RIYADH: The beauty of Saudi Arabia’s landscape and architecture has captivated Russian artist Julia Budnik, whose artistic creations depict the region in striking vignettes in posters and prints.
In 2019, Budnik developed an increasing fascination with Saudi Arabian architecture after learning about it while working on a Diriyah Season project.
She said: “As I delved into research, I discovered the diverse and stunning architectural styles across the country.”
Budnik’s first drawings were dedicated to Diriyah, the birthplace of the Kingdom. “Saudi culture and tradition have deeply influenced my work, and I am happy to have the inspiration to show its beauty and heritage,” she said.
She wanted to create artwork that “reflected all the beautiful details and patterns.”
One of Budnik’s projects is a pop-up book, inspired by her visit to the historic Al-Balad in Jeddah: “When I visited this historic district, it led to the creation of a pop-up book that showcases the beauty and uniqueness of Al-Balad’s architecture. In just two months, I brought my vision to life, aiming to share this remarkable place with the world in an interactive way.”
The book highlights historical and architectural features while taking the reader on an artistic and educational journey featuring the Kingdom’s historic buildings.
Her most recent project , “Discover Saudi Arabia,” consists of a collection of poster and postcard prints of Diriyah, Jeddah and Gulf of Aqaba.
Speaking about her hopes for the project, she said: “I have a dream that this project can one day be used for the unique souvenirs that can be found in the touristic locations across Saudi Arabia.”
Budnik’s journey as an artist began in 2008 when she started creating simple sketches of the streets and landscapes around her: “Over time, what started as a casual hobby evolved into a deep-seated passion. I specialize in creating unique artworks and design projects that revolve around themes of architecture, travel destinations and cultural identity. My artistic vision is driven by a deep appreciation for the world’s diverse cultures and landscapes.”
She said that she is influenced by “the rich tapestry of cultures and landscapes that I’ve had the privilege to experience through travel.”
“Each country I visit, each city I work in, presents a unique canvas of inspiration,” she said. “I am deeply drawn to the intricate architectural details, the play of textures, the vibrant colors, the evocative symbols, and the sweeping views that define a place’s character.”
Sharing her artistic creations is a source of joy: “I find immense happiness in hearing how my art projects evoke memories and emotions in others. It’s a delightful feeling to know that my work can spark nostalgia or a sense of joy in someone’s heart, making their day a bit brighter.”
Alongside digital art, Bundik also works with a range of mediums such as pens, pencils and oils: “My choice of medium depends on the specific texture and effect I aim to achieve on the paper … digital art offers artists an incredible level of versatility and convenience.”
“The color combinations and designs I choose are a direct reflection of the unique impressions and emotions I gather while immersing myself in a new culture and environment,” she said.
Budnik has received positive feedback from the local Saudi community and visitors: “It has been a delight to share my art as gifts with my local and expat friends. The postcards, in particular, have served as beautiful and cherished souvenirs, leaving a lasting impression and a piece of Saudi culture to hold on to.”
“Art plays vital role in society as it acts as a language for perceiving and articulating the world’s beauty. It offers a unique way to capture the intangible elements that deeply touch our souls.”
To explore Budnik’s art, visit her Instagram @juliabudnikart or website juliabudnikart.com.