Born and raised in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Zahar Al Sayed, began her full-time relationship with art when she chose Graphic Design as her major at Dar Al Hekma College. With the chosen mediums of Graphic Design and Photography, Zahar was given the opportunity and freedom to experiment and explore her creative ideas through various artistic methods. “ As an artist, the creative part of me invests heavily in the process of generating an idea,” Explains Zahar. ”I seek inspiration in every element that surrounds me, be it a music rhythm that I liked or an image that I’ve shared on my Instagram.”
Sketchbook wanted to learn more about this young artists innovative work and the thought process behind it.
How does art affect you on a personal level?
On a personal level and behind all the critical art I produce, I’m a very compassionate person. In other words, art is my imaginary punching bag. I am very passionate about every aspect of what I do and I do give it all I have. I believe that designers see the world from a different standpoint and always look at the other side of the story. I noticed this about myself as I started diving more into depth in my work and realised that the line between my professional life and pleasure is almost nonexistent.
Speaking of the personal side of my work, I am multi-tasked and I manage to combine my interest in graphic design, photography, fine arts, and street art by using a variety of materials and processes. That is where I got my name from “The 4-in-1 designer”. I am constantly looking to further my research and explore different horizons either by studying or by communicating with others.
How do u manage your chosen mediums?
Since all the 4 things that I am interested in are based under the umbrella of visual communication, therefore it is very easy to blend them together in graphic design. For example, a good photograph with some artistic calligraphy and bunch of text would be possible or some graphics that were placed on the streets to decorate them would be another option.
In your opinion, what are the main elements of creating persuasive work of art?
From my experience in art to have a persuasive art pieces it should have a good base of research for it’s concept so it’s not repetitive and cliché, and another element is it has to be related to the audience. For example, 99% of my work is Arabic or talks about an issue that is related to us as Saudis, Arabs or humans. It also has some sort of history or inspired from old things but turned into an innovative way. If there is no history and base for the art work it wouldn’t have a present or a bright future that would b e later documented in the history.
Where do you draw most of your inspirations?
Mostly I don’t have one source of inspirations I get inspired from anything could be just gazing in nature or hanging out with creative people whom I like to be surrounded by, my professors whom I really appreciate, or an intensive research.
Who are your artistic role models?
Stephan sagmister, tariq atrissi from Lebanon and sami angawi from Saudi Arabia
What is in your sketchbook?
A lot of everything put together in a collage style.
How do you manage to get past a creative block? What do you do?
I don’t like to put myself in this situation and just surrender to it I try my best to face to worst and come through the other side by questioning my assumptions, ask myself what if?,… and adopt different perspective . I go to somewhere new, or read/ watch / listen to something new. I usually talk to people whom I can rely on to disagree wih me, or offer an alternative point of view. Or I talk to my best friends or my parents especially they always inspire me some way or another.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see my self graduated from my branding masters course and done with at least 2 courses in photography and started in creating my own creative hub and studio.
To see more of Zahar’s work, visit www.zaharalsayed.com, or follow her on Instagram @zahar_alsayed_art.
WORDS: BADRIYA AL-MAHMEED