A sneaker artist to watch…
We reached out to Kody Mason, illustrator and sneakerhead from Perth, Western Australia. After seeing his work, we fell in love with his quirky, original style and his method of working instantly.
To find out how Kody's illustrative mind works, his experiences so far and where he sees himself going within the next few years, take a read of our exclusive interview below.
Don't forget to follow Kody on instagram @kodymasonn for the best original sneaker illustrations and animations. From upcoming sneakers and high heat releases to some of his personal favourites, we promise that his posts will be brightening up your IG feed without a doubt!
Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Kody Mason, I am 19 years old, based in Perth, Western Australia and am an Illustrator. I've been an Illustrator for the better part of 3 years now (professionally anyway) and am currently in my final years at university with the hope to gain more traction in my Illustration career with a Bachelors in Illustration.
My interests are mainly Sneakers (obviously) Illustration, Music and Film. Favourite musician at the moment would have to be MF DOOM, and the favourite film would have to be The Grand Budapest Hotel, a sucker for some Wes Anderson.
Have you always been into sneakers?
Before sneakers it was mainly football boots, I was into it a lot when I was in High School and loved the hype of new releases and rollouts they did with players that it only became natural to fall in love with something I could wear off the pitch. The first sneaker that really caught my attention was the Nike 2012 Air Max in the Red, Black and White colourway.
<img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-185656" src="https://thesolewomens.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2-1-760x498-tsw.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="498" />
How did you get the illustrative style you are in now, tell us about your illustration history?
I've been illustrating for as long as I can remember, I was interested in cartoons and animation. The whole creation of them from start to finish, mainly Disney films. Interest in those sorts of things led me to find specific artists and follow their same techniques. I can't say I'm there yet, in terms of professionalism, but I feel that the years of practice have helped get me to where I am today.
Does your real-life sneaker collection reflect your illustrations / do you have a big sneaker collection?
Unfortunately, it's not as big as I want it to be but I'm proud of it, many sneakers that I find attractive are ones that aren't too hyped. Sneakers like the Volt Nike Air Talaria, Gold Coin Nike Spiridon and the A Ma Maniere x Invincible adidas Ultra Boost, Although I do have a few in the collection that every sneakerhead should have like the Anniversary Nike Air Max 1 and the Nike Silver Bullet 97s.
What are your favourite silhouettes and why?
The Nike Air Max 98, just because of the crazy panels and texturing over the sneaker, and the fact that it can be re-released today, and it still be a hot silhouette. The Adidas Ultra Boost is a must, fell in love with the sneaker once it came up, the fact that a runner could be worn so casually made it so desirable to me, and the comfort is unmatched to anything I have ever put on my feet. Period.
Another silhouette that recently came into my collection was the Versace Chain Reaction, after getting a pair sent to me by Versace after doing some work with them (Shoutout Salehe.) I truly understand the craftsmanship and process put into sneakers and respect it so much more now. Quality and materials are all I look for now.
What has been your favourite commission so far and why?
I love all the commissions I do, mainly because Illustration was my hobby before it turned into a career and being able to work with like-minded people who have the same interests fuels the creative side of me immensely. Although, the one job that made a significant impact on me would have to be the first campaign I did with adidas.
The fact that the advertising agency for them (Kamp Grizzly) reached out to me specifically, honestly blew my mind, and the inspiration it gave me to one day be alongside those brands working on a day to day basis with them excites me.
Where do you get your inspiration for each sneaker's piece? Please do walk us through your process before you land at your final piece!
Going about an illustration, I usually look for sneakers that mainly have a silhouette or colourway name that resembles something I could physically draw, such as the "Butter"; 350 Boost, which I had portrayed the sneaker as a stick of butter with a butter knife slicing through it. I used to illustrate outlines of my illustrations with inks and scan them in to be digitally rendered; however, it's a lot easier for me now to draw the whole thing digitally, from sketch to outlining to colouring.
Programs and hardware wise, I use a Wacom Cintiq with Photoshop CC when at home and an iPad Pro with Procreate for when I'm out or travelling. I go back to traditional art supplies when I can, to stop myself from looking at a screen all day.
What have you got planned for the future?
After I finish my degree I want to travel, I've only been international once and want to see where else I can take my work and how it might work in different industries. Although sneakers will always be my passion, I want to be able to have my hands in "different pots";, and ultimately see how far I can stretch myself. Also want to work on my store more (kodymasonn.com), introducing different products and designs to the public.