Five Questions for Edel Rodriguez, Illustrator

Five Questions for Edel Rodriguez, Illustrator

Ever looked at a magazine's masthead and wondered just what do all those job titles actually mean? What does a photo producer actually do? Does a deputy art director get a shiny badge? And why are some people creative directors and others design directors? 
Our blog series "Five Questions for..."  is here to help answer those questions and give you insight into working in the world of publication design. Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email  us at and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work. Read on to find out what being an Illustrator is like for Edel Rodriguez.

The Pro's Work




About the Pro
Edel Rodriguez
Works for: Edel Rodriguez 
Degree Earned: BFA, Painting; MFA, Painting
Web:; exhibitions:; blog:
Twitter: @edelstudio 
Instagram: edelrodriguez

1. Imagine you're talking to someone who has never heard of your job. How would you describe it to them?
I create images for magazines, books, and advertising campaigns. Some of my images show up on the covers of weekly and monthly publications, on street posters, billboards, and postage stamps. I also illustrate children's books.

2. What about your job makes you love it?
Commenting on the society at large, and having a say, a point of view. I like taking complicated topics and interpreting them for the public, making people see things in a way they hadn't thought of before. I enjoy seeing the work I do out in the culture at large: on newsstands, on television, and mixing with photography, advertisements, and street graphics. I love working at my home studio at my own pace, and being able to travel anywhere anytime. I love the freedom.

3. What do you think of as the big break in your career?
Probably when I got an entry-level job at TIME magazine soon after college. I started making copies for the art department, but soon enough, I began designing and art directing, and eventually became the Art Director for a couple of the International editions. I learned so much about being an illustrator by just working there, meeting and hiring illustrators, and seeing how the whole publishing industry works.
4. What is your biggest professional mistake or regret?
I don't have any regrets about work or life. Everything is as it was meant to be.

5. What advice or parting words do you have for anyone who wants to do what you do?
It took me a while to figure out what illustration was, so start paying attention to images in the media at an early age. Get a very good foundation in drawing and painting, first. Be a well rounded individual: As an illustrator, you are asked to tap into a wide-ranging knowledge, from history, to politics, to geography. Travel far and wide: It's the best education. Don't be afraid to show your work to others. See what happens when you do, you might be surprised at the support there is for artists who are just starting out. Jump into things. No one is ever ready. Have fun and enjoy making your work, it will show.

Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email us at and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work. 

"Five Questions for..." is edited by Joseph Caserto

  • Alma Flor Ada

    Edel's art is a source of pride for all Latinos. I am delighted that he created the covers for three of my books, DANCING HOME and LOVE,AMALIA, two recent novels for children, co-authored with my son Gabriel Zubizarreta as well as a new edition of my book MY NAME IS MARIA ISABEL. Thanks, Edel, for your wonderful art.

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