Tony Rodriguez teaches Illustration and Foundations Courses.
Office: Todd Hall, Room 215
The work of Cuban-American illustrator and educator, Tony Rodriguez, infuses flat color with bold line to convey a sense of spontaneity and simplicity. Although the art is created digitally, it has the look of traditional pen and ink gestural, dynamic, and expressionistic drawings. Rodriguez's works have earned awards from The Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, NBC Universal, Creative Quarterly, 3x3, American Illustration, Latin American Ilustración, Applied Arts, Entertainment Tonight, The Society For News Design, Grey Cube Gallery, and The United Kingdom's World Illustration Awards. Rodriguez’s illustration students have won awards from Applied Arts, 3x3, American Illustration, Latin American Ilustración, Creative Quarterly, Communication Arts, The Atlanta GA Addy Awards, And the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles.
U.S. & International clients include: Rolling Stone Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, GQ, Smithsonian Magazine, The Village Voice, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, American Cowboy Magazine, Computer Arts Magazine, WIRED Magazine, Country Weekly, DAS Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Nurant Magazine, Ace Entertainment, Facebook TV, Videodrome, Humanities Magazine, Common Good Magazine, Rhapsody Magazine, Misc Magazine, Peeps Magazine, The London Evening Standard, BBC Focus Magazine, Milk X Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, Black Key Group, Atlantic Records, Rock Ridge Music, The Beach Boys, and Red Light Management. Rodriguez currently teaches Illustration at Middle Tennessee State University.
Advice for Emerging Illustrators
First and most importantly, an illustrator should know what they like to draw about. This is a job that you can cultivate from the ground up based on the imagery you enjoy doing! A career as an illustrator can put you in situations where you’d get paid to draw what you love to draw. If you like to draw dragons, DO IT! There’s always a market for what you love to draw about. If not, there will be one tomorrow. Second, it is very important to research and become familiar with the market(s) you want to work within. For example, if you’re yearning for Editorial, your research is sitting at a Barnes and Noble, CVS, and Publix. Make it a habit to flip through the publications on their shelves and you will notice a pattern of what these magazines consistently purchase when it comes to illustration. Third, take advantage of social media. And no, I don’t mean an Instagram account that showcases some artwork and primarily hosts images of your cat and or your night at a bar. Today, serious Illustrators are devoting their social media presence specifically and exclusively to the work they want Art Directors to see. Fourth, think Globally. It’s very easy to limit oneself to U.S. markets. However, the Gulf and East Asia are huge emerging markets. Stay ahead of the curve and research them. Lastly, at some point, this becomes more than just drawing pictures. You must think and act like a business. Professionalism is key for obtaining repeat clients and procuring new ones. Be organized, consistent, and learn to balance your portfolio with both the narrative and conceptual. Also, Art Directors find it very useful to see your process via the internet. If you showcase your process from start to finish, they’ll have a better idea of what to expect. Overall, Anyone who professes to be interested in illustration as a career MUST work as much as possible in order to obtain success. As you’re starting out, make work for yourself and imagine whether or not it’s good enough for the clients you’re wanting to work with. Research what your dream client has purchased in the past and imagine how you can fixate yourself to that particular market of illustration.
Watch "Ruth Langmore Illustration"
Flower Girl Lucas
For Computer Arts Magazine
Digital media; Wacom tablet + Photoshop CC
Reggie Watts, detail
Digital media; Wacom tablet + Photoshop CS5
Line, character, pattern, and color application demonstration.
Watch "Bernie Sanders Illustration time-lapse"
Young Frederick Douglas
Cover Art for Humanities Magazine
Digital media: Wacom tablet + Photoshop CC
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