One thing we truly enjoy is creativity and one person that is truly gifted in such things is Tristan Brown (@xtristta). Tristan has been constructing some absolutely gorgeous and often times mind-blowing images that we have been giddy over for quite some time. Her surreal blends and wonderfully colored Mextures edits have us in a constant state of excited anticipation waiting to see what she comes up with next. We had a great time getting to know her and her creative process a little better and we've pieced together our conversation for all of you to enjoy as well!
My name is Tristan Brown. I'm nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. I'm a part-time waitress and full-time inquirer. I want to explore all seven continents, hike to the top of the highest mountain peaks, and leave my footprints on every path. I have a passion for learning and books are my home away from home. I strive to be a beacon in a world with a fading light.
What first attracted you to photography?
I started getting really into photography during my relationship with Jonathan (formally known as @theweathermannn). We went on so many adventures together, and in a way we just became an amateur photographer adventure couple. We were just doing it for fun and trying to document our life in a different way than everyone around here which is usually just selfies. He pushed me to work harder and keep trying to be the best I could be at anything I pursued. I'm nowhere near perfect but I've come a long way from where I started almost two and a half years ago.
What is it that keeps you taking pictures and creating art?
I continue to take and edit photos because I hope to inspire others in the same way that others have inspired me. I want to be one of those photographers that blows other people's minds. I want to make people wonder in amazement how I was able to create the pieces I create. I love being able to connect with people on a creative level - especially because I used to never consider myself creative at all.
What was it that got you exploring that creative side of yourself?
In the past, I never considered myself creative but I wanted to be. I was always so jealous of people that could just sit down and effortlessly entertain concertos or brush through beautiful mosaics. I was never a natural at anything considered right-brained, but I wanted to be. I tried various instruments but that didn't work out and I can't draw or paint for the life of me. I had so many ideas in my head but my fingers couldn't move in a way to release them. So I picked up a camera and I went from there. All the positive feedback made me want to persevere at anything I set my mind to.
In general, what does your editing process look like?
I really don't have much of a process and I only use two apps for the most part - Mextures and Union. Most of it is just trial and error. Sometimes I have an idea in mind before I start editing but it almost always turns into something different once I start playing around.
I generally use Mextures to finish off my photos with some mood and/or color to add depth to certain pieces. The Grunge and the Emulsion overlays are my favorite for a little extra ambience and the Radiance and Vintage Gradients are my favorite overlays for a more colorful expression.
Would you be willing to share a few of your formulas?
I don't have that many formulas because I usually just save them and come back over the course of a few days when working on a picture. I have a lot of saved formulas that need to be combined with each other. But here are a few I could find:
Limbo - Formula Code - XQLJKGS
Peace - Formula Code - CPJFMUZ
Wedding - Formula Code - IMDUGFJ
Do you feel like Mextures offers anything unique to your editing process?
A big reason why I constantly choose Mextures over other editing apps is because of all of the options Mextures offers. Not only are there so many different textures, gradients, and enhancement layers, but Mextures also has several different blend modes. It's an endless amount of options whereas a lot of other apps just have pre-made formulas and variations are limited to light leaks and dust.
Do you have a favorite picture that you've taken and edited recently?
This picture is my favorite because it represents how I feel so much these days. I feel like I have to hide myself under a mask. Like no one really accepts me or understands or even cares what I'm going through and what I've been through. Usually if I open myself up to someone and show them who I really am they criticize me so I just hide myself away to avoid it. Lately it just feels more intense. Like the mask is dripping down and coating the rest of my body. Everyday it gets more dense and tenacious to where I don't think anyone can handle seeing all that I've locked inside and frankly I don't see a point in trying. The funny thing about it though is that in the process I'm not losing myself, I'm losing my hope and trust in everyone around me.
What do you feel most inspires you to keep taking pictures and fine-tuning your creative process?
I guess the simplest answer is that it makes me happy. Whenever things in my life go wrong or hardships arise I can always release it through photography. Anything I feel or think I can channel it through into art and it feels like a weight has been lifted. Cheaper than therapy if you ask me. And instead of someone telling you there is light at the end of the tunnel it's just people looking at what you made and empathizing with what you've been through.
So who are the people that have most inspired your photography and creative process?
A lot of my inspiration comes from music and things I read. Quotes, passages from school assignments, and poetry are the building blocks of most of my ideas. Another aspect comes from art I see that I want to try out myself. Im beginning to want to transition into creating pieces that relay powerful messages.
Have a peek at more of Tristan’s gorgeous work here!