I had the amazing opportunity to talk with artist, Cody Vrosh, the man and legend behind Binary Winter. If you don’t know the name, well, you will by the end of this interview. Vrosh creates some of the most original artwork that I’ve seen in some time and it was a pleasure to hear that he was taking his talents to the Kickstarter front for his newest venture, The Android’s Astrological Companion. Check below the jump to hear about this project and more!
Casey: Let me start off by saying that your artwork is some of the best that I’ve ever seen. The use of watercolors mixed with so much fantastical and science fiction elements is a thing of pure brilliance. I was going through the Kickstarter completely enthralled. What got you into being an artist?
Cody: Well thank you very much! I was always the kid with his head in a sketchbook. It’s less of a decision than a compulsion really, years of drawing on everything kind of makes you realize that’s all you should be doing. I have an easily distractible mind but I find that a brush in my hand and the deluge of theoretical conundrums that science fiction has to offer keeps me zen.
Casey: You’re obviously a huge fan of scifi, as it’s strewn throughout The Androids Astrological Companion and your other work. What inspired you with this specific project to take the android and astrology route?
Cody: I wanted to do a themed series of paintings and there’s this interesting combination of mythology and extremely specific attributes to each zodiac sign. I liked the idea of having a subject, like a scorpion, which is pretty open to interpretation, but with color schemes, personality traits, even types of metal or stone as distinct parameters to work within. It’s an interesting way to work, I think a lot of the writers enjoyed that aspect too. The androids were a response to my fascination with singularity technologies and artificial or transient consciousness. That’s really just a fancy way of saying maybe one day I’ll get to be a robot! It blows my mind that Science Fiction often has a hard time keeping up with real science. Ultimately, until I have a robot lab, that fascination goes into my art. Exploring the idea of self and how we relate to technology.
Cody: Probably the Capricorn. It was one of the first I painted, and that’s my wife’s sign. It’s kind of a loose portrait of her filled with a lot of daydreaming. I’m sure that sounds a little saccharin but it’s hard not to favor a piece you associate with the person you love.
Casey: Having previous success with Coffee Creatures using the crowdsourcing path, how has your experience been this time around? At the time of this article going live, you’ve already reached your goal; but what’s it like using this method of raising funds?
Cody: Funding Coffee Creatures through Kickstarter was a really fun experience. I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be, but I found getting to interact with people interested in the creation process to be very rewarding. I couldn’t wait to do it again, honestly. The main difference between the Coffee Creatures and The Android’s Astrological Companion campaign is probably just knowing how it all works a little better. Crowdfunding is such an interesting beast. It’s really the crowd part that I like, the funding part is the least interesting. It’s kind of like the plate underneath your pie, it’s essential, but you ain’t there for the plate. To have all these amazing people become invested in your project is a real gift.
Cody: Luckily, I’m surrounded by some pretty talented people. Sheatiel and I have collaborated before on two illustrated novels; we actually met because she was looking for an artist for her first book. Megan and Joey are in our gaming group. In addition to being a bad-ass DM, Megan is also an award-winning writer, which makes for some interesting game sessions. Brendan and I bonded over many a comic con and have been itching to work together on a project so I’m hoping this is the first of many future collaborations. I hadn’t met Kelly personally before the project but we loved her writing, so we reached out to her and to our delight, she agreed to join us. It was such a wonderful experience getting the stories back from everyone and seeing all the fantastic adventures they penned for our android girls. Some funny, some contemplative,
some action packed. The most interesting part for me was seeing what stories other people see in the art. I always have partial stories of my own, so it’s like reading the mythologies of two nearby cultures. Same characters, different stories.
Cody: Whiskey and pie? It’s true, I have a hard time being idle. I’m doing a piece for a Dune themed art show that I’m really excited about. Fulfilling the commission slots for The Android’s Astrological Companion Kickstarter is top priority. After that I may try to squirrel away time for some stories rattling around my head, either as an illustrated book or, time willing, something sequential. Part of the stretch goals for the AAC include a mini-book of teeth creatures I always draw “in the margins”. I have a decent stack of those drawings and paintings now, so I might do a collection next year. People have even asked about plushies or vinyl figures of them, so we’ll see where that goes.
Casey: Last thing, when are you going to make your way to the East Coast so that we can see some of your work at the conventions out here? You’d make a killing at NYCC!
Cody: We’ve been threatening to do NYCC for a while. Our convention march has been slowly headed across the country from California. C2E2, Gencon, DragonCon, and of course NYCC are all on the list of shows I’d really like to check out. Maybe next year you can stop by our booth!
A ton of thanks goes out to Cody Vrosh for chatting with us about The Android’s Astrological Companion. Make sure you head over to the Kickstarter page to donate and see this project get funded. If you’d like to see/buy more of Vrosh’s work check out his Etsy Page, his website, Like his Facebook and follow him on the Twitters.