Welcome back to our International Artist Series.
Today, we're catching up with four amazing artists from the North African country of Tunisia. I asked each artist how their region and culture influenced their work, and they delivered great responses.
Our first artist is Tayma Benahmed, a brilliant digital art student with an eye for vibrant colors. With her unique digital art style, she captures magnificent portraits and elusively tender scenes.
See more in her portfolio.
Lost in the Middle of Nowhere
Personally, my artistic works are influenced by "sharing the opinions of others." Of course not everyone's going to support you, there will be criticism—which I accept, so I can evolve myself over and over again.
On the other hand, my studies have limited my choices towards an artistic side (I study computer science and multimedia) so I decided to set no limits in what I can achieve. I am talented and I can go forward in art in all its ways without limits.
In Tunisia, the art community plays an important role in many areas in our society. We can pass many different messages through our artistic work like joy, awareness and even politics.
Our next artist is Othman Selmi, an inspiring illustrator and creative director based in Tunis, Tunisia. With creative work that spans many different genre's, Othman's editorial illustrations capture important awareness messages as well as fashionable portraits.
See more in Othman's portfolio.
Editorial Illustrations: Yves Saint Laurent
I am an illustrator and comics author, and I am currently the art director of a quarterly journal that comes out in Tunisia. I always wanted to do a job where I could still watch animations, film, and especially surround myself with books and magazines.
Editorial Illustrations: Coco Chanel
At first, I wanted to make Sci-Fi comics for kids but it did not take off! Children's magazines are quite rare in Tunisia and after several trials I gave up. Then I saw that I am more attracted to what is happening in my country: injustice, police violence, lack of expression and young people like me who die for absurd reasons has all pushed me to draw things that happen here even if it's hard to do so.
Generation Gap: Laura Mvula
Generation Gap: Blood Diamond
I feel committed to draw these struggles, defeats and the will to keep costs that cost our freedom to live and express.
With censorship for years, many artists could no longer say things. There are only "state or official artists" but now we discover so many talented people in music, painting, illustration, comics and fashion. I'm working with friends on a B.D fanzine called 619 and I'm preparing a new magazine to collect other artists from different backgrounds. I'm still very confident in this new generation.
Next, we'll step into the colorful world of Sara Drissi's digital art portraits. This graphic design student based in Tunis, Tunisia, makes a sweet collection of rhythmic portraits and jazz illustrations. Check out their work below.
See more in their portfolio.
Hey, this is Sara! I’ll be 28 years old this November and I just graduated this year from the Institute of Fine Art in Tunis last month to become a graphic designer!
I love learning new things and I love creating things but what I like the most is to do what I like and I really like illustrations.
Tunisian culture is actually a mixture of different and various cultures and colors. From African to Arab, Spanish, Turkish and others, we're all mixed together to give birth to a totally new one. Even when it comes to the language an average Tunisian person can speak and understand two to three languages. That’s the kind of culture we have.
Feel the Bit
Tunisia has been in the headlines for tragic reasons these past few years, from a revolution to terrorism and ISIS. But art is what brought this country to life again!
The art community here is still as alive as ever! They remain rooted and authentic. In Tunisia, we stand in the face of terrorism and fight it with art.
Our final feature belongs to a wonderful design studio based in Tunisia. Atelier Glibett is a collection of several phenomenal Tunisian artists who all work together to create fantastic illustrations for editorials and more.
See more in their portfolio.
OIM / Migration
We are a little illustration and design studio based in Tunisia. Our atelier gathers five persons imbued with a specific artistic universe. We also have a dog and a cat roaming around our office and a garden to keep us company. Glibett’s work is all about communicating through illustrations and promoting the Tunisian culture at the same time.
We are all Tunisians and our country is full of life. In other terms, people are intense, passionate but also unpredictable which makes everything more interesting if we take it under an artistic view.
Everyday life is inspiring and holds different situations and attitudes that have never been treated before. And that’s what we’re doing, by showcasing them in order to tell Tunisian people how funny and beautiful they are despite the hard times we’re facing and the desire to immigrate.
Geographic Map of the Mediterranean Sea
Tunisian Stock Market
There’s always something going on in the artistic fields here. People are very creative and want to express themselves in various ways. Since our revolution, young artists are experimenting with new platforms and are no longer afraid to show their work.
Those who were stuck in their old traditional styles are coming out of their shells and are becoming more receptive to new ideas. Nowadays, artistic collaborations and exchanges are reaching out to countries all over the world like Japan, Brazil and America and are not only linked up to Europe. Things are changing just like our society.
Many thanks to the artists who took the time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has affected their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below:
Love these features? Check out more from this series: