Hi, Im John Rodriguez and this is the story of how I became the diverse design strategist I am today.
In 2nd grade, the artist in me was born as I drew every cartoon I watched all afternoon. A few years later I came to discover photoshop in high school, and I immersed myself in the digital design world, fascinated by the ability to manipulate software and develop amazing creations. This came accompanied by the intrigue of film and photography that was a result of being in the yearbook committee. These intrigues and fascinations developed into what became my passion.
With few career paths to follow in the arts, I pursued a degree in Advertising Communications in the Iberoamerican University (UNIBE) in Santo Domingo. Here I continued honing my abilities to handle software and create professional designs for web, print, branding; handle full production processes for film and photography as well as marketing and advertising campaigns and strategies. I found a profound interest in developing concepts and ideas that would impact people on a larger scale through these strategies and campaigns.
I later landed a job working for the Vice President of the Dominican Republic where I was in charge of all the photographic efforts of her various institutions. I handled a team of 6 photographers that I used to direct countless shoots for the VP's endeavors, such as programs for low income families, political conferences, national events, and even her TV show "Progresando con Solidaridad". Being an editor also provided me with an opportunity to sit in strategic meetings where I could provide input on the visual impact of each project.
During my time with the Vice President, I also took various courses to expand my knowledge in design as well. My work in the government and these courses, showed me two things; the first one being that I wanted to have more creative reigns of my work and that I loved leading a team of individuals who were as passionate of their work as I am. After this realization I decided to enroll in a Design Management graduate course in SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) where I learned how to collaborate with interdisciplinary groups of professionals to use design thinking methods as a tool to develop solutions and strategies for products and services. Here I was mentored by leaders in the industry like Tom Hardy (the designer, not the actor) who shared many great lessons from his experience as head of the design program in IBM and various other ventures that made him one of the leading design strategists in the world.
This trajectory has lead me to where I am now.
Now, I am prepared to take on any opportunity to ideate and execute; eager to prove the knowledge and abilities that I have acquired and augmented during my years as a multidisciplinary design strategist.