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Tristen Rolling | Growing Swamp Sprouts

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Tristen Rolling, an artist and marketing coordinator in New Orleans. Tristen is a kickass member of Winter Circle Productions, an event promoter in NOLA area. I met her when I lived down there and through the ever expanding BUKU Music + Arts Festival. During the pandemic, she has started a new venture with artistic drive and it has blown up! I wanted to see what lead to this idea and how she is maintaining herself amidst a global pandemic, so enjoy the read below.

Hey there Tristen, could you give us a brief intro into who you are and what you do. 

Hi :)  For starters, I am an artist, a social media marketer, a live music enthusiast & a loving cat mom. Currently, I am working full time on “Swamp Sprouts”, quirky little creatures hand-painted on wood & inspired by the Louisiana swamp.

Where did you come up with the idea for Swamp Sprouts creations and what continues to push your creativity for the new art? 

I’ve had a weird connection to mushrooms the past couple of years & oddly enough, during quarantine I came across a video on TikTok by @westcoast_kassy on how to paint a mushroom. This video reawakened my artistic drive and I painted my first mushroom with a swampy flare. This coincidence constantly reminds me of how seeds need perfect conditions to grow & fruit; this journey couldn’t have come at a better time. Me and Kassy frequently chat on Instagram now which is really cool! 

Creativity is everywhere and that keeps me going most times.  Most times I end up writing down new ideas in parking lots or in the isles of grocery stores which cracks me up! I must admit though, the biggest push to keep creating is the constant stream of people that support and care about me! 

What has been an eye opening revelation during your venture with Swamp Sprouts?  I’ve come to realize that prior to Swamp Sprouts, I had really been holding myself back. When it comes to marketing in general, it’s vital to be confident in stepping outside the box and I was always nervous to take that step. Swamp Sprouts taught me that failing on new things is totally normal and that one failure could be the very thing that gets you a step closer to your goal. 

During this pandemic, many of us in the industry have had to slow down almost to a complete stop. How have you been dealing with one side of your work life slowing and another one seemingly picking up its pace?

Working in the music industry has always been my dream and losing that almost overnight will always haunt me. It’s been weird balancing between being grateful for how lucky I’ve been throughout the pandemic and also taking time to mourn the life that could’ve been. Stack that balance on top of a new small business with a large audience... Phew it’s been a wild ride. I have to admit that I thrive under pressure, so I’m loving every minute despite it all. I can only hope that others in the music industry have been lucky enough to find something new to thrive in!

Prior to the pandemic, you started with Winter Circle Productions in New Orleans as their Marketing Coordinator. What was the most exciting part of that pre-COVID?

I never ever felt like I belonged somewhere or that I had a stable group of friends until I was “adopted” full-time into the WCP family. It felt like a rebirth to me & just being around people who are so dedicated to building a beautiful live music experience excited me on the daily. 

What are you most excited to get back into post-COVID? Any dream concerts you are willing into existence?  MUSIC! FESTIVALS! I just miss dancing around with my friends & beautiful strangers alike! I’m really hoping to see FKA Twigs, Grimes & Turnstile once things get back into action. I’ve never seen them live and they’re some of my favorite artists. Also, I’d really like to get back into the skating rink so I can polish up my quad skating tricks haha! 

What are some ways you have been taking care of your mental wellbeing? Keeping up with my mental health is extremely important to me; it’s always at the forefront of my mind. The most effective ways I’ve found for me to take care of my mental have been to set limits on my screen time, to meditate when I feel capable & to set a daily routine during the week. Also, taking time to tune inward each morning helps me figure out what I’m

capable of that day. If I feel sad I don’t push myself too hard, if I feel anxious I keep myself busy etc. BALANCE is the key!

I love to get any info on what you have in the works, what are some things you have coming up for Swamp Sprouts and where can readers find your work? 

I am currently working on some spooky pieces for Halloween! It’s my favorite holiday, so I’ll be running with the Halloween theme for as long as I can haha. Looking further ahead, I want to get into wood carving and wood burning. My grandpa is constantly teaching me new things when it comes to wood, so stay tuned! 

You can find sneak peaks, website updates & more over on Instagram at @swampsprouts. My website will be updated with the Halloween collection on Friday, September 25th at 6 PM CT! 

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