We had the good fortune of connecting with Ty Sells and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ty, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in Steamboat Colorado in 1993 and grew up flying between a small rural town called Rulo, Nebraska and a big ol’ city called Houston, Texas. In Nebraska I was a ranch kid and I grew up with the country lifestyle, throwing hay, making forts in the barn and shooting everything with my BB gun. In Houston, I was a city kid, causing trouble with friends, going to Splash Town and playing video games all summer. I think because of the back and forth, as an adult, I feel pretty torn as to who I’m supposed to be. I never felt like a normal kid. All I’ve know is duality really, and I think that influences who I am. My parents have always been loving and supportive and in a way it kind of irritated me ’cause I didn’t have anything to really rebel against, but I just hated the situation. Whenever I’d fly, I would make up backstories for the adults who asked me where I was going and why I was all alone, and I think that’s what influenced me to be an artist and performer. It was all up to me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I feel like a big part of me is that I can’t just pick one thing. At this point in life I’m passionate about Film Acting, and Visual Art. I have dabbled in standup comedy and love making people laugh, but I’m honestly funnier on the fly, so I try to just stay in my lane in that regard. I love film acting because I can bring my own style to the character and really make the ideas from the director’s head pop in a real way. I started film acting in 2014 and was the lead in a short film called Ambulance, directed by Brent Scott Maze, and from that I started booking more roles and now I have agents in Denver and in Austin, Texas. It’s been a long road and I wouldn’t say I’m where I want to be in the field yet, but I am grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been granted. I think what sets me apart is that I’m the go-to goofball. I don’t think I’ve been on a set where I didn’t have at least three of the crew members cracking up. In terms of my visual art, I recently revived this passion and have been breaking into digital design and its definitely challenging to me because I’m more of an analog guy. I like the pencil and paper feel and to hold stuff for some reason. Navigating programs is tough to me but it’s a process and I’m always trying to remember that. Right now I’m really interested in hand lettering and typography but I’m a huge fan of illustration. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned and have to keep remembering is that it isn’t going to be perfect the first time. It takes time to make it exactly how you want it and you might not like what you’ve done until you tinker with it for hours. It’s the same application for character choices or a new design. You just have to prepare, and practice.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Okay. This one is hard too because I used to be a Denver tour guide and there are so many cool places to go. First thought is to Red Rocks for a concert. Doesn’t matter who’s playing because the view and the feel of that place is amazing. I’ve seen great bands of different genres play there. That has top priority and Red Rocks is a national treasure, duh. Just also pregame for sure, ’cause those $10 tallboys are not worth it my guy. I think maybe that would be the finale to the week honestly. Ok with the last day settled, the rest of the week is going to be tough. I’m not really an itinerary guy. I like to let the river take me where I need to go so with that said, I’d say for me, here’s what a day could look like: brunch, Ratio brewery, Rino graffiti alley, Mockery brewery, art museum ’cause the building is sweet, Prost brewery, Confluence Park, Denver Beer Co brewery, Commons Park, Wynkoop brewery to play some pool, Union Station, Great Divide brewery, Epic Brewery, find an open mic on 5280comedy.com and maybe a weed shop if you’re into it. Oh and Blue Sushi. Thats some solid sushi. Get the mango roll. It’s like a sweet desert sushi. Weird, I know, but delicious. You could also hit the stadium, the mint and Civic center park, depending on how crowded it may be.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout my Grandma’s! My dad’s mom Catherine was the sweetest person you’d ever meet and would do anything for you. She was the most welcoming and loving person I ever had the privilege of knowing. Once, when I was little, I took a red sharpie to her blue chair and traced around the buttons and instead of getting mad at me or punishing me, she continued to call it “Ty’s chair” from then on out. In her mind, I didn’t ruin it, I made it my own. I think that was the first push towards creativity I probably ever had and I’m just realizing that now. My mom’s mom Ida is the sweetest, most creative and hardworking woman I know and she was the one who pushed me even further as I was growing up to be a creative. She taught me how to swim, paint and draw and she was an art professor in Carbondale, so I know I learned from the best!
Photo credit: Brenna Bigelow