It was among a stack of dusty books that I lucked out and found Aslam Kamal’s Islamic Calligraphy: An Introduction. A few years ago, I was visiting book stores in Lahore as I love to do. Besides newer books, there are lots of treasures to be found in piles of old books. Often, that is where I learn about interesting artists and stories. Art books in Pakistan have very limited print runs as the audience of those who can afford art books and appreciate them is a small one.
The book has a good deal of variety when it comes to calligraphy in Arabic script and more. There are pages with ancient examples from earlier forms of Arabic writing in the Quran, to exquisite pieces throughout the ages. Of particular interest to me were the pieces by Sadequain, one of Pakistan’s most celebrated artists as well as the beautiful juxtaposition of architecture and calligraphy in the work of Aslam Kamal, the author of the book as well as an incredible artist himself.
It was with this inspiration that I did a series of sketches to come up with a title logo for my short film Gul.