Saudi visual artist celebrates traditional Bedouin lifestyle

RIYADH: Capturing ordinary scenes as whimsical moments, the work of Saudi illustrator and product designer Layan Alhamed opens portals to new, imaginary worlds.

From a young age, Alhamed wanted to do something creative, so she spent her days drawing, with items scattered around her, creating treasures from scrap materials and finding ways to make art out of unusual objects.

Saudi artist Layan Alhamed paints magical scenes on ordinary paintings, and has also created a limited edition puzzle in honor of Saudi Arabia’s National Day and contributed illustrations to a children’s book. (Instagram/layanalhamed_)

Although Alhamed graduated from Efat University with a BA in Product Design, her passion for visual creation and character development never left her.

While studying product design, she spent her days learning how to visualize stories and share them with others.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Layan Alhamed graduated from Effat University with a BA in Product Design.

• During her studies, the artist finds joy in merging the idea of ​​play and product development.

• She created TINY, a 3D playful piece of furniture designed for children.

Speaking about the creative process of product design, she told Arab News: “Getting into product design made me realize how wide the field is and how it satisfies all the creative energy I have. When you design products, you have to sketch, illustrate, brand, mock-up and create something tangible that people can experience.”

Saudi artist Layan Alhamed paints magical scenes on ordinary paintings, and has also created a limited edition puzzle in honor of Saudi Arabia’s National Day and contributed illustrations to a children’s book. (Instagram/layanalhamed_)

She added: “The feeling of seeing your first sketch of a preliminary idea and the final physical product is indescribable. That’s when I realized that art is a journey. It’s not always smooth sailing, but it’s worth it.”

During his studies, Alhamed found joy in fusing the idea of ​​play with product development – ​​pop-up cupcake wrappers, an interactive shelf, a transformable lamp, furniture that transforms into a tent, and more.

I loved experimenting with interactivity and playing a lot. That’s when I realized that ordinary everyday objects can have so much character in them too.

Serve AlhamedSaudi illustrator

“I loved experimenting with interactivity and playing a lot. That’s when I realized that ordinary everyday objects can also have so much character in them,” said Alhamed.

Her joy in fusing play and product development together led to the creation of TINY, a 3D playful piece of furniture designed for children between the ages of three and eight.

Comet, a character created by Alhamed.

TINY is a functional product that unites the industry of play and furniture, engages children and allows them to use it for their activities, thus creating an outlet for self-expression and creativity.

“I wanted to play and test the idea of ​​transforming a simple object (a child seat) into something much more. It’s like a little secret magic box that transforms into whatever a child wants to be,” Alhamed said.

“The product comes with add-ons (Tiny Tent, Tiny, shop, Tiny Theater) with the intention of continuously developing creative ads that can be easily installed.”

Alhamed, despite her youth, has worked on several projects, including designing a limited edition puzzle in honor of Saudi Arabia’s National Day, illustrating a children’s book, and illustrating T-shirt designs.

She illustrates digitally when designing and developing a product, and the materials needed depend on the project she is working on. As for the color combination, it all depends on her mood.

“But the personal works that are closest to my heart will always be the spontaneous illustrations of characters on photographs,” said Alhamed.

“The combination of photography and illustration is a new medium that I personally enjoy a lot. And it feels like they’ve always been part of the shot.”

Her surroundings also strongly influence her artwork, and her creativity and imagination imprint new stories on photographs that initially capture simple or ordinary scenes: “Sometimes I come across a small cafe hidden in the neighborhood and I just feel that the place inspires me to create something… that’s when I started painting over the photos I was taking.’

Speaking about what ignites her creative energy, she said: “Other times it’s a quote I randomly heard on a podcast, the rhythms of music, a film that speaks to my soul. It’s beautiful how all these little details can bring so much emotion and energy to give back to the world creatively.”

Alhamed works as a freelance illustrator and product designer, showcasing his projects and artwork on Instagram @layanalhamed_. She is represented by Radish House Agency, a boutique creative agency.

The young illustrator plans to continue to hone her craft and continue to create magic: “The possibilities are endless and I would like to collaborate much more to bring these ideas to life.”

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