Sweety Saradha is a certified Bob Ross art instructor at Sweety Saradha Arts. She specializes in portraits, landscapes, still-life, photorealistic, wildlife, floral, and abstract art forms. She resides in the Greater Seattle Area and conducts art classes. These days she has also started teaching art online.
How did you come to the US?
I moved to the US after my marriage in 2011. My husband works at Microsoft and so we have lived in the Seattle area since then. I love the Pacific Northwest and I believe it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I love the incredibly green outdoors and the fact we get to enjoy all the four seasons during the year.
How did you get started on art? Have you had any formal training in art?
I am a self-taught artist. I love colors and the happiness it brings to everyone’s life. Right from my childhood I had a passion towards art. My parents were very supportive and encouraged me to pursue a career in arts. They always wanted me to be an artist but seeing my dad as my role model I wanted to get into business. I completed my MBA in finance and worked for MetLife as a Senior Business Manager. Later when I moved to the US, I was fascinated seeing YouTube videos of Bob Ross and was intrigued by his painting style. That interest inspired me to take Bob Ross painting classes in Florida and later became a certified instructor. I specialize in portraits, landscapes, still-life, photorealistic, wildlife, floral, and abstract art forms. I also love working in the Indian art forms like Rajasthani and Tanjore Paintings. I teach watercolor, acrylic, oils, watercolor brush pens, alcohol ink marker, oil pastels, charcoal, resin, chalk pastels, etc.
How did your artistic journey start in the US?
After moving to the US and being out of work for the first time, I had a lot of time to myself initially. This gave me an opportunity to rekindle my passion towards art. My husband was very supportive of my passion and encouraged me to sign up for various art classes.
Over time, even without me realizing, my house was filled with my artwork. This led me to participate in various art shows to exhibit my artwork. I got selected in the RAW Artist Seattle show conducted throughout the country. This was the first major art-show that I participated in. Based on the encouraging feedback I received from the show, it led me to participate in a lot of other juried art-shows like the VALA Art Show at the Redmond Town Center, the Kirkland Summerfest, Pickering Barn Spring Festival, Trilogy Holiday Artisan Boutique and many more. I also participated in several National and International art competitions and got recognized in several of them.
I love teaching art which led me to start my teaching career as an art instructor. I started my teaching endeavor with just a single student. Based on positive word of mouth from parents and my students, I was gradually able to expand and now I’ve have taught more than 20,000 students in the greater Seattle area. I conduct regular classes as well as workshops to teach students of all age groups.
Tell us a bit about your life in the US and your family
Life in the US has been wonderful. Eshwar, my better half, has been very supportive of my art career. He is my chief art critique and I really value his feedback. Our daughter, Zoya, is a big source of my inspiration. I couldn’t have made it so far without her support and sacrifices. She’s now 7 years’ old and has taken a keen interest in art since she was 4. I’ve been encouraging her by having her participate in art shows and contests to further her skills. She received the best product design award in the Acton Children’s Business Fair at the age of 5, she was the youngest participant. She was also the winner of the kid’s poster contest organized during the Indian Republic Day celebrations in Redmond.
Are you in conventional employment?
I’m a full-time artist and an art instructor. I am the sole proprietor of Sweety Saradha Arts.
How do you balance your family, work and art?
I am a workaholic and so is my husband. We find peace in our work. Since my daughter loves art, she supports me in my classes, and we do things together. I am so happy that we can share the happiness in each other’s life in whatever little way we can.
What is your inspiration to pursue art actively?
One of my favorite Bob Ross quotes is “You do your best work if you do a job that makes you happy”. I get a lot of happiness from teaching art to others. I get to encourage and motivate others to enjoy art the same way as I do. Given the diverse set of students I get to teach, it also helps me learn something new every time.
Any advice for people trying to pursue their passion?
Not many people get to have their passion as their profession, and I’m blessed with that because of my supportive family. My advice for people trying to pursue their passion is that if you have a dream in life and if you believe it to be the right thing to do, you should just go for it. If you don’t take the first step and help yourself, nobody else can help you. But if you do so, then you will be surprised by how many people who are ready to give you a helping hand. As former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam famously said “Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.”
What are your most memorable gigs and proud moments?
The most memorable gigs for me is conducting my art classes for senior citizens at retirement communities. The average age of folks attending my classes in these communities is upward of 80 years. I do these classes free of cost. Seeing the smiles of elderly people when they finish their paintings is something I will be cherishing for a long time. They even help me set up and clean up even though most of them are so sick and on wheelchairs, but they are so independent and are always cheerful and share their many wonderful stories with me. I’m so blessed to spend time with them.
The proudest moments for me was when I got to see the work of my students exhibited in the national Reflections contest. Based on my suggestion several of my students participated in the contest, with most of them winning in the district and council levels and some even got their work selected at the state level. It was a special moment for me to see all their artwork exhibited.
What plans do you have for your art future?
I plan to continue to teach and expand my art classes and workshops in the greater Seattle area. I want to train and guide my young budding students by providing career counselling to help them pursue a career in arts. This to me is the single biggest impact that I can have on my students.
I also plan to continue to expand my reach through social media by making and sharing YouTube videos to help people learn to paint in various techniques and styles. In future, I also wish to start a non-profit organization which would enable me to teach in more senior living places and orphanages and conduct these classes free of cost.
A few accolades that Sweety Saradha is proud of:
- Contemporary Art Gallery Online “ALL PAINTING” Competition – Runner Up
- Contemporary Art Gallery Online “Botanical” Art Competition – Winner
- Light Space & Time Botanicals Art Competition – Special Recognition Category
- Contemporary Art Gallery Online “Floral” & “Portrait” Art Competition – Honorable Mention
Author: Article compiled by Aapkispace Author.