Conversations with an Artist

The journey towards leaving a legacy.

Artist: Bara Al Arfaj
Form of Expression: Abstract Art

Tell us more about yourself.
I’ve always believed that being an artist and an engineer are connected, and I’ve been involved with art since a very young age.  I would copy things or characters even thought I wasn’t very skilled at the time.

The graphics and art in video games interested me, but my father didn’t permit playing them a lot, especially during school days. So, I created my own game! I used my art skills to draw levels and monsters, and the game became very popular among my friends.

Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
It had been a while since I practiced any art, but in 2009, I participated in the National Youth Day in Scitech and got so much good feedback. People encouraged me to keep at it, so in 2010 I volunteered in a fine arts tents that Saudi Aramco was hosting, and later on I took a week-long course on “Ebru”, a form of Turkish art. Ebru takes a lot of patience and accuracy, where even the slightest mistake can ruin the entire piece. It was amazing and I found myself rekindling my love of art.conversations-with-an-artist-bara-alarfaj_khobar_2017_aa-2

What kind of creative routines or rituals do you have?
It depends on the piece itself. If I am drawing a spiritual or calm piece, I prefer to draw at night in silence.  If my topic involves people, I like doing it during my outdoor meditation, or I’ll just go to busy places like cafes. My process is to put myself in the shoes of the people passing by and just become one with the environment.

What are you trying to communicate with your art? 
I want to leave my imprint on life using my art.  Art last more than words in my opinion, and while not everyone might read books, I feel that art is for everyone and is not specific to any certain time. My work is the legacy I want to leave behind.conversations-with-an-artist-bara-alarfaj_khobar_2017_aa-3

What inspires you?
The weirdness of life and the variety of people’s behavior. I am inspired by the opposites that exist in life: the yin and yang, the good the bad, the light and dark.

Who are your favorite artists?
An Italian artist called Agnes Cecile. Even though her style is different than mine I consider her to be my muse; when I look at her work I always get inspired.

Instagram: bara.arfaj

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