Cindy Rodriguez and I had the same thesis teacher, Julia Wargaski, at Parsons. However, I’m in Julia’s class now and Cindy was in her class six years ago. Cindy is so cool a designer (and all around awesome person) that this Spring she’s helping out as a teacher’s assistant and was willing to answer some questions about her experience at Parsons, what she’s been up to since graduation, and give a bit of advice.
What program were you in at Parsons and when did you graduate?
I studied in the Communication Design Department and graduated in 2006.
Why did you decide to go to Parsons?
I always knew that I wanted to study art, and was lucky enough to have been introduced to graphic design in high school. Parsons has a reputation for its rigorous curriculum – I knew I would be studying under some of the best professionals in the field of art and graphic design, and that I would be challenged throughout my time there.
What is your best memory of your time at Parsons?
Our Senior Thesis Exhibition was probably my best memory. All of us had worked hard all year on our individual projects, so when it came time to organize and put up our exhibition, we came together in a strong way. Our show was special – so much talent and positive energy. I was lucky to be studying with the group I had as classmates, and I continue to be inspired by the work they’re doing now.
What was your favorite class at Parsons and why?
This is tough because I enjoyed all my classes…but, if I have to choose, Experimental Typography with Pablo Medina stands out as being an important marker for my growth as a designer. The class taught us to step outside of perceiving letterforms in a traditional way. It cemented my love for typography and was a catalyst that turned that fascination into a real foundation for the way I approach design.
If you could go back and tell yourself when you were a freshman at Parsons something what would it be?
Pursue projects you love and that inspire you while you have the freedom and the option to do so.
Would you change anything about the choices you made while at Parsons? Would you do something differently?
Maybe would have taken photography courses and/or writing courses to supplement my design education.
What have you been doing since graduation? What do you hope to do in the future?
After school, I started working full-time as a branding and packaging designer for a product line. Since then, I’ve transitioned into working independently as a freelance Art Director/Designer working with Cubanica, Nickelodeon, Clementine Branding, Particle Media, MTV, and Merkley & Partners, with a range of experiences in between – Among them, an internship for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, three self-initiated art exhibitions in collaboration with friends and fellow Parsons graduates, and a Curatorial Assistantship with the International Studio and Curatorial Program. I hope to continue down the path of Curatorial Studies to develop projects that connect to my design background.
Any advice for a newly admitted Parsons student?
Become well-acquainted with potential professors and classes (inside and outside of your own department) – both are strong determinants of your experience there and in how you find your own direction as a designer.
Any advice for a soon-to-be graduate?
Keep in contact with your classmates. The design community is small – you’ll be sharing the same world for years to come.
Some samples of Cindy’s work. View more on her site. Thank you, Cindy!