Name: Nadiah Abo Al Samh
Occupation: Design Student
Medium: Illustrations (Paper and Digital)
What got you started?
I grew up in a highly creative environment where I was encouraged to interpret and create my own versions of the cartoons and comics I liked as a child. I continued to enjoy cartoons past my childhood and I felt they’d become an integral part of my life. A few years ago, I was introduced to Japanese anime and manga, which I found to be intricate and gorgeous and immediately, I wanted to emulate them and create my own versions of them.
Why do you art?
I find art to be a therapeutic experience. Whenever I draw, it’s like a catharsis of sorts. I also enjoy the happiness that art can bring into other people’s lives.
Is your work the result of sudden inspiration, or long term planning? How do you think up your concepts?
Sudden inspiration. I have always been able to draw, however, I only considered what I had been doing and started working on improving it a few years ago mostly as a result of my need for an outlet and excessive exposure to Japanese anime. As for concepts, I still feel like I’m experimenting but for the most part I’m trying to represent a different aspect of femininity. I love re-examining and playing with the concept of the “cute girl.”
What is, in your opinion, the best thing you’ve ever created and why?
My favorite drawings are of Sailor Moon’s main character, Usagi. I go back to drawing her every once in a while and now I have a sort of series. I think those drawings best represent the changes in my style over time.
What do you think of the art scene in Riyadh? Anything you’d like to see changed?
I think the art scene is really starting to come alive in Riyadh. I’ve noticed (with awe) some very talented people get the recognition they deserve and it makes me really happy. I’d love there to be more social events and conventions for and about Saudi artists, where artists can get together and share their work.
Who are your role models?
Definitely Hayao Miyazaki, the founder of Ghibli Studies, whose eccentric heartwarming movies continue to bring me so much joy and inspiration even after watching them 900 times. Also, my mother and grandmother.
What does being creative mean to you?
Being creative for me entails the ability to turn something mundane and boring into something interesting and worth admiring or looking at.
Favorite piece of artwork by someone else?
Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night.