Dr. Rinkle Shah’s artistic aspirations almost died at an early age. After winning a prestigious art award in India in the 6th grade, it seemed as if her passion for art was about to blossom into a vocation. But in high school, the pressure to keep up with other studies pushed her art aside for a time and her artistic dreams were nearly extinguished through a time of depression. Looking back on that time in her life, she now says “The message I want to bring to parents who think art is a secondary aspect, is that art is part of our life and engaging in art actually gives us access to the things we want to achieve.”
And after spending some time in her home studio in North Creek, it’s easy to see how she is putting these words into a most creative practice. Creative Hands Art School has art classes for all ages and Dr. Shah describes her work as “bringing something she is passionate about to the whole community.”
In her colorful suburban studio this week, I met Ananya, a young girl who told me about how she has been encouraged to use art to tell her story. And her friend, Samyuktha, shared a story that she had created and illustrated as they were preparing for their art competition. But even beyond the skills of learning to paint, draw, and mold clay, these kids were clearly learning how to express their dreams and how to better serve their community. After Ananya explained that she uses art to tell her story of being a chef, Dr. Shah explained that her dream of being a chef included a desire to feed hungry people.
“It’s a way of using their hands to create and connecting it with their heart,” says Dr. Shah. “Then they are proud of what they have created and proud to show it to others.”
The benefits of creating in this way are incredible on both an individual and community level. Dr. Shah shared one story with me about a student who was struggling to do her schoolwork whose mom constantly nagged her. But once her daughter began art class, her attitude towards schoolwork changed. She found a new level of focus, ownership and confidence that enabled her to take a different attitude towards her studies.
For Dr. Shah, Creative Hands is where her passions of art and family merge. "This part, including family, is important for me," she says. "Doing something I love to do with people I love." Just last summer, her parents were visiting from India and her father spent some time teaching paper crafts to children at her studio. And her family remains not only her inspiration, but key contributors to her studio.
As she explains the transformation she has seen in her studio, her dreams of what this can mean for a community rise to the surface. Kids who are engaged with creating and telling stories instead of watching TV and playing video games. Children and adults working together to inspire and produce beauty in the neighborhood. People from diverse backgrounds finding common ground through art. “People engaging in something creative,” she says. “That is the change I am in this world.”
The services offered at Creative Hands include after-school Art Classes, Art Camps, Birthday Art parties, Face painting, Henna and Nail art for events.
For more information visit: https://creativehandsstudio.net/