Hello! My name is Tristan Napotnik. I am an illustrator and storyteller, outdoor adventurer when I have time, husband to an amazing woman, and father to a couple real-life cartoon children. I have lived in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia my whole life, and I am so grateful to be able to raise my own children in this place. I have been drawing and telling stories my whole life, or at least since I could hold a pen. For years, I have suppressed that passion for drawing and storytelling, only revealing that part of myself to people I was close to. I floundered my way into college wanting to pursue an art degree, however, lacking confidence in this part of my identity, I pursued business-related studies. After all, “nobody makes a decent living as an artist.”
It has always been my dream to turn my passion for art and storytelling into a career, but I always cheapened that passion and never let it rise above the status of a fun hobby. While it is indeed a fun hobby for me, I would love to be able to use that passion in a way that reaches more people and brings joy into more households than just my own. Few things bring me greater joy and satisfaction than hearing my children’s laughter, seeing their smiles, and watching their glazed over eyes become captivated as I read them my stories. Hopefully I will be able to share that same joy and laughter with you and your family and friends!
I have come to know that this passion for art and storytelling is a deep part of who I am. By suppressing that part of me, I wasn’t being fully myself. This website is my way of publicly saying “this is who I am!”
Dr. Seuss so simply and beautifully put it like this:
“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”
I’m still figuring this out for myself. Hopefully I can help you to do the same! I wrote myself a little poem as a reminder - while I’m still figuring things out - to be joyful and grateful with where I am now, despite all the unknowns, unattained dreams, and possibility/likelihood of failures. I’ve placed it at the end of all of my stories (see below)…
“If you haven’t found joy between reality and dreams,
Then you haven’t found life (or so it seems)”
Follow me on Instagram: @tristandrawsdotcom
Thanks for stopping by!