Currently Listening To: Joanna Newsom’s 2015 album, Divers. I am weirdly not a BIG music person, when I’m working I like to listen to video game soundtracks or just put on generic top 40 junk so I can focus on the ART AND THE BEAUTY OF CREATION. But this Joanna Newsom record is bonkers. I listened to this album when it came out and I liked it, but now I’m giving it another go and it makes my brain explode. She gives me like sitting on a rocky shore, waves crashing, wearing an off-the-shoulder middle english peasant dress, blond hair that is WAY too long, singing at birds vibes.
Favorite Cartoon: My 3 most influential cartoons ARE AS FOLLOWS (and in no particular order): Ren & Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. In fact, anything created by the incomparable Klasky-Csupo duo is perfect and amazing and I wish they were my birth parents.
tell us about yourself and the kind of work you create.
I like to make stuff that will make me rich and famous and I don’t care what it takes or who I have to step on to get to THE TOP. Just kidding. I like to make stuff that is weird, and gross, and literally whatever I want at any given moment, but more often than not it ends up being those first two things. I’ve taken a LONG time to get to the point where I’m medium confident in creating the way I create and man it feels good. I used to try to dip each of my 11 toes into 11 different things to try to stay relevant and fit in with what is “now” and I do not do that anymore. I just think of an idea and ask myself how I, THE LOLCODYBOND, would do it and then I just do it. That probably sounds so dumb and obvious to most people but honestly it took me some time. I don’t have 11 toes, by the way.
what is your typical day like? are there any challenges that you face on a consistent basis?
Oof, my typical day? Sitting in a very uncomfortable office chair looking at memes and watching people play video games on the internet and fully dissociating into my computer screen until I PAINFULLY force myself to create something and THEN I finally feel like I’m contributing to this gross society even if it’s a 3 second loop of a farting butt. It’s so weird, I go through this routine almost every dang day where I’m like “Okay Cody, you need a break! Don’t worry about creating art today, you are special and handsome and you deserve a day off who cares!” but then I feel like garbage until I finally just MAKE something, regardless of how simple and quickly it gets done. My self worth is so deeply rooted in my work. Oh god, I think I just had a breakthrough. I have to call my therapist.
how does pop culture influence your work?
Okay first of all I love pop culture nonsense and anyone who says they don’t is a LIAR and a DUMMY. It’s important for me to keep up on pop culture stuff because it’s FUN but also it’s all about keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on. You can go ahead and create work in your little bubble of what you are into and that works sometimes! But for me, I want to make stuff people will respond to because this is a business and I need those delicious and nutritious internet likes to keep my skin clear and my bowel movements regular.
how did you find your niche as an artist and build the self-confidence to pursue it?
WOW you stumped me with this question but I will answer it the best I can! I’ve been creating art semi-professionally for about 6-7 years (I don’t count college because I was still cooking in the creative womb for those 4 years) and I’ve only recently found my niche. BUT even though it took me a long time to feel medium confident working in this space, I’ve always been drawn to the wacky and weird, it has just taken me time to really flesh that out.
How did I get to this point? Trial and error and a whole bunch of looking at stuff I like with my eyeballs. I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. The trick to creating work you like is filling your brain with other people’s stuff. Steal some lines and color palettes here and there, chew them up and spit out something different and FRESH. It’s all about taking inspiration from the things you like and gradually replacing those elements with new ones until you have a style of your own. We don’t work in a vacuum, no one’s style is completely unique and if you hear someone say otherwise they are a LIAR.
As for the self-confidence part of the question. Yeah no I don’t have that. Okay fine that’s not totally true. 5 years ago me would have felt that way, but he’s dead now and we don’t miss him. I get my self-confidence from people’s reactions to my work. I love it when my stuff makes people laugh or feel weird or gross and I’ve gotten those reactions since my creative fetal stages and it has always made me feel like I was doing something right. The best piece of advice I received in college was “different is always better than good” and I think about that every time I create something new.
you have a distinct color palette across all your work. How do you build out a palette and do you have any tips on doing so?
I can tell you with the confidence of the dumb person that I am that I do not think about color palettes. Like ever. I never plan anything out and that is probably a bad thing but listen, I’m not working on an oil painting, I am working in the virtual imaginary world of digital art so I can plop colors and change things in a fraction of a second SO WHO CARES. The extent of my color palette planning is keeping my colors in the top right corner of the color picker and then when I’m done, increasing the vibrance of EVERYTHING. My color palette tips would be to do whatever you want and never plan beforehand because planning is for horseshoes and hand-grenades. OMG that doesn’t even make sense. Don’t listen to me.
what is your dream pop culture franchise to work on, and how would you bring your flair to it?
I hate how much this question is making me think. How dare you! I’ve really put very little thought into this because I’m happy to get ANY gig. I guess I’d love to work on stuff for Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, etc. I love what Mike Perry has done on Broad City and it’s really opened my eyes to what I could bring to television. Creating an animated graphics package for a comedy show or cartoon sounds fun!
you’ve been creating a lot of fun GIFs lately; what does your animation workflow look like?
I’m VERY glad I am answering this question now and not 3 months ago because I’ve really streamlined my process. I have a notepad document full of dumb ideas that I will pull from and then I sketch out the gag I’m going for first. Then I just drop that sketch into Photoshop and get drawing. Depending on the concept and the amount of frames I will need, I will either go into a video timeline layer and animate fluidly frame by frame and add and delete as I go, but if it’s a shorter one I will start with the frame timeline and just draw each keyframe and animated in-betweens as needed. I’ve played around in After Effects for animation and I just don’t like it, so I still with my trusty Photoshop. One day I’ll try out Adobe Animate, but my brain can only handle so many programs.
what is the prettiest picture you’ve made recently?
This is a very cute question but I don’t really think about my work as pretty, but I guess if we define pretty as aesthetically pleasing then I’d have to say the Game Ogre piece I made a little while back. It’s an illustration I made for my favorite gaming news site, Polygon. I just love the composition I came up with, the color palette, and I feel I was able to capture the likeness of Polygon’s own Simone de Rochefort and Patrick Gill. I’ve really gotten into illustrating real people and practicing faces. Faces are my favorite.