Karina Velez

Alumni Spotlight

LEAP Academy Class of 2017

Currently, I am living in New York attending the Parsons School of Design. I plan to major in illustration and a dual minor in art history and museum and curatorial studies. My first semester at Parsons has really tested me in terms of the kind of projects which I produce. Before coming to Parsons, I rarely made any 3D art, worked with power tools, or even made a proper photo shop presentation. For the most part (with a few exceptions) I worked in 2D. Having this whole new set of ideas and skills put into my head has really expanded my view of art.

LEAP provided me with many opportunities which I never even thought I would want to experience. Being able to take college classes for credit while in high school not only mentally prepared me for the amount of work college requires but also how classes run in a college setting. LEAP also gave me access to things, such as the Fabrication Lab, which I ended up utilizing many times during the creation of my portfolio. In the Fabrication Lab, I had access to both a laser cutter and 3D printers. I used both machines for two very important projects which I put into my portfolio. Using the 3D printers, I created crayon molds using flexible filament. The goal for these molds is to have people melt down old broken crayons and put them into the molds to have and make a new crayon into a fun shape. For the second project I made a wooden puzzle using the laser cutter.

In order to get where I am now I had to be able to separate my personal life from my professional life. I will admit that separating those things are difficult but once you master it, getting things done will be much easier. After Parsons I hope to do one of two things. The first is to work as a character designer for cartoons or video games. My hope with this is that one day I might be able to create my own graphic novel or cartoon. The other thing which I would love to do is work at a museum as a curator.