Press Start Leadership Podcast

Conversations With Christopher: Ryan Bowlin

July 05, 2021 Press Start Leadership Season 1 Episode 29
Press Start Leadership Podcast
Conversations With Christopher: Ryan Bowlin
Show Notes Transcript

In this week's episode of the Press Start Leadership Podcast, we introduce Conversations with Christopher with special guest Ryan Bowlin.

We discuss with Ryan game art, retro video games, donuts, and his thoughts on Leadership, Games, and Awesomeness.

You can find Ryan Bowlin at:
Website: http://www.ryanbowlin.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryanbowlin/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppapixel/
Twitter: @ryanbowlin

Link to my FREE ebook: 5 Heroic Leadership Skills

Music by: Joey the Mad Scientist

Hit subscribe/follow and be sure to check out: https://pressstartleadership.com/

Support the show (https://paypal.me/pressstartleadership)
Joey The Mad Scientist:

Hey there press starters and welcome to the press Start leadership podcast, the podcast about game changing leadership teaching you how to get the most out of your product and development team and become the leader you were meant to be leadership coaching and training for the International game industry professional. Now, let me introduce you to your host, the man, the myth, the legend, Christopher Mifsud.

Christopher Mifsud:

Hey there for starters, and welcome back to another special edition of the press star leadership podcast. On this week's edition of press star leadership podcast conversation, Christopher. We have illustrator Richard gamer and collector of cool stuff. An old colleague of mine, Ryan Boland. Now, let's introduce you to Ryan bull. What's up, Chris? What's up, Ryan? How's it going? We're gonna move stuff around real fast. There we go. Hey, go, Hey, hey, I feel like I'm looking at myself. Yeah, well, that allows me to kind of look over this direction. It looks like I'm looking towards you. Right. I got that. But that's Yeah. So anyway, welcome. So I used to work with you a long time ago now. And I look back like over 10 years ago, but nonetheless, I've been following you for for quite some time. I know who you are. But our listeners and our viewers probably don't. So I will. Maybe they do. Who knows? Maybe they're catching him because they love Ryan Bolton. I have a lot of fans that do that. So right big rat, big time rival in France. Thanks for joining us on prestar leadership podcast. But I'd love to know what your origin story is. What Where did the ryan Bolin come from? And how did he become who he is today?

Ryan Bowlin:

Tell us? Oh, man. Well, when a man Loves a Woman very much, you know, to bulk up. Wait, that's not this talk. I am from the Midwest, not the stock. I'm from St. Louis, Missouri, born and raised here in St. Louis. And I grew up loving artwork and all things geeky. And I just, you know, over the years, I always drew and had a knack for art. And pursued that pursued some other things as well. Went out some other paths, but eventually started back down on the fine art path. And yeah, working in games, and my origin story is weird. Yeah, I guess normal, normal weirdly normal. I don't know. That's normal for an artist, I

Christopher Mifsud:

suppose. Normal for you. Right? I mean, that's, that's, that makes sense. But like, what do you like? So tell us like what are you what are you up to now? Like, what are you what? Like you're an illustrator. Like I kind of mentioned like your retro gamer and can see the background there. I know. You're a collectible. Very cool, cool thing especially I'm envious of your Ghostbusters slash and your tease me to turtles collection. And yeah, that's pretty sweet. But yeah, what do you what do you been up to like, like, since your origin and the 10 years ago since I last saw you? Oh, what do you been up to?

Ryan Bowlin:

Well, I mean, I, gosh, well, we were stuck in Las Vegas after the we used to work in the game studio in Las Vegas. And that abruptly closed, which seems to happen sometimes in the video game industry

Christopher Mifsud:

too often. And I say to Oh, yeah, yeah, I wish I wish it was more rare than it actually is.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, it's very unfortunate. But I was stuck there newly married only a year married and trying to figure out like, where I would go from there, and only had a few years of experience in games at that point. And a friend of mine, you know, turned me on to the slot games industry because I was in Vegas already. And I thought that it would be kind of like a stopgap industry for me. And now I've been I started working there kind of thinking it would just be something I did for a little while and now I've spent like 10 years, I've been making slot games worked on actual casino product, like stuff you would see at a casino. And what I do now currently is create slot games, elite artists that accompany developing, you know, free to play slot games for mobile apps. So not actually like real gambling. Just, you know, fun stuff that grandmas like to play.

Christopher Mifsud:

They do man they do they love it. They really do. Yeah, so

Ryan Bowlin:

Well, that's what I mean as far as as far as the collecting goes and all that kind of stuff. Like you know kind of goes back to my origin story. You know, all the stuff that I loved as a kid. Honestly, art and all the everything I do kind of started probably similar with a lot of us like the things that I loved. Growing up, it made me want to sit down and draw and craft all this stuff and make my own worlds or create all these sorts of things and kind of influenced the direction of my, my path as an adult. And I held on to it, you know, you grow up and everybody tells you, you can't do it make a living out of this, you can't draw pictures, you know, especially in the Midwest here. There's not a lot of opportunities here. But uh, I just held on and just kept pushing and pushing and eventually just practicing and doing all that sort of stuff. And made my way to that. But now as an adult, it's hilarious. Like, now you have a little extra cash and you can buy all these these knickknacks and all these little toys that you couldn't have when you were a kid and kind of relive some of that nostalgia.

Christopher Mifsud:

disposable income. Yeah,

Ryan Bowlin:

yeah. And a wife who is very forgiving. Grace. graceful. Yeah.

Christopher Mifsud:

Yeah, that helps, too. Yeah, I do. I was I was laughing because I was I was seeing your Instagram story today. And you're you shoot a lot of Instagram stories and videos of the stuff you're doing the games you're playing, and I like the one today which is she caught you videoing the your your screen. So then as she's walking in here, too, but that's, that's awesome.

Ryan Bowlin:

It's always it's never not embarrassing. Like, it's like I'm here I am talking to a screen like, like a teenage you know, Instagram or like it's it's is a little dorky.

Christopher Mifsud:

I'll get it. 100% I understand. Now I talk to people all the time. They're like, so how would you describe I was like, I'm just the big kid. That's the best way to describe myself. I've never grown up and I don't want to. And I think we live in a world where that's okay. Like, literally you can make a living being a big kid doing the things big kids want to do. And, you know, still keep playing video games don't change that. You know, collect click action figures that posters of baby Yoda on your on your wall, you know, whatever you want, or have a full arcade system the idea? You know, I mean, it's a good life.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, so I wear it like a badge of honor. I do kind of think about it sometimes. Like as I have two two little kids, I have a three year old and an eight year old. And they're starting to get to the age where they're like, why are you keeping these things in boxes? Like why are you like, why? They'll come in my office? And if they ask to play with things like I'm like, How can I not just like give them what they you know, these are toys they're meant to be played with. So some stuff. I have started started repairing seeing some of those thing gotcha sharing some of that stuff.

Christopher Mifsud:

Yeah, it is a little, that's nice. I grew up in a comic store, my dad actually own a comic book store. And so like I was, well, it's awesome. And but I was I was not allowed to open all the toys, and I got a lot of toys. And then as I grew older, a lot of those toys got sold in the comic book store. So, you know, that's, that was the circle of life I learned about is you get these toys now. And now they're gonna go here on display case. And now this is valuable, and he's gonna make a couple bucks off of it. Exactly. Exactly.

Ryan Bowlin:

So yeah, it's hard because some of this stuff does you know, does bring value I had some amiibos that my daughter wanted for a longest time and I don't know if you follow any of that, but some of them are

Christopher Mifsud:

really pricey. Yeah,

Ryan Bowlin:

yeah. And so I but she just kept wanting them and I was just like, you know what, you're What am I doing? Like I sometimes I have like, you talked about my ninja turtle collection? And I think do I want to be the grandpa with the room with the Ninja Turtles? Like do you get grandpa?

Christopher Mifsud:

Yes you do. There's no I used to have a

Ryan Bowlin:

notion I used to have an illustration professor in college who was he was amazing man and he his name was Bill van. And he he worked on like all this all these ad campaigns in St. Louis like Budweiser and all these different things like he was well known illustrated here. And he took us to a studio and it was like a whole house and it was just full of like all the all this awesome art and prints and you know collectibles and it kind of like made me feel a little bit like better about what a dork I'd become I feel like I can because I'm because I do what I do I feel like I can kind of like sure exactly and under the rug a little bit you can't that's my you know

Christopher Mifsud:

I believe my parents I grew up with a lot you remember remember that movie Independence Day with with Will Smith and everything we had a life size a life size Independence Day alien in our living room for the longest time when when the store like closed down and that Yeah, I was like yeah, I love this. Yeah. So I grew up I grew up with this kind of stuff around me all the time. So it was like it's just normal to me but then like I realized as I got older I was like oh not everybody is a complete dork. But then but everyone is a complete dork sort of right being here. It's cool or something for something. Yeah,

Ryan Bowlin:

I have friends who are dorks about cars and dorks about sports or you know, whatever. So yeah, we all have our things some, you know, some in in society's eyes, it's our wives, other people's wives. That's where I feel the most judgment like Like, you've let your husband do that,

Christopher Mifsud:

like, Yeah, no, it's my wife meant me. She never watched a single Marvel movie or Star Wars or any of that stuff. And but now she kind of kind of enjoys I won't say she likes them or loves them or anything like that, but she kind of enjoys them. But that's the that's,

Ryan Bowlin:

that is the one nice thing about I met my wife in college, and she is also an artist. She mostly does photography these days, but she used to choose to paint and draw a lot and but she's also a big dork. Not as dorky as me. She doesn't quite, she doesn't quite go there as much as I do. But yeah, she's into a lot of the same stuff that helps

Christopher Mifsud:

a lot. It sure does. I'm sure. Yeah, very cool. So you mentioned you mentioned now you're a lead artist. So that leads me to my next my next question, which this though I on the current user, Christopher, I tend to talk about things that like all over the place, but I do like to still hit on a couple of the pillars as I call them for precedent leadership, which is leadership. And so and games and stuff like that, but but as a leader, or just a general, how would you define good leadership?

Ryan Bowlin:

I think I've mentioned this to you once before, but I never really wanted to be a leader, I never set out for it, it was just something that kind of, kind of came to me and it's, it's come with its own set of challenges. But if I just try I so I'm not an expert in leadership would not say that I'm an expert, but I will say that one of the things that I, that I that I've learned during my time was I tried to just leave how I would like to be led, basically, you know, just treat people how I would like to be treated. That's awesome. You know, if you're, you know, a lot of a lot of times I work on something or create something, and you show it to somebody, and you just get it like a thumbs up or like, Yeah, it looks cool, man, like, whatever. And it's like, so deflating. Because as an artist, you spend so much time like, crafting this thing, and like thinking about it and processing it and then to not really, you know, it's to not get a reaction or to not get like that sort of like, you know, excitement, it's like, it's part of his, like, performance art, right? Like, even though you're creating like something for somebody to look at. Its performance. Like, it's like, I want to show you what I've like, here's what I've been doing and to get like, no responses. So like for my artists, a lot of times I I try to like really, you know, drive home, like what I think, you know, what are the what are the things they really, that I really love about what they're doing, try to be excited about, you know, this, you know, cuz I want people to be excited about what I'm doing. I just want to be excited about what they're doing. And so but also be honest and vulnerable. And, you know, not not necessarily be like a jerk, just be honest and straightforward. And I like to know, you've

Christopher Mifsud:

never been here. Yeah, yeah, there's no point in that. Right? what's what's the Oh, sorry, go ahead.

Ryan Bowlin:

No, I was gonna say, but I another thing that I that I also feel very strongly about is like, is just leaving all the cards on the table and just being like, just completely open. And like, I feel I find that like, I'm the type of person I am is like, I don't like drama. But I don't like to. I don't want to have to, like, you know, keep re engaging like issues. Like, it's so much easier if we can just use saying how you feel, I'll say how I feel, let's hash this out. And like getting moving. And I find I find a lot of times it's hard when people when when people are me, like if I tried to like hold back, or I'm just I just have to be myself and just be open and honest. And that helps a lot too. Because communication is I guess communication, right? I told you I'm not an expert in this leadership thing.

Christopher Mifsud:

I just, you know what, for not being a so called expert, you've already hit on two of the two of the big things is being a leader that that you did, you'd want and communication. Communication, I think is 100%. One of the, the the top top skills that as a leader, if you have that down, or at least, like realize that it's important and continue to perfect it, that you will succeed so much, so much better. And I think a lot of folks who maybe don't have leadership training and so forth, if they're good communicators, that tends to be how they end up sometimes in the situations they are. Which is fine, because you're a bridge between people, right? Like you're communicating for people and everything like that. And that's that's kind of what a leader needs to do is be a good communicator. So if you want to be a leader, and you're not a good communicator, I would work on that first and foremost, that's for sure. Yeah, and if you are a good communicator, then you at least you've got you've got an edge going in your favor. But there's still i

Ryan Bowlin:

don't know that i i don't know that I am a good communicator, but I will communicate. I will talk and I will. I will try. I will try. I don't know if it's good or not. Yeah,

Christopher Mifsud:

try. Yeah. I mean, let's not listen to you at all now and you know, let's, let's, let's figure it out. Cool. That's awesome. The but yeah, actually, one thing is like so I think giving people positive feedback and so forth and communicate And letting them know, I wanted to go back to that a little bit. So I do a lot of leaders or just managers don't actually always give feedback. And I think you like, can you give a Can you give like some example or like even just one example of like someone's response to actually getting feedback, because I think it's so rare that people get good feedback. And I'm pretty sure you're going to you're the examples you'll tell are probably very positive and very, very encouraging. And I would love people to take note to like, what positive what the power of positive feedback or the power of positivity is, I've said before, so

Ryan Bowlin:

yeah, well, it's really tough. Working, like I work from home. And so we have a team in Las Vegas and a team in Kiev, Ukraine. We have we work with offices around the world. And but I'm leading from here from the command center. And so it's kind of tough

Christopher Mifsud:

command center, that's,

Ryan Bowlin:

that's I have to surround myself with things to make me happy. I don't know what it is like. It's like a dragon's treasure hoard or anything. But it's it is tough. I prefer working in an office, I've been doing remote work for about seven years now. And I definitely prefer being with people, like in people's cubicles, like hanging out with them, like working back and forth. It's much more exciting. But I, I went to Ukraine a couple of years ago, and these are people who I hadn't really spent a lot of time talking with, like over calls and stuff because of there were some artists, their language barriers. And so we usually have leads over there that work is in betweens, and that sort of thing. And I tried to write, like feedback to sort of like show my, like excitement, or like what things I really liked, like, Oh, I love this, this sparkle where you had it, like come off the back of this light sweep, like looks so rad, like super good attention to detail. Like That was so cool, or like this dolphin jumping up with awesome, you know, so I try to like to say those things through my fingers, like when I'm typing to them, but I don't know if it's coming across all the time, right. And so it was so cool. Like, when they first brought us into the office, they walked around, and the artists were showing me what they were doing in real time. And I was there being able to, like give feedback in person to everybody. And the looks on their faces, you know, they were so excited, like happy that like somebody you know, I it's like, I realized that like what was happening, like, what I was typing and what I was saying, like all that was worth it. And it was getting across like, it was encouraging. I guess that's really the thing, right? Like, I just want to encourage them, I want to empower them to do cool stuff. Like I want them to make awesome stuff. I want them to want to make awesome stuff. And if you don't, if you don't show interest, they're not going to show interest. You know what I mean? So no, exactly. Yeah, it was really, it was really neat. Like when they like after we stepped out of that, you know, out away from that, like the lead came to me and he was like, man, it was they really loved like, you know, you're seeing in real time your reactions and, you know, just you know, I guess I'm I mean, I'm naturally like, expressive, I guess.

Christopher Mifsud:

Anyway, a little bit a little bit

Ryan Bowlin:

dramatic. I don't I guess I am. I do like draw. But um, um, I just, I get excited about things easily. I guess flamboyant. flair. You go flamboyant. Yeah. So it was, but it was cool to see that, like, I that they had, they had already been receiving that feedback from me overseas. And, you know, that was, it was hitting home. That really meant a lot to me. Yeah.

Christopher Mifsud:

And, and I'm sure it meant even more of them, to be honest. So I think that's, that's, that's really the key, right? Like, you know, you treat your employees, right, they'll, they'll, they'll, they'll love the product, right? Like people who,

Ryan Bowlin:

who feel excited about what they're doing. It shows in the products that they produce. I know as babies, I understand that. But it's just like, if you have if you make your people miserable, right there, they'll make something it's they'll make the product, but it won't. But if you make people super happy, and they will, you'll see that in the in the product. I mean, yeah, you, you get to a certain level too. And you may have found this with yourself, like when now that I'm in a lead position. You know, the guys that work above me, there's just an expectation that I'm going to do good work, like work that they're happy with. Right? And so there's not a lot of praise, or a lot of, you know, excitedness it's like, Okay, cool. That works. Like I like it. It's hard. It's a little deflating even for me. And so I have to find my own way to excited about what I'm doing. So yeah, it's a it's something I've brought up in the past. Like, Come on, guys, give me something to work with, you

Christopher Mifsud:

know what, I eat a praise just as much as anybody else. It's definitely one of the things that but again, I think for me, and I think kind of what you were talking about it like I just projected that differently. So like or the same way you did like I give it to other people because I know I would want it and so like you said, be the leader that you would want right? So you know, I give the praise to the people to let them know And I shouldn't you know, it's it's tricky because it's tough because some people kind of read into they're like, as this person, you know, full of it, are they really meeting what they're saying? So, it's also finding a good balance of where you know, but if you're, if you're sincere, and you're true to it, which I believe you are 100% then the people are gonna love that, you know? So, yeah, all right. It definitely is. It helps. Alright, serious question. Now, what's your favorite type of donut? Chocolate long, john. Do you know I don't please tell me in detail. They

Ryan Bowlin:

they call the bars in other places. They call them what it's like. It's like a chocolate ice bar. It's more donut. You know? I'm saying like, I want more donut. Yeah. And a kiss. It's slather chocolate on the top.

Christopher Mifsud:

Which is pretty, pretty basic. It's like, is it? Is it filled with anything or now?

Ryan Bowlin:

It's not filled with anything? No, but I mean, I like Look, man. I'm a fat guy. And I am. I'm totally into any type of donut you will throw at me. I will consume it. Sure.

Christopher Mifsud:

Yeah, yeah. But if I have to choose that's my. That's my one. That's your one last longer. It's a it's a long rectangular donut with chocolate icing on the top. I'm getting I'm getting it's sort of like empty Eclair. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I just liked it. The experience last longer. That seems like a disappointment. Is it a chocolate donut as well? Or is it actually more like a classic, classic, classic chocolate ice. shot? Yeah. Check this out your audio cut out? Did it? Oh, no. Is it still there? Is it There you are. Okay, now you're there. You're good. Now we have to check that out. All right. So you need to fill Dota is that what you're telling me? I haven't filled it out. Yeah, I'm a Boston Cream chocolate fill like powdered. Like Not, not the lemon though. That's BS. Like he put Yeah, no, like no fruits. No, no raspberry. No, do stryver No, no, no, no, no. It's like chocolate or, or Boston Cream. Like that's the maybe bearing cream to I guess to a point.

Ryan Bowlin:

But you know, like, I've got to a point now where I'm kind of real. Like I didn't this this seems like so obvious. Because like every cartoon as a kid, you saw the cop dipping in the dope. Don't don't don't get the donuts in the coffee. That's kind of like a thing that came too late in the game. But that is a game changer for a donut. Well, it's

Christopher Mifsud:

probably you probably didn't drink a lot of coffee when? With your kids.

Ryan Bowlin:

That's probably true. Yeah, but it is like that's why I think I want a simpler donut experience because I want to dump that baby in there. No,

Christopher Mifsud:

I got it. I got it. I got it. Nice stuff. I'll take a filled with custard. custard filled doughnuts. custard smells. Yeah. Yeah. There you go. Son facts. Oh, go on. Do you remember the hostess turtle ninja turtle pies? Do you remember those? vaguely, but it was like, green green dastard. And it was green. But like a green icing. Right. But it was like super solid icing. It wasn't like yes. Yeah, it was almost like a ceramic ice.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, I think that I don't remember. I feel like the custard was green as well. But maybe I'm maybe I'm missing. I'm remembering Miss remembering that. But I remember that. Yeah, you're right. The icing had like a green hue to it over the cake.

Christopher Mifsud:

Or the cake.

Ryan Bowlin:

Right back. That's all I'm saying. This is the part of it out there into the world. Bring it back

Christopher Mifsud:

to Britain. So many things are becoming the static and coming back that I didn't think ever would like, you know, lots of stuff. I can't even like probably as long as they don't bring back that. That was that bubble drink back in the day was like, I used to remember that stupid name of it. It wasn't like orbits orbits. Yes. As long as they don't worry about back we'll be we'll be fine. We'll be fine. Yeah, I don't know. There's too big is too much. I

Ryan Bowlin:

have to this is we're really off topic here. But I have two wishes for the world bring this to me. Well, they already gave me Crystal Pepsi again. That was a blessing. Thank you. Pepsi lords. I want pizzeria chips. Remember those pizzeria number pizza chips? Yep. freaking delicious. Dude.

Christopher Mifsud:

They were they were worse. They were. Yeah, strangely delicious.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, they're so good. And the texture of them was like, Chef kiss is beautiful. And Smurf cereal. I will ever say

Christopher Mifsud:

I remember. I remember summer cereals? I was. Yeah, that's my jam. Yeah. I don't know how healthy it was for us. But it was it was one of my one of my friends posted about which which I liked more which was like shark bites. Or I don't remember what the other one doesn't matter cuz shark bites one. And in my opinion, and I forgot about shark bites. I was like they were like, they were like they're not good, but not bad. like gummy bears. You wanted that that blue shark. He was the best right? It was pretty tasty. Yeah. Yeah, blue flavor was the best. I will go for that. It's true.

Ryan Bowlin:

For sure. See, he came here for retro crap. And now I'm talking and talking about retro retro food.

Christopher Mifsud:

It's true. It's true. So So favorite, favorite system. And I know this is gonna be hard because I didn't collect like Can you build a system? So, favorite favorite system of all time? And then current system that you're loving on? I lost your audio again. Favorite system of all time. And current system, video favorites, current system. favorite, favorite, favorite favorite of all time, though, like past and then you can go to current test.

Ryan Bowlin:

Okay. All right. This is hard. And I really had to think about this question. Because I love. I mean, honestly, I never had a Super Nintendo, but I love the Super Nintendo now.

Christopher Mifsud:

It was amazing houses. Yeah, it was amazing. I played tennis at friend's house. I was happy to have.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, yeah, I was not a huge tennis guy. I mean, I like Sonic as much as the next guy. Sure, sure. I was. I was a Nintendo kid, like a regular Nintendo. Like my parents didn't get us. They got my sister. She's much younger than me. They got her a Super Nintendo when I was like in high school. So I didn't have access to a Super Nintendo in my house for a long time. Gotcha. Probably until I had a PlayStation. But yeah, you I know this is gonna be kind of sacrilegious. But I was thinking about this. And I think if I had to choose one system, retro system, and this is thermal graphics. No, no, no, no. I probably go NDS, but I think what I will go like what my this definitive decision is, is I'm going to go ds 3ds Hmm, I think is the best library. But you have access. If I have to choose a system that's keep with me forever. It's got to be that, like, I can play GTA games on a DS. I can play DS games with the D the Nintendo DS, like has an insane library games. I could play

Christopher Mifsud:

all the little while it was off for a while I should have won. Yeah,

Ryan Bowlin:

you can play all the DS games on the 3ds system. But I think like in general, probably like, the system that I enjoyed the most is probably that DS like, I absolutely love it. And I didn't really realize that until I got older, like how much handhelds, like once I had a system that was a handheld that that could do what those systems could do, man. There's there's been nothing that's top that sense, which kind of leads me into probably the system that I liked the most now, and I have them all, and I love them all. But I love my Nintendo Switch. Like I the most.

Christopher Mifsud:

I hear I hear it's thing. I don't have it. Yeah, but I probably don't have one. I don't have one. So I almost bought one before I went to Costa Rica. And then I was like, I'm only gonna be in Costa Rica for 11 days. I don't need to bring Nintendo Switch with me. And then I got trapped there for four months. Oh my gosh. And I regret I regret it. I regretted not having a Nintendo Switch with me that time. But yeah, but that's that's that's it since then. No, I haven't thought I but I, I need to. My wife will disagree with me, but I need to pick up like, she likes old Nintendo games. And like she's more familiar with Nintendo games. So I feel like getting a switch would be like, you know, it's fun for her to play, you know? Yeah. I mean, I'll use that as my excuse when I make that purchase. Say yeah, yeah, I, I think that you did not hear that here. I did not.

Ryan Bowlin:

Okay. I will tell anyone, don't worry about it. I think that, uh, part of the thing that I loved about the DS, and those handhelds, like when I was a kid, was you know, I could play wherever I wanted on my own terms, you know, like, away from my parents. Yeah. Where I wanted to be yes. And it's kind of funny that now like in this situation where like, I'm a parent, myself, and I have a wife, the kids and I can go and like hide in like the nooks of my house and play my video. It's the same benefits, and I didn't realize how much I loved it.

Christopher Mifsud:

But I do handy. dandy. It's definitely handy. So what about what about favorite game wash your audio again? Oh, no, no, let's go. I don't know what's with either. What about favorite game? Still, though? Have you game game favorite game? No favorite game? Oh, no.

Ryan Bowlin:

I can see that. You're talking but it's not showing up. Hold on. Let me check. I still should be connected. Everything should be good. You

Christopher Mifsud:

look you're there. I see you. There you go. Oh, you're really great. Now your favorite, favorite favorite game? favorite game? Randy that there? Yeah, my favorite game of all time. Yeah, it will go for all time now. Breath of the Wild watch. Tell me Tell it tell us why I'm not surprised Nintendo fanboy but go on. Continue. heydo Well,

Ryan Bowlin:

I have Zelda hyrulean crest tattooed on my arm. Well, that's actually giveaway.

Christopher Mifsud:

That should give. Yeah.

Ryan Bowlin:

When I think before breath, the wild came out. If you were to ask me, I probably would have told you aquamarina of time. That was like a big one for me. I worked at Walmart electronics when that game came out. And I was able to like hold one back for myself and my mom bought it for me so I could have it for Christmas. It was amazing. And I spent the whole Christmas playing it and I love that game. And then after that, I played The likes the next time that shifted was WinWaker. And man I I know that that was very much like a game that like either you loved it or you hate it and polarizing, very polarizing. But I just I loved the art style and I came to that a little bit late to I played I played it for like a few years after came out, but I mean, would you still

Christopher Mifsud:

pay you paid full price for it nonetheless, right? Because Yeah, yeah, for sure. Thank you, for sure.

Ryan Bowlin:

But Breath of the Wild man, like I was not sure that it was gonna be a game that I would like, you know, I was worried they were gonna water it down, but just the atmosphere. And you don't have a switch. So you haven't played yet. Right. You still you haven't played that game? Right? You've never played it?

Christopher Mifsud:

Yeah, I've seen I've seen it looks better. So I I like the look at like, the art of it. I can't hear you. I'm so sorry. Are you are you froze for you froze for a second. It's all good. It's all good. Now you're good. Now? I

Ryan Bowlin:

can't hear you. Yeah. All right. The open world aspect of that game was just so incredible. And like it was a game where like, the kids were all going to bed. And I would just pop it on, get the surround sound going. And I just like the music and the audio. Like it was just so chill until you saw the villain. And then it was like a little more, you know, exciting, but like something about just exploring that world. And I kid you not like I played that game. I did every temple in that game. And I was still finding stuff that I didn't know. Like, I've wondered, like this whole environment, like for hours and hours and hours. I think I easily clocked over 100 hours of that thing. And I was still finding secrets and new stuff. Like, I was like, where did it like I didn't even know this was here. Like I would come and find places. And I was like, how did I miss this? There's there's like a real magic to that. That discovery. So fun. Yeah, I'm looking forward to the new ones who it's gonna be interesting. It seems like some of the ideas that they supposedly like tossed away with the floating islands and all this kind of stuff. They if you have the if you have the the nerdy art book, it talks about like some of the floating islands stuff like these were things that I think that they had sort of set aside like Gods just like beyond the scope of this project. We just can't do all this stuff. Well, now it looks like they're bringing some of that stuff back. So

Christopher Mifsud:

that's kind of fun. I'm excited. That's actually fun. Because a lot of times that stuff gets just lost, right? It's like stories that you hear about later on. And like, Oh, we wanted to do this with this thing. But it's kind of cool actually to see them actually continue on and building off of the stuff that they weren't able to do before. So that's pretty neat.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, another idea that they had that they didn't realize in the in the first game, which I hope I gotta hope fingers crossed that they do it is they wanted a way for link to like shrink down and have like these little miniature villages and stuff. Kind of like Minish Cap. If you've ever played that game where he's kind of like a tiny link. They kind of discussed that. And I don't know, there's something about like me being a huge dork and like a huge love fantasy geek that like I love the idea of like gnomes and fairies and dwarves and tiny little creatures. And I was like, oh, by cash, like, I want to walk into a tiny village in The Legend of Zelda and see all these tiny little critters walking around like that sounds amazing. So I really

Christopher Mifsud:

like the Smurfs a lot, don't you?

Ryan Bowlin:

I do. Yeah, I think I have one right here, which is kind of hilarious. Say, I do like the Smurfs.

Christopher Mifsud:

One of my favorite games on the colecovision back in the day was a smart game. So I think was the only game I liked on clicker vision to be honest. But yeah, mine is your favorite system. My man my favorite system is the Super Mario again. Oh, every time I ask you a question. Super, super any? Yes. But I joked about the turbo graphics 16 because I had one and I actually love the shit as well. Whatever. I curse on this thing. You've been good. I haven't. So yeah, like slaughterhouse and box adventure, like, some of the games were just like, really, I don't wanna say edgy, but they're, they were fun. And I have to say like, it's like, my favorite game of all time is the Super NES game, though. It's over battle. That game was because that's so many. Like, see, I had like different choices at the beginning of the game, which pretty much determined a lot of how your ending ended up being and had multiple endings and back on the Super Nintendo other than like Chrono Trigger, there were very few multiple ending games, like pretty much everything was very set. And this was like a cool like, battle game where like you you like develop, like, your army could like develop in different directions and stuff like that. And like a lot of the tactics team, right? It's a tactics game. Yeah, but like with RPG elements in it. So it was, I think, you know, revolutionary at the time, I it, it holds up, I've played I've played it in the, you know, recently, and so forth. I like playing it. So, actually Shadowrun off the Super NES was pretty cool, too. It was like, I'm very familiar with the Shadowrun role playing game. It was like, nothing like that. But it was like it's like let's take all the things that you can do in the Shadowrun game and make your character be able to do it, which you can't do and like and then and then have like a weird, crazy story and stuff like that, like super genius actually had a pretty awesome library of games and they were doing some pretty pretty fun stuff and with license stuff. Well, license games on the super Yes Did not suck. Like they kind of like it took a long time. I mean after that they started to and it took a long time to get like good games like Batman and stuff like Arkham City and stuff like that out. But yeah, yeah, we

Ryan Bowlin:

lived like, in the heyday where like as I was, I was like a late elementary school middle school when the Super Nintendo was blown up. And yeah, like Lion King and Aladdin. Like I played a lot of those disney games that came out for that system. Were really were super really hard there.

Christopher Mifsud:

Yeah, yeah, the Star Wars ones. Like the Super Star Wars was like insane and fun. Yeah. and fun. Yeah,

Ryan Bowlin:

they're so cool. Yeah, that's that's is probably it's up there among some of the best in the libraries for sure. Me got chronic, like Chrono Trigger. Like he said, I've been playing through Final Fantasy three. And I keep like setting it down and forgetting like where I left off.

Christopher Mifsud:

So you got to start from over again.

Ryan Bowlin:

It sucks. Yeah. Because if I like delete the tab, I like I have to walk through sometimes like so I kind of like that's my frame of reference. But yeah, it's been like six months now. So it's like, but I'm close to the end. I feel like and I'm like, every time I go back to them, like what was I doing? You forget, like the modern conveniences of games now is like so much. Oh, they hold your hands kind of nice.

Christopher Mifsud:

It is nice is nice. Trust me No, as an old person. I rely on that now. Like, I was not a fan of like the 90s style of games where like you needed to like lose to like you had to lose and like be defeated in order to figure out like, I know people love the Dark Souls games. They're not for me. I do that. Like I there was that Alice was Alice return to madness. And I like the American McGee and I like his his his visuals. But that game was so like, it came out in 2000 something but it was such a 90 style. Like in order to actually complete a level you had to like lose. In order to learn the path you had to go. I was like, Come on, give people a chance to actually be able to like, do it on a try. Like, that's why I don't like racing games. racing games are just memorization right? The driving games. Like you literally, like you have to lose multiple times until you just learn the pattern. And then you're it's just a pattern game. Like I don't know for me.

Ryan Bowlin:

But have you ever played Forza? I have. So in Forza, you make a mistake, you can immediately zip back like rewind. Yeah, that's

Christopher Mifsud:

that. That takes a little bit more skill, but I've got but it's still it's not that hard. I liked one press. It's a button press. But still, it's I have no coordination. I play everything on easy, though, but I like the crew. Like I like the concept of the crew and I own both of them. Stupid late. Yeah. And the problem is, is I always get to a point where like, I just can't do it. And the problem and the first one was there was a story and the story just stalls if you can't get past a certain board, you're just like, well, no more story for you when you can't memorize this path and that Screw you. And I was like, That's tough. Yeah, I got angry.

Ryan Bowlin:

But definitely, the more I do offer the more arcadey Arkady racers like burnout. Like some of the burnout stuff where you like, ramming into, like, I it's more of a multiplayer thing for me like I don't? Yeah, the crew had, like, like you said, has like a narrative to it and stuff. So

Christopher Mifsud:

through that, if I can help. They're like, nope. Now it's more arcadey racers. That'd be cool. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So, next important question. What do you put on your hot dog?

Ryan Bowlin:

Oh, man, there's only if I have to choose those one. One thing and that's chili and cheese and onions. I'll put some jalapenos on there too. If you got it. chili cheese dog, man.

Christopher Mifsud:

chili cheese. All right. I like how you're like only one thing you're like chili cheese on it that I need. I need like a trifecta there. Yeah, but all this all this. But if you just call it chili cheese dog, that's exactly what it is. Right? So that is. Can I say that? Is that a fair answer? It's 100. So as you don't put cats I don't know. I'm cool with you know? Well.

Ryan Bowlin:

I, if I'm in a pinch, I'm okay with it. I mean, I'll I'll do catch up. I'm condiment like, you know,

Christopher Mifsud:

I will come here like, Yeah, exactly. Alright, fair enough. But I don't know.

Ryan Bowlin:

I think in Chicago they have and I think you find this like a wick, Wisconsin or some of these places where they were they are kind of sewers of cheese. Yeah, there's a place in Illinois. Yeah, cheese curds. They have a place called mustards last day and it's close to like, where my wife's family all like lives and stuff. And they've had the best chili cheese dog I've ever had. And they have this like, coarse like grainy liquid cheddar cheese sauce that they put on there with the stuff and it's it's like so rich and I've, I've been in St. Louis, I have not found it here. So it makes me sad.

Christopher Mifsud:

I need to find it. It's delicious. It's called musters last stand, which already gets my vote because, because my musters because the best the best condiment for hot dogs if you don't go for chili if even if you put chili on it, I would still put mustard. I will put, I will put a little bit of mustard across and then put the chili on top of that and then layer it on. Yeah. Little mustard and chill. Yeah, little bite. Bite in there. You'd like Yeah, yeah,

Ryan Bowlin:

I think I go if you get some jalapenos or some like, pepper stuff. I do like peppers. So I do like white. But yeah, mostly it's not my biggest thing.

Christopher Mifsud:

Yeah, it's not for everyone. But is is it's still better than ketchup. And so I have a distinct taste for ketchup. But essentially, the hamburger is fine. Yeah, but put on a frickin hotdog. There's no justification for it. Now I'm a fan of the ketchup Mayo mix. Not on a pot dog. No hamburger Oh, how'd you percent Yeah, I like fries. Don't mix mayo and ketchup together. Mayo, mayo. Mayo. Mayo in general for French fries is amazing. And something I picked up when I was living in New Orleans and in Europe. It's huge. So living in Europe now it's easy for me to justify it nobody looks at me strange when I was was living anywhere outside of New Orleans people would be like, why are you using Mayo with your without the cabbages mayo and straight up mayo and then french fries on the thing get over it. And they're like, Oh, yeah, it's straight. Good. No, I'm with you. Alright, sir, Mayo, please more man with 100% like today. I know. We're because we're talking. It's cool. So like I was I was I was having I was having lunch today. And it was it was delicious. Oh, it was like a chicken cordon bleu and I put I put mayonnaise on top of it too. And my wife my exactly it my wife was lucky. I was like, What are you doing? I'm like, I'm putting me on it. She's like that much. Now. I'm like, Listen, this is just a delivery device for Manet's and to my belly. Like, like I've just using the chicken cordon bleu as an excuse for the man is like literally if I could just eat mayonnaise, justifiably and with some nutritional value. I only I would do that. But for some strange reason Matthew though, like Yeah, yeah. No shame here. It's, it's,

Ryan Bowlin:

it's kind of tough because like, I am a dude who I am an emotional eater.

Christopher Mifsud:

I love me to

Ryan Bowlin:

my astrologist tied to food like I love food. I have a bad relationship with food. Even prior follow me for a little while. For the last since October. I've been twice you.

Christopher Mifsud:

Let's talk about that. That's an amazing journey. I friend. Yeah. Tom. Yeah, to hear that. So we're talking about being big deeds, but but Ryan Ryan's actually been on a amazing health journey. For quite a few for a little while now. And it's it's an amazing one too. So yeah.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, I yeah, it's funny because like, on my Instagram, if you follow my Instagram, I was like, a big like, proponent of pizza rolls. And, you know, just yeah, I go to fast food places. I try stuff. I I love garbage food. And basically, I was just feeling like trash. And I just started thinking like, we're in this pandemic. Like if I if I'm gonna do anything about this, I want to be 40 next year, and it caught my wife says it was kind of like my midlife crisis. And I thought, you know what, I'm just gonna make a run at this. And basically, I last October, I just kind of buckled down. I got an elliptical and I started there. And just like making myself go downstairs into the basement and sweat for like, an hour or so every day. And then try to

Christopher Mifsud:

listen to music or watch stuff or what do you what do you how do you get through it? Or do you or do you just like you're in the zone and doesn't matter or do you do need some? No. Okay, I can't do that either. So yeah, so I watched

Ryan Bowlin:

I watched all of the Clone Wars. Doing it, which I'd never seen all that's a lot. That's a lot. It is.

Christopher Mifsud:

It is I watch. Oh, good morning. All right. Good stuff. All right.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, it is. Uh, I watched all of Gundam Wing, because that was like a thing I liked as a kid, and I never watched all of it. I thought, well, here I am. I have Hulu. I will probably never be able to watch this like with my wife. And I'm stuck on this elliptical. So I watched all that. And yeah, I've been. I'm trying to think there's been other shows too. I mean, I've gotten through like several series like that new Dota series on Netflix.

Christopher Mifsud:

Yeah, you watch that. You know, we were saying it's really good, though. Yeah, I have to check it that

Ryan Bowlin:

way. Good. So good, dude. Yeah, I think it's like one of the guys involved in it was also involved with the last airbender, the avatar TV show, but the kid show. So Brian, connect to or can you? Oh, that's not good. But yeah, he's right. Brian K. I'll call him. He's involved with it. It kind of feels like an adult version of the dragon Prince was there's another show that I think some of the Avatar people are so yeah,

Christopher Mifsud:

it's also very good. Yeah, very good. Yeah.

Ryan Bowlin:

But yeah, so I do. I start off just doing cardio and was pushing on it and then gradually, I got The bands, the resistance bands. Yeah. And

Christopher Mifsud:

now, behind me, yeah, yeah, that's good. But you either do it every day. You do the we ring to right.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, that was the thing. That was the thing I started doing. That's kind of like what propelled me into this. Was it. My kids like that? I did it and my kids would play the not the we ring, but it was like switch.

Unknown:

Well, they started swinging.

Ryan Bowlin:

Ring sacro.

Christopher Mifsud:

Yes, yes. Yes. The ring fit now. Yeah. Ring fit. Yeah, yeah, that's what I was saying at all. Yeah, but yes. And that was hard. Like, I

Ryan Bowlin:

weighed 360 pounds when I started in October. And now I'm down to about 281. Today, I was at 281. So about 80 pounds lighter, which that's like,

Christopher Mifsud:

that's, that's like a middle school child. That's amazing. Yeah,

Ryan Bowlin:

yeah. But I cannot attribute it to ring fit basically, like ring fit was like kind of like my gateway into it. Like it was like, wow, this must be this hard for you. Like you're gonna die if you don't do something. But with ring fit, it's so much fun how they gamify it. And it's been really nice. But the kids like, because we've been homeschooling my daughter this year because of COVID and stuff. So she'll be going back next year. But that was like a gym class. You know, she could sit there and I showed her how to do all of it. And it was really fun. It is a workout but it's just not a good like use of time. It takes way longer to do a workout using ring fit than it does for me to get on elliptical, elliptical. Five minutes. That's fine. That's fine. So but the other thing I did was the other thing I did was just try to I just counted my calories and kept myself in a caloric deficit. I just tried to eat like, you know, 1500 to 1800 calories a day. But that takes me back to our Monday's talk. And holy cow man days.

Christopher Mifsud:

Yeah. Yeah. Which I like Clark, it

Ryan Bowlin:

breaks my heart, which breaks my fat fat heart. I'm so you know, I'm still fat. I still want to do all the things that fat people do.

Christopher Mifsud:

But you know, what do you guys do? What are you gonna do? Exactly. So I always like to have have folks talk about like, you know, you talked about your origin story type about what you're doing nowadays, it's someone who is an illustrator and wants to get into the video game industry or just, you know, just be professional artists in general. You know, what would you recommend? To those folks out there? Man? It's funny, I felt, I feel like we've hardly talked about any of that. But we did. We talked about the stuff I wanted to talk about, I guess. Me too.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, I kind of something I know, as a core tenet for you. And this is unrelated to art, but just be a nice person be good to people, I guess is what I would say. Like, that's the first thing I would say. If you want to do anything, and you want to get involved in any sort of industry, people want to work with I'd rather work with somebody who is a good person and somebody who I know I can rely on versus somebody who's going to be difficult to work with and as a rock star. So

Christopher Mifsud:

first thing 100% agree that 100% I'd much rather work with a personal person who does good work, versus someone who's completely complete asshole who does really good work. It's just not worth it. It's not, you know, so.

Ryan Bowlin:

And it's a small, you know, this industry, especially games or, you know, mobile development or whatever. It's a small industry. And so, people remember, people remember the people who are assholes, sadly, are not sadly that sadly, no,

Christopher Mifsud:

it's good. It's good karma karma? Yeah, I mean, they still get by here and there and they but but after a while, it's it's it is a small world having having lived all around it. It is very small world. I like seeing the connections with people and stuff like that all over that like you talking about working, working with the team in Kiev and stuff like that. I've worked with multiple teams in Kiev. I understand. It's like they all know each other to which not surprising and like, you know, yeah, yeah.

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah. So as far as Yeah, exactly. That's, that's like step number one for life. Right? Yeah. Just don't be a jerk. It'll make things a lot easier for you if you could just be a nice person. That but as far as art goes, if you wanted to be an artist, an illustrator artists, graphic designer, whatever, if you want to work in the mobile industry and do that kind of stuff. It's kind of hard to answer. It's kind of a difficult question to answer because it's like, where do you Where do you start? How I how I would recommend if you want to do like what I do, which is draw pictures of Dwarven warriors and make artwork that grandmas like, for slot games. Where I started was just practicing continually practicing, get the sketchbook going, do it every day, draw from life draw for fun, make your own characters, you know, just do a lot of it. You need to get a lot of mileage, doing that sort of stuff. Like you just got to keep doing it every day. I don't do it enough. I know none of us probably it's like Exercising or eating healthy, like it's a it's a thing you know, but like similar to the fitness thing, I knew that I had a feeling that you know something about art. Like if you just apply yourself for a period of time every day, you'll graduate the skill and you'll gradually get good at it, you know, as you as you build experience and the same thing with fitness, like I thought, well, if I just give like an hour or two a day to this, maybe like in six months, I'll see results. And I did. And so I think, yeah, consistency is like the biggest thing. And if you can stick with it and do that, that's a big, that's a big help. Obviously, you're absorbing like tutorials like you don't really need I went to art school, I got a BFA in fine art. But it's in this day and age, like, I don't know that you need to do that anymore. There's so many resources and online things you can do. But I will say one thing that was really critical for me, was in my development was finding community and a community of artists. And for me, it was like online, there was a website back in the day called concept art.org. And it was just a bunch of professionals and amateurs, and I would just share, I would just upload my sketchbook and just share it. And people would give feedback or upload my college projects. And people give feedback. And I became friends with these people, people I still talk to and, and the people who have gotten the jobs are actually the person who the person who got me into the slot industry, I knew him from that website. So it's a big community is really important for building and growing, that rivalry also like a friendly rivalry of like us trying to like push each other to get better, but also like connections later on. So those are the two things like just practice your frickin butt off and apply yourself. And then also find community, find your people who are going to support you and encourage you and also like, you know, take criticism from those people. And you know, it's those are the biggest things, the biggest developmental things for me and things that are still like real in my life. Now I need to get my sketchbook more, and I need to be in community with artists more than I ever had been so

Christopher Mifsud:

great, great, great tips. So right. Where would people find you? If they were if they were looking to see some of this amazing artwork? See your incredible collection of retro games and toys? I know there's two spots tonight. I'll have them in the the the the liner notes. But why don't you tell us where where? Where can people find you on on the on the interwebs in the social medias?

Ryan Bowlin:

Yeah, you can go to Instagram at Ryan Bolin or that's for my art accounts. And if you want to follow my geeky account only at Papa pixel, that's what they that's what they call me in the gaming space.

Christopher Mifsud:

But I was I would I recommend following them both spots because both are very entertaining. And it was off. Yes. 100% It's

Ryan Bowlin:

a good time. If you want to go to my website and see a portfolio or any of that stuff to just Ryan Boland calm. We'll get you to all that stuff as well. But uh, yeah, that's where I'm out there. sharing my life. I don't know. Yeah, I don't have any projects or anything cool that I'm working on. I just

Christopher Mifsud:

enjoy life. Anything planned? No,

Ryan Bowlin:

just now. No, I mean, I thought about doing some sort of thought about doing like some sort of gaming podcast or something or just something that that's more for me and you know, something just to talk like, like I'm doing with you just talking with guys who love geeky stuff like I do. That's something I've always kind of wanted to do. maybe find a way to twist that into art. But yeah, I worked full time. I would love to like, eventually, someday have a family whose books?

Christopher Mifsud:

Oh, yes, books would be awesome. You have a great style, I would actually love to see your style as a children's book. I mean, I think it lends itself really, really well to it. Not Yeah,

Ryan Bowlin:

I would love to I think that's the that's for me, like as far as like, what's next of what I want to do someday I'd love to work on kids books, or maybe even write a couple little books for my for myself. It doesn't have I don't know if I could venture all the way into that. That would be a cool career path. I think

Christopher Mifsud:

something I've always wanted to do. Nothing will stop you. Nothing can stop you if you put nothing. Nothing as I like to say it's it's it's only improbable not impossible. So well, thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate. I got you, man. All right. Well, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Really, really appreciate it. And yeah, I really hope as we said before, to send everybody to go check out Ryan Ryan's work at Ryan Boland calm and at Ryan Bolin and check out his awesome retro gaming and collectible collection at at pop up pixel on the Instagrams. Because, yeah, it's great stuff. I love following it. And it's helped me stay in touch with you. And I'm glad we got a chance to talk today and reconnect a little bit. So thanks so much for being

Ryan Bowlin:

so good to talk to you again. And hopefully it'll be a shorter amount of time. The turnaround time Exactly.

Christopher Mifsud:

Talks Exactly. Well, we'll do a follow up. That's to see where things are.

Ryan Bowlin:

Maybe we'll play some racing games on Xbox where I know I can kick your butt easily,

Christopher Mifsud:

easily. But anytime anytime. It's fine. I love I actually love playing online with friends. So it's cool. That sounds great. Thanks for Haven't been mad. I appreciate it. Thanks. Cheers. See ya. That's this week's episode of press star leadership podcast. As always, thanks for being awesome. And if you haven't yet, make sure to give us a follow. Till next time. If you haven't downloaded my free e book five heroic leadership skills, click on the link in the description. Tune in next week for your next episode of press star leadership podcast. Thank you