09:46 AM

Focus Shows in Rodriguez’s Artwork

Focus Shows in Rodriguez’s Artwork

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

A sharp eye serves Jair Rodriguez well as an artist. That same focus has helped Rodriquez earn his Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design degree at Bellevue University this past November. Receiving the South Omaha Scholarship and the requirements to keep the scholarship played a role in his success, Rodriguez said.

Jair“It helped me stay focused on my assignments and work by letting me not worry about how I was going to pay for the next term of school,” he said. “It also kept me motivated to earn good grades because I had to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 each term in order to receive a book grant for my books and other school material.”

As part of the scholarship requirements, Rodriguez attended at least one professional enrichment program (PEP) each term. Topics covered included resumes, interviewing, and time management.

“It helped me improve essential life skills and prepared me for situations I would encounter after I graduate,” Rodriguez said.

“They also helped reach out more to the Omaha area by requiring me to volunteer at least 20 hours per year to any non-profit organization. One year I wound up interning for Habitat for Humanity of Omaha where I helped make designs for their Public Relations department. It was a great way to build up my portfolio while helping a good cause at the same time.”

Rodriguez felt his classwork outside the design studio often found its way into his artwork.

]Burger Lust (photo cred- Rosa Najera) 

“I enjoyed exploring diverse subjects through my elective classes ranging from ancient history, to nutrition, to business management,” he said “I feel that the more topics I learned about outside the design world, the more I was inspired to apply outside influences to my own design work. I enjoyed learning new things and later finding inspiration.”

In his artwork, Rodriguez draws inspiration from his personal life and experience and strives to learn from others, while experimenting with new techniques himself.

“That helps me come up with ideas that are sometimes outside the box and unorthodox,” Rodriguez said. “I conduct thorough research before I start a project in order to get a good understanding on what needs to be communicated. I also strive for putting and seeing my work in all types of environments where the public can see and interact with it.”

A 2010 graduate of Omaha South High School, Rodriguez aspires to open up a design studio of his own someday.

“One of my ultimate goals would be to open up my own design studio in Omaha and constantly work alongside other talented individuals,” he said. “I hope that one day my work could inspire others like I have been inspired by others.”