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Eric Rodriguez ('12)

May 6, 2013
Alumni Profile - Illustration
Spotlight Category: Student

What was your most fun/influential class?
“Illustrated Book” really made me focus on why I liked certain ideas, and why I made certain choices. It taught me to get to the heart of a project and be consistent with that concept. I definitely did some of my most unhindered and honest work.

What is your hometown? I grew up in Visalia, California.

What originally attracted you to Otis?
I expected to be held to a very high standard, and knew that demanding a lot from myself was the best way for me to progress.

How did you decide on your major?
I’ve loved comics since childhood. As I matured and started to realize the full potential of comics as an artistic medium, I knew they were what I wanted to focus on in my career. In Foundation Year, I was fairly certain that I wanted to go into Illustration because I felt that it was the best major to teach me what I needed.

Cool things you did outside of school?
JT Steiny (’84) organized several group book shows at Meltdown Comics in West Hollywood. He invested his own time and effort into it for the sake of the students. They were always a lot of fun. Sometimes we got together on the weekends and played soccer on the Otis lawn.

How did Otis affect your work/life?
I developed a strong work ethic and drive to succeed. Admittedly, I feel that I traded some important aspects of my life for four years away from people I cared about. My life changed in ways I never expected.

Something unusual/idiosyncratic?
I have a whole list of normal things that I’ve never done, like go camping or ride on a boat or attend a concert.

What would you tell new students?
Be prepared to work hard. You’ll probably have friends who attend large universities, join clubs and intramural sports teams, go for bike rides and road trips, throw parties, and go out on dates. You will not do any of these things, or, at least not very often. Your priorities will swiftly shift to a choice between eating, sleeping, or working. You’ll usually choose the latter. If you take it seriously, it will feel more like going to work than going to school, and by the end you’ll be glad it did.

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