Will Bryant is an artist, designer, and illustrator based in Austin, Texas. He’d like to think that he makes fun, exuberant, and sometimes humorous work. In addition to collaborating with brands, he also continues to develop a body of work in the form of painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture.
Growing up in Texarkana, TX he spent his time playing sports, watching Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and making lame jokes. Some things never change.
He studied graphic design at Mississippi State University (2008) and received an MFA in Contemporary Art Practice from Portland State University (2013).
Where was your favorite place to eat in Texarkana?
TLC is the longest tenured place for me, but Zapata’s with the whole family is a classic spot as well. Have you ever had a margarita while your kid eats queso with a spoon? Me either.
What was the teen hangout when you lived here?
Southern Tropics is one of the main places where I laid the foundation of my marriage. Sugar syrup over shaved ice pairs really well with awkward teen relationship drama. Sally still orders half Polar Punch, half Pink Lemonade.
Were you a Hawk, Leopard, Razorback or Tiger?
Hawk Blood, 2004. The New Boston student section chanting “Screech” at me during basketball games can still stir raw emotions. Why would I buzz my hair for football, but then grow it out like a Chia Pet for basketball? (The answer is Sally loves the curls.)
Who is someone from Texarkana who impacted your life?
Dr. Randy Brown had a very significant impact on my life. He was my first basketball coach in elementary school, Scoutmaster, and father to my best friend, Ryan. He, along with my own father, instilled a strong work ethic and sense of discipline in me. One of my favorite quotes from him in regards to a situation, “...you can bring judgement or you can bring joy. I chose joy.”
What do you love about Texarkana?
The most lovable aspect of Texarkana has to be the one and only Randy Sarrett. My father-in-law is high on my list of favorite humans… as well as Lucy. I love them dearly. But the real question is, do I love them as much as I love their pool?
What would you change about Texarkana?
Even as a high schooler, I thought downtown Texarkana should be supported more. I wish more businesses could survive in that area long term—like you see in other towns across the South. I say this while also acknowledging the ones that have made it special, but as a whole, I wish that was the walkable part of town where people would hang out during the day and night. There’s so much potential with historic buildings and interesting architecture. I would love to see that character appreciated and active. Let’s all email David Orr and get him to fix it next week. That should do the trick.
What is your nickname for Texarkana?
What do you miss about Texarkana?
The Sarretts’ pool.
What words do you live by?
“Sure, I Like Fun.”
Anything we haven’t asked about that you would like to share?
A dream project of mine is to design a playground, and I would very much like this to be in Texarkana. Consider this me leaking it to the press/universe. While we’re on the topic, I’d love to repaint the water tower back to the original design. Do we make it fun, too? One of my favorite artists, Sister Corita Kent, painted The Rainbow Swash water tower near Boston in the 70s—check it out.
TXK Roots is Texarkana Magazine’s forum to highlight and honor Texarkana natives who have accomplished big things in the world. These folks may have relocated, but they took the values, education, work ethic and creativity instilled in them by growing up in this unique border city and used these qualities to blaze extraordinary trails. We asked them to share their thoughts about growing up here. No matter how far from Texarkana they may find themselves, we will always consider them our neighbors and we are proud to claim them as forever members of our extended Texarkana community. After all, “everyone is famous in their hometown!”