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Meet Bryan Salvador

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bryan Salvador.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m 26 years old, and a Freelance Concept Artist and Illustrator from Los Angeles. My story as an artist began when I was a child. I’ve always had a passion for creating and drawing. While kids at the library borrowed books about stories and fairy tales, I found myself always checking out the books about how to draw cartoons, animals, manga, you name it. I quickly fell in love with the way art could create things that never existed; far away galaxies, grand heroes, epic quests, and I soon began to figure out how important art really was to me. Whenever I would play video games or watch movies, I wanted to collect the art books related to them. I would spend hours and hours analyzing how an idea came to fruition from a drawing to these finished marvels I would see on screen. I was so inspired and wanted to create those things I saw. I had a lot of passion, but as I grew, I realized it would take a lot more than that.

Despite all my adoration for art, I can say I was definitely not the best artist and my skills needed a lot of work. I wanted to become a great artist, I wanted to learn, I wanted to grow, and through my high school years, I tried so very hard to. I was afraid to ask for help because back then, I was looked down upon for my poor art skills. Someone even told me, “You know, I don’t think you’ll ever amount to much as an artist in this world.” And those words cut deep because they came from someone who I thought believed in me. I wasn’t some prodigy or some naturally gifted person, I was just a kid with a dream. I began to keep my work to myself. I didn’t want to share it out there for fear of ridicule or being laughed at. I began to feel discouraged about drawing like it was a waste. And even though that flame inside was almost snuffed out, it stayed a small dim. It still wanted to create.

As I grew older, my family wanted me to pursue a career in the medical field, but at my core, I knew that was not the path my heart was set on. In college, I chose to pursue a degree in Computer Animation thinking that was what I was passionate about. I figured, well if I’m not that great as a traditional artist, maybe I would be great in creating things in 3D programs, right? And so I went through college animating. But, something was off. Something did not click. I did not feel the passion I once felt, but I knew I still had this desire to create. Towards the end of my college career, I began doing research about Concept Artists, but I was still afraid of my drawing skills or lack thereof. But the more I looked into concept art and illustration, the more I began to feel that fire I once did before high school, when I was happy to just draw, to just create something my imagination wanted. I think it was then I truly knew I wanted to create Concept Art and I would do everything in my power to be able to.

I began to work on my skills as an artist day by day alongside finishing my animation degree. I would watch hours and hours of tutorials online, read books, do research, everything I could learn on my own, to grow as much as I could as an artist. Around this time, I was lucky to make some friends who shared that same passion as me. I was afraid to share my work again due to fear, but this time around, I was met with kindness and praise. I looked back on my work years ago, and my work then and I began to see, slowly but surely I was growing. And now, I was surrounded by friends who wanted to all grow together and pursue our dreams.

After graduation, I immediately began to pursue Concept Art as my focus. I now had clarity in my passion and a direction to channel it in. I began to take some classes both online and in-person to help hone my skills. I began to post my work online more and began applying to studios. There were a lot of setbacks and a lot of struggles, but I never wanted to give up. I started putting myself out there more as a Freelance Artist.

Eventually, I was able to even have an artist table and booth at a few conventions and sell prints of my work! Soon after that, I started receiving clients for Freelance work. It sparked a new level of inspiration and joy that people wanted my art and truly kept that flame inside me burning bright. To this day, I’ve been happy to create for a number of freelance clients and even contribute an illustration to the book “Monster Boy and The Nightmare King and Other Stories.” Today I am still avid about growing and pursuing my dreams and working hard to reach my goals one step at a time.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It was definitely not a smooth road, haha. It was a lot of internal struggle along the way, finding growth, and fighting a lot of self-doubts. It’s easy to get discouraged and want to give up, but it’s far more rewarding to push forward, struggle, and grow from difficult moments. Understanding there are going to be bad days, where things just don’t work. But equally, there are great days where you will feel invigorated and newly inspired. There’s a fine line between taking a break to recharge and overworking yourself. Finding that line was definitely a lesson for me on having creative burn out.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As a Concept Artist, I specialize in Environments. I love creating shots and scenes that give a sense of awe and wonder. I want my work to take people on a journey through the potential of the imagination. In my work, I really enjoy experimenting and playing around with lighting / light sources; from glowing mythical crystals and structures to advanced cyber technology.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Daily and short term wise, I want to continue to develop my skills as an artist and grow. I’m continually inspired by the world around me and my peers. Long term, I would love to work for a game or movie studio and one day publish my own art book!

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