We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Holman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in Hastings, England and came to the US when I was 21, on a crazy two-week trip to show my films in NY underground clubs. I never went back to the UK, and so, many years later, there’s a part of me that feels that I’m still on that trip – still an adventurer in a foreign land. I think that’s what allows me to pursue my creative goals with a spirit of exploration and fearlessness, that I might otherwise not have had. I feel that my English cultural influences – the humor, quirkiness, irreverence (I grew up in the original punk music era) – have now blended with the American sense of energy and endless possibility, and have jointly influenced what I’ve managed to do in my career.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a multi-media artist, and animation director. I started my career writing, directing and performing in underground theater, before getting a job as an artist on Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Realizing that kids’ TV was a perfect medium for my wild ideas, I started an animation company, (W)Holesome Products Inc, in the mid 90s, and have since created, directed, and designed many stop-motion animation, and mixed media children’s tv series, including “The Bite-Sized Adventures of Sam Sandwich” for Disney Junior, “Phantom Investigators” for Kids’ WB!, and Life with Loopy” for Nickelodeon’s “Kablam!”. I also paint and sell my artworks, and my exhibitions have been reviewed in the LA Times, the New York Times, SF Weekly, Wired, Paper Magazine, LA Weekly and The Village Voice. I’m currently working on my first children’s book series, to be published by Little Brown next year. My creative life has been always busy and endlessly varied, and I believe I’ve achieved what success and happiness I have through sticking to a personal vision, trying to stay as creatively independent as possible, never worrying about ‘risk factors’ if I believe in doing something…and the rest is sheer persistence and hard labor. It’s seldom been easy, but if you’re doing what you want to do, and earning money from it, then that’s a fantastic feeling and will keep you going through the hurdles and hard times. As someone making a living from the arts, I always make sure that I have several things going at once, in case something falls through (which it often does). My general advice though, no matter what your field, is to find great people to work with, and try to only get involved with situations (and people) that you feel comfortable with, and that you can trust. Try to enjoy it all along the way – there is no end goal, only the journey. Please check out my work (and my artist shop!) on my website at stephenholmanart.com or visit Dove Biscuit Studio inside The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles to see some of my work in person..
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Last Bookstore in downtown LA – giant, used bookstore in a great, old bank building.
Huntington Gardens – beautiful library, art galleries and gardens close to Pasadena.
Cliftons Cafeteria – comfort food in amazing kitsch-historical downtown locale.
Any show at the Hollywood Bowl
A day or two out at Joshua Tree national park.
Snorkeling or scuba in the ocean off Laguna Beach
A ferry trip to Catalina
A day at the Getty Museum
A last used bookstore trip to Book Alley in Pasadena.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For Josephine, my wonderful wife and creative partner for the past 30 years and my son, Phineus, who inspires me every day.
Linkedin: stephen holman
Facebook: stephen holman art
Other: my animation website is wholesomeproductsfilms.com