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INSPIRED - SMRITI CHOUDHARY FOR EARTH DAY

SMRITI CHOUDHARY FOR EARTH DAY

We are so inspired by Smriti Choudhary and she has been a muse for us since we met her in Goa some years ago. We love how she celebrates and brings awareness to both the intricacy and fragility of nature through her art and creative expression and we are excited to share some of her vision and story with our community this Earth Day. 

Smriti

We originally got to connect with you as our FARA home is in Goa, where you are currently based. What brought you to Goa and what do you love most about living here?

I come from a small city in Rajasthan - Udaipur, popularly known as 'City of Lakes'. The happiest moments from my childhood revolved around going for picnics with family, climbing hills with friends, jumping off waterfalls, playing outdoors till the sun went down, eating freshly grown food and breathing clean air. When I became a mother, I wanted to provide my son with the same experience and to grow around nature. Me and my husband had lived in Goa for a couple of years before we moved to Delhi, and always wanted to come back. When our son started to fall sick because of extreme pollution in Delhi, we decided we didn't want to wait any longer. 

Smriti

I love how life feels so balanced living in Goa. Though most people find the pace of the city extremely slow, I feel absolutely at home with it. Goan people are so humble, kind and friendly, it adds so much more to the experience of living here. I have constant inspiration around me for my work, my son rarely falls sick, we grow our own vegetables in our garden, eat fresh food, breathe fresh air and we get a lot of quality time as a family.

Art by Smriti

Have you always been an artist? How did you discover your style and what or who are your main influences?

I was always passionate about art, since early childhood and knew that I wanted to pursue a career in arts. My journey led me to National Institute of Design where I studied to be a Graphic Designer. After graduating, I started concentrating more on branding projects which required me to mostly work on my computer and I stopped drawing or sketching as much. In 2010, we made a big move to Delhi from Goa and I also got pregnant. I missed being around nature everyday and it was at that time that I reconnected with the artist in me. It started during the nesting phase, wanting to create a warm and dreamy space for the baby, I covered the walls and cupboards of the room with black and white drawings of forests, birds and fish. 

One of my biggest inspiration is Hayao Miyazaki. I have watched each and every of his animation movies, over and over again and continue to watch them even today.

Smriti Art

Nature is clearly a huge inspiration for you and you did both an endangered and tribe series which brings awareness to the devastating change we are witnessing on our planet. What is your hope and mission in creating this art?

My hope is to remind everyone that there is only one earth, a planet full of beauty and magic, that we need to look after, just the way it looks after us. But my primary mission is to revisit my own connection with nature, to take that time to observe the intricate details of its creations, to soak it all in and feel nourished on a deep soul level. Creating art is like therapy for me, because when I am creating, is when I feel immense peace and that's when I am truly connected to nature.Smriti's Art


How does art, for you, play a role in sacred activism?

Honestly I had to google the definition of "sacred activism" :) 

For me, art is an outlet to my inner thoughts and feelings which often revolve around understanding myself, the world around me, the role of nature and the idea of universal consciousness. On a soul level, if we are all interconnected, why is there so much fear, violence and hatred? Is it because we fail to understand ourselves? Is self-acceptance the first step to rebuilding a world that is more compassionate? Is it then that we will truly be able to feel the universal connection? A journey inwards to find love and compassion for every living being. I delve into such inquires of my mind when I draw and it really helps me sort out my thoughts.  I would say I am more of a seeker than an activist.

Smriti

We admire how you use the power of your gifts and talent in this way. What does being an empowered women mean to you and who are the women who inspire you? 

Being an empowered woman to me is about knowing and understanding that the journey to my deepest, truest self is a never ending one. The real power is in staying honest to the version of myself, that I discover at every step. It is also in understanding the fact that there will always be dark along with light on this journey, as it is with each and every human being, be it a woman or a man. The only way I can own and accept myself completely is by accepting both sides, by learning and growing as much as I can from each step and by choosing to love myself as I am. It is only then I am truly empowered. 

Each and every woman in my life, inspires me in their own way. We all have something that shines through. Compassion, kindness, strength, self-worth, humility, empathy, determination - these are just few of the characteristics I find in all the beautiful women around me, who inspire me on a daily basis.

Empowered women

Is there a message you would like to share to our community for Earth Day?

If there is any God, it's Mother Earth. A higher power that we can see, touch and feel. The one that truly blesses us, protects us, heals us, everyday with her warmth and magic. 

Smriti in FARA

You can find more about Smriti and her work online at:

www.airphish.com

www.instagram.com/airphish