Pandemic puts calligraphy artists at the forefront

The lockdown related to COVID-19 has been a trying time for all of us. The spread of COVID-19 across the world has caused disruption in daily life. With the increase in downtime, some people have found space to start new projects and other creative endeavors.

People stuck at home find a new space for creativity. Containment brings out the unknown artist in many of us. One of these budding artists is Zarqa, a 21-year-old from the Lalbazar area of ​​Srinagar. She is a self-taught calligrapher and designer pursuing a B.Sc Honors at SKUAST Wadura.

Zarqa did not learn calligraphy with a structured approach. She has loved to draw since her childhood. She never had a teacher and no one was there to advise her. Due to lack of guidance and appreciation, she quit art in 7th grade.

“There was no time to develop other hobbies during upper secondary classes. Being a medical student, I didn’t have enough time and developed a fear of speaking in front of people.

After joining SKUAST, Zarqa began to take an interest in calligraphy. When the first COVID-19 lockdown was imposed, she began spending her time improving her calligraphy skills.

“With fewer distractions and increased downtime, I found a space to start art again. Calligraphy is an effective way to communicate and get a message across in a beautiful way. Artistic endeavors are a kind of luxury in the midst of a pandemic. “

When there was idleness all around, the lockdown helped her with more time to improve her skills. She began to devote most of her time to this art. “Rather than focusing on specific social circumstances or engaging with current events, modern art offers metamorphic and transcendent alternatives to the real world.”

Zarqa believes that remembering Allah is the best way to find comfort in hardship. For Zarqa, the act of remembrance was in Arabic calligraphy. “After seeing my portraits and my calligraphy, my friends insisted that I rework this art. I was overwhelmed with the response. It gave me a boost of confidence. “

Her work caught the public’s attention when she worked on powerful Arabic calligraphy. Not only was her art exemplary, but she was respected for her skills.

Zarqa does Quranic calligraphy, Urdu calligraphy, and portraits. She also took part in an online calligraphy contest.

Previously his skill level was amateurish as the first strokes were fragile, but after a few months and countless inkblots his style improved.

Zarqa believes that Arabic calligraphy, writing Quranic verses is part of worship. “When I continue to write verses from religious scriptures, it is like remembering my creator. “

Arabic calligraphy is held in high esteem by Muslims because of its association with the holy Quran.

As social media has helped many people promote their work, Zarqa recently set up an Instagram account by the name of JAN ZARqA, where she started posting her work. “It’s so important to be virtually connected and recognized by people on social media platforms. I started posting work on my instagram page. At first I used to keep my works private, but now I have started sharing them on social media.

Zarqa started selling calligraphy frames on instagram and she gets orders from people. “I try to put my heart and soul into my work. It takes me almost two hours to complete a single calligraphy. It also depends on the time, material framework, size and method that the customer orders. “

According to other artists, calligraphy is not an out of reach art form. It’s not something you have to be really good at from the start; you don’t need to have certain skills to get started.

Nasreen Shah from Ganderbal in Central Kashmir

The district said, “After the colleges close, I devote 2 hours to calligraphy. It all started last year during lockdown. The calligraphy has given me a new lease of life and the COVID-19 lockdown has been a boon to me in a way. Giving me hours to practice and create dozens of art projects. This is the opportunity to acquire new skills. I add beautiful colors to make my calligraphy catch everyone’s attention. It’s been a year now, and I can say with pride that I have evolved as an artist ”.

Likewise, Haika Javaid (16), another calligrapher from Kangan Ganderbal, spoke about the importance of creativity in times of crisis and how her hobby has provided her with the calm and escape that she enjoys. needs right now.

Haika said, “During the lockdown I watched calligraphy tutorials on Youtube. Since the start of the confinement, I have had a lot of time for myself and I have learned a lot. It was the time when I learned new skills like calligraphy. My first attempts were downright laughable. I struggled to learn the basics at first, but the tutorials in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown helped me and after two months of practicing my calligraphy started to look more presentable. Calligraphy literally opened up another world to me. “

TIPS FOR PRACTICE OF CALLIGRAPHY

SLOW DOWN!

Going slowly will help you get better letter shapes and sharper strokes. Calligraphy is not meant to be fast. Take your time when practicing your calligraphy. Think of it as a relaxing time for me, where I can relax and take my time to practice my calligraphy skills.

PAUSE BETWEEN STROKES

This goes hand in hand with slowing down when practicing calligraphy. Pausing between strokes will help you have even spacing between your letters. It also gives you the opportunity to focus better on the shapes of the letters, which helps you build muscle memory.

Modern calligraphy is different from cursive writing. When you write in cursive, you tend to write quickly and continuously. When doing calligraphy, you have to write slowly. Pausing between strokes will help you achieve better thick and thin strokes which differentiates calligraphy from cursive.

MAINTAIN THE BRUSH PEN PROPERLY

Yes, calligraphy is a form of lettering. But that doesn’t mean it’s done the same way. There are many quick assumptions we make when learning calligraphy, holding the brush pen the same way we hold a regular pen is one of them. If you see improvement in your calligraphy, be sure to adjust the way you hold your brush.

TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE PRESSURE OF THE PEN

What does it mean ? This means that in calligraphy it is crucial that you are in the sink with the pressure you exert on your brush pen. One of the things that differentiates modern calligraphy from cursive writing is the marked variation in stroke width; fine upward strokes and thick downward strokes.

BODY POSTURE

It is so important to find a comfortable position when practicing calligraphy. Check that your desk or table holding your paper is neither too low nor too high, and aim for your back to be straight. Bottle designs


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Nell Love

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