FOR YOU FANS & COLLECTORS
JMAMUSE IS GETTING TO KNOW
THE (EROTIC) ART OF CODY SEEKINS
INTRO AND INSPIRATION
Hi Cody, first thank you so much for taking part of Jmamuse interview. Greatly appreciate it.
Just to know a bit more about where you are coming from, and extend to what we already know. While you are quite well traveled, spending time in Southeast + East Asia and Australasia, Central and North America… Not to mentioned that you lived and studied in a few european and american big cities… However, I am a believer in what we chose to be the reason or the excuse for our behaviour. Your style might be influenced by culture, education, childhood but mostly, today what makes you chose your ground? How is your chosen environment + your surrounding contribute into establishing or assume your core values, life style and purpose along with firing your creative process?
Thank you also for your deep appreciation and interest in the work that I do. I also agree that to a very great extent, whether fully conscious or not, our own volition plays a significant role in the culmination of environments, experiences, and ultimately values, lifestyle, and cultivation of purpose. Our essential nature attracts us to a proprietary lifestyle as we test and gauge the world through the aging process.
I think ultimately it would be safe to say that my choice of alignment to a value system involves the notion of personal agency, and a vision of a community which can comprehend and even contribute inter-dependently to such agency.
In my understanding such agency is fundamentally the right and responsibility of a given being to recognize their nature, and to explore themselves and their universe with sincerity.
To this extent I often choose environments that allow me the room to focus without too much distraction. I enjoy being surrounded by cultures which have a more or less live and let live attitude, tempered by a genuine and respectful sensitivity to their communal surroundings. This is a very fancy way of saying I look for peace and quiet.
Human environments are heavily cultured products of intelligence stemming from an evolved hominid frame. I find that, for me, too much exposure to synthesized, manufactured and produced forms and environments can seriously reduce my ability to find creative inspiration, even though they are often fantastic for acquiring reference points or visual anchors for a work of art. I attribute this to the fact that I must collapse the potential of my creative vision very specifically to render an objective structure. To seriously reach into the depths and return with an authentic artifact, I must have some kind of space to access which is reasonably void of human convention.
This explains why I like access to the beach and open skies. The primordial symmetry of water and sky out to perceived infinity, like the edge of the world, with the water reflecting and engaging the shifting atmosphere, very easily sets my mind into a dynamic, expanded awareness.
Ideally, having a good balance between open natural vistas and the physical structures of humans is key. In this way I can access a sense of autonomous intimacy with the universe and relate it as a visual transform to my experience as a member of civilization.
Loving your style quite a lot Cody and as you know my personal favorite is Auto-Erotic Sphinx. Quite a fit with Jmamuse’s current direction. So when I see pieces like Auto-Erotic Sphinx, Dionysus, or The Moth Catcher, and then Phra Nang Farang, Scion of a Budgie-Sattva and The Death of a Budgie-Sattva, there is definitely a consistant and recognizable gesture and colour palet through your body of work. This being said it seems like you split your work in two distinct mindsets and although both seems to come from two different places, they visit each other quite often. Can you get us to understand and get closer to those two different moods?
Thank you! 🙂
This dualism is part of a continuum between non-objective psychedelia, and objective representation. The variety of my experiences within this life are conveyed through a variety within my imagery. I cycle between “the walls melting” and being a functional citizen of this Earth. That cycle is reflected within my oeuvre.
Yet, as you note, there is an underlying character, in the use of color, or symbolism, even composition, which ties the works together. Out of a dynamo of impressions, I am constantly constructing and modifying a personal cosmology which provides that connective tissue. As with physics and psychology, there are seminal relationships which form the appearance at the surface of any phenomena. In each painting there are rule sets which come to be; shaping the evolution of the image through the successive paint layers. I also employ the use of allusion visually, which is an influence from my early interest in literature.
In a near future, do you see yourself introducing new interests and influences through your work that could surprise us? In other words, today, will your current inspirations and growing body-of-work remain as the current Cody Seekings we know or do you plan to throw us off, destabilizing your fans and collectors with something completely new? Anything you’d like to announce?
Very good question. I think there is the potential for a bit of all that you describe. There will definitely be some surprises up ahead. I expect within a year or two to begin developing a more ambitious series of paintings which will perhaps relate to my current figurative images but will also stand firmly on their own. This will be a very important culmination for me into a sort of declaration through art. I could see greater influence from some of my travels–perhaps more substantial incorporation of Anime in some cases. Additionally, I hope to find time to focus on learning more programming and application development, which could potentiate some form of artistic result.
Also, reading and writing was my first love. I intend to slowly flesh out and finish a quasi-fiction novel I am working on.
At any time it is conceivable that, just for some amusement, I might produce a quick body of conceptual art pieces, to play the provocateur. In such a case I might veer entirely out of painting altogether, but these I would refuse to sell to anyone I respect.
How do you wish people feel or understand when looking at a piece you’ve put all your sweat and passion into?
For the most part, my only preference is that people not be afraid to explore the imagery. There are certain works, like “Auto-Erotic Sphinx”, which can be difficult for some viewers to process. Sometimes the works of mine which imply something sensual or erotic, particularly when it relates to the coming of age impressions of my inner child, can threaten art venues. I have had works hidden in corners, or even closets. “Auto-erotic Sphinx”, during a solo show, was placed on a very peripheral wall. The funny thing was that there is no genitalia or fully disclosed nudity in the image–and yet a different artist, a printmaker, had work shown throughout the venue with images of giant cocks and swastikas. I think what often happens is that I don’t fully collapse the potential for the audience–my image allows for interpretation. There is a knee-jerk reaction, and that scares some people. I would advise that people be patient and move past any knee-jerk impressions. Most will find they will then discover more layers, and can enjoy a very personal visual adventure.
I want people to understand that I am serious about what I do with my oil paintings. It is rewarding to find patrons and followers of the work who appreciate that, from whatever their disposition or perspective.
Your website https://www.codyseekins.com looks quite organized and per our email conversation you seem to be deeply involved in your career and quite on top of your game. Marketing yourself quite well, you are exposed in a few galleries and magazines. Congratulation. A growing venture towards greater career horizons. Is there developing new opportunities for you around and what are your plans to finance your talent growth further down the line?
I am very lucky to have a web designer for a fiancé. His business can be found at https://www.boltonstudios.com.
In terms of financing future endeavors, I am interested in building toward multiple stable and strong revenue streams. Such financing may come about through peripheral activities which I incorporate into the Art of Cody Seekins, as a sort of umbrella legacy. In general I plan to continue being creative, sharing my efforts, and finding new skills from which to build something new.
Is freelancing and taking commissions a greater or a smaller or not part of your current income? What are your main revenue streams and is there any financial tips for talents that’d like to follow your path?
I find that there is a mix of patrons who are interested in originals and prints. Prints and posters, though, definitely constitute at this point the majority of my sales. I also do some freelance work on the side.
As far as financial tips; I am not really the best source for such advice as a fine artist. Let’s be real–there is a caste system when it comes to this business, and on average being a con artist is truly more lucrative–that is if you intend to occupy an elite position. Learn the formulas of concept art, trendiness, and contemporary art, and then apply them, badly. Make sure to insult the intelligence of your audience. Be specious. Produce a grotesque amount of poorly rendered imagery (or better yet, pay someone else $5 to do them), then tie those to a statement filled with targeted key words. Be smart when you plagiarize. Then, see and be seen, as much as possible. Sleep with patrons if you have to. Take all the drugs offered. Work your way up to overdosing with a hooker on a yacht. Be glamorous!
As for me; I do what I love, and I don’t compromise that. If I die in the gutter, or live in a mansion because of it, then so be it. I would only say to someone who would want to follow my path–be prepared to do your best, and to authenticate your world, at all costs. Do not expect a return. Enjoy your life, and your art! Make them virtually inseparable. Respect yourself, but don’t think too much of yourself. Cultivate your faculties and apply them with dedicated awareness. Know that you can become something more or different than what you are or have been through the application of your choices, and then design your future with volition.
Now, make sure that before you put in too much of an investment, you genuinely understand your personal motivation for making the art. Fine art might not be the path to satisfy your calling. If your sole interest is in productive financial success, get into commercial illustration, animation, or graphic design. Or better yet, get into the tech sector, mathematics, engineering, or physics.
THE DREAM CLIENT
Who is your dream client and how does he behave towards your creative vision?
My dream clients know themselves and know what they like. They understand what they resonate with and they know the value of what a fine art piece entails. A dream client is one who genuinely gains some satisfaction from their purchase. I like my efforts to be fruitful to my buyers.
J Your 2015/16 favorite Color mix ?
CS Too much variety to choose!
J What graphic tablet do you use ?
CS Wacom 13HD
J Top most favorite art softwares ?
CS The Adobe Suite is great. Autodesk Sketchbook isn’t bad either. I’m curious about Blender.
J Your favorite digital brush?
CS Ask me again in two years.
J Your Favorite physical brush (Brand and Specs?) ?
CS I often use a Chinese brand of Martol brushes from Hong Kong. They are temperamental, and shed terribly, but I love them. I also use a variety of other brands with no particular favorites. I have new pet brushes every couple paintings.
J Best world destination ?
CS I love a couple choice destinations in Thailand.
J What gets you horny ?
CS Generally? Young men clean of spirit, with smooth skin, untamed hair, and a playful smile. Specifically? My fiancé.
J Best erotica piece you’ve scene? ( can be a poem, a book, craft, painting, a show etc.)ids ?
CS Unfortunately not much really stands out to me. Probably because the vast majority of the stuff I am exposed to is heterosexual, and gay stuff can be terribly campy. That being said, perhaps the most exquisitely sensual, surreal, and erotic paintings I’ve had the pleasure to see live, come from an artist in Bangkok named Prateep Kochabua
J Body part that turns you on ?
CS It depends on the person. Jawline, eyes, lips, nape of the neck, legs, ass, abs, lower back, in no particular order.
J The most crazy thing you’ve ever experienced ? Can be anything.
CS I can’t decide between the witnessing of ghosts, UFO’s, or seeing the (for lack of a better description), “fiber optic lines and bundles, which move simultaneously forward and backward relative to our projected 3dimensional space and its procession(time)”.
Your best advice for eventual success and exposure from a mentor (Feel free to explain who he is) and your own best experienced advice for your fellow illustrators.
I don’t have much of a single mentor I would cite in this regard. I will cite a fantastic education at the Academy of Art University, however. A variety of instructors at that institution really put serious effort into their classes.
The most typical advice is to create, create often, and keep up your professional practices and presentations. These are good to maintain, for sure.
Thanks to you as well, Louca!
I will be a featured artist at the Hive Gallery & Studios this October 11th, 2016. Here’s a poster image for that event, or you can go to https://www.hivegallery.com for more information as it becomes available:
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