Meet Alexa Hojai, a talented young artist from the picturesque hill station of Haflong in Assam. She is currently studying at Cotton University in Guwahati and has been doodling and making art since she was just 11 years old.
Alexa’s art is like a time machine; with every doodle and surreal sketch, she whisks you away to places and moments you thought you’d forgotten. It’s like stepping into a beautiful daydream. Her preferred canvas is the off-white watercolor paper, a choice that lends her creations an ‘ancient’ ambiance. With fineliners as her trusty companions, she brings intricate details to life, all while experimenting with the soothing and therapeutic art of painting.
In her own words, Alexa beautifully encapsulates her artistic process “I sometimes mess my art with paint, and then fix them by adding details. It gives me an odd satisfaction when the messy part of the art is fixed; it’s like fixing real-life problems.” Over a chat, we journey through her hometown of Haflong, and explore her favorite art tools and mediums, her sources of inspiration, and more.
R&L: Hi Alexa please introduce yourself.
Alexa: Hi, my name is Alexa Hojai and I’m from Haflong, a hill station in Assam. I’m a full-time student and I’m currently studying at Cotton University, Guwahati.
R&L: Your artwork, primarily composed of doodles and surrealist sketches, evokes a sense of nostalgia and transports the viewer to another time and place. Can you tell us if this impression aligns with your intentions when creating your art, or is there a different story behind your work?
Alexa: Well, I’m not sure what kind of art style I really have. Initially, I started with doodles like drawing cartoon faces and as time passed by, I discovered my own art style I usually draw people’s faces that do not show emotions.
“I’ve always wanted to create something different, something that cannot be copied, and so adding the details became my thing. Also, I’ve always been into artworks with extreme details, ancient art, and Japanese traditional art. These interests have influenced my current artistic style.”
R&L: Your hometown is Haflong, Assam. Could you share something about this place and whether it has had any influence on your artistic pursuits?
Alexa: ‘Haflong’ is a truly beautiful hill station surrounded by mountains where I believe every artist would love to stay. I can’t tell in what way it has influenced my artistic pursuits since I fail to understand my own art and its meaning. But it is certain that one’s surroundings influence the art that they create.
R&L: Many artists have a preferred medium they feel most connected to. What is your preferred medium for creating your art, and why does it resonate with you?
Alexa: I prefer using off-white watercolor papers which is like 300-400 gsm to give my art an ‘ancient’ look. I use fineliners to draw and I also paint. Growing up as someone who struggled to express herself in words, drawing was the only way. I find painting very soothing although I’m not very good at it. Painting is like freeing one’s mind from all the negativity.
“I sometimes mess my art with paint, and then fix them by adding details. It gives me an odd satisfaction when the messy part of the art is fixed; it’s like fixing real-life problems.”
R&L: Your Instagram account seems relatively new, suggesting you might be a newcomer to sharing your art publicly. Could you shed light on your artistic journey?
Alexa: I do not create content and I’m too lazy to do that job, that’s the reason why I failed to gather audiences. I’ve been doodling since I was 11 and I created my account ‘_dwwende_’ 2 years ago when I was 15. I haven’t been consistent lately and I felt like reaching more people would boost me to keep doing it. I’m glad to have discovered R&L to share my story.
R&L: What do you hope to achieve through your art? Is there a particular message or feeling you aim to convey to your audience, or are there specific emotions or thoughts you want viewers to take away from your creations?
Alexa: I can’t answer when people ask me what message my art conveys. Sometimes art is a way to express myself and sometimes I do it because I want to create some nice. It depends. I like to see people being delighted when they look at my art. My artworks are never perfect, they can show people no matter how flawed something is, they can be still beautiful in their own way. This could be the message to the audience.
“But, through what perspective people want to see it depends on them: they may either wonder what art materials I’ve used, how much time it took me or they may see it as an escape from the world where people thirst for perfection.”
R&L: Before we wrap up, here are 5 rapid-fire questions for you.
Early bird or night owl?
Alexa: I wish to be an early bird but I can’t be one. I’m neither an early bird nor a night owl. I stay up late at night when I have something interesting going on on my phone. Being asleep till noon gives me a guilt trip so I just make sure that I get enough sleep and wake up before noon.
One art tool you can’t live without?
Alexa: One art tool I cannot live without is fineliner, I need it in almost everything. Using fineliner to give details on my art gives it a ‘printed’ kind of look.
Dream project you’d love to work on someday?
Alexa: I haven’t thought of any dream project on which I’d love to work but I have one dream- to get all of my art pieces displayed in a big art gallery.
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or deceased, who would it be?
Alexa: I’ve never thought of collaborating with any artist but there’s one living artist named Takato Yamamoto whom I really admire.
If you had a time machine, which era would you visit and why?
Alexa: If I had a time machine, I’d go to the era that witnessed the development of Japanese traditional art or maybe the Renaissance of Europe. Reading about the Renaissance of Europe in history gives me thrills. I’d love to learn about intellectuals, artists, and writers of that era in person if I could travel to the past.
Artist to look out for: Meet Alexa Hojai from Haflong, Assam
- “Refining my art with a fineliner is like fixing real-life issues. It’s truly therapeutic.” – Chat with Student and Artist Alexa Hojai from Haflong, Assam - September 18, 2023
- “I am What I Believe Myself to Be” – An Artist’s Perspective with Ajanbeni from Small Town Wokha, Nagaland - June 25, 2023
- “I Pen My Experiences of Joy and Pain, Victory and Defeat, for Inspiration in My Lowest Moments” – Chat with 16-Year-Old Divinia from Shillong - June 17, 2023