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I recently had the opportunity to chat with Kode Abdo, a digital artist and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. You might recognize Kode as the artist behind Bosslogic but Kode is also a Depthcore and Slashthree member, and someone that we interviewed way back in 2009. I was really interested to talk with him about how he and his art have changed over the last several years, the projects he is working on, as well as how he conquers creativity blocks, and inspires himself to work on new projects. Let's take a look!
Hi Kode, thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. Can you briefly tell our readers a bit about your background? Where are you from? How did you get your start?
No problem at all, I'm honoured to be interviewed by you guys once again, the first time opened a lot of doors.
To introduce myself, my name is Kode Abdo. I am also known as Bosslogic, I am a digital artist from Melbourne Australia, originally from Syria. I moved here when I was two. I got my break in this field through my friend "Technolife," whom I will be forever thankful to, since he is the reason I am still creating artwork. Even though we don't stay in touch any longer, the respect is still there, and I am very thankful to him.
We originally interviewed you way back in 2009. What have you been up to since then?
Has it been that long? Time flies by so quickly these days. Since then, I changed my style a fair bit, started transitioning to new media like video and photography, and as of now, illustration. For me, there is nothing like drawing. It makes me feel happy, I really enjoy creating something, on something as simple as a piece of paper.
On the non-art side of things, I got into competitive gaming (Fighting Games) so a little shout out to the FGC.
I also expanded Bosslogic to be more than just an artist, it is more of a brand now. I have a strong team of two photographers, one in Australia, and one in Florida. I am also blessed to have a super talented artist, Tommy. I am still building this team so we can take on any challenge thrown at us.
When we last spoke to you, you were planning to have a “huge year” in 2009, creating lots of great new art. Did you? Was that year a turning point for you in any way?
Sadly, it was not. I did push myself to get better, so I am happy about that fact. That year, career wise, was a struggle but without struggle you can't be as hungry as you want to be. In this field, you can't settle for just a slice, you have to go for the whole pie. That is exactly what I did, it just took me a year longer to finally get recognised. All this being said, I still do not think I have made it to where I want to be, but it's the journey that matters most, and what I take from it is that we all will one day find our artistic Atlantis. We just have to keep searching.
You mentioned that you are a part of the Depthcore Collective. How long have you been a member? How has your involvement with the collective helped improve your art?
This is one of my biggest achievements. All my digital life, I wanted to work alongside the greatest in the field, and I finally got to do that. There is nothing in the world like getting direction from so many sets of creative viewpoints, each one with a dynamic approach to art. I am forever grateful to be part of this family.
Thank you to Pete Harrison for introducing me to the team and Justin Maller for accepting me
I really enjoy interviews where I get to chat with artists that we have featured on the site before. Especially, when so much time has passed. What do you think when you look back at the work you were doing back in 2009? How has your style changed?
I included so many unnecessary details in my work back then. Since then, I have learned to drop so many bad habits like that. A lot of artists, especially new ones getting into the industry, make these types of mistakes. When you are creating your work, make sure that every element in your artwork's composition has a reason why it is there. If someone were to ask you why is that there? "I don't know, but it looks good!" is not a sexy answer.
I have also learned the art of cheating in Photoshop; shortcuts for shortcuts, taking the back streets of Photoshop City. If you find a method to do something in 10 minutes that normally takes an hour, but it looks exactly the same, then do it!
When I look at your work from 2009 and compare it to the work you are doing today, it is pretty obvious that something happened between now and then that completely changed your work’s style and direction. Was there a particular event that made you switch your focus or was this an evolution?
Evolution as an artist did have a role to play in it. The longer you create art, and study it, the more the visual library in your head expands. It gives you more creativity and references to draw from. I still incorporate some lingering elements from my 2009 style into my current work to this day because I want a signature that my viewers can recognise. I also try to keep with the times. Art is ever changing, just like music.
Designers often get stuck in creative ruts. What 3 things have you done over the years to help improve your artwork?
This is unavoidable, all art forms go through it, my remedies for it are as follows:
- Find something to read, something really rich in imagination fuel. For example, the last thing I read was an Encyclopedia of Mythology, because I wanted to find out the true origins of marvel and DC superheroes. I ended up wanting to learn so much more, and my head was over-flowing with concepts and images. I am in the process of creating a Chronos god of time piece, as a direct result of this.
- Rework an older piece. Go to one of your old pieces and remake it from scratch. See how much you have improved. This helps show your level of skill and how far you have come, that alone will inspire you.
- View your surroundings, take a breath, and go to a place you have never been. Meet new people, go to an art gallery, read comics, read magazines, take up photography, all these things will let your mind relax, and that wall that is blocking your creativity will begin to crumble.
Your IronMash Series is heavily focused on creating fan art-style mashups and illustrations based on video game and comic book characters. What is it about these two types of characters that you love so much?
It started off as a joke, mashing Wolverine with Iron Man, and everyone just went nuts wanting to see all their favourites mixed with Iron Man, so that is what I did. I like to make my followers happy.
As for comic fan art, I guess it is my inner-childhood coming out, I grew up with it, and I feel I have just enough skill to show them a little love.
Do you ever get to work directly with the video game or comic book industry on an illustration or are most of your works strictly fan art?
Most of my works are fan art, but from all the fan art, I did collaborate with Capcom USA on the official Street Fighter X Tekken Wallpapers. That was a great experience! Working with them was awesome.
Where can your prints be purchased?
All my prints can be purchased with my crew at Hayate Kustom
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Have any closing thoughts?
It has been a pleasure. I'll go out by saying this, I am very proud of how much you guys have grown over the years showing off amazing artists, providing new ones with tutorials to help them become great. I don't think you guys get shown enough respect.
To all artist reading this, do what you love, love what you do, do not throw it away when money factors in. I have seen so much talent go to waste because of money, get good at what you love, and the income will follow. Otherwise, you may settle, and have regrets when you are older.
Last of all, get yourself an agent that you trust, something I need, haha! Also if there are any artists interested in having some challenge fun, and love fighting games like street fighter, then come join the tribute book. Shout outs to all my supporters, you all know who you are.