By Johara Al Mogbel
It’s the golden age for the art scene in Saudi Arabia so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to uncover some of the hidden gems and present them to the world! Or, well, Riyadh to begin with.
Name: Ali Alabbas
Medium: Sharpies, Nerd candy, everything awesome.
Why do you do art?
I do art to make people smile, to make myself smile sometimes. It’s just very self relieving.
Is your work the result of sudden inspiration or long-term planning? How do you think up your concepts?
Some of my work is almost long-term planning like the pieces I do with coffee or the Nerds candy. The other pieces I do are results of everyday life situations, music, conversation with friends, cartoons that I like or simply how I feel at the time I’m drawing.
What is, in your opinion, the best thing you’ve ever created and why?
I don’t necessarily have a favorite piece, but I would say that I love the moments when I first started to reveal my work to the public through social media. I was getting so much positive reviews that kept me going to this day. I thank Allah everyday for my talent.
What do you think of the art scene in Riyadh? Anything you’d like to see changed?
I think there is so much more art in Saudi Arabia than people actually realize. But I see art more recognized in Riyadh than anywhere in the country, which is good. What I’d like to change if I could? Probably older people’s perception of art here. I feel like art is a little bit underrated in our country.
Who are your role models?
My role model is my father and the good I see coming from other people.
What does being creative mean to you?
Creativity is not a word we can look up in the dictionary and we’d understand what it really means. Being creative can be as simple as a kid looking up to the sky telling you “Look at that cloud! It looks like a smiley face.” To me that thought is creative. Being creative could mean: to create something that would make a person think or to spark somebody’s mind to do something positive.
Favorite piece of artwork by someone else. I don’t have a favorite art piece but when I was little I saw the Mona Lisa painting and it was one of my favorite experiences in my life. I also love Abdullah Jaber’s comics and sketches.