Arts & Culture

Embracing Cultural Beauty: Artist Depicts Saudi Arabia Through Digital Works

Saudi Artist Ghada Al-Shammari found full inspiration in passionate Arabic songs and emotional poetry that eventually sparked creative artistic ideas in her mind. As a result, Al-Shammari decided to employ her skills in digital art to showcase Saudi Arabia’s culture and traditions.

This decision is based on her belief that art is a significant way to preserve the country’s heritage and share it from one generation to the next, by documenting knowledge and memories.

Saudi People Through Al-Shammari’s Eyes

Al-Shammari intended from the very beginning of her career to portray an accurate image of the traditional man and woman in the Saudi culture.

“Saudi culture and traditions have significantly impacted my work. Growing up, I used to think of Saudi Arabia as just what was around me in terms of environment, customs, and traditions,” Al-Shammari said.

Many of her artworks depict women wearing traditional Najdi-style dresses and gowns with draping silhouettes and glimmering gold headpieces and turbans. Saudi men are portrayed while wearing traditional garments like the head coverings called ghutra or shemagh, and bisht, the men’s cloak frequently worn in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

Embracing Cultural Beauty: Artist Depicts Saudi Arabia Through Digital Works

Tendency Towards Illustrating Songs and Poems

Al-Shammari pursued her passion for painting heartfelt Saudi songs and poems to turn the emotional lines of any literary work into a real image reflecting the hidden beauty of the text. In 2017, she was inspired by a popular Saudi song by Majed Al-Esa called “Hwages,” which means “concerns” in English. The music video was a strong satire, showcasing women driving cars, skateboarding, and playing basketball and other activities that at the time were not easily practiced by women.

Furthermore, the brilliant Saudi Artist has depicted one of Prince Badr bin Abdul Mohsen’s poems in a magnificent drawing embodying a shower of ardent feelings. The artwork describes a man glancing at a woman who has her eyes downcast, with an oud instrument between them, and the 1980 song title “Forgive Me” written in Arabic text above the illustration.

“Romantic songs with descriptions of the poet’s beloved have been particularly inspiring for me,” Al-Shammari added.

Embracing Cultural Beauty: Artist Depicts Saudi Arabia Through Digital Works

Long Journey of Constant Thirst for Growth

Ghada Al-Shammari was born at Hafar Al-Batin, completely surrounded by ancient Saudi heritage, culture and traditions. Her love of art began as a child when she used to draw characters from her favorite anime and cartoons.

“I started focusing on drawing from an educational perspective at the age of 12 through YouTube tutorials on drawing anime and cartoons, which sparked my artistic journey,” Al-Shammari said.

When she moved to the capital Riyadh, the new city opened her eyes to a whole new world of limitless horizons and broader perspectives. She befriended various artists who showed her new avenues to elevate her artistic vision.

She added: “They shared stories about their region, important landmarks, and fascinating tales that were unique to their areas. This motivated me to learn more about my country and enjoy drawing the diversity and differences I discovered in my artworks.”

Embracing Cultural Beauty: Artist Depicts Saudi Arabia Through Digital Works
Ghada Al-Shammari’s most recent artwork.

Al-Shammari graduated from the College of Arts and Design at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

She added: “Through this specialization, I discovered many artistic and historical aspects, learned about various artists, and got to understand their ideas and philosophies, which transformed my perspective of my work.”

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