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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: Artist Dima Al-Rifai teamed up with Guerlain around five months ago to show off her colorful artwork on the French luxury house’s perfume bottles.
The 27-year-old artist has carved a niche for herself after collaborating and painting on perfume bottles of renowned local and international brands such as Rubaiyat, Maison Crivelli, Sephora, Laure, Maison Origine and Ormonde Jayne.
Speaking to Arab News, the Jeddah-based artist said that customers can personalize their choice of art on the perfume bottles.
For Al-Rifai, painting and drawing is a childhood passion, which she calls her “gateway” meditation.
“I am a self-taught artist and always admired imagination. After completing my bachelor’s degree in interior design from Dar Al-Hekma University, one thing I learned is that you can apply your creative imaginations on anything and any form, like clothing, furniture, walls, architectural plans, and many materials,” she explained.
“I started painting on canvases and walls, meaning flat surfaces, that lead to clothing and finally perfumes. How? When I paint something and observe it, thoughts of having the painting on a jacket, socks, or the backside pocket of the jeans drives more passion to me, and that was the turnover for me of starting applying my art on non-flat surfaces which is more challenging.”
Talking about how Al-Rifai bagged working with the Guerlain, she said she had once received an order to customize a painting on a denim jacket, and the customer was so happy with it that he posted it on his Instagram and tagged her account @artgonewild.official.
After a few weeks, Guerlain Boutique expressed their interest in collaborating with her to create customized art on their very expensive perfume bottles. “I’ve always had a strategy of never saying no to any opportunity — even when I am not familiar with it, I will take it and then learn how to master it,” she said.
“At that time I agreed with no doubt, and I spent days learning and trying on my own perfumes to know what type of products I shall use. And I can proudly say that the event was very successful, they sold many perfumes and customers were very satisfied. After that they contacted me again for another event, and the word was spread among other brands … and now I am doing this on a regular basis,” she said.
It all started with a painting of Jasmin Bonheur from Guerlain, and the rest was history. “That was the turning point for painting on perfume bottles.”
Recently, she collaborated with Maison Crivelli at the Laure perfume gallery in Jeddah, with the attendance of the brand founder and creative director, Thibaud Crivelli, who was on his first visit to the city.
Asked how she is inspired what to paint on the bottles, she said it stems from the story behind the perfume.
“There is no specific source, for the brand display collection I usually ask about the inspiration or the story behind each perfume and paint the vision I get once explained. The purchasers sometimes ask for the same art on the display, and other times they ask to have something that represents them personally,” she said.
Speaking about challenges that often come with the pursuit of one’s passions, she said: “Challenges are there and everyday a new challenge appears. Creative people have traits of zoning out so they can get in touch with their creative senses, this is how we focus.
“To communicate, socialize, and paint at the same time is not easy and consumes a lot of energy, but fortunately it empowers my multitasking skills, and at the end of the day, I think back of what I achieved and how far did I socialize makes my heart full and encourages me to do more.”
In future, Al-Rifai plans to continue experimenting with brushes and colors. “I genuinely do not have a specific dream with limitation (because) I never thought that one day I would collaborate with international brands that will turn into a great success.
“I dream of painting in Paris, the land of perfumes.”
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