Alexandra Eftimie, a first-year psychobiology student, became interested in art at 8 years old. Her father was a passionate artist who encouraged her love of drawing and painting by taking her to art academy classes in Pasadena.
She started her artistic path by drawing caricatures but slowly found her groove in realistic oil paintings. Her favorite piece she has created to date is an oil painting of her grandmother cleaning fish in the bathroom because it takes her back to her childhood, Eftimie said.
Not being being an art major anymore has allowed her to find small spurts of inspiration where she can explore her artistic side without having to fully commit to a concept, she said.
She also uses her art to help others. She created a nonprofit called ArtAvatar that pays for schooling for children in Fiji and Nigeria.
Eftimie paints portraits of the children, sells the paintings and then sends all the funds to the children to pay for school tuition.
While in school, she sketches in small bursts to stay connected to her artistic roots. She finds it hard to create actual paintings, so she tends to only sketch caricatures while at UCLA, but she still works on commission at the request of friends.