Cover Story

Expressing Art

December 21 - 27, 2016
Gulf Weekly Expressing Art

Banker turned artist Leena Al Ayoobi’s creative clutches and bold bags are bringing a splash of colour and art into the lives of women across the region.

The talented Japanese manga and folkloric painter’s designs have turned heads at weddings and special occasions, proving to be a hot accessory able to complement a variety of outfits.

Leena, who has been passionate about art since she was a little girl and says she belongs to the expressionism movement, said: “Women use my products for many outfits and occasions, ranging from wedding accessories to going to the beach. I have designed scarves, bags, clutches, mirrors, laptop sleeves, mobile phone covers, luggage covers, plates and trays.”

The products are growing in popularity and the designer now has clients and shops around the region asking for her products. She recently expanded her reach to Kuwait through the Tafaseel shop at Mubarakia Souq.

Aside from selling her lines on line and through social media, her products are being snapped up from a booth at Bab Al Bahrain, stalls in community malls, and, as of a couple of weeks ago, she and her artist friend Layla Al-Hussaini partnered up to launch the first official branch of Dar Al-Fann, which means ‘House of Art’ in Al A’ali Shopping Complex.

Leena use oils, acrylics and water colours and is inspired by Japanese cartoons as well as the rich culture she grew up in. 

She finds comfort in talking with the older generation as they paint a picture in her head which she then attempts to capture on canvas, on paper or digitally on items.

She shares a ‘beauty and simplicity of the olden days’ of Bahrain and the Gulf. She has also hosted workshops and featured her works at various exhibitions in Bahrain and Dubai.

Leena, who works from her studio in Saar, said: “Art is an excellent way to spread messages and cultures around the world, and as an artist, I’ve always appreciated originality in everything I do in my life.”

Leena originally started designing her products for her own personal use but then was encouraged by her family and friends to make them available for all as they were so beautiful.

She said: “After the overwhelming interest and requests for more art and more products my business mission became apparent: ‘Adding Art to Your Life’.

That’s why I will never stop reinventing myself and my products - it is just the beginning of my journey. “Art is my passion. The business side of it is a pleasant coincidence that I don’t mind growing with time.

You can fully accessorise yourself from head to toe from Dar Al-Fann.  We have just launched the first official shop so my focus now is to get it upand-running with all the products I have had in mind for it.

Let’s wait and see … but we have many more surprises on the way.”

  • Check out on Instagram @Leenz_art or online at or visit the store

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