Wijdan Saleem .. Not Picasso, but an artist creating her own brand

An Oman-based artist, Wijdan Saleem is young and charismatic whose work is sure to instantly grab your attention! Exuberating happy colours, bright bold strokes along with a fun creative take on stickers, posters and paintings, this artist definitely got our attention. The unashamed use of contrasting colours, the paintings share with its audience a sense of hope, growth, joy and life.

A piece that stood out to us was a dreamcatcher with a background of what could be interpreted as the universe, it spoke of subtle wisdom and creativity whilst entertaining its onlooker.
With no two pieces of art looking the same with their individualistic styles and unique characters, the art is unified by the artist herself and with her signature use of colour, texture and character.
Oman Observer caught up with this emerging artist to not only understand and learn her thought process, but to inspire others to be unafraid of creating their very own brand of creativity.

At what age did your interest in art peek and when was it you realised it was a true passion of yours?
I started drawing at a very young age, ever since I could use a pencil you may say. Thanks to my supportive parents I could always practice drawing and set my artistic-self free anytime and anywhere I could. I grew up with art all around me.

What is and has been your main source of inspiration?
Nature inspires me the most, but also I get inspired by almost everything around me, every person, every situation and every place.
Music also plays a huge role and is a source of my regular dose of inspiration.

Your artwork is bright and colourful, is it also a form of expression?
Mainly developing myself as an artist, and finding more inspiration, along with finding better ways to show people that art is a way of living and not just a piece we keep somewhere for decoration.
I am also looking forward to doing more exhibitions, and more art pieces.

Who or whom are your favourite artists?
I don’t specifically love one or two artists, however, I truly appreciate Picasso and his way of thinking as well his art pieces, he inspires me so much, I also like Frida Kahlo and her unique way of expressing her visions.

What is your personal medium of choice?
I am a traditional artist, so I prefer to paint and use brushes. Most of the time I’m painting on canvas using acrylic paint. I also love mixed media and have been really getting into it recently.

Other than on social media, where else have you exhibited your work?
I have participated in several local exhibitions showcasing my art in my own booth. I have also participated at IGN middle east and Comic-Con conventions.

What are you currently working on?
Currently, I have my original designed stickers, and I am already working on new designs to be released soon. Fingers crossed, hoping to host an exhibition by the end of the year too.

Other than painting, what are your other hobbies?
Of course, shopping for stationary, and then using it to create something new. I love going on adventures, and spending time with people I love and getting inspired by them. I also love face painting and making costumes whenever I get the chance.

Your artwork is bright and colourful, is it also a form of expression?
I have to admit that I never think what colours I will use. I go with what comes naturally and I just go with the flow. My colourful artwork reminds me that no matter how hard life gets, it’ll always become brighter somehow if we want it to! I make sure that my art makes me happy.

What would your message be to budding young artists in the Sultanate?
Never throw any art piece before you fully finish it. You don’t know how it may turn out to be. Not everything should look how you expected it to be, sometimes a little change will make it even better. And most important, never give up on yourself, and always keep creating and exploring and set your imagination free. Make art a lifestyle and simply start with your heart before your hands.

And like most of us, she can be found on Instagram @itswij, be sure to follow her and check out her amazing artwork, her upcoming paintings and see if you fancy yourself a set of those funky stickers!