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Check out Tristan Young’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tristan Young.

Tristan, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Drawing and creating is something I have always enjoyed since I was a kid and to be able to take that kind of enjoyment and turn it into a career is something I never really thought was possible. I had always created for fun but I didn’t start pursuing illustration as a career until I was a senior in High school.

Post High school, I attended Columbia College Chicago, Where I studied under professors Chris Arnold, Chris Eliopolous, and Ivan Brunetti. Typically a successful artist has an identifiable style, something unique that when people look at their artwork, they know immediately who created it. Early on in my college career, that was a huge challenge for me, as I have always been interested in different mediums, subjects and experimenting with my work. However, one thing that has always been consistent is my love for portraiture and pop-culture. I really learned to embrace those two subjects after I graduated in 2016.

Since I graduated I’ve done illustrations for Edgar Wright’s film, Baby Driver, as part of Sony’s Marketing campaign, as well as HBO’s, Silicon Valley and most recently I did an illustration for Avengers Infinity War for the red carpet premiere. I am currently a staff illustrator for Yellow Dog Publishing, a publishing group based out of my hometown of Rock Falls, Illinois. I am also a member of an art group in Chicago called the Big Art Collective. We are a collaborative group of artists that focus on murals and gallery/ popup events.

Today, I still live in the city and I am a freelance illustrator, focusing on poster design and editorial illustration. Starting out as a freelancer, you have to kind of take what you can get but as long as you make time for the personal work you enjoy and put that out there for people to see, eventually more and more of the work you want will come your way.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I draw people, mostly in film. I am a contributor to the alternative movie poster scene, which is still relatively new. Most of my work is created digitally, however, I still do traditional work from time to time. My tool of choice is my Ipad Pro and Apple Pencil and the software I use is called Procreate.

Portraits are very specific and not everyone is going to be able to relate to the work. Like if I did a portrait of a musician that you love, you’re going to have a stronger connection and find more value in the work. Ultimately, for most artists, I think that’s the goal, to have people make strong connections to the artwork, no matter what phase or period of art you’re in, as we are all growing and transforming.

What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
I recently had this conversation with some of my friends (also artists) and many of us after we graduated are starting to move away and a lot of people I’ve met in school are now in different parts of the world. We determined success was being able to fly wherever, whenever to see the ones you care about.

Though I think that is partially true I think success as an artist is simply being able to make a living making the type of work you want to make.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I’m very active on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @tristanyoungart.

I also have a portfolio website called if you’d like to look at more of my work and know a little bit more about me.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Personal Photo Credit: Ethan Young
All artwork and images are the property of Tristan Young Illustration.

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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