Tristan Tales – Modern Storyteller

2nd January 2019

In a world revolving around the social stratosphere of the internet, Tristan Tales continues to craft a genuine narrative worth following.

Originating his success from a loyal audience intrigued by his unique social media posts and other video blogging creations, the 24-year-old entertainer, Tristan Tales is far from being just another face in the ‘YouTube star' crowd. Candid's Jeff Conway recently sat down with this young businessman to uncover a side of Tristan Tales that goes beyond the social media filters and everyday video posts, to something even more enlightening.

Though you are very open with sharing your life on video to the world, we viewers really never get to hear much about your origin story. Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood and how your interest in video storytelling came about?

I've kind of always been a storyteller at heart. I feel like what I do now is an exception of what I did when I was younger, which was playing pretend.
I was like a ringleader of my cul-de-sac, when we would play pretend. I would always set up the scenarios and create the storylines and adventures we'd be going on. And it's funny, I never really thought about it before but I kind of do that now, but on a bigger scale. [Laughs] I guess I just play pretend for a living.

You have over a million subscribers on your YouTube channel and 1.6 million followers on Instagram. How does someone reach that level of viewership and keep their attention?

I don't think there is one way to really do that. People who rise to the top are people who are innovating and what I mean by that is that they're not just doing what other people are doing because other people are doing it and succeeding by doing it.
They're doing it differently and they're thinking outside the box and doing it their way.

Tristan Tales
Photography by Ari Weiss

You seem to share a lot of impromptu moments and even a few personal moments in your life with audiences. At this point, are you still able to separate your social media lifestyle and your actual reality, or has that become one and the same for you?

So, if you asked me this twelve months ago, I would have said it was one and the same, but since then, I have found balance in my life and I found that it's actually like rather unhealthy for me not to be able to separate moments for myself and those for your fans.
I want to share as much as I can with my audience and my fans. Having them a part of my real-life journey is really important to me and it's special for me.
Having moments just for myself is just as important, because it reminds you to live in the moment, rather than living behind a lens. When you live behind a lens, you sometimes are not fully present and that's something I had along my journey of social media and content creation. That was something I had to learn, to find that balance.

What do you do with your content to stay timely and interesting to your viewers? Do you feel you have to re-invent your image and storytelling every once in awhile, or do you find consistency to be the successful branding way?

I think consistency is important, but we grow as individuals and I think people change all the time.
If you are changing or if you are re-branding, as long as that new brand is authentic to who you now are and you're not just doing that for the sake of trying to stay with the times, then it's okay.

Tristan Tales
Photograph by Jessica Che

Other YouTubers and social media stars have received a lot of flack for covering topics that seem insensitive, including suicide. What is one of the greatest cautions you always take toward your public perception and social media posts?

That's a good question. It kind of comes instinctually to me. I have a really strong moral compass. I have really great friends, a lot of people who have my back and whose back I have.
If I ever have a doubt in my mind that maybe somebody should be offended by something, I won't put it in there, because that's not what I'm on the internet to make or to do. I'm not really there to get a reaction like that.
I'm more making content, building worlds as a form of escapism, so that people can get away from their daily struggle. I don't want to add to it.

Candid is quite heavily a fashion publication, so we are curious about your current style preferences and have you noticed your choices evolve as you've gotten older?

Oh my god, yeah. My fashion has definitely evolved. I'm like very much an ‘at leisure' kind of person. I just came from a meeting and I'm wearing joggers and a hoodie. I really like wearing comfortable clothes. It's also kind of fun to dress up.
I'm not even really sure what to call the style that I wear. If I think it looks cool and it's comfortable, I'll put it on.

Tristan Tales
Photograph by Jessica Che

What is your endgame with all of the video and social media work you do? Is all of this leading up to a Tristan Tales passion project you plan to ultimately achieve?

It's funny because at the beginning of every year, I set goals for myself as to what I want to accomplish that year. I have hit every single goal I have set out for myself.
I have a lot of projects that I've been working on that have bigger production value off of social media that I can't wait for my audience to enjoy.
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