We had the good fortune of connecting with Phoebe Silva and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Phoebe, how do you think about risk?
So, I have a long time history of taking wildly un-calculated risks in all areas of my personal life as well as career. Not to get too LA about it, but I’m a pretty restless textbook Sagittarius and tend to leap before I look whenever I have an exciting whim. I’ve moved to brand new cities on a whim with no savings and no plan more than once, I’ve quit jobs without a backup plan, I’ve thrown myself headfirst into any number of career opportunities without really thinking about it. This might make me sound fearless but I definitely have felt terrified most of my life and have just learned how to barrel through the fear. I’m not sure that’s a great MO truthfully: I’ve struggled financially and emotionally most of my life. I had a really chaotic childhood so I think I’ve just always been used to functioning in high stress situations. That being said, the silver lining has definitely been that I’ve gotten to a point where I have no personal limitations when it comes to creativity. I am now completely confident that I can figure out how to create anything I can imagine, if only I’m resourceful, determined and diligent. I’ve only reached that level of personal freedom because I’ve thrown myself into so many fires and healed so many times over.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have gotten to a point where I try to run my entire life like one overarching business, but it’s really four different businesses under the umbrella of a sort of artistic calling. Conventional careers never made any sense to me energetically. I struggled in retail and food service and administration and management for years and now have settled on freelance music teaching as my consistent source of income. I feel like I’m putting all of my experience and training to good use as a music teacher, and also getting to make my own schedule and charge my own rates. So it’s very liberating, although ultimately I would love to get to a point where I can make a comfortable living off my art alone. When I talk about ‘my art” it’s no one thing. It’s music for sure, music I write and sing and create and perform. It’s also visuals to go with that music, artwork and videos. I also paint and create visual art both for pleasure and self-expression and for commercial sales. I paint abstract and portrait commissions. I sometimes create art for other music artists’ releases or promotional materials. I curate and art direct and produce most of my own visuals for my music. I’m hyper creative so I have a hard time sticking to any one thing. I’m also illustrating a children’s book in collaboration with a friend right now! I like to stay busy and art is both my work and my play.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Los Angeles more than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. I love being able to take a causal stroll through Ferndell at Griffith Park, or go to the farmer’s market in Hollywood, go thrift store shopping in Echo Park or on Melrose, or drive down to Venice Beach. I’m thrilled for live music to be starting back up this summer! Before the pandemic my entire social life revolved around live music. Places like Hotel Cafe, Harvard and Stone, the Satellite (RIP), and the Echoplex are the setting for my 30’s up to now. I live in East Hollywood and so I stay close to home a lot of the time, there’s so much nearby! I love Home restaurant and Cafe Figaro in Los Feliz, Mohwak Bend and Sage in Echo Park, little neighborhood dive bars like Little Joy and the Thirsty Crow. It’s been a long, dark couple of years. It’s exciting to see some businesses reopening, and I really hope some of the many small businesses that closed during 2020 are able to be revived.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents are definitely the most influential people in my life. They’ve been divorced for 25 years and could not be more opposite. My mother is a musician and artist and my father is a retired deputy DA, and also a great music lover. On both sides of my gene pool there is a great deal of emotional intensity, sensitivity, deep feeling, bombastic self-expression and love in the most tumultuous way. I always knew I was an artist and my parents both nurtured and accepted that about me. They also both had super high expectations of my productivity, which is definitely a personal projection on both of their parts, but it definitely shaped the way I approach the concept of “work” in my adult life. They’re both very complicated people and so am I. There’s been a lot of conflict over the years but we’ve all grown in tandem with each other. There was a point in time where I definitely felt burdened by this feeling of failure, like I failed to live up to their expectations of me. But they have supported me in their own ways through all my ups and downs and now that I’ve found my footing personally and professionally, I feel very certain that they’re both in my soul tribe.

Website: phoebesilva.com (under construction)

Instagram: @phoeborama

Facebook: Facebook.com/phoebesilvamusic

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4NK8v8EyAyLxY4Rgond0dw

Image Credits
Ojo de Loba (Tammie Valer) Dave Sarrafian Vecc Schiafino Chris Camargo

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