Artistic Freedom

Farah Al-Anad - Al-Jawf Track
This article was written by a Youth Voice program participant. Youth Voice Program is an enriching dialogue program that aims to engage Saudi Youth from all around the Kingdom in several seminars, discussion meetings and training. It focuses mainly on critical thinking and persuasive communication skills.

Fouad Kamal describes art as "A source of love and light. Sweet, fresh and generous, art is like the branch that detaches from its source to play a fine melody emanating from a guitar’s strings.”  

In short, artists are individuals who dare to venture out of their comfort zone and look for what inspires them. They establish their own creative minds through the world's beauties and charm. Artists delve into the depth of creativity to embellish the world's image. Throughout my article, I will examine the community of artists and observe their situations, stories, experiences, and knowledge. One journey of an artist's imagination is completely different from that of another. Mine, for instance, started from early childhood in front of the TV screen. However, what unites artists are strokes of imagination that illuminate their experience and shake their universe. An idea will cross their minds and linger there to create something unique and distinguished, which will impress, attract, and steal their attention.

The message of art, as explained by Alistair MacFarlane from Gwynedd, "is a way of grasping the world... not merely the physical world, which is what science attempts to do; but the whole world, and specifically, the human world, the world of society and spiritual experience."

Art not only captures what is beautiful., but can also trigger other feelings as well, such as anxiety, laughter, surprise, sarcasm, hope, despair, admiration, and aversion. A work of art may seem straightforward, complex, or mysterious. However, approaches and themes that inspire a certain artwork are only the product of the artist's imagination. For example, The Scream, a famous painting by Edvard Munch, was the result of a dark and bitter emotional experience, but in real life, people do not know what feelings produced this painting in particular. The same applies to music, no matter the genre or type. We do not know its hidden purpose, but we do enjoy its beautiful melodies. The artist alone knows its essence and history. Art is a mirror that reflects the feelings of its creator.

People's interests differ and vary and innovative creativity remains one of a kind because it draws a unique product that originates from the artist's imagination. As for routine tasks, no matter how beautiful and attractive they seem, they only need ingenuity and may lack creativity and imagination.

Artists live in a world that only exist to them, where they let their imagination float without any limits, and allow their wings to spread. I was deeply inspired by The Lives of the Artists that looks into the lives of painters, architects, and sculptors. Through this book, I learnt that every artist has their own creative life. "The Lives of the Artists is a dictionary of ancient architects, sculptors, and painters. It was written by Giorgio Vasari, a Florentine architect and a student of the great Michelangelo. This book was published in 1594 AD, and was considered a reference by university professors for the history of the arts. It was known as the most important book that tackled the Italian Renaissance. Vasari mentioned around 200 painters, sculptors, and architects in his book."

The artist may experience frustration and encouragement in their life, but their inner creative force does not surrender and their flame of passion never dies.

Some people believe that passion is a type of leisure. In reality, arts in all their forms, reflect people's souls where consciousness is formed and thoughts are processed. Real art, when combined with the needed power to become entrenched and consolidated within societies, will lead to a good community that is known for its high morals and exquisite taste. Real art is first and foremost linked to the good morals of its creators.

When an artist presents an innovation that leaves everyone in awe, their artwork may be accepted or refuted. Some closed societies do not approve of anything that is not within the scope of their thinking. Consequently, people start to question the artist's identity, pushing them to rebel or spend the rest of their life in isolation without any new inspiration. Al Jazeera newspaper wrote: "Modern art presents ideas, feelings, and emotions in new ways based on personal experiences and away from traditional ways of thinking that feed on the collective mind and do not support individualism."

On the other hand, the demand for modern art has increased due to global developments and new forms of art have become attractive. Consequently, countries and communities are encouraging the art and a number of institutions were established to serve and develop it as well. Moving to Art Jameel for artistic practices and research, this platform was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic and targeted independent artists, writers, and researchers. The platform offers support for new and continuous projects, with over $3,000 dedicated to each artist. Among entities supporting arts in the Kingdom is the Saudi Society for Fine Arts, a non-profit cultural institution. This Society is distinguished by its administrative and financial independence and was established by a decision of His Excellency, the Minister of Culture.




  1. Art is one of the pillars of Saudi Vision 2030. Unique visions of art and a cancellation of history: How has modernity affected art? Al Jazeera magazine.
  2. Contemporary artists in the Arab world: Survivors of an age of crises.

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