An interview with Cody Hudson
We asked Cody some questions in preparation for his PEACE POT PLANT exhibition opening on November 18th at Public Land Gallery, which can be read here....
Can you tell us about the work that will be in the PEACE POT PLANT show at Public Land Gallery? How will these pieces be different from your first show at PL?
This show is very much a continuation of the last project we did together. The drawings have changed quite a bit in the last couple years but they are made in a similar style and the focus of them is still mainly potted plants. With these new ones though i've introduced some new drawings of desert rock formations as well. Also the more of these I make, the more they change. There tends to be small series within the larger series that happen as I explore one style until I feel it’s time to move on and start making different ones. Sometime that lasts for one night, other times ill make similar drawings for weeks at a time.
What is it about the PEACE POT PLANT drawings that differ from the rest of your practice?
These began during the pandemic when I was staying at the Wisconsin studio for an extended period of time. I would make a handful of these each night as a way to end the day. The idea was to do drawings before going to bed instead of watching the news or looking at my phone. I still make these in the same way. All the ones from this series are made in Wisconsin still and all made at night. Most of my other work I do is shape based and I do lots of studies and overthink all the colors and layouts before ever painting something. With this series I wanted it to be the opposite, I wanted to just make them quickly and experiment with the line work and really just enjoy the process of drawing without worrying about actually doing anything with them or how they look. I hadn’t really even planned on showing them originally but after I posted a few online, people got excited about them and that led to the first show of these we did together.
Congratulations on your new book released through Hat & Beard Press… Can you tell us a little about this project?
It’s more of an overview of studio work and public projects from the last 7 years. It seemed like a nice way to present this recent body of work in a nice compact format. I wanted it to feel more like an art catalog of the last few years instead of being a general book about all my work. I really wanted to focus on the paintings and sculptures in this one. JC from Hat & Beard and I had been talking about books for ages and started working on this one a few years back. I'm very excited to get this recent work out into the world in book form.
You are a multidisciplinary artist, working in painting, design, sculpture, printmaking, curation, art direction, branding and much more, and you have several ongoing projects. How do you balance the work load and make it look so easy?
Ha ha, not sure I make it look easy but I do tend to work on quite a few different things everyday. It’s a pretty boring answer but I just schedule things out in blocks of time each day and spread my time around to whats needed the most. I also try to be very careful with my schedule and not take on too much work if I know It will negatively effect other projects I already have in the works. I also keep a pretty standard schedule and go in to the studio M-F first thing in the morning after dropping my kids off at school.
As you continue to explore and depict various flora, are there any species that are catching your attention at the moment?
I actually know very little about plants. I really like them and have a studio full of them but I’m not an expert at all. Some of the plants I draw are ones I’ve seen in photos but a lot of them are more imaginary versions of plants. I dont try to draw specific ones that often as that would make me slow down and try to focus on details instead of just letting the hand loose to make marks.
What excites and inspires you right now?
I try to get outside when I can early in the day, I like hiking and kayaking in Wisconsin or riding my bike in Chicago before everyone in the house is awake. It helps to start the day with some mental clarity. I listen to music all day in the studio every day and that tends to slowly work its way into the work. I usually start with a good 2-4 hours of more ambient music to start things off then move into other genres from there. The Trailhead radio show Jeff Conklin does weekly is one of my favorite things to start the week off with. I spent a lot of time looking at art books and enjoy spending time at museums and seeing gallery shows, pretty normal stuff but seeing other art usually gets me excited to make some myself.