Saria Saguaro, popularly known by her alias Pretty Sh.tty Art, is a visual pop artist whose work involves everything in pop culture, starting from music to political figures to socio-behavioural patterns. Apart from the canvas, she likes to experiment with textile, foot wear, jewelry and art prints. She is a part of the Milkshake Collective, a group of different local artists specialising in art forms starting from pop to modern and graphic among others. She was also one of the featured artists in HerStories, both the book and the exhibition that focused on empowering women and girls through art, storytelling and capacity building. She enjoys teaming up with bands and creating posters. “I loved working on the Chris Cornell tribute by Indalo, where they had 21 musicians coming in to play and I got to draw them all,” says Saria. Her first international art show was held in Bangkok at Ari Arthouse recently.
Apart from being a gifted artist, Saria is passionate about animals. She has employed her talent for social welfare and safety of animals through her initiative called My Pet Project, which started in 2016 after she rescued her dog. “I wanted to help other stray animals and I realised the best way to do that would be by raising money and donating it to animal-oriented organisations,” explains Saria. “Taking a cue from my personal sketchbook where I draw my dog, Pookie, I figured that I could offer to draw people's pets in exchange for donations.” People could choose which shelters the donations would go to: Care for Paws, Paw Foundation, ALB Animal Shelter or Obhoyaronno. In four months, Saria received over Tk 1.5 lakh in donations.
When she is not painting and cuddling with animals, Saria, who went to Le Corden Bleu, is busy with her duties as a pastry chef. She started her own cake studio, The Flourist, in 2013. She feels that her approaches to painting and baking are quite different from one another. “When it comes to the concept for my cakes, I just ask my clients to choose a colour, and then I work around it with elements that feel right and are at hand,” says Saria. “But when I draw, I usually need to visualise a painting in my head before I start.” She has just moved The Flourist into a new location in Banani, where she currently hosts baking demonstration classes for adults, cookie classes for kids, cake tasting events and supper clubs.