The Pin-up Files

Tristan Thompson pin-up artist

Tristan Thompson wants people to find his work fun, whimsical and, of course, sexy


Where his art and technique is concerned, Tristan aspires to raise the bar every day - discovering new ways to challenge himself in order to constantly impress others (as well as himself) has become a prime motivation.

Tristan Thompson

Born and raised in the rural countryside of southwest Indiana, Tristan Thompson knew that if he were to become a professional artist, one day he would have to explore the outside world.

From 2011 to 2013, he worked as a freelance artist specialising in t-shirt design as well as album art for bands all over the world. He attended Herron School of Art & Design, and graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Art from the University of Southern Indiana. In 2013, he relocated to Indianapolis where he began working for MainGate, Inc., creating graphics for professional sports teams, racing teams, and various clothing companies.

He realised he wanted to create art for a living when he was introduced to the work of Frank Frazetta as a child. "I strove to capture the magic of the master’s work," says Tristan. "With intense study of composition, anatomy, and colour coordination, I still work diligently to achieve the awe-inspiring impact that drew me in years ago." More recently he has been inspired by illustrators Ken Taylor, Stanley Lau and Mike DeBalfo.

The pin-up style has always caught my eye ... an attribution to the old saying "sex sells"

Tristan Thompson

"People always desire what they can’t have. If what they find is unattainable, that person or object becomes far more desirable.  When illustrating a pin-up piece, one must take special care to exaggerate certain aspects of the female form in order to create a figure that could not exist in reality - an unattainable standard in order to spike the desire that humans have.  The art of illustrating and exaggerating certain proportions is the whole concept of pin-up, because if one were going to draw a woman (or anything for that matter) as it appears in life, then you're defeating the purpose of illustration, and one may as well become a photographer.

Tristan currently works for a variety of clients as a full-time graphic artist illustrating and designing merchandise.

All images in this gallery are copyright © Tristan Thompson. All rights reserved.


Go to Tristan Thompson Illustration | follow @tristanthompsonillustration on Instagram | contact: tristanthompsonillustration@gmail.com.

Tristan Thompson Illustration