Cory Godbey lives in South Carolina with his wife Erin Elizabeth and his cats Harrel Whittington and James. He first discovered his love for drawing while in math class and soon after that began drawing pictures for elementary textbooks. Cory went to college to study old drawings by well-known artists, and he says he still looks at these old drawings when he runs out of ideas. He enjoys lively accordion music, pasta, and when it rains at night.
Hi Cory! How are you?
Hey, I’m doing great! Thanks for having me.
Is there anything you don’t enjoy drawing? And why?
Hm. That’s a good question. Probably not something overly cute. I imagine that’d be no fun. I’m not sure if there’s anything I don’t like to draw. I’ll let you know if I run across it.
What do you feel are the best conditions to work in?
Where I’ve got quiet, minimal interruptions, and some music playing or a movie to listen to.
Do you have a pre-work ritual, or are there certain working conditions that that you can’t do without?
Not really, so long as I can have something to draw on I’m usually doing good.
You seem to spend a lot of time documenting the process of your work. Do you enjoy teaching? Do you feel like you ought to be passing on your knowledge to other people?
Yeah, it can be pretty time consuming but I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about documenting my work. It seems to have helped some people and that was my goal. I struggled by myself for a few weeks through photoshop trying to learn it so if I’ve helped someone through that I’m pleased. I wanted to make a sort of catalogue of studies to give to anyone who wanted a boost in Photoshop. I have taught some classes on cartoons and illustration in the past. Teaching was a lot of fun.
If it happens at all… How do you deal with running out of inspiration?
I’ve usually got three of four different projects going at once so there’s always something to do. Whether it’s a work job or personal or planning a show, I’ve got backlog of pieces to work on. I just work through my list. But sometimes you just don’t feel like doing anything productive. That’s when you pull out the Nintendo.
Is there a colour you can’t live without?
I like blue.
Name 5 things you enjoy looking at.
My wife. Watercolor as it’s drying. Michelangelo’s sculptures. Classical realism in general. When a painting starts coming together.
What’s the secret to be able to make a living as an illustrator?
Making the right friends in high school. The sort who will make a company for you to work at! Well, that’s true, but really just working hard. Getting yourself out there.
Is there a skill you lack that you always wanted to have?
I took lessons as a kid and hated it but I’d love to be able to play piano now.
Do you ever dream what you draw or draw what your dream?
I do usually get some ideas right before falling asleep. But I can’t say I’ve ever drawn a dream. My dreams are terribly mundane.
What should we know about South Carolina?
Well, it’s humid. But it’s also close to the beach and mountains, if you like those sort of things. It’s nice.
Is there a story behind your cats’ names?
Harrell is named for Harrell Whittington, my printmaking professor in school. James is named for James Bond. Because he has gold colored eyes. GoldenEye. Yup. You get it.