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Meet Will Cordell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Will Cordell.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was pretty void of Disney movies as a kid, and really only thrived off of all the Tim Burton movies. (That probably should explain a lot.) I spent a lot of early childhood years making stop-motion videos of my own and making characters in Microsoft Paint. I would have lost my mind if I knew what Photoshop was capable of back then haha.

Later, I had the privilege of having very inspirational high school art teachers who invested in my work and valued it extensively. I had to have drawn every day throughout most of my classes than as a form of escapism (as it goes). It was a way for me to pause my surroundings and invest in a fictional realm, which really stands true today. My art is a strange trap door I can go through, spend some time problem-solving and having fun in, and then resurface I’m ready.

A few years later, I ended up studying illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where I turned my hobby into something of professional aspiration. There, I became very consciously aware of the style I had built up, and where I could take it. Seeing the effect it had on others was really enough to keep me drawing most every day. I grew to love a variety of image-making methods and changed my approach nearly every year I was studying. I wouldn’t trade where my portfolio ended up upon graduation for anything. It was all worth it.

Now, I’m starting the next chapter as a working professional in the field. I’m excited to see where it takes me.

Please tell us about your art.
I make detailed, strange characters and the worlds they might inhabit.

The act of sitting down and creating artwork has really given me a “sandbox” state of mind for my imagination to splash around in. Because I’m such a people watcher, I have really been fascinated with drawing crowd scenes lately. I love giving viewers strange encounters to stubble upon when scoping out the work up close. I really want to reward them with giving my work the time of day, so there’s usually a lot going on in hidden spaces.

I’m very inspired by sci-fi comics, vintage monster movies, and everything a little bit freaky and off-beat. The purpose of me doing all this is simply for me to return to that sense of childlike wonder, and hopefully give people looking at the work the same vibe. I really just have fun making these drawings, and the reaction it’s gotten has just been a really big bonus. I’m very thankful for where it’s gone so far, but I feel like I’m still just really starting up.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think that Instagram is really redefining the way people process the whole “art” thing (and not exactly in a favorable way).

I have seen many artists changing their personal style to tend to aesthetics made by more viral artists. There becomes an internal dialogue that leads us to believe our personal style is not good enough if it doesn’t get x amount of likes. The work changes to be more like our “famous” role models and thus- loses our personal flare. That’s some dangerous thinking. If you copy someone else’s work, you can only really be second best.
Stay true to your original aesthetic style and avoid down-cycling other’s work out of envy.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I post pretty often on @willdrawsthings on Instagram. You can catch process videos and announcements there.
Additionally, you can find my regularly updated portfolio at www.willcordell.com.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
all images taken and created by Will Cordell

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