Heavily inspired by advertising, pop culture discourse, and pop gore, Saria Saguaro is a visual pop artist who paints under the alias 'Pretty Shitty Art.' And when she is not painting or designing, she can be found at online cake studio, The Flourist.
Recently, she has been featured in BoredPanda, a leading art, design, and photography community and magazine for creative people. And it was due to her art initiative, “My Pet Project,” which she launched in October. She decided to draw people’s pets in exchange for a small donations, which will be going to enlisted local shelters and clinics in Dhaka.
She also hopes to introduce merchandise to help spread awareness about related issues such as pet adoption instead of buying, cruelty-free makeup, and mistreatment towards stray animals. This week, we catch up with Saria Saguaro to find out about her interests, creative processes, and pet projects.
What does being creative mean to you?
I think it means presenting something from my perspective. So in essence everyone is creative and unique. I think I'm just not simply passionate, but involved in a few issues. And those drive me in a sense. Like a sense of colour, modern political and social discourse, and the fact that most people can't seem to take a joke. Haha!
When did you first realise that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
Always, I think. I mean, you are always looking to express yourself as a kid/teenager/adult; it's something universal for everyone. But I think what was more interesting for me was the first time I realised I didn't have to fit in. It was quite recently too - just a few years back.
What kind of creative patterns, routines, or rituals do you have?
Practice, however tiring, is what we all need I suppose. Like this entire month of October was great for me since I took on the Inktober challenge by Jake Parker (something most art nerds do), and I linked it to an existing series of paintings of mine called 'World Leaders as Babies.' So that has been great fun for me.
But I do have this thing where I put on my headphones, and walk around in a dark room and play and replay scenarios in my mind. It helps me clear my mind and a lot of the ideas for my work come from there! I've been doing this since I was a child, and I think it always spooked my parents (laughs).
What's your favourite thing you've ever created?
My 'World Leaders as Babies' series and now, 'My Pet Project.' For the former, I basically draw world leaders as babies – literally. With a bit of information on the captions and a few added details of why and what. I feel like most of the pieces are just how I wanted them to be. The irony behind them is what I love. Also a few of them, I didn't make them out to literally be babies but the notion of how they have/do act like children is still there.
And for the latter, animals are something I've always been sensitive about. Since rescuing a stray puppy with my partner back in March '16, I'd been trying to think of ways to get involved with local animal shelters and clinics. That's when I decided to start 'My Pet Project' - I get to draw things I love and help animals in the process. Basically for every portrait, people send in donations, and these go directly to animal shelters and clinics here. Since starting the project on October 4th, people have donated over Tk21000 – something I'm really stoked about! They can choose which shelters the donations will go to from Obhoyaronno, Care for Paws, Paw Foundation, and ALB Animal Shelter.
I'll also be hosting an event for 'My Pet Project' in December, where people can come in and pet stray cats from one of the shelters while feasting on vegan desserts from my cake studio, buy merchandise like t-shirts, beanies, sweaters, and badges that I'm currently developing - proceeds from which will go back to the shelters, and also learn about cruelty free makeup. Also I'll be donating a recycled handmade toy with every purchase! I'm happy to have my friends at Stellar and 6 Yards Story, donating and helping me out with the process.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
That would be difficult to answer in one go. Different things at different times but portrayed - not as seriously. However, there is the undertone of it. Haha. I think a lot of my work now shows my stance on things - like animals, littering, and social/political puns. I would like to work on domestic violence and cruelty free makeup awareness in the future.
Which creative medium would you like to pursue but haven't yet?
Gosh so many! Pottery? Animation? Video editing? I could go on.
What's the best advice you've ever had on how to be more creative?
Just dive into it, and get swallowed by your ideas. I go a little rabbit-on-acid mad when I have an exciting new idea! And I jot down every related idea with it, and keep my mind churning till I finally settle down after a day or two. That's when I can access and see what works.
What are your future projects that we should be looking forward to?
My Pet Project's coming up in December! And hopefully there will be another one in March, next year! And hopefully, there will also be a solo exhibit some time next year.
To find out more about Saria Saguaro, visit: