Interview with Christina Ranjan – Art Teacher

Who inspired you to pursue art?

Right from my childhood I was interested to do everything related to drawing, painting and crafts. My parents channeled my interest to passion by providing me with a home tutor to learn different visual arts in a structured manner.

For how many years have you been working as an art teacher?

I have been running Christina’s Art Studio at Chennai since 2014.

What is your educational background and experience?

I have completed my UG in Sociology, Diploma in Interior design, Diploma in Building Design and Diploma in Labour and Administrative Law. I am a design lecturer for 4 colleges in the city with 7 years of experience. My brain child is Christina’s Art Studio.

How do you collaborate with others?

I am going to have an international collaboration with Japan very soon.

How do you communicate through art?

Art is a form of expression. It can be communicated through writings and colours. It can also communicate wishes through greetings. All handmade products involve dedication and workmanship. There is always a feeling of attachment and a personal touch when an artwork is done by oneself.

Describe your teaching style

I always prefer teaching small groups so that I would be able to provide individual attention. I believe in 100% hands on practice for every course of arts and crafts that I teach. Today most of the art and craft courses have become commercialised by trying to restrict the course in a nutshell and mislead that everyone can master everything in just 2 or 3 hours. My teaching ethics don’t follow this approach.

How do you overcome classroom management challenges?

About 99% of my participants are always focused in what they want to learn. Everyday challenges come and go in terms of satisfying their requirements by providing extra time if required along with a flexible schedule.

How do you accommodate students with special needs in the art room?

I do teach students with special needs. I prefer their mothers to be present along with them so that the participants who are with special needs are given that comfort space and warmth.

Through which medium do your students know about you?

It’s mostly through Facebook. I have started using Instagram.

Many people come to know about Christina’s Art Studio through word of mouth.

Name some of the art projects which are favourites of your students.

I would like to mention few names of my students along with their projects

Mrs Jennifer Arul (eminent television journalist, age:69) – calligraphy work on cards

Mrs Shanta (age 62) – Decoupage projects with 25 techniques

Mrs Meenakshi (age 26) – Card making with distress inks and stamping

Miss Sacitha (std-12 student) – Mixed Media

Describe some of the ways you display student artwork.

I exhibit my students work through social media.

What are the benefits of attending your art workshops?

All my workshops are structured by using the right materials with a small group of participants. Most of my workshops are exclusively for women. All the courses are from different parts of the globe. The most important thing is that my participants need not have any prior experience with arts and crafts. The only mandatory requirement is that they have to bring their interest and passion along with them.

Why do you feel art is an important part of everyone’s life?

Yes, I strongly feel arts and crafts would play an important role as therapy. It also enhances concentration.

Art is a discovery and development of elementary principles of nature into beautiful forms suitable for human use (Frank Lloyd Wright).

Which particular area of art fascinates you?

Calligraphy has been always dear to my heart since childhood.

Do you think art can be used to reduce stress at the workplace? If so, how?

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” ― Aristotle

Stress is all around. When individuals are creating something related to arts and crafts their focus is on their creation. They wouldn’t be able to think about anything. They would be able to forget their worries when they see their own handmade stuff. The vibrant colours that are used in any arts and crafts would always bring out positivity. Art is a universal skill. It could be learnt with a little bit of effort.

What advice do you have for students who want to pursue art as a career?

There is a tremendous growth in the field of fine arts. Students should be focused in what they want. They should be very clear with their career options and achieve their goals at the right time. This isn’t a theory subject and not marks based, achievements and climbing the ladder is the only scale to measure success.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and may not reflect those of this organisation.