9 Questions with Cody Tilson, Digital Kitchen

9 Questions with Cody Tilson, Associate Creative Director

Creativity is at the heart and soul of everything we do at kyu, and we are extremely fortunate to have the most creative minds as part of our collective.

To get to know the creatives in our community better – what makes them tick, where they draw their inspiration from, what they bring to their work – “9 Questions” is a regular series profiling their art and work.

Who’s your design inspiration?
My biggest influences came from artists that dance on the lines between creative disciplines. On one hand, I grew up on illustrators like Dave McKean and Bill Sienkiewicz violently mashing together paint, ink, photography, sculpture – seemingly every medium available to them to make some wildly transcendent imagery. At the same time, I was also discovering designers like Chris Ashworth and David Carson who threw conventional graphic design rules out the window. I’ve always admired people who couldn’t give a damn about the rules.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Nobody cares, so do what’s right for you.

If money and having a job weren’t a concern, where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
I kind of fell in love with the South Island of New Zealand when I was there earlier this year. That would be my time to go full reclusive artist – maybe get a swarm of Saint Berdoodles like my dog Sweaters to accompany me on walks through the countryside. Draw, wander, eat, and repeat.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
No more hair.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Without a doubt, Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy. It’s a masterpiece of cinematic storytelling and filmmaking in every way. It’s a real feel good movie, too!

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
I went paragliding off of a mountain peak a few months back. I’ve probably done more adventurous things, but most people would just call those actions stupid.

What does creativity mean to you?
To me, creativity is the willingness to put yourself and your ideas out into the world with the knowledge that you’ll probably fail at it. It’s the repetition of this process that begins to matter – if you don’t give up, you begin to fail less. When you fail less, you get more confident in your ideas.

What’s your spirit animal?
My wife likes to remind me that I’m primarily a wrinkly Shar-Pei, and I trust her judgement.

What’s the best part about living in Chicago?
Great food, great beer, great people. Well, a lot of the people are pretty all right I guess. You’ll occasionally find some bad beer and food as well, now that I think about it. We have a lake, though!

Cody Tilson is an Associate Creative Director at Digital Kitchen’s Chicago office. Find out more about his work:

Instagram: codytilson