Ally Cody is a Northern California Native who currently resides in Falmouth, England. She illustrates album work for music artists and sells her own array of prints, T-shirts, and stickers. She is also a student at Falmouth University and studies illustration. I interviewed her to find out what makes her tick, and to learn about some of the secrets behind her success. I spoke to the quirky, high energy artist via Facetime this past Monday.
Name: Ally Cody
Business: Ally Baba Illustrations
Location: Falthmouth, England
What is the meaning behind the name Ally Baba Illustrations.
So when I went Nepal we had this Nepalese guy who was our tour guide while we where trekking in the Himalayas. He started calling me Ally Baba as a joke and it just caught on as a nick name. When I came back from Nepal I was trying to think of a catchy name to call my business and I though oh yeah, Ally Baba fits!
You moved from Northern California to Falmouth England, what kind of art communities do each of these places offer?
Well I think Northern California is self explanatory. It has a great creative community thats very spiritual and is just full of hippie shit. My mom is a super hippie and growing up in that kind of community inspires all of my stuff. Ive been influenced a lot the bay and Tahoe (both are places she grew up in). (She stops and thinks for a moment), I had one idea of what arts school would be like when I went into it, but when I got there it was just totally different. There are just so many people doing different things, and that lets you explore new ideas. It was very open and not competitive like I thought. Especially in Falmouth because it has such a big arts university, there is so much going on in the art community.
Who are some of your influences and how do they inspire you?
My biggest influence is psychedelic art and album work from the 1960s. I love love love Art Nouveau revival. Oh! I have to show you this book, its my bible (she excitedly gets up and hurries back with a book, "Art Nouveau Revival" and flips through showing me pictures). Ok you get the point. I started doing posters for local events and gigs so I have been teaching myself to do 1960s type faces and stuff. Im also getting really into collage. Im really into this artist Hannah Hoch. She did crazy awesome collage art in Natzi Germany. Her art was kind of a big fuck you to Germany at the time.
Since music inspires your art so much, what are some of your favorite bands right now?
Right now I'm going through an extreme Jimmi Hendricks obsession, its hard for me get away from anything 1960's, but Im also in love with Milky Chance too right now.
Tell me about any upcoming projects and what inspired you to start it?
Well there is this writer Margret Atwood who wrote "The Female Body." so right now Im illustrating that essay in a book form. Its heavy feminist writing so its been difficult to make it visually appealing at times.
Has being a women offered any obstacles in being taken seriously as an artist?
Illustration is definitely a male dominated field but its getting better. Especially at my university, its a very feminist and open community. A lot of my tutors are women and I think its very inclusive. But Illustration is still a male dominated field, not to say that there are not a lot of sucessfull female illustrators. I feel like a lot of women do illustrations for kids books, and a lot of men do cool political stuff like illustrations for the New York Times and journalistic stuff. Like there has always been this stereotype of the women in illustration as little old lady who only does illustrations of little animals for kids, but the field is definitely opening up for women more now than it was before.
Your piece titled The Seed, is so unusual, what inspired it?
Its was for an EP cover. When I was traveling in Nepal I met a guy named Arian who was in charge of a music collective based in London. Its called Outtalectuals. They do electronic stuff and he was producing music for artists out in Nepal. I was doing a mural at the time for a guest house we where staying in so he asked me to do a cover for an artists that did not have any album artwork yet. One of the songs off the EP is titled A Seed and it talks about being a seed and growing, so that is what inspired this drawing. I have done two more for him since then and listening to the songs is what inspires what the cover will be.
What kind of advice do you want to offer to others looking to start illustrating?
The best advice I can give would be to just be really prolific. Draw as much as you can. Before I started at the university, every time I would draw I would be like ok, this has to be a really good drawing and I have to put a ton of thought into it. Just make tons of shit all the time even if it's bad. Just constantly be creating. Thats how you can figure out your style. Never throw any thing away because you may come back to it and use it later.
You can find more of Ally Baba Illustrations and Ally Cody's work at :