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Artists share their opinions on how art affects community

By Munirah Al-Fayez

KUWAIT: Kuwait Times interviewed three artists in Kuwait to ask them about the effect of art on Kuwaiti society and culture. Zaina Al-Kulaib, who has over 6,000 followers on Instagram, said she started sharing her art for fun, explaining she loves the feeling of putting out something and getting feedback because it gives her motivation to grow and learn. According to Kulaib, art is very significant because it captures the essence of Kuwaiti culture and can communicate ideas and information. She said the first time she used art to send a communal message was during the pandemic.

“I had a series on Instagram related to what we as a society were feeling at the time at the height of the pandemic, and it got a lot of attraction. To me that’s the beauty of art,” Kulaib said. When asked if art should be more integrated in schools in Kuwait, Kulaib enthusiastically said “100 percent yes!” “First of all, it’s a way of expressing yourself and knowing who you are through it, whether it’s digital or traditional art. Second, in my opinion, art should be taken seriously as any other subject in school, as it is a skill to be acquired with time and practice,” she said. Kulaib has some advice for people interested in art.

“Don’t worry about finding ‘your style’. It will come to you with time, and it can also change as you grow and evolve. Just have fun and draw what you like, as it can bring you joy and happiness. Create the art you like, not what people expect you to draw.” Shahad Al-Saad, an artist draws animations, said what made her share her art was to connect with others and inspire them, so she would be inspired as well. Said said she believes art is very powerful because it reflects societies’ realities, interests and beliefs.

For example, for her as a Kuwaiti, she likes to do special illustrations during special months, like the month of February. Saad believes art needs to be taught in primary in schools because it helps visual learners have a better understanding of certain subjects. She added that prioritizing art in the Kuwaiti society through art canters encourages amateur artists, because it gives them confidence and helps them improve their art. Saad advised young artists to “do the art you love, be passionate about it and it will reflect on your work. Always take criticism as a form of inspiration and improvement.”

Shatha Abueljebain, a 23-year-old digital artist, said she has always liked sharing art because it helps the artist and people experience art, go through hard times, cope with life and get used to new environments. Artists make something out of nothing, according to Abueljebain, then they share it with the world, and through that, they teach themselves and others. According to Abueljebain, art has been significant in Kuwait, as it speaks and shows our culture. “Art used to be more traditional and cultural; for example, in the past, a lot of art used to be about normal household living, but then it innovated and progressed.

People nowadays on social media are using digital and traditional art, and even traditional art has progressed,” Abueljebain said. “Art sends a message — it reflects who we are as a society. For example, if there is a problem in the society, it is usually reflected through videos, photos, paintings and many other forms of art.” Abueljebain advises new and young artists to find a local community, because it will help artists grow and learn and support each other. She said it is good to feel like you are part of a community. “You will be able to share your knowledge, and you might even be able to start a project together. Life without communication is silence.”

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