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Daily Inspiration: Meet Cody Maple

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cody Maple.

Hi Cody, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Thanks for the opportunity! I grew up in Memphis, the son of a photographer and an English teacher/housekeeper. I was surrounded by and connected to some pretty well-known artists and photographers from an early age until present day. This had a big impact on my development as an artist, designer, and photographer. Since this is a Memphis-focused piece, I will speak a lot about the city. I am very proud of my roots in Memphis. It is a unique city with many struggles and it epitomizes the mindset of those who live and work there. Everyone in Memphis has to hustle, grind, and work hard. I never forget where I came from.

I got into the arts the day I was born and it has stuck with me for life. I was fortunate to attend the best schools in the city where I was surrounded by bright and talented students—academically, artistically, and athletically. I am super fortunate to have had the education that I received. Many people choose to leave Memphis upon graduation; I chose to stay. I received a full-tuition visual arts scholarship to my hometown college, the University of Memphis. While in college I studied abroad in France for 2 years and received additional degrees in French and Spanish.

Upon graduation, I took a great job in Sarasota, Florida where I stayed for 7 years. I then decided to pack my bags and move to Oregon to be surrounded by mountains and wildlife. I grew up kayaking and climbing mountains in Arkansas and East Tennessee. The outdoors and adventure is a huge part of my life. I travel the world to remote and challenging locations such as Mongolia, Namibia and many other far flung countries. In many ways, Oregon is the wilderness that serves as my homebase. But, I never forget my Memphis roots and am forever proud to represent my city. Go Grizzlies and Go Tigers!

Regarding the purposes of this interview, I will focus on my illustration work, although I am a designer by trade. My illustration is unique. I complete a grid within which I create an image based on reference. I go into each square and meticulously fill them in with line work of varying sizes and shapes. The last step is to go back and add shading all while paying close attention to detail. This process takes a very long time. My work can be found on my website at Select originals are available for sale. I have a store on my site where prints and framed options can be purchased. For the crypto-savvy crowd, my work can be found on as NFTs.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I have faced many challenges and have worked tirelessly for what I have with no handouts or giveaways. I am fortunate to have had amazing and supportive parents and also great teachers and mentors. Growing up in Memphis is hard. It is a city that will break you and steal everything you have if you don’t watch your back. It is also a city that will build strong values and character. Memphis is often misunderstood and overlooked. So too are those who live there. This fuels the underdog mentality that all Memphians have.

One struggle of being an illustrator or an artist is that you probably aren’t going to get noticed unless you have a lot of money, a huge talent, a lot of followers, connections, etc. It’s a tough game. Most often it needs to be a combination of many thing. However, it takes time. My best advice is to stick with it and don’t give up. Ignore what the haters say. Don’t let people pick on you, put you down, or get in your way. Have faith that the work you do in the dark will one day shine under a bright light.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am an artist, designer, and photographer. My father blessed me with incredible talent and my mother with her work ethic. The combination has put me in a good place in terms of my career. I am very proud of all that I have accomplished. I wear many hats in the jobs I get and I often work multiple gigs simultaneously. I am known for being a solid designer who is fast and makes little to no errors. Efficiency is my game.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I appreciate working with people who are well-organized, easy-going, and have their ducks in a row. It makes for a far more efficient and expedient process. When stuff is poorly managed or disorganized, it causes unnecessary pain points. I make all efforts to be accommodating and humorous in my approach to how I manage myself and others.

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