Today I get to announce that Cody will be joining the noble (if small) cartoonist's collective known as "Toon Smoosh."
As a fan and follower of his work, I'm very pleased that Cody has chosen to become a member of the family. It means you'll be seeing his work here and on our Facebook Page, and you can expect it'll be much more likely to see him at the various conventions we do each year, as well.
By way of introduction, I've asked Cody a few questions about his work and perspective on life as a cartoonist.
Have you always been interested in making cartoon art, or did you come to it by way something else?
Cody: When I first decided to go to art school it was for animation. I thought it would be the most fun thing ever; then after a semester of animation classes I realized I really didn't want to do that. Instead I found a love in figure drawing and classical art. Cartoon art was never really a style I had or wanted until recently. As I've continued to expand my horizons and look at other art I've found my style shifting to fit the needs of whatever I'm working on.
In general do you think of cartoons as a form of art?
Cody: Absolutely. Art is anything that provokes a response, and even if that response is "d'aww" it still made you feel. Art is tricky, defining it can be even harder, but the short answer is yes.
In your childhood, did you have a favorite cartoon? Does it still influence you?
Cody: I watched as many cartoons as I could as a kid. I was born in the late 80's so my childhood was filled with Care Bears, TMNT, X-Men, Batman, and Spiderman. I got to grow up on all the Nicktoons, and saw the rise of Cartoon Network. Just recently I binged to be current with Steven Universe. Whether or not I had a favorite is trickier. I would say they all influenced me to and extent as they made me want to be an artist. I wouldn't have enrolled in art school if it weren't for all the cartoons I watched growing up.
What kind of art do you consume these days? Any favorite games, comics, or shows?
Cody: I try and consume as much as possible. Tumblr and Instagram are both used to follow art of various different forms. I pick up comics on a weekly basis. I try to do art walks, but its not always easy to get motivated and out there. I'm currently enrolled in a Graphic Design program, so I'm constantly trying to observe as much design as possible so it can inform my class work. Favorite games: I'm currently working through "Destiny," the new "Skylanders" and I've been playing a bit of "Smash Bros" on the side. Favorite comics would probably be "Saga" and "The Wicked and The Devine" (I'd add in "Nonplayer," but it has only had two issues, and there is no telling when issue three will come out).
What kind of music do you listen to while you work?
Cody: Most people seem to gravitate towards something slow, or soft when they are working, and that's fine, I can do that too, but I generally gravitate towards faster paced stuff. My phone is always on shuffle so there is no one artist. It could be Paloma Faith, Dragonette, Penguin Prison or Erasure; as long as there is music I'm happy.
In ten years, if everything goes great with your projects, what does success look like? Where would you be, and what would you be drawing?
Cody: I hate this type of question! I honestly don't know. For the most part my art has always been for me, it's topics or ideas that I think are fun. It's a style that I find captivating and want to recreate. I guess success would be finding an audience that is in to the same stuff as me and wants to buy my art.
If you could bring back one thing from the past, what would it be?
Cody: I don't know if I'd want to bring anything back; the past kind of sucks. I guess maybe more of men's fashion that has gone by the wayside would be nice. A lack of yoga pants would likely improve my quality of life too.
Do you have any advice for aspiring creators?
Cody: Keep creating. Keep exploring. Keep practicing. Keep looking. Just keep at it!
You can check out Cody's personal site at www.codyshipman.com.