PUBLISHED: 4:12 PM on Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Student mixes it up with love for art - and a business plan

Photo by Amanda Gragert
  UAS student Rob Korpela with his artwork.
It is all about energy and a positive attitude for Rob Korpela.

After years of working various jobs including construction and retail, Korpela decided to return to school five years ago at the University of Alaska Southeast.

A little more than a year ago, the business management major decided to take an art class for an elective.

"I've always been interested in art and when I was younger I would notice things that I thought were good composition and would take pictures," Korpela said.

After taking a silk screening class and creating his own designs, Korpela tried his hand at painting.

"Painting was a lot faster," Korpela said. "I didn't even know I could paint and suddenly I was cranking them out. I did about 55 paintings in one semester."

Korpela said his artwork is abstract and shows some impressionistic style. The hard lines and bright colors show energy, he said.

"I don't want my pieces to look dark but to pick people up and speak of life. I want the art to radiate life, joy, peace and love. All that good stuff," Korpela said.

Korpela grew up in California and his love of surfing, snowboarding and riding motorcycles shows in his paintings. About 15 years ago he moved to Juneau.

"I wanted to get away from the big city life and wanted to get focused and do something," said Korpela, who is a full-time student and works at GCI.

To make the most of his college experience, Korpela has envisioned a company to utilize his class training and his love for art. He hopes to someday launch a company called VisionKraze International, where he wants to use his images on products such as skateboards and snowboards, as well as do video and audio work.

"I would love to just see it all come together and use everything I've learned to make it happen. My professors in business and management and in art have been really supportive and helpful in giving me advice," Korpela said.