I have a special treat for you today, my dear reader! It's an interview with Cody Willins of The Modern Art Shop! You may recognize his work from The Mindy Project and Project Runway, but if you don't then prepare to discover and fall in love with something new!
Check out the interview, lots of photos and an exclusive discount for The Modern Art Shop after the jump!
Share a little about your background and what led you to start the The Modern Art Shop
I grew up in a family of artists, surrounded by all things creative. I am a painter, photographer, and digital printmaker. As a life-long artist, I graduated from New Mexico State University with a BFA in painting. I’m inspired by the spacial relationships between color, line, and composition. With roots in traditional painting, I enjoy the challenge of combining fundamentals with technology in an abstract, modern application. Merging the lines between fine art, design and art for decor allows for a lot of discovery.
Where do you search for inspiration?
Of course, almost any art museum or gallery is a destination of choice. I also like to grab the camera and hit the road to explore hidden treasures around rural Texas. With little time to get out of the studio, I always enjoy seeing what's happening in the world of art and design via the internet.
How do you unwind after a particularly grueling week?
A trip to the gym helps! For real relaxation I rely on a good movie, margaritas and Mexican food and making time to walk my dog, Willie.
What was the first piece of art in your art collection?
I posted a small group of pieces made up of painting, photography and digital abstracts totaling about 15 items on a single page. The first piece we ever sold, "Interchange" went to New Zealand, which I thought was pretty cool.
*Check it out here
What is the most recent piece you've added to your collection?
A piece called "Fractions" is the latest addition to The Modern Art Shop. It's really colorful and bold, without being overwhelming or chaotic.
*Check it out here
You've had your work featured on Project Runway and The Mindy Project. How exactly did that happen?
Oh you know, Heidi and I go way back. Just kidding, in both cases, the set designers contacted me directly after finding us on Etsy. The experience was really encouraging and helped push the work more in the direction of modern design, as opposed to more traditional art.
Do you watch either of these shows? If so, who has been your favorite contestant, judge or character?
I have watched both shows, it's impossible not to if think you might see your own work in the background. On The Mindy Project, I think Morgan is hilarious! He's not a main character, but he adds a quirkiness to the show that I appreciate. From Project Runway 10, my favorite contestant was Melissa Fleis. She was sweet and I loved her style - I like black clothing which was her main thing. Looking at the art in the shop you would not think so, but I couldn't dress colorfully if I had too.
What's next for The Modern Art Shop?
I am focused on making more artwork, lots more artwork! Of course, on the business end, gaining exposure and growing however possible.
What are the top 6 must-see places in Austin?
1. Austin City Limits
3. Esther's Follies
4. The State Capitol
5. 6th street
6. And my favorite, The Hula Hut*
*In case you're like me and were wondering exactly what The Hula Hut is, you can check out their website here!
Thank you Cody for participating in this interview and best of luck!
Click thumbnails to view larger images
*All images courtesy Cody Willins and The Modern Art Shop