Interview with Sarah Saiyara

I hope you have met Braithwight the Wind Sprite. Now you can meet her portrait artist!

Sarah Saiyara is an eminently talented artist living the international life. I am very, very grateful for the beautiful portrait she gave me of my fanciful character.

Nicola: Since we are a blog of TCK’s we like to know, where in the world do you live? Can you describe it for us? Were you born there? If not, how did you get there? Do you see yourself living there all your life?

Sarah: I live in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It’s a small country with a big population. I live with my family. Yes, I was born here. I didn’t see myself living here all my life for a while. I had a different kind of dream. I wanted to study and work abroad. But If I had to be honest, I wanted to run away from here, a very teen kinda thought. I thought that would solve my life problems by being in a different country with be a fresh start. But now I know that the unsolved issues always stay with us, no matter where we go. So we have to learn to deal with it rather than running away. Facing and solving the issues made me see things from a new perspective and I like myself more for it. It was not easy and still not easy but I manage to because of the supportive people in my life. Which I am grateful to have.

My dream is still the same, to become better at what I do. And it turns out I don’t really need to go to a different country to work. I can work from home internationally, and learn from online courses too. All thanks to the internet. Personally, I think self-education is the best one to give oneself. So I plan to live here all my life but I do want to tour different countries in the future.

Nicola: Tell us about how you discovered your art. Did you know as a child that this is your passion? Did your parents encourage you in it? Where did you get your training?

Sarah: I was very passionate about drawing since I was a child. Growing up I used to watch TV cartoons and anime a lot. This was my source of motivation. So I used to draw a lot of cartoon characters. Even though I was very introverted as a child, drawing helped me get along with my classmates too. Plus I loved it because that’s the one thing I was good at.

But Asian parents here are very much interested in good academics rather than creativity. Most parents are not supportive regarding children pursuing art. But luckily not in my case. My family always supported me in pursuing art. Although they were not that happy about my grades when I was a child. Which became a family joke now that I turned out okay (as now I can independently earn) and the past seems so small anyway.

I took my art quite seriously after I got myself admitted to University in Fine Arts. Interestingly things didn’t quite happen the way I had imagined them. Because our art education is not advanced like other countries. 

Academic life has taught me to go through different media in painting. But I have always been into drawing simple pencil sketches on paper. Although these days I mostly draw with my digital tablet. Still, I go back to pencil sketching for refreshment if I need some time off from the screen.

Let me share one painting with you from back in my university days. It was painted in oil colour.

A portrait of a Dutch painter named Rembrandt. It was an old master painting class. year: 2015. Size: 30×32 inch

Nicola: What media do you enjoy most? Is there a subject that you like best?

One of my most favourite media is doing traditional sketches on paper. As for the subject, I love creating fun characters with personalities and perhaps with some backstories. Most of my artworks are digital. Here are some pictures of my sketchbooks.

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And here are some of my sketches. Drawn digitally.

Here are some of my original characters’ artwork in a coloured version.

I also love drawing fan arts but in my style.

‘Sonic the hedgehog’ from a game character: 

Jinx from ‘Arcane’

Characters from ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the world’

A Science Fiction version of ‘Meena Cartoon’.

Dexter and Dee dee, from Dexter’s Laboratory 

Nicola: Wow! That was a fabulous tour through your sketch book! Thank you for being so generous!

Is there a difference in “feel” or interaction between digital and analogue? Because you work internationally, I understand you need to send things digitally, but do you like to mess with paint or ink in your free time?

Sarah: Working digitally is very convenient for me, especially with clients. I don’t usually prefer to work traditionally for clients unless they are local. But it depends of course. Traditional artwork takes a lot more time than digital.

I sometimes like to work for exhibitions purposes. This is one of my abstract acrylic paintings which was selected in an exhibition back in 2017. The painting is 30×30 inch

Nicola: What is your favourite project you have ever done? What would your dream project look like? 

Sarah: Honestly, it’s a bit hard to tell. As cheesy as it sounds, I have learned to love all my artworks in time, the way I have learned to love myself. I use to criticize too much which eventually led to drawing without passion. It all started after I got myself into university and till the next 8-9 years forward. Simply put, I hadn’t been drawing for myself.

I have learned and still am learning to make time for myself and draw what I like to even if it looks bad and accept the way it is. Metaphorically, accept the way I am as well. I mean, I do believe that when we draw, it comes out as a part of us. But yes, I do like some of my art more than most. I have sent you the ones which I love and are memorable to me.

My dream projects are all quite personal. Making little wholesome cute comics, drawing concept characters, working with a good gaming company in the future. And the way it is right now. I think I mostly achieved what I truly wanted: for my passion and my work to sync together. To work with the skills I have and to have the time to work on the things I want. I am quite content with way the things are going and I would just want to continue working, improving and experiencing life with the people I love the most. 

Nicola: You have a beautiful story, Sarah. The way you came to love your home, connect with people through art, learned to be content and to love yourself, and what you say about continuing to work, improve and experience life with the people you love all speak hope and encouragement into the world.

Very much like your art! I love how you use colours and lines to create movement and delight in your characters. You have an eye for beauty and the talent to gift it to the world.

Thank you for joining us! Thank you for your portrait of Braithwight. You have brought her to life like no one else could!

Dear Reader, You can find Sarah Saiyara’s work at also on Instagram @sarahsaiyara

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