Devon Rodriguez is a New York City-based artist and TikTok creator whose talents and creativity have amassed him a community of more than 32 million followers (and counting!). On TikTok, Devon is known for his incredibly realistic drawings of New Yorkers on the subway, where he draws commuters and films their reactions as he hands them their finished portrait.
Originally from The Bronx, Devon’s early inspiration came from New York’s street art scene, where he began practicing graffiti at age 11. Eventually growing an interest in portraiture and realism thanks to a childhood teacher, he attended Manhattan’s coveted High School of Art and Design in 2011. It was here that he began sketching portraits of commuters’ everyday lives on the New York City Subway.
After graduating, he briefly attended Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) until demand for his commissioned portraits grew drastically, teaching him more than a formal education could ever provide.
Devon began sharing his art on TikTok around the same time he was able to ride the subway again—the summer of 2020. Quickly achieving viral success, Devon continued to build his following by capturing the lives of everyday New Yorkers amidst New York’s most unique moment in history.
Spreading Positivity Through Portraiture
You’ve seen Devon Rodriguez’s portrait drawing in action on TikTok and Instagram, and soon you can join him at the NOW Conference! In his featured presentation, Devon will share the stories behind his portraits, his rise to fame on social media, and the lessons our students can learn from his work.
Devon will also share his own story and talk about his career as an artist, discussing why he believes in the power of portraiture, how he connects with his subjects, and how he hopes to spread positivity through his artwork and his actions.
Schedule of Events
The conference schedule will be available soon!
Other NOW Presenters
Continue to check back as more presenters will be added to the lineup.
Collaborative Artworks Across the Campus
In this presentation, Meera will show a number of different collaborative art projects she has facilitated across all different grade levels. She will also share the lessons she has learned from teaching these projects and give you the framework needed to bring collaborative learning to your own classroom.
Expressive Mark Making and Abstract Art
Chris’s presentation can serve as an opportunity for you to do some personal artmaking or as a template for a meaningful project with your students. By focusing on curiosity, exploration, and joy, you will find a project that helps everyone think differently about artmaking as they create their abstract, expressive work.
The Importance of Creativity and Exploration
Inquiry and investigation can play an vital role in how our students conceive of their artmaking process and how they develop their portfolios. Kristina’s presentation will show you how to infuse more creativity into all parts of the process, challenging your students to find new avenues of exploration. She will share resources, ideas, and plans, all of which can bring creative thinking into your classroom immediately.
Planning Curriculum with Students
The curriculum we teach can play a critical role in students’ learning and understanding with the myriad topics we cover in the art room. But how can art teachers create effective and meaningful lessons that also incorporate the interests and curiosities of our students? Join Kandice Stewart as she shares how she facilitates planning with her students to co-create a plan for learning that benefits everyone who is involved.
Creative Changemakers: Teaching Authentic Art History
This presentation will help you explore ways to incorporate diverse artists into your art curriculum in authentic and respectful ways. Paula Liz will show you why representation has a positive impact on students’ learning experiences and the benefits of including diverse artists in your curriculum. She will also share strategies and resources for authentic inclusion.