small talk // rose jaffe // illustrator + visual artist // washington, d.c.


 rose jaffe at the story park mural in noma // part of 50 artists painting on a parking lot - one of the largest public art pieces in the washington area 

rose jaffe at the story park mural in noma // part of 50 artists painting on a parking lot - one of the largest public art pieces in the washington area 

i first met rose jaffe in art school at the university of michigan back in 2007. i didn't know rose very well in school. she's always had a distinct artistic style and self-confidence that i seriously admire. it's interesting to see how her illustration work has evolved from drawing to painting to graffiti over the years. rose just goes for it and does her thing and it's inspiring and wicked cool. now she is based in dc so we recently caught up over the phone about our creative projects. i would love to organize an alumni show someday soon.

more about rose below:

 rose jaffe // wood burned and acrylic painted funky ladies to be installed at a local coffee shop

rose jaffe // wood burned and acrylic painted funky ladies to be installed at a local coffee shop

cultureisland: tell us more about you.

rose jaffe: i was born and raised in washington, d.c. i went to school at the university of michigan school of art & design and had a wonderful four years in ann arbor. i moved back to washington after and have found a welcoming, growing art scene here. i feel like i am rediscovering the city as a young adult and truly loving what dc has to offer -- as an artist and member of the community. 

 rose jaffe // "four women" mural at the  fridge , local gallery in dc

rose jaffe // "four women" mural at the fridge, local gallery in dc

cultureisland: tell us more about your art.

rose jaffe: i am a trained illustrator -- i have a true passion for drawing. however lately i have been doing more painting, small and large scale. as an art teacher i always play with various mediums and enjoy the challenge of switching up the medium -- from printmaking to painting and even sculpture. the medium for me is just the form of expression, the language in which your art speaks. exploring new ways of “speaking” through art excites me. all of my work is figurative - with most focus on portraits. faces, bodies, expressions, fascinate me, and i never tire of drawing and painting them. 

cultureisland: how did your recent series, women in color, come about?

rose jaffe: women in color was an exploration and celebration of the community of women that have inspired me and fostered my growth as an artist post college. most of the portraits were of specific artists i have worked with or been mentored by, and others are interpretations of women with vibrant colors, sacred geometry symbols and dynamic forms of expression. all pieces were done on wood using a wood burning tool, wood stain and acrylic paint. 

 rose jaffe // wheatpasted portraits

rose jaffe // wheatpasted portraits

cultureisland: where do you find inspiration?

rose jaffe: my community. my students. and sometimes pinterest. 

 rose jaffe // wood cut out piece from her recent series women in color

rose jaffe // wood cut out piece from her recent series women in color

cultureisland: what is the dc art scene like?

rose jaffe: the dc art scene might look completely different depending on who you are talking to. for me, it mostly revolves around my studio space, 2b studios. i make my work there, host small events and use it as a place to bring artists together to talk, scheme and create. beyond that there are some wonderful galleries in the area that are constantly showing impressive works from civilian art projects to hamiltonian gallery. and of course, the extensive smithsonian museums provide endless hours of inspiration with some of the best resources and impressive collections from around the world. 

 rose jaffe // "uprising" a collaborative piece with  kate deciccio  in solidarity with the protests in baltimore

rose jaffe // "uprising" a collaborative piece with kate deciccio in solidarity with the protests in baltimore

* check out more of rose's work here // follow her on instagram  *