We had the good fortune of connecting with Ruchika Arora and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ruchika, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I was an artistic child from the very beginning. Colors, crafts and decorating small corners of the house was my happy place. It all started during my summer vacation after I completed 10th grade. I visited my grandparents and got myself enrolled for a 2 month fashion illustration crash course to occupy myself during summer. My instructor at the center was a fashion Designer and While teaching us the techniques she used to introduce us with little know-how about the fashion industry and clothing line. That was just the beginning of the journey I chose to pursue. During the time with my instructor I realized that from our physical surroundings and infrastructure to the things we wear and buy, everything around us is embedded with design.
Though there were a few “why choose a creative career” question as many had no idea what I could do with it in terms of employment opportunities. On the other hand my dad encouraged me and said “do what makes you happy”. So heading in that direction, I decided to get qualifications in the field. I joined a 3 year Dress Designing and Garment Manufacturing course after 12th grade.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Currently, I am teaching fashion design subjects (Fashion Illustration, Textiles, Adobe Illustrator) at Le Fashion Lab (Fashion College), I give private lessons to young students, who aspire to become fashion designers and help them build their fashion portfolio for entering fashion schools. Along with I am also working as design contractor at Target where I work to support the team of Target’s inhouse brands.
Just like anyone, I have also faced set of challenges. I kept on working towards my goal, some days were tough some were good…I just kept patience and now when I look back and talk about my experiences it seems like a wonderful journey I have been on.
One of the most valuable aspects of me pursuing a career in design is the ability to create my own path. By doing all of this I am able to take care of my family and give time to my children.
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?
We have been in Atlanta for 10 years now and it feels like home here. I have some favorite places to go and fun things to do here. I love hiking with family at Stone Mountain Park as it offers breathtaking views of lakes, mountains, forests, cliffs and canyons. There are some beautiful trails in Atlanta and exploring a new one is our favorite weekend getaway. Along with this visiting Botanical garden, Georgia Aquarium, the top of SkyView Atlanta and Walking around Centennial Olympic Park are few of my favorite things to do. And when it comes to food I love going to Ponce city Market to try mouthwatering treats and local staples from multiple vendors.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Believe me that God has been very kind to me for placing the right people in my story! My journey has been long and there is no way I could have done this without the support and encouragement of my loved ones. My family (my parents, sister, and my husband) plays an important role in where I am now. I would not have enrolled for the Fashion Design course in the first place if my parents wouldn’t have agreed upon.
Later while I was at work, I got a lot of support and encouragement from my employer (Aarti Merani).
After I got married there was a constant change and my husband stood by me throughout, even when I decided to quit my job and started freelancing projects to take care of our daughter. We had no family and support around when we moved to the United States for his job transfer. He helped me settle and try out different opportunities and helped me with each and every step.
While I was trying to make my way in a new place, I am so grateful to Cassandra Buckalew who went above and beyond to help me.
I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by the best ones.