Origami Enthusiast: Meet Serena Torres

Sophomore Serena Torres works on making units for her latest origami sculpture. She has spent a number of days making the individual units and putting them together. "I like working on origami because the finished product makes me proud since I worked so hard," Torres said.
Photo credit: Miruel Talaro

Folding one piece of paper may not amount to much, but folding over 100 pieces certainly can. Sophomore Serena Torres has been practicing origami as a hobby for the past three years.

Southwest Shadow: How did your interest in origami begin?

Serena Torres: I started in seventh grade when my friend got a different reading teacher than I did and they had to do an assignment where they had make origami cranes. I said to myself that it looked really cool and I wanted to teach myself how to make it. The same day, I went home and went on the internet and made my own origami crane.

Shadow: What methods do you use to learn how to make origami?

ST: There are different users on YouTube that do origami tutorials and I take tips from each one. Reading doesn’t really work for me because it makes me more confused. It has to be more hands-on; I have to see it for myself.

Shadow: What aspects of making origami do you like?

ST: You work so hard to make something, and the harder you work the better it turns out. When you show it to people, their feedback is really nice and you get that motivation to do more.

Shadow: How do you keep yourself motivated to finish a project?

ST: The fact that not many people do it and that people remember me as the “origami girl” helps to motivate me. Also, the compliments keep me going.

Shadow: What is the hardest part about making origami?

ST: It depends on the origami I do. There are two types of origami: 3D and regular folding. For regular folding, the hardest part is that you have to be really precise. The more precise you can be, the better it’ll turn out. For 3D origami, the hardest part is putting it all together. After you fold all your units, putting it together into one big project can be difficult.

Shadow: What qualities do you need to be successful in origami?

ST: The main quality that you need to be successful is a lot of patience. If you don’t have patience, you will not be able to finish the project you are trying to finish. You also need precision because if you’re not precise, then it won’t turn out the way you want it to be.

Shadow: How long was your most time consuming project?

ST: This summer actually. It took me a whole month to finish this project. It’s a 3D origami swan and it took me a month. I had to make 500 3D origami units and then I put them together. It’s really time consuming to make the units and you need a lot of patience.

Shadow: What do you do with the finished product?

ST: Well some are gifts for special people. The person has to be really special to me; I can’t just give it to random people. Other times, I would like to keep a project to myself because I worked hard on it.

Shadow: What have you given to people and why did you choose to give it to that person?

ST: I have given a various amount of origami to certain people. I’ve ranged from giving a simple paper crane to a complex 3D origami heart box. I usually give origami that fits into the certain individual’s personality. For example, I have given my 3D origami heart box to my sister because she uses jewelry a lot and the heart represents my love towards her.

Shadow: Are you currently working on a project?

ST: I’m currently making a 3D origami flower basket and I was thinking of giving it to someone. I just need to decide who.