ArtCenter College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Carolina Rodriguez


Who are your biggest creative influences?
My friends. I've met some of the most amazing people at Art Center. Sometimes I think it's just inevitable to find inspiring individuals in every circumstance. But I really do feel that the people who attend Art Center are special.

In what ways has Art Center helped you grow as an artist/designer?
Art Center College of Design is not just an art school, it's a design school. That's something that I tell everyone. I feel that it's through the language of design that I can dissect what makes something powerful or useful or intriguing. Art can be very abstract, but design is what grounds art. I feel that this idea is fundamental in Art Center's philosophy.

What are your most reliable and/or unlikely sources of inspiration?
Animals, nature, human nature, and the world outside of art and design.

Describe a memorable project, from conception to ideation to production.
During the fall of 2012, I applied to a volunteer program in Borneo, Indonesia with the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI). To fund my two month volunteer excursion, I created a ‘zine titled: Orphan Orangutans of Borneo which I sold through my website. Each ‘zine had a personalized thank you note to every person who supported my project by purchasing one. Along with a grant that I was awarded by Art Center, I managed to make and sell enough ‘zines to finance the entire trip.

In Borneo, I collaborated on projects like designing and building a 300-meter bridge, constructing a sun bear enclosure, and caring for orphaned orangutans at the OFI Quarantine and Care Center. I was excepted to work and live with the local people; we collaborated on enrichment projects for the orangutans, cooked together, went to weddings, and kept each other company during long work sessions in the rain forest. This Fall, I intend to produce two fully informed and researched projects that are based on my recent 2 month volunteer excursion to Borneo, Indonesia, and my future 4 month return in the Summer of 2014.

Biggest creative challenge/breakthrough you’ve faced while at Art Center?
I guess I've always asked myself why I decided to study art and design. My passions lie in other things; but I've always had a natural ability to draw and paint. So I guess I struggled a lot with finding meaning in deciding to attend Art Center. It was when I learned that illustration is about applying imagery to a larger text or issue that I finally had a name for what I wanted to do.

What do you hope to do when you leave Art Center?
My goal after graduation is to work within the environmental/social field as an illustrator and designer to better inform the public about issues that sometimes go about unheard and not fully understood.

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