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Ep.80: Stephen Silver on the power of your journey

By Iva Mikles •  Last Updated: Jan 01, 2018 •  Interviews • Podcast Episodes  •  Popular Interviews

Stephen was born in London, England. When he was 10 years old, he moved with his family to the US.

He aspired to be a professional artist his whole life and he knew very early on that drawing would be his vocation.

Stephen has designed characters for Disney Television Animation, Sony Feature Animation and Nickelodeon Animation, designing the style of the shows such as “Kim Possible”, “Danny Phantom” Kevin Smith’s “Clerks” the animated series, and many more.

He is the author and artist of 7 self-published books on the art of sketching, character design, caricature and life drawing.

In addition to working freelance,  and doing lectures, he is the owner of Silver Drawing Academy, an art school, located in Los Angeles, CA.  He also teaches character design courses online at Schoolism.

Get in touch with Stephen

Key Takeaways

“Find out what is it that truly ignites you. Don’t be afraid of failure. Try to learn something new every day from different fields … know you are on the journey, so learn and grow!”

Resources mentioned

Special thanks to Stephen for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Stephen Silver, used with permission

Click Here For The Episode Transcript

Announcer 0:03



That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other.

Art side of life interviews with Iva

Iva 0:34
Hello everyone and welcome to the next episode of art side of life where I chat with inspiring artists five days a week. My name is Iva and my guest today is Stephen Silver. And you will learn about how to find what you want the power of your journey and how to keep on moving forward. It’s always

Stephen Silver 0:51
about taking initiative it’s always about hearing something and doing something and not just hearing something and not doing something so you take action

Iva 1:01
Stephen was born in London, England and when he was 10 years old, he moved with his family to the United States. He aspired to be professional artist his whole life and he knew very early on the drawing would be his vocation. Stephen has designed characters for Disney TV animation, Sony Feature Animation, Nickelodeon Animation, and designing the style of the show such as Kimbo seaville, Danny Phantom, Kevin Smith guards, the animated series, and many many more. He’s author and artist of seven published books on the art and sketching, character design, caricature and live drawing. In addition to working freelance and doing lectures, he’s an owner of silver drawing Academy, an art school located in Los Angeles, California. He also teaches character design courses online at school ism.com. So please welcome Steven silver and let’s get to the interview. So Welcome everyone to the next episode of art side of life, and I’m super happy to have Steven here. Hi. Hello, hello. So very excited that you took time and joined us here. And let’s just dive right into your background and maybe you can share like, creative outlets with your head as a child like what was the most creative?

Stephen Silver 2:19
Oh, boy, I agree. I think I got into a lot of trouble when I was young. When I was younger. I was originally from England. I was born in England and I moved to America when I was 10 years old. And just really my my background was, I didn’t know what it is that I wanted to do. I started drawing at a very young age and about six years old. From there, we moved to America when I was 10. And my parents want we were moving the whole family because they thought they said it’s the land of opportunity. You can have more opportunities by going out there, there’s more jobs, they still didn’t know you know what we were going to do. And eventually I just started to discover More about our they always loved watching cartoons on TV, just a lot of Hanna Barbera cartoons. When I was about 13 years old, I discovered an artist by the name of Norman Rockwell. And from there I was just so intrigued with that and I just everything was just for me moving in that direction. I just wanted to I just wanted to draw and all the artists out there No, you can’t really control that. It’s just something we need to do and want to do. It’s I oftentimes question Why do people want to do certain things and why people don’t? Why does someone want to climb a cliff? In a dangerous situation? Why does someone want to climb Mount Everest? I I have no desire to do that. Why does someone want to wake up every morning and jump on their bicycle at 3am and, and go around that 20 mile bike ride I have no desire, so we’re led to do the same Things that we can’t explain and I realize not to question it, just do what it is you want to do. From there, I was just always drawing it led to caricature. Then I started drawing at theme parks and amusement parks showing character pictures, which eventually led to doing private parties where people would pay me to come enjoy it weddings, bar mitzvahs, conventions, you name it just all different birthday parties. And then I submitted my portfolio to Warner Brothers animation back in 1997 they gave give you a test in the studios to get the jobs that I got hired into the studio doing that and from there just been in the animation industry really ever since

Iva 4:45
Oh, that’s really cool. And but let’s go back to how did you get the first job right because you said like, okay, you need like, entertainment parks but Okay, so you just like appeared there with your sketch book that like okay when the draw people or someone can

Stephen Silver 5:01
Right. What I did was I was someone had mentioned to me that looking for caricature artist at a theme park in Santa Fe was called SeaWorld in San Diego where I was living at the time. And I contacted I called up the theme park we get this all everything that I’m going to talk about even today it’s always about taking initiative it’s always about hearing something and doing something and not just hearing something and not doing something so you take action. And I called up the theme park I never had a name I knew nothing I just Oh, that sounds interesting. So the next question is well how do I find out about it? Okay, pick up the phone picked up the phone. I am calling to speak to the people who do the characters Okay, let me put you through to them. They put me through to them. I spoke to them. Hi, my name is Steven silver I want to do caricature is okay, well come on by bring your stuff. Show us some of your work and we’ll go from So they set up an appointment I showed up and that’s literally what I had. I just had a bag full of sketches i didn’t i there was nothing professional about me at that time I was 18 years old. I had I had what was called a mullet just shaved in a Mawlid I had my earring I had showed up with slippers on with duct tape wrapped around my slippers some great fashionable I had a torn plastic bag with my drawings and sketches that were crinkled and again nothing knew nothing about being a professional and show it but they liked what they saw they said you can you know you have a lot to learn but we can that we can help you we can teach you and if you’re interested we’ll you can have the job because they needed people. They really didn’t care. They just needed people in the chairs to fill hours in the seats and that’s what really got me that just But then they started training me and helping me and showing me things and there were times I remember my first caricature I did someone sat in the chair, and they were a paying customer and I drew them and they were talking to me. So how long have you been doing this? I said, Oh, it’s my first day and they said, Really? And they got up and left and they walked away. They didn’t even want to see what I did. And I told my boss I said, Yeah, they just walked away said listen next time they ask you how long you’ve been doing this just tell them you’re doing it for two years. And that’s it. So every time someone says well I’ve been doing it about two years now Oh, great. And then went from so that’s how I got the job and caricature world

Iva 7:42
perfect there because when you started you know your first job and you also don’t know like how to negotiate the money right? Or do you or did you first the things do it for free or like of course we can higher up the pricing.

Stephen Silver 7:58
in that phase, again, you going to work for someone. So they’ll just tell you this is we pay in in that specific time. I don’t know what has changed now, but basically we got a third of any sales. So they would charge me like $8 for black and white $12 for Calla $20 for two people. So I would get a third of any of the, the money at the end of the day. So depends on the season if it was real busy, and depends how fast you are. So some artists were faster than others. But really, I mean, I was 18 years old, and I was making anywhere from about 700 to $1,000 a week, say, you know, at a young age, and that was great. And there and then I started doing the parties. And you heard the I usually work with agents, I would look through the Yellow Pages, these books that were put out that had a listing of all these entertainment agents, and they were entertainment agencies where people who would hire balloon artists, caricature artist clowns, you name it, you know, they’re hiring all these people. So I would get on their list as a caricature artist. And they would ask me, so how much you charge an hour, I would say at the time, I was like $75 an hour, they probably charged $100 an hour, so they would get $25 I would get 75 when I was doing it, privately private commissions, I would just charge around $75 an hour, and eventually move up to where my weight became around $175 an hour. And I there was no middleman it was just directly through me. If you wanted me there, then I that’s how much I would charge and I would do roughly about 15 to 20 characters an hour within that time, so I was working pretty fast. And before that, you know, even getting into that and people hired me to do stuff I always charge I never I never did anything for free that I can ever recall. They may have been the occasional thing that got thrown in there, but I would always try I just thought I’m not going to do this for free. And plus, my parents had they know, they would have never let me they would have said, Are you crazy? You know, they would have told me we’re going to go into a sandwich shop and asked for a free sandwich just so you get it, see if you like it or not. It’s like, that’s not how business is done. And my parents were business professionals. They were real estate agents. So they knew a lot about just business and being entrepreneurs and being independent. So a lot of that rubbed off on me, where they would give me business advice all the time. So I would never really it’s a bad practice. Yeah,

Iva 10:36
yeah. Because some people do that as well. So I just wanted to know, like how that works in your case, because even if you do just murals, or maybe one workshop and just like to the hell because of course the charity, that’s a different thing, but yeah,

Stephen Silver 10:50
right. Right. Exactly. Exactly.

Iva 10:52
And so when you mentioned that your parents were like in business, what was the best advice they ever told you?

Stephen Silver 11:00
I would say just, it was really get everything in writing. That was really the bottom line, don’t do this word of mouth thing. Don’t just it’s not just a handshake anymore. It’s not like the good old days, it’s, you got to have things in writing. And I think that’s the most important lesson that I got to all of this was make sure that when you’re communicating with people, and really, this was before email and all that, so it was just through the mail, I would make little sample contracts and have things in writing and just know that it was there. And that was really the biggest one of the biggest lessons that they would say, and just not not being afraid just to ask for questions asked, don’t be afraid to ask, you know, don’t be afraid of the No, it was another thing and which is something that we tend to be so afraid of that someone’s going to reject us that someone’s going to say no, that someone’s not gonna like our artwork, someone’s not going to like something and the reality is, just don’t be afraid of that. Just go for it, don’t be afraid to ask Make sure when you do it get everything in writing. And those I think some great lessons that everyone should carry with them throughout their careers. Yeah,

Iva 12:10
that’s perfect advice because some people think like the contracts are non negotiable or like the everything can be negotiated and

Stephen Silver 12:18
everything can be negotiated for sure. And that’s you got a 10, you got to ask and maybe the answer is no, but at least you asked, and you’re not going to have regrets and say, God, I could have got more money or I could have got more time or so anything. So that’s why you always got to be vocal and be confident then this is something I think through their what they would teach me is the importance of just meeting people and being confident and not being afraid of people. And we’re all human. You know, we all wake up and take up in the morning, you know, we all wake up and eat breakfast some of us you know, it’s just, we do these routines and we’re all the same, so don’t be afraid.

Iva 12:58
So what made you Like do your online school like what was your kind of like thought process? What was going on in your head when you decided like, Okay, this is the point when I want to do this

Stephen Silver 13:10
that sort of came about I was working at Nickelodeon at the time already at the studios. And I knew that teaching was something that I just had this natural inclination for. I feel like I was just always at a young age, I was always giving people advice. And even when I came into doing characters, people would always just come to me and want the advice and want my help. And maybe the way I responded to them, or maybe the way I was just so open, that it was just natural. And then I was asked one time to teach a character design course I was ready working in the industry and the teacher they said, Hey, you know what you should teach because I feel like you’d be real good at it. And if you want to grow and you want to learn It’s a great way to start really improving upon your skill set. Because you have to constantly repeat what it is that’s in your head. And sometimes it’s hard for artists to do that. And so I started doing that. And and that was live classes. But then friend that I had met Bobby Chu, who was, had reached out to me out of the blue, he was kind of lost and not knowing where to go in life and not knowing what to do. And he sent me an email and I just said, Hey, give me a call that’s just chat. And he called me on the phone and I gave him just a bunch of advice and told them quit your job or you know, kind of get out there, do your own thing, build your own independence, you know, all this sort of stuff. And then we had met and then a few years later, maybe about a year later or so he was starting to do this online school, which was school ism, and asked me Hey, would you be a teacher for it right now it’s just me and it’ll be you. So it was just The two of us he was teaching painting and I was teaching character design. And he said, Yeah, and he set up the whole system on his end in Canada. And that’s how it sort of began my online teaching doing that. But again, I was always doing teaching my own thing and eventually led to me starting my own school and doing all the workshops and the lectures that I do now because it’s really my purpose. But I found that I’ve had to go through this journey, and learn all the things that I’ve learned and do all the things that I’ve done and it’s always been this funnel towards and I look at it like it’s like a funnel up, not down. It’s not like you’re pouring things all in one hole just to drip down there. It’s like the funnel is moving upwards and all the influences and all the teachers and all the projects you work on from me from doing my books and my apps and my my industry, jobs, everything all that is experienced that Going through my funnel eventually that come out at the top as the teacher as that’s what I’m that’s what I’m producing. That’s my main. That’s my main source of who I am and what I do and it’s just been tool that which is given me the tools to get there.

Iva 16:18
So what are your kind of like legs of the table now income wise as you said, you have your own school than yours on school ism, you’re selling your own books. So are there more things you kind of combine?

Stephen Silver 16:31
Yeah, well, there’s so many things I truly believe in. You can’t we don’t live in a world now where you can just have the one job I think it’s foolish to try to think and do that just to say hey, if I get that job at Disney, I’m set or want to secure a Lego or wherever you are that this is my one job, I’ll be secure. The reality is, yeah, that’s fine. It will be you can make a good living and that’ll be fine. But the reality is, you’re going to start to get Become unfulfilled, you’re going to start to be in that place where you’re just feeling like I’m just working for someone else. And I want more time for myself and I want to do my own thing. So it’s important to have multiple campfires going at one time. And that’s what I believe you have. I’m doing a little bit of this. I’m doing a little bit of this. So you’re pulling in income really from all different areas of things that you do. Yeah. So that’s what I do with my online school teaching that I do with my live classes school that I do. All my workshops that I do, I do one day to day workshops, I do I do lectures, I have apps that I have, I have books, I have conventions, I go to I do prints I do all the freelance I do for a variety of different companies all the time, get contacted to do freelance jobs. So there’s little bits and pieces really come in from from from everywhere, so I’m not just relying on just one check, and one source and that’s how I’m able to all honesty, fuel, everything that I do every little thing helps fuel something else and gives me the freedom to work on so many projects and do so many things independently because I’m not all eggs in one basket, you know, I’m all over the place. And I think that’s the new that’s the new model. You know, an app is what people are doing. They’re working freelance they do they they got their Patreon account, they got their, you know, maybe YouTube or something that they’re helping or their podcasts and all this sort of stuff is just building your brand building is what we’re doing. Yeah, and what every artist needs to think about is just like you want to build your brand and make a living at it and not be ashamed of it. And people think, you know, I’m doing it for that. I want to be an artist and I yeah, we’re doing it as an artist. We’re artists but we want to make a living as an artist and if someone finds value in what you do, there’s nothing to be ashamed of of that and that’s why We do all the time we are consumers. Hey, we decided we like Coca Cola. So I’m gonna buy Coca Cola because I like it I might should I be ashamed of should Coca Cola be ashamed that they’re selling Coca Cola to me? No, it’s a product that I want to buy and I enjoy like, and I’m benefiting from it. I don’t know that it makes your life better by drinking Coca Cola. But you know artists making their books and other people buying other artists books and supporting that and they’re benefiting from that this is the circle of art. And so this is why every artist should never be ashamed or afraid. Just think about an idea and create it and turn it into something because your one hope is that people are going to embrace it and enjoy it and benefit from it. And so it becomes a win win situation and this is how an artist can thrive and not feel like they’re just giving to a studio and working their tails off just for that. studio to lay them off and be done with them. once they’re done with them, then they get eaten them to them and spat them out, you know, which most studios do. And this is where most frustration comes from with artists because they feel like they’re being bamboozled. They feel like they’re being taken advantage of even though they making a paycheck. They feel like they’re just like, God, this is so unfulfilling and frustrating. And I can’t tell you how many Pixar artists I know it’s the same story over and over again, they want to get out you know, most of them have left and most artists I know are leaving the big studio jobs because this is what they’re running into. God they’re all the time and effort and energy working for someone else. And like, you know what, I can work for myself now. This is the new model the New World, the new market.

Iva 20:48
Yeah, it’s because you are building someone else’s dream, as you mentioned. So of course at some point, it gets frustrating. But yeah, it’s good to get to know yourself like what do you actually want because if your dream is to work in big studio when you get there, and is it you are you going to be happy there right? So that

Stephen Silver 21:06
and you said this, the most important thing is just want know what you want, then this is where people they get the confusion comes in no way you want to go know what you want. And once you decide what that is, and you figure that out, and that’s the hard part. And it’s not easy. Sometimes it is easy. I feel like I knew what I wanted very early on in life and it had to do with character chairs and drawing people which had to happen to lead to character design. I didn’t know I would be a character designer, but all my training and everything that I did got me to that point. So all these influences and all this work that you’re doing is going to help inform and guide you I don’t care if you’re a security guard right now you’re working in a factory and you’re making widgets, you know, and you but you want to do art someday that can eventually help You in some way through your experience of, of someone you met an idea, all this stuff helps. So nothing’s for no reason. You know, it’s like you’re supposed to be where you are right now because that’s where you’re supposed to be. And when you accept that and can truly believe that, and just believe that it’s all about timing is the most important thing that it’s all a matter of timing. As long as you’re getting up and moving and being active. Just know that eventually it’s going to happen.

Iva 22:30
Yeah, definitely. Have you ever felt lost? Or did you have like a worst career moment then if you did something like that, then? What is your takeaway or what do you learn?

Stephen Silver 22:41
I, you know, it’s funny. I never truly feel like I’ve ever experienced loss. I don’t feel like I’ve experienced failure. I absolutely have had failures and rejections at moments and not getting jobs I wanted and things like that, but it never bothered me. It was just a blip in time. It was just like, Oh, you know, it never worked out. Oh, well that’s kind of a bummer. I’m bummed about that. But I just got right back up and started something else. So I never stayed in the mud. I never stayed in the swamp. I never just stood there and just, you know, play the little violin like, you know, we’re always me. You know, it’s just sad. The world’s falling apart and nothing’s going to happen for me. It was never like that. And I think because of that mindset, and then attitude, it was always something again, that you It’s so hard to believe that when one door closes, another one will open. Yeah, people it’s just so hard to believe that but if you could just say, I’m moving, I’m moving. I’m working towards where I want to go. My destination is like, I was just talking to someone today. I do these. Another thing I do is I do these Skype conversations, these mentorships just the 30 minutes Skype calls with people all over the world. I was talking to one guy today right before our conversation here and I said, you got to think about it like this. When you jump in your car in the morning, you have a destination to go to, there is never a time where you’re going to jump in your car and just sit there and go nowhere. You You’re going into your car for a purpose because you have a destination. So the minute you turn on that ignition, you’re moving somewhere now your destination may be I was telling him more Los Angeles space things but there’s like, like you say you’re going from one city, my destination is to go from this city, to the next city. Okay, that’s where I want to go now. You may endure some serious weather conditions, you may endure some serious traffic conditions, you may endure some accidents along the way. So sometimes it may take you two hours to get there on a normal day on a good day. But on a bad day, it could take you five hours to get there. Once you get the time. It’s all about the timing. But just because it’s taking you that long to get there are you going to all of a sudden decide you’re going to pull off in this other city. And that’s going to be a destination now that you’re no longer going to go to where you want it to go. I’m just going to settle here now and set up my campsite and shop, whatever you’re going to do. No, that’s kind of like backwards where Why would you do that? Why? Why would you give up so easily? Why would you just settle there because something’s taking you a little bit longer and there’s some some traffic along the way you might, you might stay the night there, just wait till a stay there, eat a meal before traffic dies down, and then get back on the road. But eventually you got to get back on the road and head towards your destination. The biggest problem people face is not knowing their desire or their destination. And this is why they struggle and go through all the dilemmas they go through. But don’t worry about it. you’ve dealt with this every day. you’ve dealt with people you’ve dealt with traffic dealt with problems just just get up and go. But that’s where for me I’ve never felt like anything’s a failure or so traumatic. So nothing’s ever held me back ever.

Iva 26:09
So you because I think the goal that helped you definitely you knew where you’re going. So I think people might have the issue that as you said, setting up the goal Do you maybe have some tips like how to think about what you actually want or how to find yourself or it’s more like everyone’s thing.

Stephen Silver 26:27
I mean, me know, it’s experimentation. For sure. You gotta try things. Without a doubt. You gotta just try things. You gotta maybe, you know, it could be a cube and it ties into so many things. Like I tried to play guitar for a while and realize, you know what, I just keep fighting this and it’s just not natural. Eventually, you’re going to realize what’s not natural. I tried to an oil painting I thought I wanted to be a painter and do oil paints because I was so inspired by Norman Rockwell and decided, you know, it’s just not now. I just don’t enjoy it as much And I kept finding myself drawing people all the time and faces all the time. And that felt natural So the thing is, is try to if you’re not sure what it is you want to do make a list of at least you know that you gotta you should know what’s involved in the art community different jobs and if you don’t research it, what are jobs in the animation industry, there’s a color stylist, a background designer, prop design, character, design, a storyboard artist, find out all the jobs that there are and then decide what seems intriguing to you. And maybe you might try it for a while and realize God that’s just I just don’t like it, I don’t enjoy it. And then and then you start to hone down on it a bit. But I think that most people kind of know, again, you might do something technical, you might say I want to do 3d modeling, and you get into that and realize using my or anything, maybe it’s too mathematical for you and you start and it’s just so unnatural, but on the side, on the weekends and on your free time you find yourself Painting flowers, because you love painting flowers, well, maybe that’s where you should start heading towards because you’re passionate about it. Maybe there’s something maybe you could create a line of greeting cards with flowers, maybe you could create a series, a gallery series, and do gallery show and move towards your flowers. And just again, there’s those little things that you already have. It’s ready I feel is ready with inside you. You just need to put in the work to bring it out and rebirth. What it is you’ve already done. I’m like huge believer in reincarnation. And this is what helps me a lot is I know that I’ve been a teacher and an artist in my previous lives and that’s why for me, it’s so natural. And I’m just now we entering and realizing that this was what I’ve learned from what I’ve done and that’s why it’s natural. And I’m just following through with that and and I think if people maybe they don’t, you don’t have to believe in reincarnation, whatever you want, but I feel if there There’s something within you already that gift that it needs that needs to emerge. And it’s only two years after it. It’s not going to come by you sitting around talking about it. Yeah,

Iva 29:12
yeah, definitely. And so what do you hope that your students will take away from your teaching? Or is there like the the main message you are trying to communicate?

Stephen Silver 29:23
I think the main message I’m just trying to communicate with all my students is just to take control and decide what you want and learn the foundation because once you’ve done the foundation, and you don’t have to observe, and you learn how to remember things and recall things, this is going to influence everything that you do. So maybe you don’t know exactly what position you want, as far as let’s say in the drawing realm, maybe whether it’s going to be an illustrated children’s book illustrator, maybe you’re going to be a storyboard artists a character designer. prop designer, if you learn how to just draw, you learn how to draw, and not rely on just computer and the brushes, and that person set of brushes, and just do things like this, but learn how to draw, learn how to observe all this information. Eventually when you’re called upon to do it now you have to draw a dinosaur for something. Well, you can draw a dinosaur because you’ve learned how to draw portraits and you’ve learned how to draw the human figure and you’ve learned how to draw so these are the things that I want to teach people is just just learn out Just don’t be afraid. Just take challenges, take steps and just and practice and and I’m trying to build new habits for my students. I want them to get into the habit base of just just building up a habit of taking a commitment to draw a certain amount of time each day and putting in that effort and, and get out there and don’t be afraid to fail. Earlier, there’s so many things again, I teach business I go to a lot of just brand building business and drawing all these things that are just vital and important to your growth and just building just self esteem and self confidence.

Iva 31:13
Oh, that’s great. Yeah. Because then there are not so many business courses for artists that were your branding. So what are your thoughts about personal branding?

Stephen Silver 31:24
I would say I mean, number one, best use social media is have I’ve seen a lot of people where they’re mixing and matching their identity whether they got something written on their website or logo but it doesn’t match what they have on their business card and, and everything else and part of it is just having a name and sticking with it. You know, mine is I use silver I put silver on this my last name but I have my logo and I put it on everything. So everything that I’m doing sort of ties into that and everything that I do ties in towards Teaching and skill base and drawing. So I’m not trying to mix other entities or other ideas. You will with you know, with that it’s all about drawing and it’s about learning and that’s, that’s, that’s the brand and that’s what I’m building upon, you know, and just showcasing that so when people say, oh, oh silver Yeah, yeah, I know I know that. But you know, it’s like Coca Cola or at amp T or you know, all these different company, whatever the phone companies are that you have, wherever you live in the world or wherever you go think about basically all you have to do is just think about every single company that you are familiar with, that you’re aware of in your mind, whether it’s a shoe brand, whether it’s Nike Just do it. And everything that they do is about the swoosh and Nike and it’s not so complicated. People are making things way too complicated. That that’s another thing I want to I’m looking at something here up here that was just Someone who wrote Oh, he wrote there was this guy named Gary Vee. He’s very intense guy. So a lot of people might not like him just because of how intense he is. But I like him because of his energy that he talks about. He says, you know, build your brand, not a transaction. Okay? And that’s where a lot of people are focused on just trying to sell sell, sell, they’re always trying to sell something in the reality is, you build your brand through just just awareness being out there been talking about things not always feeling like you gotta sell something every two seconds, right? So that’s the mistake a lot of people make, they’re always pushing a product, as opposed to, you know what, I’m not pushing a product. I have something to say I got some advice. I want to talk about things and I’m going to talk about that. So the idea is, by most people are doing podcasts these days and all these things is because they are brand building because it’s a marathon and it’s not a sprint. And you know, to building your brand and putting your content out there and showcasing things, people are going to hear about your, your, your, your website, your, your podcasts, your, your programs, such as this, whatever it may be. And eventually, maybe they’re going to come to you and say, You know what, we’re working. We’re a company and we’re working on a book and we love what you’re doing. And we’d love to implement something that you’re doing into this. So a, something’s gonna usually come from all the effort and work that you’re doing. Right. So I think that’s what people have to be aware of that this don’t expect quick results. That’s the worst thing you can do trying to build your own name and your own brand and your own who you are. And that’s why how do we know all the artists we know today? Yeah, right. It’s the same thing. It’s the exact same thing. It’s sort of like their own brand building, whether they’re publishing books and they’re doing designs for animation and their name is being put out there. It’s just named record. ignition and becomes the brand. And then they then they start to build up all these other things. So all we ever have to do is plant the seed and nurture it. And don’t expect quick results. And as Sega said, My avocado tree thing. And avocado tree takes five years before it bears. It’s true if you’re lucky, so but you need to just plant the seed, nurture it, put it in the right environment. That may mean you need to get up out of the city and town that you’re living in and move into another town and put yourself in the right environment and to where you’re surrounded by more of an art community more art groups even though you don’t have a job, you just know. There’s no one in my town. There’s no artist out here. There’s no artists in my town. There’s nothing then move it up, move. Quit talking about it, get up and move to the town where there is immerse yourself in that environment like an avocado tree needs to have a lot of sun and needs a lot of work. And it will take five years of that nurturing before it will even have an avocado. So if you think about that, I’m starting my journey now I’m on a marathon, it’s going to take a while but maybe it might be in timing it may be five years before it actually happens and accept that. And if you accept that, well then you’re in good hands you move in you move and that’s all you gotta do is move like the blood in the veins and the cells in your body is move because the minute their blood stops moving and circulating. You know what happens?

Yes, six feet under. So that’s all you have to do with your life is God be the blood circulation, be the cells be the vein, just move keep pumping, like the heart does just pump and move and something will happen.

Iva 36:52
Yeah, I also really liked the new book from Gary Vee what he did the jab, jab hook right there was actually quite heavy read that one or the

Stephen Silver 36:59
other. No, no, no.

Iva 37:02
That was quite interesting. It was I think it’s this year where he was describing different social media like how you have to approach Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, like and how you have to offer right you help people and then you can sell so you just don’t like as you mentioned, like okay, just I want to sell sell. Oh, that’s

Stephen Silver 37:22
right. Exactly, exactly. And then and then plus, again, it sort of will turn people away. I mean, if it’s a great product and people want it, they’re going to you know, do that and they’re going to pay but also Yeah, you just think about every artists in existence from the beginning of time that’s ever made a book that you own on your shelf that you have on your shelf is you supported that artists and they rely the needed you to buy those books like every single author out there, every science fiction writer, every romance novel, they want to sell those books and if you have those books, because they love the story, Stephen King the great all day we love Stephen King What a great again he can keep making his books because people keep buying his books and that’s how we can keep doing it and book is is putting out something of quality again if you’re not putting out something that people want or the quality is not there you jumped the gun too quickly where a lot of people do because they see everyone else doing it oh my god I got to make a book now to to they put out a book of all their artwork and the artwork just isn’t up to par yet the quality is not there yet so people are confused the the the consumers confused, like I’m looking at this art book but I don’t feel like I’m gaining knowledge from it may be otherwise it doesn’t tell a story that I really identify with or I can relate to so I might not want it. So don’t just jump into it because overall your friends and your peers and everyone on social media is doing it. This is a mistake people make because that’s when they get discouraged because now they’re not selling their books. And they’re not getting likes on Facebook and they’re not getting likes They’re not getting their little heart on Instagram, and all these things that they’re not getting become their, their their judgment of like, Oh my god, people don’t like it or you know and vice versa again you got this people out there who have thousands of followers and they get thousands of likes, but that doesn’t mean they’re selling far better and do it all the time. You know. So again, it works both ways. But don’t let that don’t let that be the the meter necessarily on to judge whether you’re moving in the right direction or not where I know people will stop doing things because they’re not getting enough likes. And say, well, maybe that you know you can just if this is something you feel passionate about and you want to do it, just do it because no one knows no one knows about what’s going to be a success and what is and all it is is a mouse to numbers, the amount of times you try something you amount of effort you put into something. That’s all that amounts to. So if you’re lazy, I can promise you nothing’s going to happen. If you take initiative and you don’t procrastinate, then something’s going to happen. Something you don’t know what we don’t know what the outcome is. We don’t we didn’t know we were going to be having this conversation today. Yeah, a week ago.

Iva 40:13
Exactly right.

Stephen Silver 40:15
Here we are, right? So we didn’t know and here we are. So everything in your life is like that. Just don’t rely and expect the outcome. You don’t know what it’s going to be just move towards that and see what happens

Iva 40:27
and do something for it. Yeah. And so, when you are teaching for a long time and when people want to build their own brand, then just move on to one direction right. So you saw many portfolio so is there something which always kind of occurs Okay, or is there like okay, maybe this is not good thing to do.

Stephen Silver 40:49
Well, one thing in portfolios, it’s not good to do is just be too all over the place. I feel like people are that I look at a portfolio, start thinking about it, like A menu at a restaurant when you go and can you imagine if you went to a restaurant, and you looked at the menu, and everything was mixed and match between the sea food and the salads and the desserts, and it’s all on one list, and you’re looking at the dessert on that line, and then it’s the seafood over here now, you’d be like, Oh my god, I don’t even know what I’m looking at to make a decision. So you got to categorize it. And that’s what you need to do in your portfolio. If you have your character designs, put them all in one section, if you have your backgrounds, put them all in one section, your proc designs, so categorize everything into a specific section, especially if you do multiple things if you just do one thing, which is not which is a great thing to like my whole, all I’ve ever done is character design. I don’t show prop design environment storyboards, because I don’t want to do it. All I want to do is character. So my whole portfolio is just character design base. But now I break that into subcategories. So you See on my website where I have my Feature Animation, design, my TV animation, design my life drawing my animal design. So I’m breaking up into all subcategories based on design. So that’s something when people don’t do that it becomes a mess and a disaster to look at. Another thing that happens where people go wrong is that just focusing just too much on maybe the finished product and the color and not showing the development and how you got there, because that’s the main part of this industry is just development you got to make sure that you’re showing the thumbnail sketches and development phases do that eventually get you because that’s what you’re doing every day in the studio environment.

Iva 42:45
Yeah. And so how your normal day look like now how does he go because you do so many projects and you’re teaching and, and everything so do you have like a classic day or every day different?

Stephen Silver 42:58
No and every day Sort of everybody’s different but similar so what I found that work for me I used to just every be writing down on a calendar, all the things that I sort of had to do is I need organization. Otherwise if I don’t write it down then I’m then I’ll forget. So but I used to be all over the place like especially there are things like when I would receive recording my school ism video is my online classes. I would do that every day. I do a few students on this day, a few students on that day when I do my mentorship online, my Skype sessions, I used to do it every day when I do so I was always it was every day was always chaotic. And then I realized, you know what, I got to streamline this even more. So what I started to do was all I ever do now that I’ve been doing this for quite a few years, I just have a calendar. I don’t put anything online, I don’t have a Google account. I don’t have my phone, calendar. Everything is written on this piece of paper and every single I know exactly where I stand and I can start to cross it off. So now I know that say every, every Tuesday is my Skype mentorships I’m not between this time and that time, so I know where I am. So they become fixed. So you got your fixed things like maybe you’re taking a call soon, you know, every Wednesday, I’m doing life drawing. So that’s a fixed thing every every day at 3pm I know I gotta go pick up my kid from school or something that’s a fixed thing, you know where you stand. But then you got all these other things that get thrown in between you know, so now you can try to fit them in there. So every day I know exactly what I need to do every day. So I another thing that I do I do caricature is for a lot of clients, for these companies out here, and I just restricted to every Wednesday is my caricature day. So you know I’m saying so now I do it is kind of fix in that sense. So every day I know where I’m at and but now I can like teach Today’s Tuesday, I know that, hey, I can throw this interview in here. I know I got some time in between there. And I’m gonna put that in on my schedule for 11 o’clock and do that. And that’s how I’ll do it. So my days become very easy in that realm. And I never feel overwhelmed and I never feel like I have to do crazy things. And one lesson I learned from a book I read many years ago by this, this guy named Wallace wattles. And it was I think, I don’t know the title of the books. I won’t even try to pretend to say it, but his name was Wallace wattles. And he said, don’t do tomorrow’s work today. And that always stuck with me because we tend to finish our specific task and then we go, okay, we feel guilty. Okay, well, I can’t just sit around and watch TV and do nothing or I can’t just do that. I gotta jump into tomorrow’s thing. And then people start jumping into most things. So all of a sudden, people are filling up their days and they’re so busy all the time. And I don’t want to be busy all the time. I value my free time. So I have a lot of free time for myself because of how I’ve set up my schedule. And if I finish that, and I finished early, great, I’m done. I could do whatever I want, you know, and that’s it. But my days are routine, in the sense of I wake up in the morning, and I, you know, get dressed and I take my kids to school and I come home and I walk my dogs and then I start my day at about 830 and I have lunch. I’m usually done every day at about five o’clock. I never work on the weekends. I keep my weekends free. And yeah, and that’s kind of like my routine.

Iva 46:34
Yeah, the process batching makes sense that I heard about it in some of the podcast like two years ago, I think and I started to do it too. And it’s just like so much more efficient than like, okay, recording videos, editing and use, like, speed blazing.

Stephen Silver 46:50
Exactly. You just got to make sure that when it comes to that day, you don’t procrastinate. Yeah, and start to go. Well, maybe I won’t do it. Take it now. You got to move it on to the next day. But maybe your next day’s already been getting full. So but if your next day isn’t full, and it’s clear, that’s when you can say, you know what, I don’t know that I’m not even feeling it today. Like, I don’t want to do it today or whatever. If something else pops up you go, you know what, but tomorrow, I have that window. So I’m going to move it to tomorrow. So you’re just moving it. But the worst thing you can do is if you get in the habit of doing that too much, you don’t want to do that too much. You will. There’s, there’s a grace period, you can do it every now and again. But don’t make a habit of it. Because then you start going back on track and you never get anything done and you keep pushing everything off. And then it’s a mess.

Iva 47:38
Do you have some kind of routine which contributes to your success, like every day like meditation or Miracle Morning notes and goals and these kind of things?

Stephen Silver 47:47
No, I don’t do anything like that. I mean, I do a lot of meditation, but a lot of it is funnily enough it’s a walking sort of meditation where I just dumb I’m walking but I’m in my mind. I’m calling out every single thing that I’m doing. I’m walking with my left leg, my right leg, left leg, right leg. I’m I’m touching the light, I turned on the light. I’m opening the fridge. I’m grabbing my orange juice. I’ve taken out the orange juice, I’m shutting the fridge and moving over to the cabinet. I’m opening up the cab

Iva 48:18
the moment

Stephen Silver 48:19
Yeah, every single moment like you’re really there and you’re not thinking about that you got to do laundry tonight or what’s for dinner or anything else. It’s just like you’re truly at that moment. And I do a lot of sitting when I’m just sitting and I’m petting my dogs, or just even just with no phone. I really am not on social media that much at all. I limit it to maybe about 10 minute increments. Maybe I get on Facebook in the morning for about 10 minutes. If that maybe six minutes, Max, I’m done. I’m not going to spend their old day looking at other people’s lives and not focusing on my own life and looking at other people’s world. Not my own world and this is where people get distracted too they get caught up in everyone else’s life and oh man Why is that not me I wish I was on vacation I wish I had my stat studio job but you know the funniest thing to me is every time when someone posts an image of their their they got hired at a studio and they post their their door number or something you know, just got hired and you know how many friends you’ve just pissed off at MPs and everything else when you do something like that. It’s like so there’s a lot of things that I do all the time that I don’t post only because I’m sensitive in that realm to I know what people how people react, unfortunately, people. I this is going to sound horrible, but I’m not saying anything that isn’t true in humanity and human kind. People don’t like hearing about other people’s successes. They really don’t. They don’t want to hear how great your world is. How beautiful Your life is and how how good your jobs going. They want this is why the news and these reality shows work so well because we get to watch other people crash and burn. And we love it and it’s been going on since the gladiator days where people are watching people massacre people in front of them because it wasn’t them and it wasn’t their life and as hard as that is people can’t unfortunately beach so happy for everyone else. So I think you gotta sort of like sometimes pull it back a bit and just be real a you know an honest and be inquisitive but don’t don’t don’t don’t show boat and all that stuff all the time that that it’s it’s people don’t want to hear that people don’t want to see it your own friends don’t want to see it there get jealous people are jealous.

Unknown Speaker 50:51
They need

Stephen Silver 50:53
the people who are happy for you, all your parents, you know they want to voice you with it. Those are the people who I always tell you, your artwork is brilliant and great, you know. So if that’s something, stop showing your artwork to your parents all the time, if you want real feedback, because they’re going to tell you how beautiful and great everything is. And also, again, your parents are going to be there. If they’re good parents, they’re going to want the best for you. And they’re going to want to hear that. That’s terrific. You got that job. My God, thank God, that’s so great, you know, and where a friend might be. That didn’t happen to me. And I was in the same class as you and I had the same teacher and why you? You know, I hear this all the time. And that’s why I’m saying this because I see the feuds happening all the time.

Iva 51:35
Yeah, because yeah, there are people like that, obviously. But if someone is training to be, you know, like, calm and like happy for others, and just, you know, like, I’m sure they’re like both versions. And yeah, because then you start thinking about yourself, like, Okay, so what did I do wrong? Or like you don’t think about like, okay, they actually were looking for that type of person knows your type of person and they’re like, oh, maybe I’m not good enough. And then you think are to be upset and all of that.

Stephen Silver 52:01
Yeah, exactly. And it’s not always about it’s not about you, you know, same thing in the acting world, it’s not about you, it’s just may be that you know, the look what they had in mind that they wanted someone to be three inches taller, or three inches shorter. So it’s not that it’s like your son did a horrible addition. And that it’s just that there was something that they felt that they needed you to contrast against that other actor they have. And there was something a little and that happens in the art world all the time in these portfolios, say, Well, you know, you got great stuff, but this this person, they happen to have shown a lot more cartoony stuff and you didn’t and it’s just like, Okay, well, that’s what you need to work on. And maybe most people will never tell you that recruiters won’t tell you what’s wrong with your portfolio. When you send your artwork to all these places. They’re not good. They don’t have the time to tell you, hey, you need to work on this and this. All you need to do is identify what role you want and know what their requirements are to get into that role as a character designer, you got to be extremely versatile. You got to join many different styles and have a lot of variety. If you don’t have enough of that you’re not going to get the job that someone else will have that portfolio, and they’re going to get the job. So it’s just a matter of what goes in and what goes out sometimes.

Iva 53:18
Yeah, just to see what yeah, exactly where do you want to get, like how you get there, and yet what you show? And so what are your projects now that they are working on something exciting you want to share? Or is it still confidential or

Stephen Silver 53:32
book? Yeah, you know, I’m work. I’m just kidding. I have a lot of different campfires. I’m working on a lot of things. I would just say, you know, right now I’m actually working. I’m doing work but I’ll get to work from home studio job is I’m redesigning characters for Scooby Doo for Warner Brothers. So I’ve been doing that as like a studio job, but there’s other freelance things that I’m working on. But my main focus right now and always has been and this is the trajectory I’m going is just the teaching and workshops and I’m developing that I’m actually in the process of developing a system, a worldwide school curriculum for for high school and college students worldwide. And so I’m developing a program and things like that. And that’s, I’m doing that with my wife, actually. So she’s, she’s a lot more organized than I am. And she’s very structured and things like that. So that’s a lot of fun. But I feel to just all the viewers, everyone listening just, it’s so important, no matter what job you’re actually working, that you have to have another purpose, find another project, book project, a comic project, I don’t care what it is, you enjoy what you do. You have maybe you create podcasts and you have your own channel doing YouTube something and you interview people, whatever it may be, outside of work, do something different than just that one thing. That’s that’s going to sort of make you want to wake up every morning and not feel like the drudgery of a regular job and go, you know what, when I come home at night, I get to work on this project of mine. When I wake up in the morning for 20 minutes, I get to work on this project and, and it gives you something to do and as artists, you have to you have to otherwise you’re you’re going to be miserable, you’re going to be depressed, you’re going to have fear, you’re going to have anxiety, you’re going to be discouraged. All these human emotions are going to be heightened if you’re not developing something and have something to look forward to.

Iva 55:36
Yeah, definitely. It can be just small thing like creating small tutorials as opposed to on Instagram every day

Stephen Silver 55:42
or every week. Absolutely. Just something just something something just get up and get out. Do something.

Iva 55:49
Yeah, and let’s talk about the future. Now maybe and where do you see yourself in like five to 10 years and like a dream scenario? And so what are you doing and where are you You’re leaving maybe or everything?

Stephen Silver 56:01
Well, I guess another dream is I want to so I actually am looking five years into the future, I got a 13 year old daughter and a 15 year old son. And about five years from now, my son will be older than 18, my daughter will be 18, they’ll be a lot more independent, probably move out, go to college, go live in their own, do their own thing. And once they are gone from my house, then that’s when I really want to because I’ve limited myself a lot right now from doing a lot of my workshops that I want to do and going to different countries, because that I’ve been invited to and I don’t because I don’t want to be traveling all the time. So once that comes so my five year plan, like I’ve told me like what my wife and I actually want to do is in about 510 years and again, we got dogs and stuff but is just to live in different cities all around the world for six months at a time and experience new lives and I can teach and do set up work. workshops and do things in all different cities around the world and be do that. But I also want to own my own sort of, kind of sanctuary, my own, my own, my own place for people to come to grow and learn and understand about brand building, just just drawing, designing a good like I just did, I just came back from this two day workshop retreat up in the mountains, and I had such a great time and it’s just being out in the mountains in nature and did meditation and yoga and drawing all day and, and let’s just create an environment, a community for artists, where teachers and artists from all over can come and develop their own programs and I have these you know, big ideas and that’s for me, it’s all teaching base. It’s all my purpose in life is to teach and that’s what I want to do. So however I can do that and make a living doing it and be comfortable and i’m not i’m not chasing and I’m not I don’t chase money I don’t I’m not what I’ve never have even when I didn’t have a lot. I was just it was always it. I believe that it comes when the time’s right? things will happen with the money will be there when you need it. I don’t want to live an extravagant life I don’t want to own my own helicopter my own private jets. I don’t want to sit at a dining table that’s, you know, the length of a football field, you know and have gold everywhere and I and I don’t want to live like that. That’s not where some people they want that sort of they want to be multi millionaires I have. I don’t have the desire that other than just like freedom that money gives you freedom to do what you want but you don’t need that much to really enjoy life because a lot of things in life are free going to the beach and nature is free. There’s going on a hike is free. There’s so many things in life that are free. That is Always we can clothe ourselves, shelter ourselves and feed ourselves and if you can do that in a comfortable way that your works for you, you know however you feel a custom that’s fine whatever it is I you know, that’s it but that that’s where I’m at.

Iva 59:15
Perfect That sounds great then just decided that Yeah, I’m happy so he’s not the destination but the journey that okay and satisfied and yeah,

Stephen Silver 59:23
absolutely. That’s another thing. That’s one of the most important lessons that I have learned in life is that when you truly understand this, the journey, and there is no destination and it’s all these experiences that you’re going to gain along the road, the road of your journey are going to help and influence you and get you there. And when the time comes, when you’re an old person, you can reflect on that with no regrets and say, I tried a lot of things and I experimented and I explored and I wasn’t afraid to do things and it was a good life and I enjoyed this that so and I have my health. That’s all you can you know, hope for that. At the end, but it’s just the journey. And again, when you understand no destination, that job you dream job right now is just one little side track thing that you’re going to do and then there’s going to be something else you’re going to want to do trust me, you’re not going to want to sit there for the rest of your life.

Iva 1:00:16
And when you imagine like hundred years, what would you like to be remembered for? Is it the teaching? Or do you have like something like, Okay, this is what I would like to be remembered for it.

Stephen Silver 1:00:26
Yeah, just that, you know, Steven silver helped affect people’s lives. You know, he helped inspire people, he helped people, you know, change. There may be their way of thinking but just to inspire you in a new term. I don’t know who said but I want to inspire before I expire. That’s what I want to you know, sort of do and now sort of like be remembered for that. That one person I people say to me sometimes say to me, I’ve had a few times ago. I watched your YouTube channel all the time. Is there you know, it’s really helping me but you don’t have that many viewers you only have like a 1500 or 2000 people that wants to said so on that’s fine you know even that what that those are those 1500 people, those people that keep coming back those people that keep watching, I know that their lives are being affected and that that’s going to change them. What do I need to have a million people for reach 200,000 million people? What does that mean? It’s just a numbers is it becomes a, you know what, it’s the people you’re going to affect because that’s what people remember. People remember their teachers in life. People don’t remember who won the Academy Award. People don’t remember who won the Best Animated thing in 2016 2015. Could you I don’t I don’t remember who won. It doesn’t know that it’s relevant these people with their awards and everything else. Yeah, it’s nice, you know, to be to get that sort of someone paying attention because that’s what we want. We wanted Be Seen, we want to be heard, and someone notices it and get that acknowledgement. But what really counts and what I remember other teachers in my life I remember what my parents have taught me. I remember the different teachers that I’ve come across in life in part that have said that thing at that one encounter that one moment, that’s 20 years later, you remember that one word, that one little sentence that they said, you go, Wow, that stuck with me my whole life. And I think that’s what’s vitally important are those and seeing like what you’re doing here, where this is going to with all the interviews and different people that you’re introducing people to where, you know, they can listen and work on a project and hear it in the background and just maybe gain some knowledge. That’s where you’re affecting people even if it’s, you know, two people and for me, I know from the people that have contacted me, which is really digs deep into me where they’ve told me that I prevented them from committing suicide. That is crazy to hear that. goosebumps even when I just mentioned it again right now is just knowing that upset people on pause when people break down in front of me and cry because of something that I said to them that changed the trajectory of their life that one person, I don’t need to know that it was a million people that I got a million followers or anything else to affect that. And I think that’s what I think we all should be. Maybe we all want to somehow affect people somehow through our artwork, through our teaching, to our whatever it is just I think if that’s I think that’s a good mission for everyone to have in life just to be able to affect someone and help someone else along their journey. Definitely. I think you’ve served your purpose and you’ve done maybe what you’re supposed to do on this planet this time around.

Iva 1:03:52
Yeah, just being nice to each other and it just when you don’t get one job, that doesn’t mean that there is no other one for So the it’s not just one piece of cake there is always something for everyone.

Stephen Silver 1:04:05
Right? Exactly, exactly. Okay, keeping that open mind I think is really, really important then, you know, be good to people be good to people and and you’ll be rewarded for that I think somehow some way I think being open but when you treat people like hell a crap and listen things are it’s just a matter of time before things are going horribly wrong in your life and call I believe in karma and just things are going to start spiraling downwards and you’re going to question why why is this happening? Well, maybe it’s because of what you’ve done in this area and your life is affecting this because it’s all connected somehow. We don’t know how but there’s all some form of connection within there. You know,

Iva 1:04:46
and so just sorry. When you when you mentioned you know, the the traveling around the world and the workshops, I was thinking actually you can do like, have you heard about this project when you are like one year We the business group and you travel one month in each country. So you travel as one group so actually you can do that as well with the like artist group you know, so Oh

Stephen Silver 1:05:08
really no.

Iva 1:05:11
Like organized, you know, like the organized like accommodation for you. They always have like meeting rooms available, then they have meetings together, then they work alone, and they just travel around the world for a year. So there’s actually something

Stephen Silver 1:05:24
Yeah, see, that would be something I would totally do once my kids are grown and out, and I just, yeah, just travel doing something like that. But I mean, that sounds terrific to me. But that to me, that’s what life’s all about is exploration. So just to explore, you know, you kind of want to be be a scientist and a scientist job is to discover you’re trying to discover new ways, new approaches, new new cures, new whatever. And as an artist, you gotta think like that you’re on a discovery, you’re on a journey. And I think where people sometimes they go, my artworks not improving and this time And the other sometimes it’s because they haven’t had enough experience. They haven’t traveled, they haven’t left their own city enough to see what other parts of the world even look like or what how other cultures and other art and other things. That’s a huge element of your own personal growth. And if you just in your own little one town, and you You’re the big fish in a small pond, so to speak, you’re the best artists in town, because you’re the only one right then you know, you want to put yourself in an environment where you’re the little fish and that that’ll really make you humble you and make you aware of your shortcomings and what it is you need to improve on and realize, oh my god, like I’m not so good. You know, again, a lot of young kids, you can have the ego like I did when I was younger because I was the best artists in my high school. You know, because I was like one out of three other artists no one else could draw. So you felt like privilege and a gift like a you know, but the reality is you bye You move once I moved out to LA. I was like, Oh my god, man, I suck. I am horrible. And I got a lot to learn. Yeah.

Iva 1:07:09
Oh yeah, definitely. I know, as you said, like when you are at school, you’re like, Okay, I’m good. And then you move somewhere. You’re like, Oh, okay. And yeah, and before we say goodbye, maybe you can share like last key takeaway or like, main message, and then we will slowly finish.

Stephen Silver 1:07:29
I would say, again, just to recap, almost is just like, find out what it is that it is that truly ignites you that you’re excited about. Don’t be afraid of failure. Just try something new. Try to learn every day, something, whatever, even if it has nothing to do with what you do. Maybe you want to learn maybe you’re an artist, but you want to learn about a real estates mindset, developer and their philosophy. Maybe you want to hear about Astronauts what got them to where they are so don’t just be so limited just to listen to other artists and what they’re talking about but also open up your doors and just read about his experiences as much as possible. And just know that you’re on this journey and learn and grow and just have fun. Have fun with this again timing believe in timing I want you to believe those like those watches, those fancy watches which are work on kinetic energy, which is just like you would just buy there’s no battery in them. They they work just because you’re moving as long as your wrist in your hand is moving, it’s going to make their watch work especially in Switzerland. You guys make the best watches out there. So is just just know that because of your movement is go and that motion is going to make it keep going from one time The next time and eventually it’s that’s what we’re relying on its timing, it may not be happened today, it may not be a month from now may not be two years from now. But at least as you’re moving, and you plant the seed, and you’re actively working towards your own book, your own intellectual properties, your own channel, your own, whatever it may be, don’t get caught up on people’s whether they give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down on what it is you’re doing. Just work on what you want to work on and and enjoy the process.

Iva 1:09:36
Totally agree. So thank you so much again for taking time from your busy schedule.

Stephen Silver 1:09:43
Oh, you know, not nothing busy at all. It was perfectly time.

Iva 1:09:49
Yeah, it was my pleasure. Really good talk. So thank you again.

Stephen Silver 1:09:53
Great. Well, thanks again for reaching out and get for taking the initiative. This is another thing again, you just reached out you just shut up. me an email, you know, we saw each other at the convention. And you you know, you mentioned again, this is why it’s important to go to conventions and connect, connect, connect with people. And we can’t do this alone. And you met, you met me through there. And you mentioned it, you reached out and you did a follow up email. And this is how it happens. And that’s all it just boom, boom, one step off to the next step. That’s all we’re doing. You just don’t jump up the staircase, one foot in front of the other. And that’s all we’re doing here in life is just putting one foot in front of the other. And I appreciate you for doing this and what you’re offering to people, this insights of people who don’t have the connections and the insight to where they can get into the minds of artists. So it’s a great thing that you’re doing and fulfilling a great purpose in life. So thank you.

Iva 1:10:53
Thank you. I’m really happy that you like it. And thanks, everyone for joining today and see you in the next episode. Hope you guys enjoyed this interview, you can find all the resources mentioned in this episode The art side of life.com. Just type a guest name in the sidebar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes, hopefully five stars so I can reach and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to art side of life podcast, because I post new interview every single word day. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to art side of life.com slash YouTube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer 1:11:43
Thanks for listening to the art side of life podcast at WWW dot art side of life.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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