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Learn from these UAE-based artists with Apple and The Big Draw

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As part of the 'Today at Apple' sessions, the tech giant is introducing a slew of new art-focused activities in the Middle East this month...

Apple has long been synonymous with being at the forefront of technology and whilst the tech giant continuously launches the next big thing in watches, phones and computers, it is also widely recognised for its commitment to supporting emerging talent.

For the brand’s Today at Apple sessions, Apple in The Dubai Mall will be focusing on visual literacy to celebrate the world’s largest drawing festival, The Big Draw.

This year, the festival will focus on innovative creative talents and will offer free sessions and seminars to enthusiasts (of all ages) as they attend to experiment new apps, and explore the endless possibilities of digital drawing — who knows, you might even discover a skill you never knew you had.

The sessions are being held by some of the region’s most talented artists including Azra Khamissa, Angela Bardakjian, Ruth Burrows, Ahmad Al-Refaie, Aljoud Lootah and Khalid Mezaina, and you’ll be able to meet them first-hand and learn from them directly.

To get a clearer idea of what to expect from the workshops, Ruth Burrows will be showcasing participants how to “take their drawings from pencil sketch to iPad Pro to finished artwork. We’ll take a simple recipe and illustrate the ingredients and utensils, maybe do some hand lettering to finish off the piece. It’s really about seeing how we can use the iPad as a tool alongside traditional media to create finished digital artwork.”

Hailing from Kuwait, illustrator Ahmed Al-Refaie will be speaking about the ups and downs of being an artist. “Every artist’s journey has its ups and downs and it is natural that as artists we hit something called a “creative block”. My talk is understanding the reasons of why we encounter blocks and how we can work in resolving them in order to unlock our imaginations. My talk session will also be followed by a small character illustration workshop.”

“Contributing to the modern art scene in the region is a beautiful thing and I hope more and more people jump on board in creating original art that speaks our language,” continued Al-Refaie. “Creating art to me is really important, beyond the audience, enjoying the process and feeling a sense of accomplishment with each creation is the ultimate achievement.”

This year’s sessions are particular special given the fact that The Big Draw programming will be available in ever Apple Store worldwide and will include sessions led by over 90 inspiring artists, illustrators, architects and designers from the surrounding community.

For more details about the sessions at an Apple store near you, please visit

Now, read all about Apple’s latest launches.