In today's episode, I welcome Giovanna Salas! Giovanna likes to create, and she has dabbled in and become proficient in multiple medias, including art, literature, and film. She is the founder and owner of Heart of Hollywood Magazine and Motion Pictures, and in this episode, she shares about the importance of making opportunities more accessible for artists along with her heart and passion for helping others' succeed. (Double fun fact: the cover image for this week's episode is not only a recent cover of Giovanna's Heart of Hollywood magazine, but it also featured Sandy Rodriguez, one of our former guests!) 


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Episode 72 - Giovanna Salas

[00:00:00] Lindsey Dinneen: Hello, and welcome to Artfully Told, where we share true stories about meaningful encounters with art.

[00:00:06] Krista: I think artists help people have different perspectives on every aspect of life.

[00:00:12] Roman: All I can do is put my part in to the world.

[00:00:15] Elizabeth: It doesn't have to be perfect the first time. It doesn't have to be perfect ever really. I mean, as long as you, and you're enjoying doing it and you're trying your best, that can be good enough.

[00:00:23] Elna: Art is something that you can experience with your senses and that you just experiences as so beautiful.

[00:00:31] Lindsey Dinneen: Hi friends, whether you are just getting started or you're a seasoned professional looking to up your game, I have an exciting opportunity for you. Did you know that I am actually the creator of 10 different courses online that range from ballet, jazz, tap. They also include a mindset detox course and two Stretch and Tone courses. So if you're looking to start a new hobby or get a little bit fitter, or you're looking to do a deep dive into your mindset, really perform a true detox, I have the course for you, and I would love to help you out with that. So if you go to, you will see all of the different courses I've created.

[00:01:26] You don't have to step in a classroom to take your first dance class. I teach a signature 20 Moves in 20 Days course that allows you to learn 20 steps in just 20 days. It's a lot of fun. We have a great time together. And I think you're going to absolutely love the different courses. And Artfully Told listeners get a little something from me. So if you go, you'll sign up and use the promo code "artfullytold," all one word, and when you do so you'll get 15% off the purchase of any and all your favorite courses. All right, listeners, enjoy that. Again, it's See you there.

[00:02:11] Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Artfully Told. I'm your host Lindsey and I am very excited to have as my guest today, Giovanna Salas. She likes to create, and she has dabbled in and become proficient in many multiple medias, including art, literature, and film. She also is the founder and owner of Heart of Hollywood Magazine and Motion Pictures. And she also has a streaming platform that is in development, I believe. And I can't wait to dive in and hear all about the different things that you are up to. So thank you so much for being here. I really look forward to our conversation today.

[00:02:57] Giovanna Salas: Hi Lindsey!

[00:03:00] Lindsey Dinneen: Hi! Well, I was wondering if you don't mind just starting us off by telling us maybe a little bit about your background, how you got involved in art and kind of go from there.

[00:03:11] Giovanna Salas: Absolutely. Well, first of all, I want to thank you for inviting me to your podcast. It's a pleasure for me to be here and well to make a story short, I started as a painter. You know, I, I love art. I use that oil media. That's that's my favorite. And one thing take to the other, I am visual person. And so I dive into learning photography and video. And so I have an interest later on into becoming a filmmaker. And so that's how everything is.

[00:03:43] Lindsey Dinneen: Wow. Yeah. Okay. And so then you decided to become a filmmaker, which is a huge endeavor and undertaking. So can you tell us about that and what led you to that interest in that passion to create even your own company?

[00:03:59] Giovanna Salas: Well, I wanted to become a film director. And so once I came to Hollywood, I saw there was very difficult. It's a lot of difficulties. And in word, it was not going to be easy. And the best way was to learn the business and learn what happened behind the scenes. So I began working with a couple productions and after that, I decided it was time to open my own company because I wanted to bring opportunities for people, they just started. Artists are underground, I feel. They, also people that were foreigner. Okay. And so for everyone, I just wanted to make it a place they have a door open for everyone that they need. It.

[00:04:47] Lindsey Dinneen: That's amazing. And so now with your company, and I realized that there are three sort of branches to it. Can you tell us a little bit about each one and sort of who you, you serve as a result of the different branches and, and how that all works together?

[00:05:04] Giovanna Salas: Sure. So, well, the company is called Heart of Hollywood Motion Pictures. And from that we had three different divisions. The first division, that's how we started in post-production. So the services that we offer was like color corrections, you know, edit of scoring. We've put together different individuals working in the industry and sometimes here and there, you know, behind the scenes, maybe a project that was already done, but they needed to do something where we can help with some of those services. And also giving consultations such as like screenplays, you know, like a script doctor, I had different consultants. So sometimes I do consultations, but it's more like a producer restructure. And we have a modern consultant. So it's along, all the kind of what it takes to, to get your, your project or package in a, in a better format. I think that's, that's the first one.

[00:06:01] The second one is that the vision for the Heart of Hollywood Magazine. And this has started because we want, we have members within the company and we're gonna, we want it to give more exposure to the members. Well, when we published the first magazine, everybody was very positive about and now that became three years of publications. So we are very happy of what we're going. And I believe that the magazine is like a car for everyone to share the stories, get into the car and get more exposure. But also the purpose of this magazine is for our to get inspiration and motivated.

[00:06:43] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, absolutely. And then the third branch is something you're still in development for, or is that also live?

[00:06:51] Giovanna Salas: No, we, well, I mean, working the third is a, an a streaming platform of Heart of Hollywood Cinema, and I been working with my engineer team. And it's not easy. It's been for a couple of years, like I say, but we have tested. We created last year. We tested with production. The, I was a producer for a, the Brain 19 Fashion Films. Okay. We did it virtually during COVID and we use the streaming platform to for, for the films. So I think it would take us a little bit longer to, to make it available for all the public, but the finally will be an option for all the filmmakers. They need to put their films in other platform. It's good to have different platforms such as, you know, Amazon and Netflix and all of that other ones that we already know. But it's also good to have another option and where you can put your films as well.

[00:07:52] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, that's amazing. Well, it sounds like you are making such a difference for so many different people in so many areas, so yeah. Kudos to you for doing that. That's just amazing. And, you know, you mentioned at the beginning that you personally felt like it was, and I'm sure you're not alone, that it was really difficult to to kind of get into that world. Do you mind telling us a little bit more about your own story of how, you know, some of the challenges that you faced as you were starting off in Hollywood?

[00:08:27] Giovanna Salas: Well, I will say one of my first challenges was the language because my first language is not English. It's a Spanish. And so I think the not, I didn't grow in the US, like I came here and I start, you know, working here in the entertainment. And one thing that I know is, is if you don't have connections in LA or people working in the industry, it's very difficult. And a lot of those connections are not easy to build. You have to be in the right place, meet the right people that have family members sometimes. And sometimes you don't, you don't have, you know, family members, so you don't have any connection. So, and then you have the problem with an artist trying to showcase but nobody wants to listen. So I think the why, because people pay more attention. I go rather with a person that has 30 more years experience or 20 years experience, or how are they going to get the experience if they don't get the chance to showcase what they can do or what they can bring to the table?

[00:09:34] And so my, I don't, I feel there is not many companies that perhaps are really seriously approaching this issue. And at the beginning of my company, my number one priority was to approach this issue, was to make an statement that this company, it was going to be for the artist that needed. Yes, we're welcoming everyone. There is very well-known, you know, celebrity or a producer, but I think that we all, as artists, we have a responsibility and especially with work in the entertainment about helping all of them, it's about bringing that talent. Otherwise, we cannot move forward.

[00:10:20] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, I think that's incredible. Thank you for sharing that story. And I love what you're doing because I've not personally been in that particular world, but, you know, as an artist, as well, I certainly understand some of that initial struggle of kind of getting basically getting your, especially your first job, because that can be, you know, the most challenging and because you know, you're new and I understand that. So yeah, no, that's incredible what you all do. And so congratulations on all of your success and the fact that it just keeps growing and growing is, is huge. That's so exciting.

[00:11:01] Giovanna Salas: Yes. I feel very happy about what everything that has been developing and working. And I can tell you how many times I, I thought about quitting, closing the company, not pursuing because it was so many challenges. So the beginning, I just was myself and my ideas and my beliefs, and if what's going to work or not, and my personal finances. So it was a lot of the things to take into consideration. Also to make sure the, I, I do not fit all. There are people, you know, you have family members, you have things all around there, and sometimes all those things can work against you. But if you truly have the passion and that desire to see a three-year vision and you want to pursue that. Don't give that, that don't, don't stop. You have to, to make it happen because otherwise I don't think they, eh, we can end up truly happy. And every, every morning when I wake up, I feel very happy or what I'm doing.

[00:12:09] I feel happy that through the years I am developing a team, you know, a more people and I had to train them. I had to explain, and I had to, for example, with the magazine, it's a thing behind it. And then I have a graphic designer. Sometimes it's new. Sometimes I had to explain a lot of things. Sometimes I had to train a customer representative that share, you know, who we are, but in a way, not of we are selling our market. And we, I just tried to tell him, you know, we are dealing with relationships with, with people. And, and I think that, that it has to be community. And so I never taught the, I will be sending magazines in another state, so, or even in another countries. And so that to me is incredible because the first time that I decided to make the magazine, I made the first magazine and it took me seven months just to plan, to get to the first draft in order to communicate my ideas to a graphic designer. And then looking for a team is not an easy challenge. You had to see many people strive to see who sees this issue and who just wants a job for a job, you know, who really cares or not.

[00:13:27] And so I would say that in my theme, everyone is not this. My magazine editor is amazing. The contributors are, you know what I can say. They have seen something in the magazine. They wanted to be part of it. We just did a cover shoot in the Netherlands with a whole production team. We have the videos behind the scenes. So you guys want to watch it on the website. Is there any, so other, other things coming along. And so I'm constantly working. I think that would be one of the first ones say I would like to get a clone. But anyway. So I think my one thing that is very important to me right now is my time. I believe the time is very precious. You have to be very careful. You have to think about who you were spending your time with, who you are given your time, and make sure that that time is viable because sometimes people think that what we have time and the truth is that we don't, what we don't have is time.

[00:14:28] And so every second, and every minute and you know, doing hours. I think we should try to enjoy ourselves. We should try to do those simple things about walking outside, you know, create an art. And when I started in the entertainment, I, I quit painting pretty much. I mean, not completely. I would make a painting once in a while or once every three months and not long ago because of the COVID and everything that has happened. I was feeling, I am very positive person. I always encouraging the people to do things and helping them in the projects, giving consultations. And then not long ago, like three months ago I started feeling depressed. I started feeling, what am I doing, where my life is going, like what I need to do, you know?

[00:15:21] And so I started to paint again and I started to write as well, and I felt I gained a life and this is important for me because if I'm okay, and I can be a creative person as well, and then I can be more productive for my clients, I can be more productive for the team and for the company. And so, because I'm a workaholic, so I saw marriage my time, like working all the time and, and just lately I'm also beginning to learn and understand to take some time for me for, I can be more productive for all.

[00:15:57] Lindsey Dinneen: Yes. And that is such an important realization to come to. I'm so glad that you're prioritizing yourself because you're absolutely right. You can't pour into someone else's life with an empty cup, so you have to start full yourself and, and so I'm so glad that you're doing that and prioritizing. That is so, so important. And again, you are just doing such amazing things for people. And so I'm, I'm curious, do any stories in particular come to mind of maybe people that you've helped, clients that you've helped that, you know, really may not have had a different opportunity had you not been there?

[00:16:39] Giovanna Salas: Yes. I, I, I feel very happy with the, with the people that I have work. So one of the, in our, my team members, I think, eh, they sometimes when people come in and work for my company and things like that, I always tell them, you know, you have other opportunities or, or, or job opportunities and they can, you can you know, at that. Yes. So let me know, you know, and some in that happen and I feel very bad, you know, but at the same time, if they can grow better, you know, I I'm happy with that. That's, that's part of the team members. I always feel very sentimental when, you know, someone goes to another company. It is like that. And the reason is perhaps because one day I will be able to have their resources for my team. Right. And sometimes so they're big, big, big companies, you know, they, they do have those resources, but that's all about timing and about we, we maintain very good communication.

[00:17:35] I like to, you know, be be in contact with, with everyone that has been part of the company, because I see them as family. For, for my clients, I have helped different people, like all the way from like models, I have helped. Well, one of them that I remember, I I was working with an actress and she wanted to have a manager, and at the time I was working with, with a talent, talent and management company. So I was helping her and, but I was producing something else. And then she got curious about that. And so I trained her to be a casting director. Lately I was working with a client and when he asks for consultations, you know, kind of personal coaching and his personality is great and he can do multiple, multiple things, but sometimes when you do multiple things, it's hard to focus and one thing, right.

[00:18:30] Or what it will make you some type of income or how the finances. So he found me on LinkedIn and he approached me. And I go, look, yes, I can, I will do a consultation, but I had to charge a fee because right now my time is very important. So I sent in an email is very, very professional, and oh, my! Well, I was surprised he did took the consultations. We worked for a couple months together and he organized his acting career. He, I helped him to do an structure for a podcast. I thought I helped him to do the structure of the memberships, how to, you know, get the, his packages and all of that and making company. So I'm not, I like to develop structures and business models. And so he was very happy. He's, he really just became a big supporter of my company telling all their people how they, he feels great about, about the consultation. That those were his words. Yeah. Yeah. For the magazine. Yes, this is a producer, eh, they told me that his, that his film, his documentary film, it was getting better and more publicity after he was published in our magazine.

[00:19:49] So the local newspaper from his state decided to do an interview with, with him and, you know, sales are going up and things like that. So we hear a lot of good feedback from clients, eh, besides to, you know, get a publication in our magazine. And that makes me very happy because one thing that I want is also the advertisement that we put there. I always suggest, you know, make sure that whatever, even in our own articles there, the information is clear. It's focused, it's inspirational and is useful because if it is not useful, people not going to pay attention.

[00:20:24] Lindsey Dinneen: Yes. Yes. Yes. Well, like you said, you have to choose how to spend your time and you have to be wise about it. I mean, like you said, until you have your clone, you're just one person. I'm so glad that you have a team to, to help support you now, though, that that's such a, what, what a relief.

[00:20:42] Giovanna Salas: Oh, and that was very hard. It was very hard to find a theme and it was very hard to find the consultants. It, it just, it took me probably like a year, a year and a half to, to put that together because people comes and goes and, but if someone shares they, and they are, they are good in what they do and they want to pursue what they want to do best as a part of a team is incredible. Magic happens, things happen, and everybody is happy. Yeah. And I, I'm very trying to be very social, fun, you know, I always ask, "how do you feel, how do you feel working with me? What would you suggest? Can you brainstorm?" So I like to have that interaction with, with the thing that I have, because there is not better way to know if you are doing something proper or offering good services to the audience, your own team doesn't like it or like it, right?

[00:21:46] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, that's, that's good. Again, I'm glad you have, you have good people to cheer you on. I am curious-- is, are there any moments that kind of stand out to you, that have an encounter with art, whether it was, you know, you experiencing someone else's art or watching somebody experience something that you've created that really kind of is a moment to remember?

[00:22:15] Giovanna Salas: Yes. Yes. Well, several moments to remember.

[00:22:19] Lindsey Dinneen: Oh, for sure.

[00:22:21] Giovanna Salas: To be honest with you, but the, I have I guess was when someone requests me to paint something for them. That's a very special moment for me because I started as a painter and, I, at that time years ago, my dream was just to become an oil painter, go to France and live like an artist. But all the things change it and I wanted to now being the entertainment and I'm doing this because I know I can do it. I know I can help others. And that's very important in, but I think that going back it, when someone see something and my artwork, that's very special to me, that means something.

[00:23:12] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I I'm sure that there are going to be some of our listeners who would love to reach out to you or get involved with your work or, or at least follow what you do. Is there a way for us to connect with you?

[00:23:28] Giovanna Salas: They can go to the Heart of Hollywood Magazine dot com. They can go also to H O H M P, which is our productions for production. One of the, one of the things that I want to mention now that we're talking about art, it's been eight years probably that I have not make a proper, eh, exhibition, art, art exhibition. So, and I'm preparing, I'm painting new artwork is completely different from what I have painted in the past and I'm going to make an art exhibition, in Los Angeles on 2022 in March and the location, we're looking for a location and all of that. But I would like to invite everyone to go to the art show.

[00:24:13] Lindsey Dinneen: Oh, how exciting. That is so exciting. And you said in March is when you want to do that?

[00:24:19] Giovanna Salas: Yes, I am planning to, well, you will be the first one. I'm going to send you a link for that in a yes, because this it's so much, it's so much that I'm being, I'm keeping for myself during this time. And it has been a very challenges years. And I will like to share not just my mind, but also my heart with people and with the with those ones, they have a love for.

[00:24:50] Lindsey Dinneen: I love that. That's, that's really special. Good. Well, I'm excited about that too. So thank you for all of those links that we can go and check out. And I do have a couple of questions that I like to ask my guests if you're okay with that?

[00:25:04] Giovanna Salas: Of course.

[00:25:06] Lindsey Dinneen: Perfect. So my first question is what is a change that you would like to see happen in the art world? Whether that's, you know, about creating art or displaying art or or making it available to people or basically what's, what's one thing that you would love to change about the art world?

[00:25:30] Giovanna Salas: Hmm. That's a difficult one. I think there, I would like to see more united platforms of artists where they can come together. I'm trying to, we, we added a section in our magazine for artists they will like to sell their paintings or their sculptures or some sort of art, okay, media in the magazine. And so, but I would like to know. I think it needs to be more opinions for, for artists where they can display their artwork besides being in the galleries. But through that a little bit more with respect, because sometimes when you see our work in restaurants or see artwork in coffee shops, you really don't get an appreciation for the art. Sometimes you really pay attention. But I don't think that the public is, has information. So I, I, one thing that I would change I guess, is if it is a coffee shop, if it is a place or a location where there is not the, the location is not a gallery, but you want to exhibitit artwork, I think that there is a way to do it and it can be helpful for the artist and it can be helpful for the business.

[00:26:56] So I believe that that can be something that is possible and to be done, but I think that those businesses that have those artwork in the locations, they should do like kind a spotlight on the, on the artist or make it a little bit more visual for the clients to see that in half of their operation. Because I think the ones that are they so powerful, the ones that you are in that, that they are in the wall of the restaurant, the coffee shop, boutique, or anything like that, it, you think that it's just part of the wall. You think they're just part of that, because it just kind of belongs in. I don't know how to explain it. It just was meant to be there or something like that.

[00:27:43] Lindsey Dinneen: Right.

[00:27:44] Giovanna Salas: But it's, but it has a, so that's why another is bad. It's actually very good, but that's why I believe there needs to be more on spotlight of the artwork and say, "Hey, you know, we do have these, you know, feature or something, you know, a newsletter." Because I don't see that much. The other day I enter into a coffee shop. I saw some paintings from a local artist here in Hollywood. He was doing more like an, a street artwork. It was painting people crossing the street, Hollywood signs, things like that. But I thought it was pretty cool. And I didn't see like an expo, like of the artists in that location. And so anyway, I know it took me a while, but I was thinking I have to give you a better response. And I think that, that w that would be the one I think, I think they, the locations can do much better.

[00:28:35] Lindsey Dinneen: I think that's a great response and I absolutely agree with you. Okay. And then my second question is, is there a form of art that you have personally not tried yet either just because you haven't had time or you felt intimidated or whatever reason but that you would love to explore at some point?

[00:28:57] Giovanna Salas: Yes, it is one form of art that I would like to explore and that would be sculpture. And I think it would be more of that time if I had the time to do it. But that always interests me.

[00:29:11] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, absolutely. Nice. Okay. And then my final question is at the end of your life, what is the one art related experience that you would want to experience for the last time?

[00:29:25] Giovanna Salas: The smell of the art supplies, the smell of the paint.

[00:29:29] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. I like that. Yeah, it's possibility, right? That's like, what's going to come out today. I love that. That's a great answer. Well, oh my goodness. This has been amazing. I'm so just so amazed by you and what you bring to the world and your, your company and how much impact it has. Thank you so much for doing what you do. I'm really excited that you're still painting and you're going to be exhibiting. I think all of that is just fantastic. So it was amazing to talk with you today. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time.

[00:30:09] Giovanna Salas: I appreciate your time because without you and you know people they have contacted also somehow, at least in about the Heart of Hollywood Magazine, all the company, without, without you Lindsey, we really cannot go far because, eh, there is so many people, so many company, entertainment companies in LA, you know, so it's it's not easy, but with your help, you know, we are letting people know about Heart of Hollywood motion pictures, Heart of Hollywood Magazine. And I'm very, very thankful they you're taking the time to interview.

[00:30:46] Lindsey Dinneen: Oh, of course it's been an absolute pleasure. Well, and thank you so much again to everyone who has listened to this episode. And if you're feeling as inspired as I am, I would love if you would share this with a friend or two and we will catch you next time.

[00:31:04] If you have a story to share with us, we would love that so much. And I hope your day has been Artfully Told.

[00:31:13] Hi friends. I wanted to share with you another podcast that I think you're going to fall in love with just as I have. It's called Harlem with a View, and it is hosted by Harlem Lennox, who was a previous guest of mine on Artfully Told and a dear friend. Just because it looks easy doesn't mean it is. There is so much that goes into the work of your creative. She wants to know how the artists got into their line of work, what inspires them, but most importantly, what keeps them going? She'd asked them about how they make it through the blood, sweat, and tears. She wants to know what it's like to live this creative life: the good, the bad, the ugly, and even the magical. So she goes behind the scenes with creatives, from different genres and she explores their history, their take on life and talks about the business of art and the dedication of making art. She has a brilliant, brilliant platform. I think you will fall in love. I highly recommend that you search for Harlem with a View. Thanks!

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