We had the good fortune of connecting with Suchita Rathi Jhawar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suchita, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I loved drawing from an early age! There was not a surface that I would spare, be it my text books, the blackboard at school, the mirrors at home and even my Dad’s office documents! The smiles that I was greeted with, made my day! Right after High School I went to an Art School to study Fine Art. After marriage, I moved to California, life, family, business, and kids took over and my art career took a backseat but always was something I never lost touch with.
The pandemic gave me an opportunity to introspect and rekindle my passion for art. I reconnected with the feeling of joy and satisfaction that comes from a creative process. So at the age of 53, I decided to plunge headlong into an artistic career, making my passion the centerstage of my life!
I believe one is put on this earth to follow their purpose and when you don’t embrace it, you are doing not only a disservice to yourself but also to the world around you. I have never been happier doing what I am doing now.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is a combination of a loose impressionistic style inspired by the vibe of Southern California where I have lived for most of my adult life, and the vibrant colors of my birthplace India. I weave a story-with my emotions, experimenting with new techniques, subjects and mediums, adding my unique “Suchi” touch to my work. I want everybody to enjoy art in every possible way be it through my original works, giclee prints or my line of greeting cards, as well as my curated Art talks. Getting established in the art world is not easy, specially when you start much later in life. I have faced a fair amount of rejection, but I am learning that I have to get out of my comfort zone, put my self out there, in order to find my own niche. Which means – marketing my brand, Art by Suchi, using social media, finding new clients and galleries. Striking up conversations, attending art shows and being plugged into the art community is so important. Small women owned businesses have given me the opportunity to showcase my work and I am extremely grateful to them.
As I work in my studio everyday I find myself evolving as a person, and as an artist . I truly believe you lose yourself in what you love and find yourself there too.
I am also involved with the community as an Engagement Guide at the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego. I enjoy educating the visitors about the exhibits and meeting creative people from all over the world. While doing so, I am constantly expanding my own horizons and learning to explore and express my thoughts in new ways. This symbiotic relationship with the art community helps me grow as artist every single day.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Who wouldn’t want to visit beautiful San Diego!! We would start off in Encinitas my hometown first. It is the perfect mix of beach, surf and boho vibe. After picking up a picnic lunch from the Seaside Marketplace in Cardiff we would walk on Moonlight Beach and enjoy the waves. After that a scoop of something sweet and cold from Gelato 101 or Jojo’s Creamery would hit the spot. I would take them to the Offtrack Gallery in the Lumberyard to look at some amazing artwork by local artists who are members of the San Dieguito Art Guild. It’s a great place to support the artist community and buy a souvenir or two. I am a member and have made some friends through the Guild.
San Diego is home to many breweries and we would begin our exploring with having a beer at Modern Times Far West Lounge before heading to Chikos on 101 for a delectable Chinese Korean fusion dinner.
Every day would begin with a walk on the beaches, such as Fletcher Cove, Ponto Beach and Del Mar and then exploring new neighborhoods. D’liteful Chocolat in San Marcos for the most delicious chocolate and desserts as well as more breweries.
A visit to Balboa Park is a must. I would of course show them around the exhibits at ICA (The Institute of Contemporary Art) – both campuses, Encinitas and Balboa Park. My friends would enjoy the art scene in Hillcrest and the Barrio Logan as well. Lots of yummy food to try. I would bring them to CinKuni in North park to have a Italian Japanese fusion meal.
I love to hike so Annie’s Canyon and Torrey Pines will be part of our routines as well. And some shopping at the local boutiques in Del Mar.
Our days would end with a glass of wine at home while watching the amazing sunsets that we as natives are lucky to enjoy year round.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest Shoutout goes to the support I received from all the art aficionados who attended my first art show in February 2021 during the lockdown. The idea of curating an online art show as a fundraiser for their organization was born when I was approached by my childhood friends Anju and Manoj Wagh from New Jersey. The positive feedback that I received following the show, was overwhelming and inspired me to believe in myself and the power of art. I am so glad they gave me this opportunity.
As I evolved I found an amazing teacher and critic in Ambra Tesori – a very talented artist from San Diego whom I have adopted as my mentor. She guides me, keeps me sane and pushes me to try harder and be the best artist that I can be. Pursuing this career professionally I have come across the most kind and helpful people along the way, every artist I meet is so supportive, sharing insider secrets and giving me recommendations be it about a printer, gallery or what brand of paint to buy.
Of course I would never be where I am today were it not for the faith my clients have had in me, whether they have bought my art work, commissioned murals, attended my events or bought my greeting cards. Each one inspires me to keep on creating!!
Facebook: Suchita Rathi