EP (52) Taylor Steele: Making waves as a popular surf filmmaker and finding purpose in the creative process

 
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Imagine getting to hang out, day in and day out, with some of the biggest names in surfing history.

On top of that, you're part of the puzzle that has contributed to their success, and they're apart of yours. Simply put, without really realizing it, you've pretty much landed the jackpot of friends, where you all get to work and play doing what you love.

Well, that's just part of the story for Taylor Steele - acclaimed surf and travel director.

He shot to the forefront of the surf world back in the 90's, after he began documenting surf sessions with the likes of Kelly Slater and Rob Machado. All the surfers were excited to work with Taylor, because they were able to really see what they looked like during their session on the water.  

And Taylor was able to invent a new style of filmmaking. He took the MTV flare and blended surf filmmaking with a punk rock vibe. His movies have also been instrumental with introducing the world to the likes of Blink 182, Pennywise and Jack Johnston- who all contributed to his films.

Told you, it was a wicked combination.

Recently, Steele was voted one of Surfer Magazine’s “25 Most Powerful People” and one of Wave Magazine’s “Top Ten Most Important People in Surfing. And in 2014, Fast Company named him one of the 100 most creative people in business.

These are amazing accolades.

But fame and fortune was never Taylor's goal and he's very humble about all his success.

He's clear to point out that getting paid well for your craft is a great bonus; however, if you lose yourself in the process because you're trying to please the masses or the people writing your paycheque, then all the money in the world wouldn't mean a thing. 

It's not worth sacrificing your vision for money.

As Taylor points out in his 2009 film The Drifter, "we dream of the perfect wave, the perfect job, the perfect house and then when we achieve it, we dream of something else."

 
 

The reality is, we never stop dreaming. So when you accomplish something, keep moving forward. Keep expanding your mind. Keep pushing your creative limits.

Taylor and his wife also have a unique living arrangement where they move every 6-7 years with their kids, because it pushes them to never get comfortable.

We dive deep into many areas of Taylor's career; but it's his outlook on life, and ability to push past fears, try new things and be open to different opportunities that has helped him achieve greatness in his line of work!

 
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SOME QUESTIONS I ASKED:

  • How did you get started in the film industry?
  • Did you grow up with a love for surfing?
  • How did you get connected to the likes of Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and Jack Johnson?
  • When did you start making films - was it always something you want to do?
  • What type of films influenced your own creative expression?
  • How do you get the creative juices flowing each day?
  • How has living all over the world, affected your creative process?
  • What inspires you today and how do you come up with new ideas?
  • What is it about the surf and travel lifestyle that keeps pulling you back in?
  • And so much more...

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: 

  • Why passion and persistence is often all you need to succeed
  • Taylors definition of what success looks like
  • Why Taylor and his wife tend to move every seven years, and how that can help to change your perception about life and what's important
  • Why you should learn early on not to be a slave to your success
  • The importance of mixing up your creative outlets
  • How to squash your fears and push out of the comfort zone 
  • And lots more...

OTHER LINKS:

CONNECT WITH TAYLOR STEELE

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YOUTUBE

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Edited by: James Nicholson