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Conversations with Cody Carnes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cody Carnes.

Hi Cody, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I became interested in art when I was 14 years old. When I entered high school, I pursued a lot of the avenues my school offered when it came to art. I enjoyed drawing, sculpture, and graphic design.

As I got older, I honed in on my graphic design skills and was given opportunities to do graphic art for my school. After graduating, I didn’t know if I could have the career I wanted pursuing art, so I attended a community college for business while I worked full time at a tree company.

I transferred to Northwest Missouri State University where I received my Bachelor of Science in Marketing in May of 2020. The job market was tough during the height of the COVID pandemic, and I decide to take a risk on a graphic design internship. I was excited about the chance and it propelled me into a full-time job that I love.

As for working with country music singers, I have been a country music fan my whole life, so it was easy to combine the two passions. When I went to Nashville for the first time at the end of 2020, I loved listening to new, up-and-coming singers develop their skills. I saw an opportunity to create brands for people starting their careers and chasing their passions, just like me.

I saw Trent Glisson at Luke’s 32 Bridge and reached out to him on social media to see if he would be interested in a logo. He gave me a shot and we both loved how it turned out. Since then, I have reached out to other artists in the same way as well as received messages from artists that have seen my work.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As I mentioned previously, I did not think I could have the cookie-cutter career I was expected to have with art. I looked at it as a fun hobby for most of my college career. When I graduated, I realized I was more passionate about graphic design and wanted to pursue it as a career.

Since I didn’t have a degree in design, I knew it would be an uphill battle to get the position I wanted. I worked hard to get an internship at a marketing firm in Kansas City. Thankfully, they brought me on full-time after the internship was over and I have been advancing in my skills ever since.

These opportunities have given me the courage to put myself out there with country music singers. It took a little bit to figure out the best process for working with artists to turn their vision and my ideas into a logo that represented them. I’m learning from each artist I work with and am looking forward to future opportunities.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I currently work full-time as a graphic designer at a marketing firm in Kansas City, Missouri. As a side gig, I work with music artists to develop logos that represent the brand they want to put out to listeners.

My main focus is developing a brand identity that artists can translate into merchandise, stage signage, and social media posts. With each artist, I design a personalized icon and a one-of-a-kind wordmark. One of the largest artists I’ve worked with was Logan Mize. I created an “LM” icon in the shape of our home state, Kansas. It started out as a project for fun, but I sent it his way and he has started using it as his primary logo.

I was proud of the work when I saw it in action on merchandise and as his backdrop for his “It’s About Time” tour. A drive to create unique, memorable logos combined with a stubbornness for perfection helps me invent solutions that personify the artists I work with.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
Recently, it seems there has been a shift away from large record labels and artists are more willing to pursue independent careers.

This opens an opportunity for independent graphic designers, like me, to work with those artists to create unique work. I am excited to be a part of that and get into illustrative work such as album covers and merchandise designs.

Contact Info:

  • Email: ccarnes64@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @codycarnes.designs

Image Credits
Morgan Miller Photography, Two Logan Mize, and Melodie Yvonne

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