Fall has officially begun in Los Angeles and LAAFA is bringing this new series called “Get To Know Our Instructors”, where we ask our amazing, current instructors questions to get to know them a little better. We will ask questions about their line of work, but most importantly questions about how they see themselves in the spectrum of the art world.

For this post, I have interviewed our recent LAAFA alumna and now Extension Class instructor, Rohini Sen. She is also currently working with us at LAAFA as the Admissions Assistant. Below is a list of questions that will help us understand the creative mind of Rohini:

Rohini in front of her drawing “Chinook” displayed in the California Art Clubs 107th Gold Metal Exhibition.

  • What was your experience like as a student here at LAAFA?

Studying at LAAFA was the intensive and immersive experience I was looking for. I knew that this course of study would really push my growth as an artist, challenge the habits I had built that weren’t getting me anywhere, and also teach me a world of knowledge that I wasn’t even aware of. I was also able to make connections within the artist’s network here that just would not have been possible in another country.

  • What is your preferred method or medium?

In terms of drawing, I absolutely love charcoal! The subtle nuances you can achieve, the drama, the emotion you can create, it’s all exciting to me. In terms of painting, oil medium is always my preferred choice. In terms of painting, I am totally captivated by oils. Working in oils challenges me to no end, but it is still the most rewarding medium.

“Mysteries” by Rohini Sen

  • Being international and especially as a woman and a woman of color, what have been some challenges for you as an artist in the United States?

As an international artist, everything just feels foreign, so even after 4 years of living here there is still some lost in translation issues … and I speak English!  But the comfort and familiarity in surroundings, and networks etc, don’t compare to the discovery and exploration that I can choose to experience here. I would not grow as an artist without them!

I feel very privileged to be an artist and a woman of color in this time of history. I’m aware of the challenges that could arise in time and the undercurrent that goes unspoken, but I honestly have not experienced anything overt that would deter my resolve as an artist. If anything, it would serve to fuel me further towards the fire to carry on.

  • What are some projects that you are currently working on?

I am working on a group of paintings and drawings that center around the extinct and endangered of the earth. The connection of the indigenous people groups, the animals and the land.

“Chinook” by Rohini Sen

  • What advice do you have for current or future students of LAAFA looking to make it into the art world?

Take all the opportunities you can while you are here. Volunteer, sit in on extra classes, go to events. When you have instructor time, ask specific questions pertaining to your work that will help with your personal vision as an artist. If you don’t know what that is, take time to figure it out, and invite your peers and instructors to offer critical feedback. Think beyond school, even before or while you are in it.