Artist Spotlight: Ria Pujara

Sayee Deshmukh, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Ria Pujara (11) sits at her desk contemplating whether to start her homework or not. On one hand, completing such a task would make her life easier, as she wouldn’t have to worry about doing it later. On the other hand, homework simply is too time consuming, and she would much rather accomplish a task that will give her joy. Choosing the easy option, Pujara sits at her desks and begins to draw, draw, and draw.

Artwork illustrated by Ria Pujara.

Pujara’s love of drawing began at an early age, however she is unsure of exactly what sparked her love for it. She speculates that her passion for art was passed down to her from her mother, who got it from her grandfather.

“I’m not really sure what exactly sparked my love of art since it started at a very young age, but I have a feeling that it came from my grandpa,” Pujara said, “He’s always been good at art, and he passed that onto my mom, which passed down to me. They all have good art skills but were never really serious about making it into something more than just a hobby.”

An aspect of art that many who create it can resonate with is a feeling of escape, and being able to escape whatever may be tormenting them through producing artwork. Pujara shares this similar belief about art, as she believes that art has helped her in other areas of her life, notably using it to calm herself during stressful times.

“Creating art has definitely helped me in other aspects of my life, especially when I feel sad or down,” said Pujara. “I have found art to be very calming and a stress reliever, and it eases my nerves a lot. Sometimes, even getting small commissions from people helps me make some pocket money.”

Artwork illustrated by Ria Pujara.

As her love of art grew, Pujara began to explore different mediums of art, and has become very familiar with using graphite pencils, charcoal and watercolor in order to create her vibrant masterpieces. Although she has dedicated herself to those mediums, she hopes that in the future, she can experiment with new mediums and techniques, and has just recently familiarized herself with the world of digital art, seeing as it makes creating artwork much more convenient and easier.

Although she has found which mediums bring her the most satisfaction to use, Pujara has yet to find an art style that she can call her own. She enjoys creating artwork in a multitude of styles, and it has been difficult for her to exactly stick to one. Pujara does hope to eventually find her own art style, however it is still a journey that she will be on for quite some time. Her lack of a singular art-style can be evident through the artists that she admires, from modernist artists like Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol, to manga artists such as Katsuhiro Otomo and Junji Ito.

A dream that Pujara has had for a long time is pursuing a serious career in art. As art is a major passion for her, Pujara believes that art is her true calling, and she cannot possibly imagine having another career in a field that isn’t art. As she is adamant on pursuing art, Pujara has taken several steps to fulfill her dream, including planning to take art classes at an actual college in the upcoming summer.

“I want to pursue a career in art because it’s the only thing that I really see myself doing in the future as an actual occupation,” said Pujara. “All this time it’s been my hobby, but I definitely want to major in it for sure. I have been preparing for this by building up my art portfolio with different and various pieces that I am proud of.”

Perhaps Pujara’s most favorite aspect about creating art is getting able to experiment with different styles, and an ideology shared amongst a multitude of artists that art has no limits, and there is exactly no one way to create a masterpiece.

“My favorite part about creating art is getting to experiment with different styles and the fact that there is no limit to what you can or cannot do,” said Pujara, “There’s so much you can do with art, and it’s quite exciting, you never know what you’re creating next.”