“I make posters that make you feel better.”
This week on Small Talk, we sat down with Conscious Creative; Elijah Silverman to chat spreading love to the masses, becoming the person we've been looking for, and setting an example for the world to see.
Social media is a portal in which content is shared. A portal that gives us access to the good, the bad, and the critical.
We need the positive to balance the negative; the light to balance the darkness. This is why, more than ever, coming across a truly soulful and uplifting page brings a great sense of relief in what can be a seemingly vast ocean of ‘yuck.’
Elijah Silverman (@toastedbyeli) just so happens to be one of Instagram’s diamonds in the rough. Effortlessly merging his passion with compassion, this is a page you won’t want to scroll past.
Elijah began his journey into the world of creative design in his middle school years, as he began to play around with photoshop.
“I played around with pictures I took on my iPod touch, making my hair orange. Pretty much what most kids do when they discover that virtually changing the color of your hair is possible.”
This interest grew with him into high school, prompting Elijah to take a media studies class, his first official lens into the art and design world.
“That’s probably when I first started exploring and creating my own artwork.”
In 2019, Elijah came face to face with his first encounter with depression. Barely finding the willpower to get out of bed, Elijah needed to seek change or suffer the consequences.
“I was just not excited for life and essentially on the verge of suicide. I made a big decision to go check myself into a mental health rehabilitation.”
Elijah Silverman was released with a new perspective and a renewed sense of purpose with five weeks spent meditating, eating healthy, and having access to a therapist and psychologist.
"Meditation has helped me conquer depression, anxiety, lack of energy and has also helped me get more active. Ultimately, meditation has helped me connect with myself like I could have never previously imagined."- @toastedbyeli
“When I was making art at that time, I felt like I was able to put my thoughts aside and it became really freeing. After being released, I continued making art, but this time from a more mindful place.”
At the end of 2019, Elijah decided to share his passion with the world, creating an Instagram page to showcase his work. Although he had recently discovered the freedom that came in creating from the heart, keeping up with trends and desiring to make his mark on the design world became the fuel to his fire.
“It started with me really wanting to push my graphic design forward. I was following a lot of trends at the time, trying to keep up with what I saw on Instagram, but not really making a lot of stuff from the heart.”
“EMOTIONS OUT” is a poster about being honest about your emotions. Be honest about how you’re feeling, with yourself, and with others, and you’ll feel the benefits. We are all stronger when we communicate with honestly. Love yourself, and be honest about it if you’re having trouble!" -@toastedbyeli
About 6 or 7 months into the process, Elijah’s passion and compassion began to merge together into the page we now know and adore.
“My work started to embody more mindful and spiritual traits, and looking back on my past few hundred posts, that’s really what they’re all about.”
The majority of the messages Elijah puts into the world come to him whilst either journaling, meditating, or simply sitting with himself.
“Since following my heart, it’s been amazing. When I was trying to keep up with design trends, I was getting maybe a couple of hundred likes on my posts. But when I started making stuff from the heart, it really began connecting with people.”
A constant pattern that we tend to see here at TrooMe is the struggle when trying to follow trends and ‘make something work,’ instead of the effortless ease that takes place when allowing ourselves to be and creating from a place of authenticity.
“It’s really quite interesting. Just in the process, the more I’ve focused on purely myself and what really matters to me, the more it connects with the world.”
When we start to play into the ‘like’ factor, working towards what will get us noticed or bring in more attention, we tend to lose ourselves, and the ability to connect with people becomes more and more difficult. By staying true to ourselves, and true to our intentions, the likelihood of getting off track becomes less and less of a possibility.
“When I was creating to try and fit a specific trend or style, I wasn’t getting any traction. I think it’s essential to reflect within yourself, and from that reflection, you’ll find direction to do what you need to do.”
We wanted to know who or what has been Elijah’s biggest inspiration in his creative process.
His answer: Music
“A lot of my inspiration in terms of people comes from music. Everyone from Lauren Hill to Mac Miller to Bill Withers comes to mind. Those are the people, who, at my lowest lows, have been able to lift me with one simple saying or lyric.”
“Because of those artists, and the impact their words had on me, it made me want to be that for someone who may need it.”
Being Who our Past Selves Needed
Inspiration comes in many forms, from the beautiful to the ugly. We can be just as inspired by a piece of artwork, or a breathtaking view, as we can by the stumbles and pain that we once went through.
For Elijah, these reigns true, as his other forms of inspiration come from his experience with depression.
"We all go through difficult times, difficult situations and difficult emotions. Those times could leave us feeling overwhelmed and out of touch with ourselves. No one escaped that adversity. With that said, we are all better off if our first priority is supporting ourselves. We all must take time to support ourselves, no matters what it looks like."-@toastedbyeli
“Also, I have to say; my biggest inspiration came from being a depressed young kid. And now, I kind of feel like I’m just making messages for that past self.”
Leading with LOVE
“I think that leading with love, especially in my field, has been the best thing that could ever happen because it’s helped other people feel better, as well as helped myself feel better.”
To lead with love is to lead with truth. Love is a universal language that everyone can understand from all walks of life. When we lead with love, we, in turn, create communities of connection and compassion, communities that lift each other and, in turn, lift us.
“Without even consciously doing it, I’ve created this community of people who have helped me grow as I’ve helped them grow, and they help each other grow. It’s something that I’m so grateful for. I get to wake up and create art that influences people.”
Oftentimes, we don’t quite grasp the repercussions that our actions have on others' lives. As mentioned in our interview with Eliza Taylor, our actions are like ripples in a pond, spreading farther than our own two eyes can see.
“No matter who they are, anyone can benefit from positivity. You could be slicing turkey at a deli and decide to put a little more love into it. Now, the customer is smiling, and they get the door for someone else. Spreading love is limitless. All of these little butterfly effects are just the results of putting your heart and your intention into your work and the world!”
“Treat your anxiety like ants coming into the kitchen. If you see one ant, get rid of it. You don’t wait to see 30 or 40 ants before taking action. Start at the first ant, start at the first negative thought.”
One Final Thought
If Elijah could put one final message of inspiration and hope into the world, it would be:
“If there's goodness inside of you, there’s gonna be goodness around you.”
The universe can’t help but mirror what’s going on inside. So, when we focus on healing ourselves and taking care of our wants and needs, we can rest assured that our exterior world will look and feel as good as our interior world.
“The more love you put into yourself, the more love you’ll receive. The days I’ve put in time on ‘self-work’ are the days that my work has been most successful. And the days I post without intention are the days when my posts don’t do as well.”
So often, we find ourselves chasing our own tales, trying to find balance by making our external worlds more fulfilling. Yet, if we were to take a step back and put that energy into ourselves rather than what is outside of us, we may come to find that life has a way of balancing itself out in our favor.
“Put energy into yourself, and it’ll come around.”
We asked Elijah Silverman what he knows 100% to be true, his answer:
“Whatever you put your attention on grows. If I have the choice between a negative thought or a positive thought, I know that whichever I give more attention to will, in turn, give me more ‘like-thoughts’ and feelings.”
Visualization: Picture two wolves; one is a wolf of sorrow, greed, anger, and fear, while the other is a wolf of love, truth, compassion, and peace. Which wolf will win in a battle?
The one you feed.
“It’s really quite simple, give love, get love. Give love to your mind, get loving thoughts. Give love to others, get loving relationships. Give love to the world, lead a love-filled life.”
At TrooMe, we believe that the amount of love we put into ourselves is the amount of love we put into the world. And whatever we put into the world will find its way back to us.
May we follow in Elijah’s footsteps, investing love, compassion, understanding, and kindness into ourselves so that we may share it with the world, one step, or in this case, post at a time.