He attributes his success in commercial design as a direct result of his passion for art. “I didn’t choose a career in visual design. It chose me. Draw, paint, design, take pictures… it’s what I do and always have done.” Kmndz is about both the past and the future. “Anyone who’s ever touched a Mac, knows that the keystroke combination ‘command’ + ’z’ = ‘undo’. After using it day in and day out at work, I started wishing that I had an ‘undo’ action for everyday life. We’ve all done things that we wished we hadn’t, and said things that we would like to take back.”
Rodriguez’s personal work is quite different from his commercial endeavors. When he sits down to paint, he puts aside the pressures of mass appeal and commercial accessibility, and instead focuses on creating art for himself. Drawing from his own life, his paintings brim with memories of family and friends, religious undertones, and iconic elements. A recent piece features a drawing of an audio cassette embedded into a hand grenade. This represents a tough look back at the time when his father left their family to fight a war in Nicaragua, and left only an audio recording to explain his actions. Other paintings depict the biblical stories of Jonah and King David. Yet another deals with a strange coincidence that reminds him of a close relative that recently passed away from cancer.
“I’m overwhelmed by the reaction that I’ve received about my art. I paint about the things that have meaning in my life, and it is amazing to know that it touches others. The messages are simple. Be honest to yourself. Hold yourself accountable for your actions. Never forget. And live your life fully without wishing to hit ‘Kmndz’.”