An artist who spent three days painting an eye using emojis said she was “shocked” when her work went viral, and her artwork was viewed more than 10 million times.
Rahaf Al-Mutlaq, who paints under the name RAM, spent four hours over several days creating the piece on Snapchat. After sharing the finished work on Twitter, it quickly went viral, with almost 400,000 retweets and more than 60,000 likes.
The 20-year-old, from Qassim in Saudi Arabia, told the PA news agency: “I wasn’t expecting that much of a reaction – and the fact that people around the world have seen my tweet was so surprising
“I’m very grateful to them, I can’t even describe it because I’m not used to getting so much great feedback. They are so warm and supportive and that means a lot to me. I’m thankful even to the ones who took a brief time to just see it.”
The English translation student said she has loved drawing since she was young, but initially viewed it as a “superficial hobby”.
She said: “I didn’t discover more about art until I attended high school and there was a citywide painting contest.
“It was my first time trying painting with colours and not just a pencil. It was a challenge for me – even the size of the canvas I painted with was big for me. I won the contest and have been loving using colours ever since.”
In recent years, she has spent time experimenting with different techniques, including drawing on Snapchat, but this was her first time painting with emojis.
She said: “It just came up to my mind suddenly as well as drawing with Snapchat’s colours and I wanted to know if I could do it or not.
“Trying different things shows me what I am good at specifically. It also improves me further as I discover more about the hues and how they overlap and blend in with each other.
“Although I don’t have much experience, I’m still at the beginning of the path towards fulfilling my dreams, and I hope to love and discover art more and more.”