We had the good fortune of connecting with Juan P Soto and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Juan P, how do you think about risk?
My vision of Risk is: analyzing what you’ll lose with what you’ll get. The fear one can have when making a decision that is going to risk or challenge your future may be the fact why so many people get stuck at some point in their lives, they don’t want to do that “Leap”. Is crucial to understand how necessary it is sometimes to decide without having the full knowledge of how the result is going to be.

When I started studying in the United States I could start a career in architecture at the university in my city, or start a new life studying animation without having any contacts, friends, or knowledge whatsoever of how my experience was going to be, but knowing it was the thing I most wanted at the time. Because of the tense situations with the dictatorship already at the time in Venezuela. I made the decision of giving it a shot, if I felt that I wasn’t in my place I would return to my hometown.

It has been the smartest decision I’ve made in my life, I do not regret doing it. But when I did the decision it looked like the stupidies of them all, and that’s because sometimes risks are like leaps of faith (I even believe the majority of the time) and the land is not gonna look or be pretty, sometimes it can even be lethal. But many times almost always the reward can be better than anything you thought it would be.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m currently a Director and a storyboard artist located in Van Nuys, CA. I’ve just completed “No me Abandones” a short film currently on festivals. Also have worked in the animation department as a story artist on several shorts already and did a children’s book “Juan & Papa Whale” available on Amazon and Kindle.

I don’t think I really know what aparts me from others, but I’m pretty sure who I am (at least for now) I believe that’s the most important thing as an artist, from a painter to a writer it is really important to be true to yourself. Get feedback and listen, but at the end of the day do what you really feel like needs to be out there! What I’m most excited about is really still do what I love, which is working in film. I have specific goals that I would like to achieve but I’m already extremely grateful to being part of this incredible industry.

I think I’m too young of an artist to have a full spectrum of how “successful” I am right now. I am proud to know I’ve been doing my best in my work and no, it hasn’t been easy to keep going. There have been jobs and certain times throughout my life where I don’t know if its worth it to keep going. Being an artist is a very strange thing really, you create and you live for that but it could not give you financial help at the beginning or even the majority of your lifetime. But if you stop creating, you die (at least your true self). I’ve had work experiences where I hated the job but I really needed the money, in one certain period I even stopped doing storyboards and writing my shorts. And that was I believe now the lowest point of my life. Because I got comfortable in having my stable job and paying my rent even tho I hated what I was doing. The important thing is always to keep going doing art, even if that means that in the beginning, you would have to eat instant ramen for a couple of months. (try not to, sodium is not good for you).

I’m really still learning about my style and the way I tell stories in my films. So what I would mainly want right now is to achieve on of my biggest goals: make people feel something with my stories.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think bars are a great option to hang out the first day of LA special at night, I would choose Birds & bees to start, and then do the standard tourist tour of the city (Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, DTLA) then I would go more to what I believe are great places to visit in Southern California like the Los Angeles library, check some studios out, the modern art museum, go to Mount Baldy.

There are a bunch more places but those are definitely the main ones to go.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Absolutely. I always and will never stop dedicating my life and work to my brother, who is not with us anymore. Also to my parents and all my friends who have supported my crazy ideas.

Website: https://jpsaart.wixsite.com/juanpsotoa

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juanpsotoa/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jpsotoarevalo/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juanpsotoa/

Image Credits
Laísa Santos, Instagram: @laisamaras

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