To some, digital art is considered “fake art,” but to Tristen Willie (AKA: Banana Boat on her social media platforms and among her online friends), an eighteen-year-old digital artist in Wyoming, digital is a main platform. She hasn’t always done digital art, and it’s not her only medium. Tristen has been recognized for her artistic ability multiple times, including many first-place ribbons in local events, such as Chalk The Walk, a sidewalk chalk drawing competition. She is also set to enter some of her works in a Wyoming art show for high school students, Art Symposium.
While sidewalk chalk and high school art exhibits may sound cute and childlike, Willie likes to get a little on the dark side, explaining that her art can be graphic and revealing characters. If you’re sensitive to gore and/or nudity, don’t worry. Tristen likes to focus on a “more cartoony art style,” she explains with a laugh, as she looks back on old art. When asked where she first got started, she recalls being tired of taking printer paper from teachers and the library at school, her folders being full of loose papers. Her bright smile shines as she remembers finally getting her first sketchbook in the sixth grade that would finally “hold [her] work together”.
Willie has been drawing all throughout her childhood and teenage years, as she remembers. When asked the simple question, “Why do you do it all?”, Tristen has a thought-out response: “I do art as a means of, of course, expression, but also as a way to release tension. It’s relaxing for me to sit and draw, sculpt, or attempt to paint, though I’m not very good at it”. She hopes to one day own a tattoo parlor or a graphic design studio. Recognizing she doesn’t know what to do yet, but is sure digital art will help her get there. Lastly, it was time to ask Tristen what she would tell other aspiring artists: “Whatever you make is art if it can evoke two things: emotions and inspiration. The only way you fail is if you don’t put in effort.”
Willie uploads speed paints on her YouTube at times, but tends to post more on her Instagram; the Instagram handle is @disturbed_filly and you can find the YouTube under the same name. We at Art Infliction would like to thank Tristen for giving us this opportunity and wish her well on her art journey, digital or not.