Nabeela Al Khayer talks about art, business and success.
1) Nabeela, you are both a successful businesswoman and a successful artist, what has enabled you to marry these two contradictions?
Being an artist is something I was born with, it is a childhood dream, a wish I always had. I started painting from a young age then I stopped for a while in order to raise my children. Later with my husband’s support, I returned to the world of art. My husband encouraged me to paint and express myself.
To me, being an artist and a businesswoman is not a contradictory matter. In my line of business where I work with jewelry and furniture design, art is an important aspect of both of these businesses.
2) Your work speaks of the heartaches, joys, and struggles of all women regardless of all culture. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from the originality, depth and beauty of Bahraini heritage. I love to show the beauty of my country’s heritage, and I love to express through art how life struggles are converted to joy at the end of the day.
3) You have held sold-out exhibits in many different places and it’s quite rare for an artist to be both critically and commercially acclaimed. What would you say is the secret to your success?
There is no secret in the process of marketing works of art. What makes an artist stand apart from his or her peers is the style of work, the subject matter, the respect and acknowledgment of what art connoisseurs expect, and most importantly, the credibility and hard work of the artist.
4) You have been on fire many times for the subject matter which your paintings cover. How do you respond to such criticism?
In my opinion it doesn’t matter if the criticism is constructive or not. Continuing on building my artistic vision is the most important thing to me for art cannot be constrained by limits, it has a life of its own.
5) What is your advice to aspiring artists who like you, would like to be both critically and commercially acclaimed?
This new generation of artists holds so much talent and potential. They are able to produce great works of art delivered in a modern context and I think they will succeed in introducing their art to the entrepreneurial world.
And as the Vice President of the Bahrain international federation of business and professional women, where we offer opportunities such as economic incubators to young male and female entrepreneurs, I have observed the enthusiasm and willingness of the new generation to excel in their work, and I predict that they will successfully launch their own concepts and projects in the near future.
My advice to them is to work diligently and always be on the lookout for what is new and happening in the art arena. That will allow them to always raise their standards and be unique in their work.