CCAD grad rediscovers his voice by revisiting his teenage years

As recently as last year, Cody Bond wasn't happy with the art he was making.

“At the start of 2017, I just thought, ‘I don't like how my style looks right now,'” said Bond, who graduated from CCAD in 2012. “I was looking for something that felt like me.”

In order to rediscover his voice as an artist, Bond returned to his teenage years.

The trip back wasn't always pleasant. Bond's parents divorced when he was young, and, as a result, he grew up in a low-income family. It was also a solitary time. Not that Bond didn't have friends, but he recalled spending a lot of time with a Nintendo videogame system and watching TV — specifically '90s-era Nickelodeon cartoons.

“That gross-out style of cartoon, those were what I watched, and those were my influences,” Bond said, adding that he made a “deliberate choice” to investigate those influences and how they might impact the art he was making now.

That's, presumably, how he ended up with GIFs titled “Bev Bighead Walk Cycle,” “Self Portrait Explosion” and “Glorp the Cyclops Slime Mage” on his home page at lolcodybond.com.

Making animation is a return to the past for Bond, as well.

“I played around with animation when I was young. We had this big, old, blocky gray computer, and I made cartoons with PowerPoint,” he said. “When I was 12 or 13, I was totally going to be an animator, but it was a phase I grew out of.”

He wasn't even considering going to college, given his family's financial situation, until his senior year in high school, when an art teacher suggested he consider dropping the class. Bond took it as a challenge, earned numerous awards that year and ended up at CCAD, where he “didn't take a single animation class,” he said. “Very dumb.”

All this led to a realization. “I like making stuff that gets reactions out of people,” Bond said.

Bond said it's hard to say where the idea for each work comes from. “Mostly it's just what I think is a cool thing that I want people to look at,” he said. “It's nice to not clutter it with an explanation.”

A selection of looped GIFs by Bond will be among the work shown during a pair of screenings at Malt Adult #9, the latest iteration of the animation showcase started by local artist/animator Sarah Schmidt, which takes place Saturday, June 16.

“The animation scene in Columbus might still seem small, but each screening we showcase one or two local animators who are pushing it,” Schmidt said. “It has been the coolest thing not only to see friends give animation a try … but also to meet a bunch of new Columbus animators.”