FORT LAUDERDALE — Tequesta Tiger, a freshman at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, has a palette of ideas for a future in art.
She wants to use her passion for drawing to create learning tools, such as books, graphic novels and video games, for children.
“I want to make my own stories one day and help kids understand them,” said Tiger, of the Big Cypress Reservation.
To accomplish her goal, Tiger is pursuing an associate degree in illustration, which will take three to four years to complete. The illustration program starts with history, theory and trends, then moves into painting, photography and problem solving. Eventually she will incorporate software to design and create projects.
Tiger is also interested in animation, which delves deeper into 3-D computer generated formats that make illustrations come alive. Once she has finished her illustration credits and has more room in her busy schedule – four hours of class, five days a week – she plans to take animation classes as electives.
“I want to try to bring more originality into the world,” said the 18-year-old.
Both subjects take a lot of dedication, but the valedictorian of the 2013 graduating class at Ahfachkee School has a system for success. She calculates how much time she needs for each assignment and completes them in order from most pressing to least. Exams and major projects come first, followed by quizzes and homework assignments.
Her biggest challenge was switching from PC to Mac to complete school projects. But as time passed, she adapted to the Mac.
Although she majors in art, Tiger’s favorite class is psychology. She said understanding human behavior is key to art; it helps the artist create emotion in his or her work through facial expressions and body language.
After receiving her degree, Tiger plans to expand her education through another hobby. She aims to earn a bachelor’s degree in gaming and art development then use her favorite gaming themes – role play, fantasy and history – to create child friendly learning games.
Tiger said she values her education, which stems from the advice her parents, Cara Tiger and Big Cypress Councilman Mondo Tiger, have given her.
“Education never leaves you,” she said. “It’s better to have education in your life, stay in school and work hard.”
Once finished with school, Tiger wants to travel, then return to work for the Tribe – possibly at Seminole Media Productions – and “make young kids understand there’s a world beyond the boarder of the Tribe.”