Everyone say hi to Cody Ryan and their cover artwork ‘opUS’ (get it?).
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m your boiler plate struggling uni student who’s almost at the end of their degree and is trying to get by. I study psychology but I’ve always loved art. When I’m not studying, I love my late 90’s-early 00’s anime, spending time with my lovely partner Jamilah, and playing way too much Smash with a few of my friends. There’s probably more that I could say but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
This will be the second time Cody’s art has been featured on the cover of Opus. Can you tell us what went into this collage creation?
I had taken a real interest in the covers of past Opus magazines, so I really wanted to pay homage to the decades long history of student cover artists I’ve also had the privilege of being a part of. To do that, I combed through decades of past issues online to find the letters I eventually used for the “OPUS” title. I also wanted to include a diverse group of students, so I reached out to every club/society I could and used something from everybody that got back to me, no matter their quality or size. This meant I had to leave some of them small or a bit pixelated looking, but I really wanted to honour those who got back to me with some photos. That didn’t fill the page up though, so I took a lot of photos of folks who are dear to me and sprinkled them throughout. They’ve been a huge part of me finding amazing communities since moving here from the USA, so I was happy to include them too. I really poured over this one for a while, and it was a bit of a leap for me stylistically, but I’m really proud of it and I think I accomplished what I set out to do. I hope the folks I included feel like they were represented well :).
What does community mean to you?
Something I’ve been trying to do more the last few years is intentionally foster community where I can. Learning to create connections with those around me to build networks of support and friendship has been a challenge, but I’m getting better at it, and have a lot of amazing people around me to show for it. I hope to help people harness the same feeling through my professional life as a psychologist but also just as a person in my day-to-day life.
Since your last interview with us, have you noticed any changes or growth in your creative process and skills?
I’ve just been playing around with some collage stuff as you can see. Art is like anything, you kind of bounce around at what’s interesting in the moment and hopefully you get some really cool stuff out of it. I don’t think my art has ever quite had a linear path in terms of progression or growth, which in a way is nice. It’s nice not to put pressure on myself to always be “progressing” or always have the next one be better than the last. I’m just happy to be creating stuff and if people enjoy or get some value out of it then that’s just icing on the cake.
Do you have a uni or life-hack you’d like to share with students reading?
When I’m doing intensive study sessions, or I feel like I need a bit more structure, I use the 45-15 method. It’s basically 45 minutes on and 15 minutes off, which conveniently fits 1 Grand Prix in Maro Kart. This works best when my friend Jordan is with me because she’s the only one I’ve found that can *sometimes* beat me.
And finally, where can people find you?
They can find me on Instagram @thebigseed! I post my art stuff along with whatever else because I try not to take the art too seriously, it is a hobby for me after all. Other than that, I’m pretty much always in the library or the pie shop.
To read Cody’s previous cover art Q&A, check out Issue 16: Future from Opus’ 2022 print collection.