We had the good fortune of connecting with Cody Vondell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cody, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think one of the key elements of success in your brand is to stay active in communities, create work that other people want to engage with, and engage as much as possible with other people and brands you admire. Staying active in various online art and music communities has helped me become friends with some very talented creators and land some great gigs over the years.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I began with art and piano lessons during my elementary years. My mom really pushed me into the creative environment by putting me in these extra curricular courses, playing recitals and taking me to art museums. My dad and all of my uncles are musicians, so I had instruments and records everywhere growing up. Movies and music of the 80’s, new millennium energy of the 90’s, and my coming of age during the wild west years of 2000’s internet all have become a central focus of my work.
I always knew I wanted to pursue my creative efforts as a career. I was making up cartoon characters, stories, and writing melodies on the piano through out my elementary and middle school years; trying to emulate pop culture and science fiction from movies, comics, and music I’d watch. During high school I played guitar and keyboards in a band while learning to produce electronic music. My design work started with show flyers and album covers.
I studied graphic design in college, while I used my downtime to network online, play gigs around the country with friends, and shoot music videos. After graduating, I moved from my hometown in Virginia to Atlanta, Georgia in 2014. I started selling my designs as merchandise on Etsy, and interacting with different emerging internet genres like Vaporwave, Lofi, Outrun, Synthwave, Acid Graphics, and Y2K Aesthetic.
My online presence in these art communities gave me opportunities to collaborate with some really talented, viral creators like Mike Diva and Adi Shankar. I’ve pulled my interests in various forms of design, fashion, music, animation and film into one business, and I freelance in different multimedia projects. My illustration, animation, and logo design includes work on Lil Nas X’s ‘Panini,’ The Lonely Island’s ‘Bash Bros’. and Comedy Central’s Clusterfest live visuals, Sofia Carson & Tiesto’s ‘Fool’s Gold,’ Demi Lovato & Marshmello’s ‘OK not to be OK,’ David Guetta & Sia’s ‘Lets Love,’ Kiesza’s Sensuum Defectui’ and some social media for Will Smith.
I recently finished up designing a ton of visuals for Regard, Troye Sivan, & Tate McRae’s new music video ‘You,’ I released a new line of holographic stickers on Etsy, and I’m about to shoot the music video for my next single “Me & You.”
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to fail constantly, because for every win there are a thousand losses. Experiment and explore new concepts, learn new mediums, and don’t forget why you began your creative process!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Obviously we’d have to start with some thrifting, record hunting, and dinner in Little 5. We might head up to Duluth at some point for some Iron Age. Hopefully we could catch a show at The Masquerade. Dragoncon is always a great time, so ideally con season would be a perfect time to visit. And if it’s their birthday, I’m taking them to the aquarium for a free birthday visit, haha! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout out to my family! They’ve have always been very encouraging and supportive of my various artistic endeavors growing up, and I’m very thankful for them.
Director Mike Diva Director Hannah Lux Davis