Maelin Levine

Maker /


Recognized nationally by a multitude of organizations, MaeLin Levine is the Partner and Creative Director of Visual Asylum and President of Urban Discovery Academy. Originally from Leadville, Colorado, Levine holds a BFA in Graphic Communications Design from the University of Denver and participated in the AIGA professional program at Harvard Business School. MaeLin was awarded the prestigious AIGA Fellow Award in 2008.

MaeLin served on the board of the San Diego Chapter of AIGA – the professional association of Graphic Artists – for sixteen years and was president for four years. In that role she was part of the team that envisioned and launched the Y Conference, now in it’s 20th year, and developed the first ever international chapter of the organization.

More recently Levine has turned her attention toward a new passion project as President of the Board of Trustees of the Urban Discovery Academy (UDA) – a highly successful K-8 charter school. This unique learning environment integrates the creative DNA of Visual Asylum into its curriculum and character development programs. Levine is also a design instructor at San Diego City College, where she has served as an adjunct faculty member for nearly twenty years.

Levine’s hallmark style incorporates bold use of color and whimsical touches, and she is inspired by Alexander Girard, Charles & Ray Eames, Edith Head, folk art, toys, dolls, fabric and paper. Collaborative by nature, MaeLin appreciates working with clients who challenge the status quo and value the big picture.

What does Maker mean to you?  A maker is someone who creates something from nothing!

What do you enjoy most about living and working in San Diego?  The light, the energy, the people.

Any advice or words of wisdom/hopes or dreams pertaining to UDA or our City that you would like to share?  I am so excited about the future of downtown San Diego, it’s thrilling to be a part of creating a vibrant, active East Village. I started my business in the core of what it is now the IDEA District 28 years ago, to now have both my business and Urban Discovery Academy and the new id8High Academy there as well is heartwarming.