We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin Silva and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Fortunately for me, my business has grown over time. The industry that I work in and more specifically my job as a retoucher has serious timing demands. Images need to be turned around on tight deadlines to meet client needs. As business has grown, I now find myself involved in 2-4 projects simultaneously which does not allow for any days off. It can be really tough to work for a few weeks straight without having a real break but I am fortunate enough to be able to plan getaways in advance and create boundaries between work and free time that way. Also, it can be feast or famine. In contrast to multiple projects at once, there will be a week here and there, that I do not hear from clients at all. I try and take full advantage of that time and spend it with my family. The days that I do work, I try to incorporate exercise in between photos (one of the perks of working from home) and I also follow a strict schedule where I walk away from the computer everyday at 6pm to allow myself proper time to unwind and regain sanity.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My job title is referred to as “retoucher”. I use photoshop to manipulate images for commercial and editorial use. Most of my work is in the genres of fashion, beauty and lifestyle but I occasionally do other stuff within the industry as well. Over time, I have connected with a great deal of clients on instagram and also through referrals. There are many retouchers that do great work but there are also some that like to really overdo it when it comes to photoshop. I think that one thing that sets my brand apart from the latter is knowing when to say when. Editing photos (especially photos of people) can be a slippery slope that leads to a world of virtual deception. I believe it is most important to keep the integrity of the subject while still making him/her look there best.
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 live in Costa Mesa so I am adjacent to Newport Beach. The beach would definitely be an attraction. “Blackies” in Newport is a local surf spot that I frequent and gets it’s name from the long standing beachfront bar that it sits in front of. Costa Mesa, like much of Southern California also has great Mexican food. My favorite is El Matador on Newport Blvd.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Collette Silva. My wife always strives for more. She pushes for the next big thing and is goal oriented in every way. She has been with me from my journey as a struggling musician turned bartender and finally to where I am today with my career as a self-employed artist. It is with great resistance that I ended up in the fortunate situation that I am in today and I would not be here without her persistence, love and encouragement to succeed.
Hanna Hillier (biting finger) Nicholas Maggio (disco balls) Phillip Lopez (lake) Ted Emmons (ice cream cone)