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A Day in the Life of an Arabic Calligraphy Artist

Updated: May 18

My name is Rabih Yehya and I am an Arabic calligraphy artist! 👨🏻‍🎨

For me, Arabic calligraphy is not just an art form; it's a vibrant fusion of creativity and heritage that fills my days with joy.

Each day is a chance for me to dive deep into the world of ancient scripts and bring them to life in new and exciting ways.

Here’s a peek into how I spend my day, creating artwork and designs using reed pens, ink, paintings, and digital artwork with Arabic calligraphy.

Setting the Tone with Reed Pens and Ink

My day starts early, usually with the sun just beginning to rise. The soft morning light gently fills my studio, creating a peaceful atmosphere. I begin by preparing my tools, especially my reed pens, known as qalam. Sharpening these pens is a ritual for me; it’s a calming and mindful process that connects me to the long tradition of calligraphers who came before me.

With my pens ready, I lay out my ink – a deep, rich black that’s perfect for the flowing lines of Arabic calligraphy. I take a moment to center myself, and then I start with some basic strokes to warm up. Gradually, I move on to more complex letters and compositions. Each stroke feels deliberate and meaningful, capturing both the aesthetic beauty and spiritual depth of the Arabic script.

Creating Paintings

As the morning progresses, I shift my focus to painting. This part of my day allows me to be more experimental, blending calligraphy scripts with modern art techniques. I love playing with colors and textures, creating abstract backgrounds that make the calligraphy pop. It’s a dance between chaos and order, and I find joy in finding that perfect balance.

Refining and Reflecting

As the day winds down, I take time to review and refine my work. This is a moment of reflection, where I look at what I’ve created and make any necessary adjustments. It’s also when I start planning for future projects, sketching ideas, and finding inspiration in everything around me – from classical texts to the natural world.

Before I leave the studio, I clean my tools and tidy up my workspace. This ritual of cleaning and organizing helps me feel ready and excited for the next day of creativity.

Every day as an Arabic calligraphy artist is a journey of creativity and exploration. Whether I’m crafting intricate designs with reed pens and ink, painting vibrant pieces, or sculpting calligraphic forms, each activity is a step on this artistic path.

My work is about honoring the rich heritage of Arabic calligraphy while also pushing its boundaries, finding new ways to express its timeless beauty.

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