It’s great to have an aptitude for something creative, like dancing, singing, writing or painting. It’s even better to have a real passion for it and to want to help others cultivate their own talents.
That is the case with Marilee Rodriguez, of Randolph, a junior at Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton who is studying Design and Visual Communications (DVC). She is not only a gifted artist herself, but she will be working with young people who have also have artistic leanings when she teaches a free class in painting to people age 12 to 17 at the Turner Free Library in Randolph from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on February 22, 2018.
"Marilee is amazing," said Principal Jill Rossetti. "We are so proud she is giving back to the community and sharing her talent and passion for art with others. I can’t wait to see if she likes teaching, too!"
Ms. Rodriguez, who is experienced in fine art, photography and graphic design, will assist her students with painting a character from “Steven Universe,” an animated TV series that airs on the Cartoon Network.
Her dedication, professionalism and industriousness have clearly earned the respect of her DVC instructor at Blue Hills, Mrs. Joann Murphy. “Marilee is passionate about her designs and illustrations,” Mrs. Murphy said. “She is a conceptual thinker, planning and making decisions before executing her ideas. She is very focused in understanding the software to produce her ideas. She has a quiet strength.”
Ms. Rodriguez, who hopes to continue her education after she graduates from high school in 2019 so she can become a web creator or an art teacher, has never actually taught a class before, although she has worked alongside her fellow juniors to instruct the freshmen in DVC.
She emphasizes the importance of constantly practicing the discipline you like, whether it’s painting, drawing, graphics or photography. If you’re really busy, said Ms. Rodriguez, “it just gives you more of a challenge” to carve out the time to hone your artistic skill.
She traces her own interest in art back to an incident when she was six years old. Ms. Rodriguez’ mother, who was herself an artist, drew a cartoon character for Marilee. Today, she recalls that moment in affectionate detail, remarking that she thought at the time that her mom’s creation was “amazing.” It ignited a spark in the young girl’s imagination that is still burning brightly.
As far as her philosophy about improving your artistic talent, her recommendation is simple: “Anybody can learn, if you stay dedicated long enough.”
All supplies for the art class Marilee Rodriguez will be teaching at the Turner Free Library will be provided for free to the participants. People are encouraged to pre-register by emailing email@example.com.