About Carissa 


    Artist.  Illustrator.  Writer.  Autism Advocate

Carissa is an award-winning artist from the United States.  She has always had a proclivity to express herself through art.  Before she was verbally communicating, she was already drawing and expressing herself through art.  She started drawing when she was a toddler, but her art talent became evident at age three.  At age six, she was diagnosed on the autism spectrum.  Growing up, it was a challenge for her to speak to people.  She found it helped when she took pencil to paper and began drawing.  Art in its many forms helped her express her feelings in a multitude of colors and emotions of characters.

She has been doing art commissions since 1st grade.  At 15, she had her first solo art exhibit in Pasadena, California.  She has received a wide variety of awards and recognition for her artwork and have been seen in numerous exhibits, fairs, and festivals in Canada and the United States (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Brooklyn, Seattle, Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Riverside, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.)

As a self-taught artist at a young age and not even sure if she was going to graduate in high school, her parents were relieved to learn of the Creative Arts, Media and Design (CAMAD), a studio arts focused program offered by their school district.  She attended the CAMAD's Visual Arts & Design Academy in Pasadena High School.  She also attended an advanced arts high school program at the Otis College Arts of Design on a full scholarship awarded by the highly-competitive Ryman Arts.  She was also a four-time scholarship recipient of the Art Center College Teen program and the Armory Center of Arts.  Throughout high school, she attended art classes, workshops and summer programs in arts, illustration, and animation classes at CalArts, UCLA Summer of Arts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, and Woodbury University.

Carissa recently graduated from high school and was awarded the Pasadena Educational Foundation's Norman Schmidt Visual Arts Scholarship.  She got offered a four-year renewable scholarship at the Otis College of Arts & Design in Los Angeles and the Cornish College of Arts in Seattle.  Undecided which college to attend at this time, she has deferred both offers and is currently in a Studio Arts program at Pasadena City College.  .