The Museum Educators at Creative Discovery Museum create fun, playful and positive experiences through interactions and engagement with guests. So if you’ve visited the Museum in the last year and a half, you have probably seen Dean Hodge leading science lessons, helping out in the Visual Arts Gallery or reading some of his favorite children’s books to visitors in the Discovery Library.
What do you like about working for CDM? I love working here because of the atmosphere. It’s so enjoyable. Everyone is very positive. I have great co-workers that have become my really good friends. And the kids that come in here invigorate me. When you can see them playing and having fun, you start really enjoying what you’re doing.
Before working at CDM, what did you do? I was in school. I wanted to go to the Savannah College for Art and Design for a long time, but I had to get a few prerequisite courses out of the way at Dalton State College. After that, I transferred to SCAD and graduated in May of 2015 with a Sequential Arts Degree. I draw comics and story boards for film.
Who is your favorite comic book artist? Mike Wieringo. He’s the one that got me interested in doing comic book art for a living. He did a run with Fantastic Four back in 2004 and I loved his style so much. It was appealing because it was a superhero comic, but the art had a cartoon feel to it. I thought it was so cool when I was a kid. That’s part of the reason I started working here. I wanted to figure out what kids enjoy, what they thought about and how they interpret the world around them so I can incorporate that in my art. I’ve learned so much about that just from working here.
When did you become interested in art? I started drawing when I was five. I would sit down with a stack of 500 sheets of printer paper in front of the TV. I would watch different cartoons and Disney moves and draw what I would see on TV.
Why do you think it’s important for kids to make and learn about art even as young as three- and four-years old? Art gets kids thinking creatively. They can ask themselves, “What do these colors look like together? What could I do to fill this space?” It starts with little questions here and there which leads to growing their creative vocabulary.
You are a big fan of Spiderman and Daredevil, but who do you consider to be a real-life superhero? My mom. She’s super awesome. I take notes from her on how to be outgoing and kind because that’s how she always is. If anyone ever has an issue, she’s always there to listen. I’ve tried to be as good of a listener as she is. I fall short sometimes, but I try. Her love of people and love of kids has definitely rubbed off on me.
What is something you try to do every single day? I try to put my best foot forward and be kind to everybody-something my mom taught me.