Dani Rodriguez: creating her future through insightful artwork


Susannah Bennett, Staff Writer

Art is a language. It is a way to express oneself.   It is an interpretation of what the artist sees around them. It is an intriguing glimpse into an artist’s heart. It is their message to the world. Every artist has their own vision and inspiration for their art. That is part of the beauty of art; everyone has different perspectives and experiences that can be clearly seen in their art.

“Each art student is unique because they bring their personal passions and talents,” FHC Art teacher Nevan Allan said. “We offer such a broad array of course choices so students can find their own passions.”

Senior Daniela (Dani) Rodriguez has found her passion in perceiving and communicating the energy and emotions of people and objects close by. Every day in the hallway art showcase, it is impossible to miss Dani’s standout pieces. Whether it’s a quick doodle or a thought-out formal piece, Dani’s artwork is noticeable and exceptional. Her zeal for art was inspired by her mom, a graphic designer, and from growing up in a very creatively focussed family.

“My mom is a big influence [on both of us],” said senior Valeria (Val) Rodriguez, Dani’s twin sister. “Since we were little, [our mom] has always had crafts for us. She has always been open to our art and been encouraging.”

Because of the generous support from their parents, Dani and Val were able to readily express themselves with pencils, paints, inks, and acrylics. A life without art is unimaginable, as they grew up in an environment full of drawing and creativity. They grew up in Mexico, and for eighth grade, the family moved to the Forest Hills area.

I’ve loved art since I can remember. I love how I can express myself without words. ”

— Dani Rodriguez

Art is a creative way to express oneself, and many students are looking for an outlet that isn’t as academically focussed. There is a certain comfort that comes from creating visually pleasing artwork, and many people are drawn to art because of that. But for Dani, the appeal of art is more than having the ability to create a beautiful end result.

“I love art because life is full of rules and laws,” Dani said. “With art, there are no rules or limitations; I can draw anything I want.”

There is seemingly nothing stopping Dani on the road to greatness with her art, and according to Allan, Dani “has a strong mastery of mediums and is willing to take risks and to push herself as an artist.” All of Dani’s artwork is thought-provoking and noteworthy, and the work put into each piece is definitely noticeable. 

With her imaginative mindset and unique talents, art is both Dani’s outlet and her way to influence and encourage people around her. Sometimes art is meant to be understood, but in other cases, the mystery of the work only adds to the attraction. Through her sketchbook, Dani can express herself freely, and no one needs to understand the meaning; but for her showcased pieces, the meanings of the works are understandable and recognizable. Since it has been such a big part of her life, Dani aspires to shows the community that art can be a great way to communicate your feelings and experiences.

“[My art] can be either super deep or sad, and no one knows except for me,” Dani said. “Also I hope to inspire people to express themselves in ways other than just words.”

Some people only consider art as a simple pastime, but for Dani, art is more than a hobby. it is path that she hopes to follow for the rest of her life. Dani hopes to pursue her art passion next year at Kendall College of Art and Design in the illustrations program.

“I’m actually so happy that I know what I want to do. I went to a tour there because I wasn’t sure if illustrations were really my thing. So, I went there and then they started talking about all the careers and the illustration program and I was like this is my thing.”

No matter where she is, Dani manages to uncover the mysteries of her surroundings by drawing from the energies around her. With her wonderful talents and abilities, Dani is ready to create artwork and influence the people around her.

“I’ve loved art since I can remember,” Dani said. “I love how I can express myself without words.”

Dani’s art speaks for itself.  Words aren’t necessary, and that is a gift in and of itself.