Creative Spotlight w/ Cyrus Cords

Thanks for joining us on another Creative Spotlight in which we showcase an aspiring or professional artist, getting their unique perspective on what shapes their creative world. This week's column spotlights Cyrus Cords and his newest animated project, Junkyard Kids. Cyrus was generous enough to spare some of his time and grant you readers a special sneak peek behind the scenes.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Well I grew up and currently live in Central Minnesota. My wife, Sarah and I have two daughters, Aliyah is 8 and Ava is 2. I work for a newspaper company as the "Webmaster" which I love my title because most people tease me and call me a "Jedi Geek". I don't get it. Most of my animation background is "self taught" which just means I have read and studied a lot of great work by a lot very inspirational artist. So in other words I was indirectly trained by the best is the business (wink). As an artist I enjoy all forms of art but my true love is cartoon animation and design.

What made you first want to be an artist/animator?
As a kid my twin brother and I spent a lot of time drawing pictures for our family members who were very supportive of our efforts. The attention that my art got fueled my "attention starved ego" as a kid but eventually I realized that I could tell stories and inspire thought through my art which became my biggest driving factor.

Apart from being animation, what else do you do?
I am a designer both print and web. Outside all of that I love spending time with my family out at the lake. My newest hobby is brewing beer with my brothers and I have to say there is something very rewarding about this new hobby, I'm just not sure what it is yet.

Describe your creative process.
My creative process usually starts at about 3 in the morning when I wake up with an idea and can't fall back to sleep. After writing it down and getting a good night sleep I begin looking for inspiration to flesh out the idea. When developing the story I rely on life experience but when developing the characters I use a mixture of people I know and long thought about what the character is all about and how they have come to be this person or thing. After fleshing out those to aspects I determine what design style will best suite the story. In some case like with Junkyard Kids there are multiple design approaches that help tell the story. For example the junkyard, kids and Oldman Piper will have a grungy, dirty look compared to the city and Fairville citizens which will help them to be sort of outsiders and cast in a lesser light helping to give a separation.

What's your favorite animation or short film?
I would have to say one of my favorite shorts is Goofy's How to Play Baseball but there are so many.

You're currently working on a short called Junkyard Kids. Can you tell our readers a little more about the premise and who the main characters are?
Junkyard Kids follows the misadventures of a "girl genius", an absent-minded boy wonder, and a big hearted, always hungry friend and his dog as they turn junk into jewels in the seaside town of Fairville. This trio of best friends is determined to re-invent the junk found at Old Man Piper's junkyard into useful, fun, and crazy new items. Their goal is to expose the corrupt Mayor and show the Fairville community how wonderful it is to recycle, while having all sorts of fun adventures.

You've flipped the stereotypical gender roles on their head by featuring a strong lead female with male friends/sidekicks. Are these characters inspired at all by friends you had growing up?
The lead character is actually inspired by my girls. Watching my girls interact with my nephews I realized that girls are kind of natural leaders and thinkers. It seems that my girls are always calculating and they know how to get what they want. Girls in my opinion are more complicated then boys, boys seem to just go at it where girls see a bigger picture and different ways to approach the situation.

I understand that you're seeking funding for this project on IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. In what way can our readers contribute to your project and how will those funds be used?
If people are able to financially support our efforts that is great. All the funding that is given to Junkyard Kids will go to pay talent and to purchase some equipment. But the most important way people can help is by spreading the word. I get that most people can't afford to throw money at this but they may know some one who can. Any critiques and ideas are also very helpful and anyone who helps in that fashion will be recognized as well with credit for the idea. If you would like to help on this project please drop me a line with how you would like to help. I would never ask anyone to do something for free but if I can raise funds maybe I can afford to pay some starving artist out there.

In closing, what's the strangest thing you remember doing as a kid?
There is to many to name but I do remember trying to piss on an electric fence to see if I would get shocked. I was to young to realize what I would use that thing for later in life.

For more about Junkyard Kids, be sure to check out the official blog and to help support Cyrus make sure to visit him on Facebook and IndieGoGo.


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails