Interview with Tristan Arcelona

In this interview Tristan Arcelona and I talked his early start as an artist, his home now and what he does in his free time.


Tristan Arcelona is an artist based out of San Francisco. His work follows many themes and he uses many colors.

What inspires your work? I know I get sort of an ’80s vibe.

It always feels pretty random when I come up with a piece. I take inspiration from things people say. Other art or ideas I have in transit or in the time it takes me to fall asleep.

Where did you get your start? When did you know you were interested in being an artist?

I’ve been drawing and collaging from a young age. In kindergarten through middle school I would come home from school watch cartoons or read comics and sort of sketch out bits and pieces without ever really <<finishing>> a piece. Teachers and family really encouraged this.


What goals do you have as an artist?

I guess ultimately it would be nice to show on a regular basis and make some kind of income from my pieces but success in the art world has sort of taken a backseat right now to making a steady income. Being accepted by other artists and peers is great but getting satisfaction through the process is really key which I’m trying to realize at this point in my career. It’s nice to say I want to be a famous artist but what that actually entails is a lot of hard work, getting in good with the right people and sort of coping with the attention you get. Many people don’t achieve this level of productivity in their careers which I think formats like Instagram make it appear as if they do.


What do you normally do in your free time?

On the weekends if I don’t have anything planned it takes me a long time to get out of bed. I try not to be so basic with my activities but it boils down to getting outside and exercising, watching movies, or partying with the occasional graffiti on the side. I went to big sur for the first time last weekend to see this folk performer Shannon Lay play in a library. I’ve also been chefing it up with Blue Apron. I rode my bike across the Bay Bridge the other day from my home on Treasure Island. I saw breathless the other day which is French new wave cinema that I would like to explore further. I dunno I travel when I can. Made it out to London last year and LA Arizona area. Oh I go to art shows too. And museums. Love museums.

Tristan’s work can be found on his website at or on instagram @Tristanarcelona

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