About the Artist

About the Artist

She was born and educated in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.When she was ten, her father playfully pointed out that cows are great creatures because of
what they contribute to the world. This brought her to a crucial question;  what could she contribute to the world?

Most of her classmates wanted to work in the medical profession. Was that it? No, too gory. Could she become a scientist or inventor? Maybe,
but only if it did not require remembering names and numbers. A teacher perhaps? No, too grueling. At this point, Halla began to resign herself to the fact that she was a “good for nothing”.

Then, one day, the school art teacher snuck up on her while she was drawing an oil pastel of sunflowers. After a few minutes of scrutiny,
Abla Quamar looked up and said: “This is exceptional, you should strive to improve your talent.” Halla needed no further encouragement. Pen
and paintbrush became her closest companions. At twelve, her mother allowed her to take private art lessons, but only under the arduous
condition the she earned A grades. Fortunately, art begins with an A.
Mrs. Liz Thompson, her first art teacher remarked that: “art and writing go hand in hand”. Remembering her school teacher’s glowering
countenance Halla said: “But, Mrs.Thompson, I can’t write.” One week later, with Mrs.Thompson’s guidance, Halla wrote her first poem.

The age of seventeen marked her first participation in an art exhibition, thus, her career as an artist was launched.

The non existence of an Academy of Fine Arts in Riyadh obliged her to get her Masters in Business Administration. Too late did she learn that
business was really none of her business.

When an art consultant suggested Halla illustrate children’s books, her firm reply was “NEVER!”

In 1996, Halla began writing and illustrating stories for her own five children. Her father’s gentle encouragement, and strong support
convinced her to start her own publishing house. Halla hopes to give children a book they would ask their parents to read at bed time, a book
that would make them smile, think, learn a new word, or find a new colour. A book they would want to carry everywhere. She named her
publishing house Dar Jerboa.

“Sometimes people ask me to never stop painting. This is like asking me to never stop breathing.”