Photo by Camden Andl ’19 | A boxer delivers an uppercut to his opponent in an “Inktober” sketchbook illustration by Avery Hodge ’19.
By Camden Andl ’19
Many on the Brophy campus have seen the artwork of Avery Hodge ’19, but they may not realize the work behind each piece, and Hodge’s art in general.
Hodge, like most kids, began doodling at a young age. In grade school, he was inspired by video games, comics, manga—especially Pokémon.
Hodge said that during his sophomore year, he began to become bored of the traditional superhero comics he had grown up on—comics such as Superman and Green Lantern.
“They win the day every single time, and everyone is cheering for them—it’s the worst,” Hodge said. “Being tired of those, I didn’t really want to read comics.
While in a library one day, Hodge saw something that caught his eye—a manga called “Naruto.”
“I picked up one of the random volumes of it,” Hodge said. “The first thing I saw was an illustration of someone yelling at Naruto about how much he sucked. And I was like ‘What? He’s the hero of this book—I mean the book was named after him.’”
After taking the book home, Hodge quickly became obsessed, finishing the entire series in a matter of weeks.
Hodge said that in “Naruto,” the artist sometimes interjects in between chapters with personal comedic anecdotes.
“That was the first time a realized that actual people made these things,” Hodge said. “Seeing how much that comic had inspired me made me want to do that myself.”
Hodge said that after realizing he wanted to pursue his passion of illustration, he would create schedules for himself to improve his craft.
Hodge purchased a sketchbook during his junior year and began taking it everywhere to hone the craft that he had become very serious about.
Last summer, Hodge stayed in Washington D.C., where he would often wander down to the Smithsonian and spend the whole day sketching.
“I would go and stand in front of one exhibit and be there for the rest of the day—so I only saw one thing,” Hodge said. “Really, I could go to the Smithsonian for years and not see all of it.”
Hodge constantly pushes himself to find the hardest form of art he can. Once he feels one form has become too easy for him, he moves on to the next.
After drawing photo-realistic images for a while, Hodge’s current fascination has become animation.
“For me right now, there’s nothing cooler than drawing something and seeing it come to life through motion,” Hodge said. “Some people find great satisfaction in being able to capture a portrait in exactly the way they imagined it. For me, I like to show life through movement.”
Hodge is a part of Brophy’s newly formed animation club, started by Dean Kobs ’20 and a few friends.
Along with being in animation club with Hodge, Kobs is currently in AP Studio Art with him as well.
“Avery does a lot more than we need to have for class,” Kobs said. “He’s always working on something, no matter what it is. I can tell he spends a lot of his time working on his art and perfecting it.”
Kobs said that he invited Hodge to join animation club after he learned Hodgehad taken Xavier’s animation class over his junior year.
“He [Hodge] is one of the main guys in there animating with us,” Kobs said. “We’re currently working on a video that we hope to finish by the end of the semester.”
Hodge said that he plans on pursuing illustration and animation in college, though he does not know which school he will attend yet.
“For me, the most important thing in searching for a school is their art programs,” Hodge said. “I plan on doing it in college, after college, and hopefully for my entire life. I don’t think I’m ever going to stop drawing.”