Sadly it's been a while since I last picked up a paintbrush, but it hasn't stopped me from me admiring others works of art. Calligraphy Arts by Sabah is one I've fallen in love with - her attention to detail and passion for her craft really shows in her work. And, she's just as lovely as her paintings! If you don't believe me, find out for yourself below.
(This feature has been in the making for a quite while now and I am thrilled to finally be able to share her work with you!)
Of course the readers would love to know about the person behind the shop, so please tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Sabah and I'm currently a University student. I have always had a passion for Art thus have tried to do something artistic alongside my studies. My business is based on one of the beauties of my religion; Islamic calligraphy. I am also a henna artist and I love combining these two interests together in my work. Art is one of those areas which requires neither qualification nor experience and I therefore believe every piece of work is a piece of Art, which tells its own story. I sincerely believe it is important to express yourself as I feel that people get so caught up in the world with their daily routines, that they do not leave any time to appreciate the beauty of the smaller things in life. As I am still studying, I do not have much time to travel outside the UK. However, I would love to travel the world in the future and find new sources of inspiration for my work.
What are some of your biggest inspirations or what motivates you to get creative?
The architecture in mosques and wall art is amazing. Islamic Art is a focal point and I find it fascinating how a small design can be repeated in different orientations to decorate the walls and ceilings of mosques. I haven't used Islamic Art in my work, but this is something I would love to look into In Shaa Allah. Mosques such as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Masjid Al-Aqsa and Masjid Al-Nabwi are just some examples of how beautifully calligraphy can be used to design the interiors of buildings. When I see new paintings of calligraphy, this automatically motivates me because it helps me to generate new ideas which I then become impatient to try!
When did you discover your love of crafts/handmade goods?
I discovered my love for calligraphy when I was about 15, but I never really had the confidence to do it myself. I love how calligraphers use the qalam (pen) to join letters and use different scripts to beautify a piece of work. Later on, I began practising on paper and later found that I can do this on canvases when I studied Art properly. I had a break from doing anything artistic in my second year at college but I found that I needed to resume once I started University. At this point, I moved straight onto canvases. At the beginning I did feel a little uncertain because this was unlike something I've ever done before, but when people started to recommend me to their friends, I became more confident and opened up my Facebook page www.facebook.com/calligraphyartsbysabah
Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I've not really had a set name for my business. When I started up, I had originally kept the name as 'Islamic Calligraphy Canvases by Sabah'. I did feel however, that it was too rigid and specific; I wanted to do calligraphy on more than just canvases. That's when I came up with 'Calligraphy Arts by Sabah'. It's different and keeps my options open too.
What kinds of things do you sell?
At the moment I sell canvases and cards and I often incorporate henna designs into my work. As my business is still in its early days, I'm busy establishing a good name. Once I have achieved this, I would love to move onto other products and new markets.
What is your favorite thing about your business?
My favourite thing about my business is the freedom in working. I can work whichever hours I desire and I can effectively prioritise with orders so as to maintain a good balance between work and family life. I also love the fact that some customers give me the choice to decorate their order according to what I think looks better. Its make me feel honoured that somebody else trusts my professionalism and my taste!
How would you describe your products and/or your creative process?
I would say my products are fully personalised as I aim to exceed my customers' expectations. I try to make each canvas better than the picture my customers have painted in their minds. With each order, I am learning something new and I believe that today Alhamdulillah, I am more experienced than I was when I first started. I hope to become a better calligrapher in the future.
What have been some of the challenges with your business?
I'd say definitely getting my work out there to others has been fairly challenging. I'm still at the stage of establishing a well reputable name and I would love to achieve this in the near future iA. Sometimes its challenging to meet a priority order, but this is all a part of the experience I guess. I love every part it.
What are your aspirations for the business?
I strongly believe there are opportunities wherever you go. Having said this, I would love for my business to grow Internationally, especially in those countries where there are misconceptions about Islam as a religion and as a lifestyle. I welcome other artist collaborations and would love to do live calligraphy for children. Wall art is also a huge inspiration for my work, in which I would love to specialise.
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