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Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art or LAAFA is as the name says a school of figurative art, but tell us more about its founding and what it aims to create and inspire?  

LAAFA was started with the intention of fulfilling a need in our community by offering figurative classes that would be taught by talented professional artists.  In just a short time, we built a strong reputation as a learning institution that provided high quality foundational training. Our mission is to educate and train artists in both the technical and philosophical use of the figure as it pertains to representation in the fields of drawing, painting and entertainment art.  Students graduate with the knowledge necessary to alter the landscape of artistic expression in today’s art world and the confidence to pursue a lasting career as a successful artist. 

Maisie Yang - Graduate 


The school offers a variety of different degree programs, talk us through the choices and what one can expect from the experience?  

We offer accredited degrees and certificates in Fine Art and Entertainment Art.  Both programs give students 18 months of foundational training in Anatomy, Drawing, Painting and Sculpting prior to starting a concentration.  The experience of the small class size of our programs gives the students individual attention from their instructors, thus helping them overcome the unique challenges of an art education in a more focused and intensive way. Our Los Angeles location provides students with a plethora of opportunities to engage with the leading fine art and commercial art centers of the world, including galleries, museums, animation studios, game studios and entertainment art studios

Nikita Budkov - Current Student


For those who aren’t able to study in your full-time program you also have a range of extension classes and workshops. Who would you say would benefit most from the different options, talk us through an average day of workshops? 

All artists from beginners to professionals who are unable to commit to a full-time curriculum can take advantage of our professional, expert, local instructors and visiting artists throughout the year.  Students can choose from 4 to 10-week classes that range from 3 to 5 hours per day to workshops that run 2 to 7 days for 6-hours a day. During a workshop, students receive demonstrations and lectures by the instructor, one-on-one critiques and the opportunity to hone their skills. We also have a Summer Art Program designed for teens and young adults who are interested in personal development and preparatory art study. Students receive personal attention in a creative learning environment. In addition, students from around the globe can take individual online courses and learn from top professional artists by visiting  These online courses enrich and challenge all artists to pursue their goals regardless of physical location.

Daniel Bilmes -  LAAFA Faculty


With such a broad range of options for those wanting to study and being listed as one of the world’s top schools - the application process must be tough, what tips can you give to prospective applicants?  

The Office of Admissions only admits a small number of students each year and encourages prospective students to submit a completed application and supporting documents early.  We look for students that show a strong desire to learn, and a serious commitment to become a professional artist.  Students submit a well-presented portfolio including figurative drawings, still life drawings, landscapes, and sketchbook studies, all from life, that show their range of interest and ability. In addition, our interview process, on-campus or online, allows us to communicate with candidates to determine if our programs are the right choice for the prospective student.

Elyse Fulcher - Graduate


With such prestigious programs the collection of graduates must be impressive, who’ve been your standouts thus far?

We are very proud of the work of our talented graduates.  As an example, Elyse Fulcher graduated from our Fine Art Program and has found success in the world of entertainment design with a local entertainment studio. A graduate of our Entertainment Art Program, Maisie Yang is currently killing it at Riot Games as a concept artist. Eric Pederson graduated from our Fine Art Program and is successfully exhibiting in New York City.

Nathan Fowkes - Online Courses


2017 is well underway. What can we expect from LAAFA this year and which graduates should we be keeping any eye out for?

Nikita Budkov and S.K Simon are completing our Fine Arts Program and are showing great promise developing their body of work. Currently, they are involved with the prestigious California Art Club in Pasadena.