Published: 18th December 2019
Meet Kochi calligrapher Farheen Subair, whose art is a hit on Instagram
Arabic calligrapher and CA student Farheen Subair talks about of her world of calligraphy and her journey so far
If you get a chance to take a look at the wrap of words in hues of black and gold freshly sketched on plates and canvas, you would know why Farheen Subair is admired by a lot of people. Her works spell out magic with the perfect blend of art and meaning. The impeccable styling of words into the canvas, echoing beautiful thoughts, is one thing Farheen, a 22-year-old from Fort Kochi, has mastered. Each of her works can simply be described as words merging with art that reflect deep thoughts.
She started her journey in Arabic calligraphy in 2017. In between her busy schedule as a student of ACCA in ISC Knowledge Park, Kakkanad, she finds time to portray the beauty of thoughts into art. A self-taught calligrapher, her initial days were quite difficult. But in time, her works have gained quality and she is now able to do them faster and perfect them. In a conversation with us, she spoke of her journey so far. Excerpts:
1. How did you discover your talent in this art and what type of work do you take up?
I do Arabic calligraphy focusing particularly on Arabic fonts like Hafiz which come in different designs. I also do calligraphy in English. I do my work on canvas, ceramic plates, wood, stainless-steel and so on. My works are religious, echoing the word of God that is kept in every Muslim home which is considered to bring good luck and fortune. I started getting noticed by people, particularly on Instagram, in 2017 when my husband started to send materials from abroad. As a kid, I used to draw a lot but there was nothing that needed any sort of attention.
2. Being a CA student, how do you find time to pursue your art?
The syllabus is vast and difficult but I do find time for my work on the weekend. After getting married, I started attempting my papers one at a time, giving me more time to focus on art. In my free hours, I just have to do the lettering and my brother takes care of the framing and couriering.
3. Do you have your own studio? From where do you get the necessary materials?
I do my art at home itself, be it in the kitchen or at the dining table. I do not have a studio; I work wherever I find it comfortable. My husband sends the materials I need from Saudi Arabia or Dubai. But I also buy some sheets and outline markers from Kochi itself.
4. From where do you get your orders and how many do you do in a month?
I get my orders from Dubai, Qatar, Oman and even London. I do work for individuals who are looking for home decor and for art shops. I also get orders from various companies to design their logos. Sometimes, I get bulk orders from various companies but I don't always take up the contract as I have studies to concentrate on too. The number of works I do in a month varies. On average, I do about 20 pieces. This month alone I have to do 13 pieces for an art shop as well as 6 other works to complete. At the moment, I am careful about picking assignments as I am a student and I want to be well-organised before I fully get indulged in calligraphy.
5. Have you faced any sort of criticism?
To be frank, no. My work has been appreciated by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. They find my work beautiful and are curious about the meaning behind each of them.
6. Is there someone you look up to for inspiration? A role model, perhaps?
I feel blessed when I do work about the Holy Book. The sole reason I do this is so that I feel at peace when I do calligraphy. It makes me happy. I do follow many artists but I feel most inspired by the holy words.
7. What other hobbies do you pursue besides calligraphy?
I draw a bit but now I am trying to learn geometric designing. I watch several tutorials to pick up art. But officially I haven't started doing any Geometrical design works. I hope to launch it soon. Each of my work takes around 2 days to be completed and sometimes it takes more time if the size increases. So mostly I stick to calligraphy.