Education

Published on July 23rd, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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School District Five alum draws up a dream job, turns it to reality

IRMO – Kev Roché knew he wanted to be a P.E. teacher. He had his mind all made up.

“I wanted the job where I could wear sweatpants every day,” the 2001 graduate of Dutch Fork High laughed.

But the more he thought about it, maybe there was a better opportunity out there for him.

Growing up in School District Five, Roché always had a passion for drawing. With the encouragement of teachers, he kept putting the pen to paper and today creates artwork for books and television, including those for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”

“I remember being a student at CrossRoads and my art teachers telling me to keep going,” Roché said. “There were always opportunities to grow my skills.”

After graduating from Dutch Fork High and realizing teaching wasn’t for him, Roché decided to dive deeper into the art and design world, studying studio art at the University of South Carolina.

Once his time was up in Columbia, Roché found himself back home in Irmo doodling in his free time, but nothing substantial to show for it. That all changed one day through his love for sports.

Roché was watching a favorite show of his on ESPN one afternoon when he noticed some terrible artwork on the set.

“I was looking at it and the host said someone drew a portrait of him so they decided to put it out there for the world to see,” he said. “It wasn’t the most skilled piece, let’s just say.”

Knowing he could do better, Roché went to the drawing board, literally. After about a week, his masterpiece was complete and he sent it in to the show’s producer. From that moment forward, Roché’s life would be changed forever.

“The producer emailed me back almost immediately and said, ‘The guys love it, can we use it on air?’” Roché said. “He responded back, ‘Well yeah, that was the whole point! Absolutely!’”

Not long after, one of the hosts emailed Roché as well, thanking him for his piece and the artist from Irmo, South Carolina knew what he needed to do next.

“Now that I had direct contact with a personality at ESPN, I started sending him more designs of co-workers and they all loved it.”

Eventually, a job was offered to Roché to continue designing for shows. It spring boarded into creating artwork for “Sunday Night Baseball” where his pieces are featured each week. Roché spends his weeks drawing players from the team’s featured in the matchup, tying in creative themes to the player’s backgrounds. He also designs for the network’s show “Baseball Tonight.”

Despite seeing his work on national television dozens of times, it still a surreal feeling for Roché.

“Every now and then, I’ll have a game on and see my work pop up, and it will catch me off guard sometimes,” he said. “Like you have dreams as a kid of having your work published for a big company someday, and the fact that I am really doing it is wild.”

In addition to his work with ESPN, Roché also teamed up with former Gamecock football players Langston Moore and Preston Thorne to create a children’s book called “Just A Chicken.” Roché’s illustration help paint the picture of a story about a Gamecock fitting in and teaching children to embrace who they are.

To see more of Roché’s work, visit http://www.kevdraws.com/.

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