DreamWorks Hires Graphic Design Alumnus Ignacio Rodriguez
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ignacio Rodriguez graduated from FIDM in 2009 with his degree in Graphic Design. After ten years designing for Disney, he is now at DreamWorks Animation designing show logos, key art, and marketing materials.
Why did you choose FIDM? A few close friends of mine went to FIDM and found successful careers immediately after graduation. I am glad I chose FIDM—I’ve made lifelong friends, with classmates and teachers alike.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? At FIDM I worked on real-world projects with teachers from the industry. I utilize that knowledge and experience every single day, and implement it in my work. My teachers believed in me and pushed me to work on my craft. I remember a particular school trip to an advertising agency and the head of the agency said, “I know you can give me one good logo, now give me three more great logos.” I use this tip nearly every day. Another lesson from a design class that I take to heart on nearly every project is that the best ideas usually start coming out after the 5-7th version, or more. And nowadays that is usually the case.
How did you decide on your major? When I was growing up I actually wanted to be a scientist, but after high school I was unsure. I took a graphic design class and immediately knew what I wanted to do. It allows me to combine my love of art with my technical computer skills.
Tell us a little about your journey as a designer and artist: As a student at FIDM I worked full-time at a commercial press where I learned a lot about photo retouching, color correcting, and working in a fast paced, deadline-driven environment. One month before graduation, I landed an internship at Disney and four months later, I was hired as a graphic designer. Within two years I was placed on the creative team for Disney Store North America where I created toys, fashion graphics, logos, style guides, pajamas, footwear, and a myriad of products and designs.
From there I moved into the in-store marketing team for Disney Store, creating window displays, in-store advertising, giveaways, and many of the marketing materials for all of the North America Disney Stores, including specialty stores in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.
After Disney, I freelanced for a few months from Mexico City, among other places, for NBC Universal doing digital inking and logo design for a few businesses.
Then I got a call from my brother who works as a character artist at NBC Universal. They were looking for a designer for an assignment in the DreamWorks TV marketing department. I’ve been there eight months now, working on show logos, key art, website takeovers, magazine ads, and whatever marketing materials need to be designed.
What inspires you in your art? I am inspired by Los Angeles urban art and my Mexican heritage. One of my biggest inspirations for creating art is actually seeing the joy it brings people and how what I create can bring joy into someone’s life. [Pictured above is Ignacio's "This is Los Angeles" storm trooper helmet created for a Star Wars art exhibit. The image was featured on IG @starwars and gained 20K views.]
Any advice for current FIDM Students? Enjoy the ride and give all you got into your projects. Make friends. And the big one—trust yourself. Trust your gut and trust your abilities.
What is your biggest goal right now? One of my biggest goals right now is to grow my personal business of apparel and merchandise of my own graphics and designs.
Anything else you’d like to share? Hustle and grind until you think you’ve made it, then keep hustling and grinding some more. Always have a plan B. And if you have student loans, pay them off ASAP! I’m glad I finally have!
Follow Ignacio Rodriguez on Instagram @dg_nacho.