Riham Al-Reshaid is a self-taught new and emerging artist living and working in Kuwait. As an artist, she works in a variety of styles and mediums ranging from pen & ink drawings to more detailed oil paintings. Currently working on a project that tackles attitudes about mental health problems via a series of mixed-media pieces, she seeks to tell the many stories of the diverse range of women in Kuwait. Riham’s aim is to break down the stigma and discrimination of mental health problems, by opening up communication between those with and without such ailments.
As a woman who herself suffered from an eating disorder for many years, starting from the age of 10, this is an issue close to her heart. She studied Psychology at Kuwait University, and has, more recently returned from Chicago, USA, after having struggled and then successfully been treated for the aforementioned condition. She is seeking to spread awareness on eating disorders in Kuwait and has started a Facebook group called Kuwait Eating Disorder Awareness and Prevention (KEDAP) to do so (www.facebook.com/groups/kuwaitedap). We recently sat down with her for a conversation about art, artists, and the passion behind it all:
How did your artistic journey begin?
I was a very creative child and loved to draw and make things with objects that I would find around the house. My mother is also an artist so she always had art supplies around the house and lots of activities for us to do.
What/Who inspires your work?
I’m mostly inspired by my experiences and emotions. I find that I’m better able to express things through my art, rather than words. I’m also very lucky to have a big imagination so I use it as much as possible.
Do you use a variety of mediums in your art/or what are your specialties?
I use a variety of mediums and don’t like to limit myself to one style. I would say that my specialty is in the way I use color.
Is there a favorite piece of yours that you have done?
My favorite piece would have to be one entitled, It’s Complicated. I had stopped painting for a very long time and that piece brought me back to doing what I love to do.
In your opinion, what was the hardest challenge you faced in your art career?
The hardest challenge was being able to accept that what makes me the artist I am, is my ability to work with different styles of art. I get asked all the time why all my pieces are so different, but I just think that’s a reflection of me as a person as well. I don’t think I would ever change that.
What would you like to accomplish in the future?
Right now I’m working on a project that combines KEDAP and my art. I’m always very inspired by the people I meet and their stories. I want to be able to do that more in the future and get the community involved in some way in hopes of raising awareness through art.
The tie-in between the artist’s imagination and real-world problems or conflicts is a bold ambition for any work of art—let alone the artist themselves! To additionally seek to bridge the gap as a community service for the country you care about, is equally admirable. We here, will certainly be on the look out for her next exhibition.
You can find out more information about Riham’s artwork online at: