Para leer la entrevista en español, haz clic aquí.
Codiblack, also known as Claudia to some, is a new force in art that evokes empathy with her artwork. A survivor of a major heartbreak that helps fuel her to develop this new style of kawaii, vaporwave and a classic 90’s aesthetic to pull at the strings of the soul. She is originally from Venezuala, then moving to Valencia, then to Barcelona, and now settled in London. She indulges in friends, family, and good food, in correspondence with her; I almost didn’t know where this quirky art of yesteryear that pulled at the attention of childhood could come from. Thankfully, she and I were able to connect about all the things that make Codiblack a name you should know.
Where does that name come from?
Codiblack is not a real personality; it’s an alter-ego that lets me channel my sadness. In real life, I am a positive and happy person that uses Codiblack to take out all the negative energy that I have in my life. The name’s origin by the way was from, Codi my dog who was black, so I mixed it to create that moniker.
When did you start taking an interest in art?
I studied advertising at university, and one of the options that I had was Art Direction, so obviously I had to study art and graphic design, but the person who really introduced me into the art scene was @neosoda, 4 years ago. He explained to me the real meaning of art, he showed me how to create art and invited me out to express with others in my area. I then discovered how much I enjoyed it, and I decided to continue for myself, looking for my own style and who I am as an artist.
Who are some artists that inspire you?
I get inspired so easily, so any kind of artist could contribute to my creation. But, if I had to choose one, I’ll say Brosmind. They’re 2 brothers from Spain who draw surreal comics, and they have their own unique style. The way that they show you the world is amazing, crazy and unique.
Your style is also very unique itself, in my opinion, the colors and nostalgia combine to make a sort of neo-funk/lo-fi vibe. How would you describe your art?
I don’t really know how to describe it; maybe I would say it’s a mix of Kawaii and Vaporwave? My art is a kind of critic/tribute about how much has changed in the world so fast. That society isn’t what it used to be, and now being a heartbreak soldier is trendy. That’s the reason that I mix old technology or ’90s aesthetic with sadness. I have to continue to work really hard to find out who I am truly as an artist.
Where does that come from, and how did you develop your talent?
4 years ago @neosoda showed me Vaporwave and I started creating a style based around that, but after some time, I realized that it wasn’t me, so I tried the Kawaii style but even there, I couldn’t find me. That’s when I decided to try to mix those two genres, Vaporwave and Kawaii; Now I’m happy with that and I’ve used to seriously learn how to draw, because I’ve never studied drawing before and I know that I still have a lot to learn. I don’t really know how to draw on paper, it’s a mess, thankfully I can continue to do it well in digital.
Is art an outlet for you, do you have a message or feelings that drive you to create?
Art is my hobby, my lifestyle and what feeds me. The motivation was a secret, but I’m taking power back by telling you; my art is inspired by my real feelings attached to the hardest breakup that I have faced in my life. With my art, I’m trying to take out all my sadness, and all my memories, that’s why all my drawings have a retro feel, because they take us back where only our memories exist. I use my sad characters, and all of those sad messages with a bright uplifting aesthetic. I aim to create messages that all heartbroken people, lovers, the lonely, would understand perfectly.
I better understand Claudia and my heart has a sadness that is made less lonely with each new piece she releases. I can’t say that the reason I listen to music isn’t for similar reasons that she creates art. I get a better chance to find out if she works from just courage as some do, or if she occasionally indulges in escape through cannabis. The truth being that she doesn’t need to, she uses her own art to escape and inspire herself.
Do you smoke cannabis? If not, what are your views on cannabis use?
I don’t smoke, I have made some brownies to share with my friends, but that’s not a usual thing for me. I think that everyone should be free and have their own lifestyle, and if they do it because they need it or they want it, everyone should respect those beliefs.
Laws on cannabis are different in Spain than here in Arizona, what is your opinion on those laws and differences?
I think cannabis is an alternative medicine, like reiki, medicinal flowers, and even tea, so I don’t really understand why Spain is so restrictive with it.
What do you think about the future of Cannabis in Spain?
I think it will be legalized in the end. Someday, and I think that cannabis will be seen in the same light as alcohol.
Do you think people have a right to try cannabis?
I think that the government shouldn’t get into citizens personal lives, and if their personal choice is trying cannabis, the government shouldn’t prohibit them.
Do you have anything new to share with people, any upcoming shows, projects, or places that people can see more of your art?
At the moment I’m working with a psychologist (Laura Ruiz psychology), the idea is to encourage people that would benefit from speaking to a psychologist but aren’t ready to reach out for help. I also recently started releasing my filters on Instagram. I’ll keep making those for sure in the future. I’m creating the branding for a startup and in the future I’ll collaborate in more ways with them on it. I’m also planning to move into artistic makeup and creative fashion but for the moment it’s on hold. I’m looking to collaborate with places like the SoHo House for workshops or expositions in the near future as well.
What are some of your hobbies, or favorite things to do?
In addition to art in general, I really love video games, anime, theatre, and dancing until my feet fall off.
What are some of your favorite films?
I really fall in love easily with movies, so it’s difficult for me to choose. For me, the kind of movie that I like the most are the ones which after seeing it, I still feel them in my soul. If I have to say 3 I’d say: Your name, Grave of the Fireflies, and Their Finest.
What books are you reading, or would you recommend?
At the moment I’m reading Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami, I haven’t finished it yet but for the moment: 10/10
What music are you listening to?
Uf… there’re a lot, trap, indie, rock, classics… It depends on my mood.
Waffles or Pancakes?
Pancakes 100%. I also love Waffles but the taste of pancakes gives me those memories from my childhood.
Any opinion on creating in a digital format? Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.?
I love it. I don’t really know how to illustrate on paper, and digital formats make it easier for me. I can express my real feelings 100%, I mostly Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but sometimes I also need elements from Premier or AfterEffects.
Museums or Food Trucks?
I wish there were food trucks inside museums 😛
The joy and privilege of an interview with Codiblack had renewed my need to follow through with my own art. In all forms and without depending on anything except a heart of steel like she does. It can be hard to talk to people who inspire you, but she is not the case, especially as one of those who are open to connect about their heart on their sleeve. If you grew in the last 30 years and need to feel less alone, check out codiblack online. See more of her recent work on Instagram @codiback and take time to connect with her better using a link in that bio that she generally uses to collaborate, interact, and connect with others: https://claudiaruizgamiz.cargocollective.com