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Interview with Tux Paint Artist Harrison Wyrick

Conducted by Bill Kendrick. Posted June 28, 2023.

About Harrison

How old are you?
I'm 24
What do you do for a living?
I recently graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA) from SAIC in Chicago. I work as a florist in a flower shop and at a farmers market as my day job, as well as commissioned animation work.
Do you have other artistic endeavors?
Yes! I’ve been making comedy and animated videos with my best friend Parker for the past 12 years, you can check them out on YouTube.
What are your other hobbies?
Besides art I like to ride my bike, play video games, and cook with my partner Grace :)
Where can people find you online?
You can find my art on my

🖼 View Harrison's artwork in the Tux Paint Gallery

Discovering and Using Tux Paint

How and when did you first learn about Tux Paint?
While an undergrad in 2018 my friends Leroy and Taylor showed me Tux Paint; they had used it as children and recently rediscovered it through their friends at RISD who saw its potential as a fine art tool. I immediately fell in love with it.

I didn't actually grow up with Tux Paint as a kid! Although when I found it it felt all too familiar. I played with it on and off for about a year but my obsession really took off during quarantine from COVID in 2020, at the time I moved back in with my family in Arkansas for a year and stayed in the attic the whole time. Waking up and drawing on Tux Paint became my routine everyday and it greatly helped my art.
How do you usually interact with Tux Paint?
I use Tux Paint on my Mac and do all my drawings with the trackpad.
What are your "go-to" tools in Tux Paint?
Always the star stamps hahaha, very few of my drawings don’t have those in them.
Is there something you wish Tux Paint could do that it can't?
I wish it could export directly to the desktop, customize sound effects, a fleshed out simple animation function with onion skinning, maybe create your own stamp or brush tool? And I wish the fill tool functioned the same way that it used to, I believe maybe the threshold was smaller? (I’ve also noticed a bit of lag) Other than that it's perfect.

(Note from Bill: Tux Paint offers an Export option from the 'Open' dialog, since version 0.9.25.)
What other kinds of art tools do you use?
  • Software - I use Flash for animating, occasionally MSPaint for drawing
  • Hardware - I make latch hook rugs and rugs with my rug gun for fun, as well as an airbrush when I feel like painting. For drawing though, my favorite thing to do is make my own sketchbooks out of scraps of paper and draw in them with whatever I can get my hands on (preferably a Muji pen).
For a while now I’ve wanted to make a drawing software of my own with unique sound effects, stamps, effects, etc. but have only gotten so far in the process.
What tips or tricks would you like to share with other aspiring artists?
Draw everyday and don’t feel afraid to draw things that embarrass you. :) That’s all part of it!
What piece of art, or other creation, are you most proud of?
Probably this one (my first ever drawing in Tux Paint)

Style and Inspiration

What would you call your art style?
I think a lot of my work has been described or categorized as fitting into the “weirdcore” aesthetic, I’m personally a really big fan of Art Brut.
Are there certain topics or fandoms that you like to focus on in your art?
Pokémon definitely, Pokémon has been the basis for a lot of my inspiration as I love their designs even the ugly ones, and drawing creatures is my favorite thing to do. I did a series of Pokémon card drawings for a contest in Tux Paint, it's a dream of mine to get to draw one officially one day.
What artists do you look up to?
For sure my friend Blake, we met a few years ago online and have hungout a couple times in person, they are incredibly prolific in game-making and I also just like how they draw.
Some examples of their stuff: https://pbjabcusa.com/.
What other things inspire you to make art?
My best friend and collaborator Parker and my partner Grace are constantly generating work that inspires me to keeping pushing what I make and to try new things.
Their work (Parker left) (Grace right)
Have you ever published or exhibited your art?
I’ve done a lot of DIY shows here and there but nothing too official! I have been working on a big thick book of compiled risograph prints of drawings I did in Tux Paint over COVID. I made the book with one of my close friends and it's taken a long time due to the sheer size of it but I’m aiming to have them done soon and publish them and share them with the world (and sell them).


Is there anything I didn't ask you that I should have?
Maybe each person can create a special drawing for just this interview, here’s mine now.
If you could interview me, or someone else who works on the Tux Paint project, what would you ask us?
I would love to know so much more on the genesis of the project itself and roadblocks y'all have run into and overcome along the way! There has been so much work and love put into it over a long period of time that I feel like you could even make a documentary on it all, that I would totally watch hahaha.

Bill: The biggest roadblock -- and the longest time between releases of Tux Paint -- was after one of the years that we participated in the Google Summer of Code program and ended up with a LOT of new features, but they needed a lot of clean-up to make sure things didn't crash. I have Pere Pujal Carabantes to thank for doing a lot of that triage!

Untitled (computer)

Untitled (soccer)

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