For as long as art has existed, artists have been using it to express their emotions. Saudi artists are no exception, and their efforts to explore their feelings about the modern world result in some eerie, eye-catching works.
Khaled Al-Tubaishi, a painter interested in design, photography and the arts, defined his style as abstract visual artworks that contain an emotional element.
“My artwork focuses on specific themes, such as fear of the future, intellectual concepts, hidden truth, human feelings, the concept of hope, cruelty, shock, betrayal, fatigue and sadness,” he said. “I do not limit myself to a specific medium to show my overall idea; I use several artistic media in producing the artwork so my idea is conveyed to the recipient.”
Al-Tubaishi was drawn to art by the fact that anyone can be an artist, he said.
“Art is a language that conveys deep inner expressions of a person,” he added. “It is the visual translation of their perspective on a situation or an emotion they are feeling. There is no ‘standard’ with art, and no limits to bind artists.”
Ahmad Haddad, co-founder of the DaBlueHands art community, said his art style evolved through a long process.
“I was always interested in drawing,” he said. “Like other kids, I would color in drawing books. I felt connected to the colors even as a kid, then watching friends draw would fascinate me when I was older. Then later, I discovered how you can change the perspective of others by expressing yourself through art.”
He said he was drawn to art by its healing power, and this pushed him to express himself through his works. He spent a long time experimenting before finding his art style, he added. He tried portraits, for example, but found the process repetitive and the drawing style too close to reality, with not much room for creativity.
“However, I found a sketch from one of my old journals that I really liked that had an abstract quality to it,” Haddad said. “It was just something I sketched with a pen. I liked that drawing so much that I decided to pursue the pen-and-ink abstract art style.”
Coincidentally, at the time he rediscovered this drawing he was going through a rough patch in his life. He describes his art during that challenging time as an emotional outlet and a companion.
“My emotions were flowing with my pen,” he added.
While developing their art styles, Al-Tubaishi said artists “should not pressure themselves into anything. That is the best thing about being an artist, in my opinion. Continue to grow and experiment with different things instead of stressing about it because art isn’t supposed to limit you in any way.”
Haddad said that when artists are working to develop a style that suits them, there are workshops and YouTube videos that can help with the journey, but ultimately the artists themselves are the only ones who can practice and find their inner voices.