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Saavan Sagar ditches convention to follow her creative pursuit

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02 Jun '22

The multi-hyphenate digital creator’s love for botany began her career trajectory that she calls “useful art,” and hopes that creative careers can be seen with gravity.

Author

Shriya Zamindar

Sagar is one of the rare and lucky ones who got to transform her life amidst the pandemic. Based in California, the first-generation Indian-origin model and digital creator dropped out of art school to focus on finding her career path on her own terms. “I’m obviously not a graphic designer today, so it was probably not the right fit for me anyway,” she says. Now, Sagar is seen modelling, photographing, and creating content for brands on social media.

The 25-year-old moved to London to study graphic design from London College of Communication, but soon found that the program was nothing like she had imagined. She later went to another art school in Portland, Oregon, in hopes of finding the right direction towards visuals and graphics but she eventually dropped out of that too. “At some point, I realised that I want to do something creative but I don't have the tools or the vocabulary to describe what I want to do. I felt like I needed to go out into the world to find that vocabulary to be able to describe it,” she explains.

New Age Art

Within the realm of digital and social media as a whole, Sagar defines being a digital creator as a cross-pollination of skills and creating “useful art”. “I like to be in front of the camera, as well as behind the camera, and my work allows me to do all of that,” she says. Sagar thinks of her work as creating art for a specific purpose– almost like solving a puzzle. “When I get briefs from brands, I think ‘how do I solve this puzzle, which is about creating something beautiful within my own brand and also within their brand to fulfil the set goal’,” Sagar explains. 

"I realised that I want to do something creative but I don't have the tools or the vocabulary to describe what I want to do. I felt like I needed to go out into the world to find that vocabulary"

But the negative connotations that have been attached to the term “influencer”, is something she has had to deal with and explain to her peers ever since embarking on this path. “The biggest stigma that I am faced with is that the art I create doesn't have value or my time. People think what I do is a fun hobby, but it is truly my full-time job,” says Sagar. 

Creating Opportunities 

Sagar’s big break came when the pandemic hit. A space opened up with brands who would have produced their marketing content in-house but were now outsourcing to digital content creators like Sagar. She found her niche and the confidence to work within that field during this time. “I felt like the second I decided I could do this, everyone needed it from me,” she muses.

Amass Botanics was one of Sagar’s beginner brand projects that she still loves to date; she also created different social media accounts as a way of documenting things she loved– one being plants. A love for indoor greens resulted in her starting an Instagram page that slowly amassed followers she didn’t expect to have, opening many doors for Sagar. “The page grew into this enormous community of people. I think that at our peak, we had 18k followers, which is crazy because we started it as a joke,” she recounts laughing. 

“The easiest one-word answer is intentionality. I like to work with brands that are intentional in their mission, and care about sustainability and inclusion”

Now she prefers working with brands whose values align with hers. “The easiest one-word answer is intentionality. I like to work with brands that are intentional in their mission, and care about sustainability and inclusion.” Some of her present collaborations include hit beauty brands Crown Affair and Summer Fridays, and other names like Jenny Bird and sustainable swimwear label Vitamin A. 

Personal Favourites

Her personal Instagram handle represents her aesthetic which she describes as “moody” with a rich, warm-toned palette in everything, whether it is the clothes or the cliff in the background. The muted tones she plays with extend to her wardrobe, which consists majorly of cream and black well-tailored trousers, button-downs and knitwear. She often looks at brands like Paloma Wool, Deiji Studios, and various vintage stores to find her style. 

For a digital creator facing the front of the camera often, Sagar’s beauty regimen remains understated and minimal. She prefers to work on her skin and health rather than wear a ton of makeup. She swears by the papaya + geranium serum concentrate by Odacité, which helps her get the glowing even skin that is her signature look. “I really struggle with hyperpigmentation being brown.” Another skincare brand that helped her move away from wearing makeup was H Is For Love. “It's this really sweet company run by a woman and she has maybe three other women on her team and they make all of their products in-house with incredibly high-quality ingredients.” Sagar recommends using the powder clay mask from the brand with water or honey three times a month to tackle hyperpigmentation and other concerns.  

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