We had the good fortune of connecting with Steve Riddle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steve, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I have been creative by nature ever since I was a small child, growing up when I would entertain myself, it seemed that I would lean towards a form of play that somehow incorporated my creativity and this was something that was a natural expression of my being, I have always been drawn to the arts and throughout my life it has been extremely rewarding to me personally to exercise my creative expression both in a personal as well as a public sense. I showed early aptitude at the arts and was encouraged to develop my skills, which I continually strive to do, and throughout my life I have found that those skills have not only helped me find my unique purpose in the world, but it has allowed me to enrich others’ lives and to form wonderful relationships with fellow artists, musicians, and audiences.
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 have been a musician for over 30 years and a fine artist working with visual arts such as painting and illustration for most of my entire life. My journey has not always been easy but it has been extremely rewarding. While life itself brings many challenges I feel that for those of us who are creative types there is an extra set of challenges. We are haunted by our creative visions and so we must pursue them amidst challenges to our time, relationships, finances, partnerships and other roadblocks. Looking back I believe that any success that I have achieved beyond any natural gifting that I may have can be credited to hard work, perseverance, faith, optimism, and most importantly passion. Ironically one of the most significant lessons that I have learned is that success in and of itself is not the goal, rather it is the process that we must embrace, the journey of developing oneself as a musician or artist and the process of finding contentment in that journey, and not comparing oneself to another’s journey…that is where peace and joy can best be found, and ultimately these gifts are to bring us peace and joy that we can then share with the world. I hope to inspire others through my music and my art, to entertain and bring joy to my audience and to inspire developing artists to fully develop their gifts and pursue the path that is already in them to guide their inner spirit to becoming who they want to become.
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?
There is so much to do in Southern California, I think we have more options than just about anywhere else. I have some personal favorites though, Laguna Beach is one of the coolest beach communities with a wonderful art community and summer art festivals, I always enjoy grabbing some tacos at Sancho’s Tacos in Huntington Beach, maybe a hot dog at Pinks out in LA, the Getty and LA County Art Museums are like home to me, the Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills and the Hollywood sign always represent old school Los Angeles and Hollywood to me, and I would have to take a friend to Amoeba Music because I still miss the old record stores.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My third grade teacher has always stood out in my mind, Often when the other kids would go out to play I would choose to stay inside and work on some wild creation that I had crafted. She would let me keep these creations stored away in her classroom and I could pull them out and work on them whenever I wanted to when we had free time. I vividly remember her commenting to my parents about the artistic talent that she had noticed in me during class, and I remember her telling my parents that they should work to see my skills further developed. Not long after that my mother sought out some private instruction for me, which was the first time that I had any formal lessons, and it wasn’t too long later afterward that I was actually making money as a young artist and getting some attention. It may seem like what she did was not all that significant, but it had a profound effect on me: I felt seen for who I was and what I was interested in, and I felt encouraged to be myself, and ultimately this led to me realizing there was a larger realm of creativity to learn about and real significant role for the arts to play in the world.