JEDDAH: Although digital illustration is not the easiest medium to work in, Bayan Yassin has adopted it to broadcast her ideas to a wider audience.
Yassin, a 27-year-old conceptual artist and a writer with a flair for illustration, talked to Arab News about her art.
Each of her artworks embodies the deep emotional side of the Saudi community’s daily life, interpreted into a magical swirl of artistry portraying characters, events and stories.
“It is really important to me to convey human sensations that my audience will be able to relate to at first glance,” she said. “I admire all details related to my Saudi culture, heritage, the past and the present that has made what we are now.
“In my art, you will see family warmth, love, and devotion presented as these are the daily treasures that I am fond of and that feed my inspiration.”
She started as a passionate six-year-old drawing her favorite cartoon characters from TV and copying from magazines.
Her attention is often drawn to the problems of her profession such as artist’s block. One social media platform close to her heart is Instagram. She utilizes it to highlight such subjects by posting simple illustrations that catch the viewers’ eye and makes them think.
What makes a skill valuable is being true to the message behind it, Yassin said. Emotions, love, peace, and stability are among the themes displayed in her artworks.
She said that the features of the characters that she illustrates are mostly inspired by those close to her, including her relatives, son and husband. The viewer will find an eye symbol in each of Yassin’s illustrations, which, she said, symbolizes the first two initials of her name and that of her husband. “It also refers to the beauty and power of perception, an angle that no one can see but me.”
Yassin illustrated the full series of the Saudi children book “Habib the Camel,” where she created the two main characters. “I am so proud and happy to see my characters turning into dolls.”
Yassin is currently working collaboration with Dar Waraqa, a creative publishing house based in Saudi Arabia, on a book about how to have a strong heart and face one’s fear.
She is also working on a new board game and three children’s books.
The Saudi artist harnesses her art to create a form of communication. Since her visual art simulates cultural identity, the written comments on her illustrations are in Hejazi dialect. “Using the easy yet expressive words in colloquial Saudi is my way to approach the hearts of my audience.”
The interactive topics and conversational, contemporary style of her illustrations resonate with a large audience from the Middle East in general and Saudi Arabia in particular, so many of her artworks are available as puzzles and posters.
Yassin sells her posters via her Instagram page @unique.beno, represented by @radishhouseagency, and will soon have an online shop to display all her artwork.
She is also planning several workshops about enhancing art through the use of color.