Cody Jimenez {E} Fine Artist Feature

Interview by Christina Diaz

Meet Cody Jimenez. He’s a talented upcoming artist who submitted to {E} via email. He is 23 years young and is from Eagle Pass, Texas and currently resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is currently pursuing a BFA in painting at New Mexico University. Keep reading to learn some more about what inspires Cody to create.

{E}: What got you interested in art?
CJ: Ultimately it was the illustrations in comic books that got me interested in art when I was really young. The stories and the varying ways super heroes, villains, and worlds were created really got me interested in that line of art.

{E}: Were you artistic as a child?
CJ: I was! I drew superheroes, dinosaurs, and monsters when I was about 5 or 6 years old. As I got older, I also drew a lot of cartoon characters. I drew a lot of Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, and Spider-Man things to name a few. I got better at drawing as I got older, but with no real direction. In high school, writing music became a priority more so over art, but I still drew whatever came to mind. I worked on a lot of ink and watercolor illustrations while in high school, some I surprisingly still enjoy now. I even made a decent-sized comic about zombie utensils for my final during my senior year. I may have to revisit that and maybe follow through with making a book. It is as ridiculous as it sounds.

{E}: Are you self-taught or did you attend a trade school?
CJ: Both. I was always drawing cartoon characters trying to get them “right” while having fun with it. I am currently in my last year of college at New Mexico State University, pursuing my BFA in painting. My first year of college I was majoring in graphic design without really knowing what it was at the time. I just kind of assumed it was “digital art” for one reason or another. I took my first oil painting class during that first year and I fell in love with it. I’ve had some incredible and supportive instructors that have given me great advice over the past few years.

{E}: How has your art e-volved over the years?
CJ: My artwork has e-volved in a lot of ways! I used to tackle any idea that I liked, which made for lots of random paintings and drawings that looked vastly different from each other. Over a year ago I noticed that what comes natural to me is anything dark and creepy, literally or figuratively. And I enjoyably embrace that, like the band Journey, with Open Arms. I was lucky enough to be encouraged by a few people to take a workshop with the amazing artist David Kassan last year. Taking this class really opened up a different world to me. I gained a lot of experience from him that I am thankful for. Since then I have really focused in my level of work and consistency. I am working much harder and constantly pushing my abilities.

{E}: How would you describe your artwork?
CJ: I would describe it as in the realm of realism. I suppose representational and surreal, touching on darker subjects while being full of wonder, struggle, and narrative. I enjoy creating stories in the small way I can on these canvases, panels, and papers. Phantasmagorical is a fun word that I like to use now.

{E}: What inspires you?
CJ: Many things. Maybe everything does, in a way. What I can cohesively say is my family, my girlfriend, our 3-year-old daughter, friends, artists, music, comic books, cartoons, and animals. A lot of that is vague, I know. The way a lot of people I know work so hard for what they love is inspiring, which is probably the biggest source of motivation. Of course another inspiration is artwork that is amazing and the way those artists go about making a super painting/drawing/tattoo/whatever. What humans can do is inspiring. My friends and peers are inspiring, a lot of them are so dang talented at what they do and I’m thankful to know these people.

{E}: Whom are some of your favorite artists and why? Both ink and fine art.
CJ: Too many to list. I’m constantly finding more people to look into. Thank you, Internet and E-VOLVED Magazine. Ben Templesmith, he was one of the first illustrators that I got into when I was in high school and made me realize any artist can write their own stories if they have one to tell. Greg Simkins, his artwork made me want to be able to paint in a realistic style when I first saw them in 2009. His narratives, level of detail, and creativity just blow me away. Every time I look at his paintings, there is always something new to find. David Kassan, his approach to painting is just incredible and practically everything that guy does is amazing and full of life. He is an awesome person too, very humble and friendly. There is a lot to learn from him. Erik Jones, I was following his work for sometime and in the past year and a half his process has become insane. He creates these beautiful portraits and then covers them up with a crazy, controlled mess of paint and they end up being unbelievably beautiful. Those are just a few of the working artists that I enjoy. As far as older artists, I say Caravaggio because of his use of chiaroscuro. Another would be Hieronymus Bosch, his compositions and demon-creatures are always amazing, crazy and funny.

{E}: Where and when did you get your first tattoo? Who did it? Tell me about this first ink experience.
CJ: I got my first tattoo when I was 18 and I got it here in Las Cruces, NM, his name is Ian and sadly I don’t know if he is still residing here. I got the outline of a good-sized chest piece that was supposed to end up as a realistic heart and some lyrics. It still is just the line work now. I never had the time or money to get to finish it afterwards. Whenever I get the time and money, I definitely want to change up the layout of it a bit and finish it. I’m hoping to start up a tattoo apprenticeship during the summer before I graduate, but we will see what happens.

See more of Cody’s work at:

Cody Jimenez {E} Fine Artist Feature