I care to remember. I say was, because that all changed when I decided to take up Art as a form of self care and therapy following my Mums diagnosis with dementia.

How did you cross paths with Julie and Happy Side Hustle?

This may sound a bit “woo woo” but I had seen a clairvoyant a few weeks prior to seeing the free challenge, she said I would go through a period of self development and training from someone I instantly liked. It didn’t make sense to me as it wasn’t something I was thinking of doing at the time I just had too much stress to contemplate adding anything else. Until I met Julie!

How did you feel when you found out about the challenge?

Seeing the enthusiasm in Julie’s Facebook advert was truly a light bulb moment for me.

I was furloughed from my full time job as a Retail Manger, struggling with anxiety and I knew in that moment I needed something to focus on, I was apprehensive at first, all these self doubt thoughts creeping in – ‘Am I good enough to do this?’ , ‘What will people say?’ ,‘Am I adding more pressure to my life.’

But I also remembered what the clairvoyant had said, and I’ve always gone off gut feelings, so I just thought ‘Go for it. It might turn out to be the best decision you’ve made’

Why did you decide to join it?

Julie said that there was no point adding more to your life if it wasn’t bringing you joy.

I needed joy and painting is just that to me, it takes me to a calm space where I can just lose myself and not have to think of all the noise of daily life, so it was a no brainer to join and subsequently joining the Hive has enriched my life with so much positivity, that I truly believe anything is possible if you follow the process .

What was your favourite part of the challenge?

For me it pushed me out of my comfort zone, I’ve always been a more practical person rather than academic , it also made you really think and dig deep into ideas for a side hustle you may not have initially thought of .

I struggle with technology, but the challenge was structured in a way that makes learning easy, even when I had a mini meltdown half way through over a computer glitch !

My Side Hustle Sister was there to save the day (Samantha Jenkins xx ) and the support from everyone taking part was amazing .

What was your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment from the challenge?

Realising that it was ok not to have it all figured out in one go and that my journey was not the same as everyone else’s and would evolve on its own by taking small steps in a way that fits in with my life and limitations.

Who would benefit most from this challenge?

Anyone who has ever had a thought that they want more than what their current life situation is giving them and just has not got a clue where to start. I would say just do it, because by the end of the challenge you will be buzzing with ideas and a new found sense of purpose and direction and on top of that a whole army of likeminded supportive friends.

Where can we find you?

Claire’s Painted Attic

Etsy (which for the moment is on holiday mode awaiting my next plan to rebrand):




What is your next big goal?

My original artwork was based on a fluid painting method, but as any artist will tell you, constant ideas can lead you on another path, perfecting your skills is a constant aim and each painting is a learning curve.

I’ve found the direction that I want to pursue, which comes from a place of wanting to preserve the memories that I hold dear, the places that have figured in my life and that I hope mean something to someone else. Creating a body of work that truly is me and can be presented to a gallery is my next big goal … following in my ancestors’ footsteps and showing in London is my ultimate aim ….

Are you in the ‘Fast Track your Happy Side Hustle’ or ‘The Hive’?

I’m in the Happy Hustle Hive, and I couldn’t be happier ! The support received from Julie & Gillian is phenomenal and covers every aspect of setting up your side hustle, targeted themes and tasks each month make you accountable but you always know that you are doing it at your pace with the support of your fellow “bees” no question is too silly and someone always has the answer for you.

Did you have any experience running your own side hustle before? How did that go and what do you know now that you didn’t know then?

I started a furniture refinishing business over 5 years ago, this is where Claires Painted Attic was born, giving life back to the furniture, which held so many memories for families who didn’t want to throw it away but who needed it to fit in with their new interiors. It was here that my love of painting from school was reignited. Moving location meant I no longer had the space to store the furniture and thus for the moment I continue to do small pieces for myself and family, until a planned move next year. The transition to painting landscapes is exciting and will continue to evolve and with each new place visited will give me more memories to paint.

What’s your biggest tip for someone who’s considering setting up a side hustle?

Take the idea and run with it never know how big it could get until you take that step . If you are not living the life you love go create it I say.

What’s your favourite thing about being in The Hive?

Without question it is the most uplifting place to be … it’s my safe place where I know I can be me. Always knowing someone has your back if you need help. It pushes you and cuddles you all at the same time. And if you are not a part of it…why not? It’s the best group of women on social media and it changes your life, literally.

What’s your favourite thing about your new happy side hustle?

For me this is more than making money, it’s about realising a lifelong dream to do the thing that lights me up, to actually believe that it is possible and could eventually be my full time job. But there’s also a sadness in knowing that the reason I’m here painting comes from an unfaltering desire to make and paint as many memories as possible before dementia takes my mum away from me. That being said I’m living my dream here and now, and that’s thanks to the strength I didn’t know I had two years ago which the beautiful people in this community have brought out in me … so Thank you xxx