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Posted On: 24 April 2019 04:00 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:03 pm

Qommunity Voices: The engineer Mohammad Adil Masood who transforms words into calligraphic art

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Mohammad Adil Masood is a 26-year-old Indian who calls Doha his home for the last three years where he works as a Planning and Facilities Engineer. A Civil Engineer with an MBA (Construction Management) by profession and an artist by zeal, Adil loves doing Arabic and English calligraphy, photography, painting, sketching, cooking, singing, playing the piano, poetry and Numismatics.

ILQ got in touch with Adil Masood for Community Voices and though he is a man of many talents, we talked to him about his first love: calligraphy and this is what we found out about this passionate engineer cum artist:

2. When did you know you wanted to be a calligraphy artist?

I had a great interest in Arabic calligraphy since childhood - watching works on mosques and ancient buildings. When I turned 14, I felt within me that I could actually work on this trait and take it further as an art.

3. How did you start?

I started off by identifying the ways to write Arabic fonts when I was around 12-years-old. I was quick in learning the scripts and identified them with proper names and style when I was around 18-years-old. I initially started with fountain pens, followed by calligraphy pens and then carved bamboo/reed sticks for the traditional calligraphy styles.

4. What is your biggest achievement as a calligraphy artist so far?

The biggest achievement for me, I believe as a calligraphy artist, is that good networks know me through my calligraphic works here in Qatar as well as abroad. This is the beginning of the success leap, let’s see where destiny takes me though.

5. What most often inspires your artwork? How do you go about choosing a subject?

I choose to do calligraphy of inspirational/motivational quotes, proverbs, religious verses, names, shapes of objects, etc. I also keenly do calligraphy for names of people because I believe their names reveal a unique positive energy which describes them and I scribble them into my calligraphy artworks.

I prefer doing calligraphy in complex forms with a design. Each stroke of the alphabet represents the motive of the artwork. The emphasis can easily be seen in some of my works with different colour forms denoting the strength the art reveals.

6. Why do you love what you do?

It reveals my true inner self. Apart from the stresses induced due to professional life, when I do calligraphy, it relieves my mind and this has, in time, effectively moulded patience into my life.

7. What calligraphy artists influence your work most?

Each calligraphy artist portrays a unique style of representing their calligraphic work, which makes me learn different techniques to improve my art form. But the kick-off influencer for me is American Calligrapher ‘Josh Berer’. Josh Berer is an American native, but has keen knowledge about the traditional Arabic calligraphy forms. His style of simplifying the calligraphy strokes has always been inspirational and a guide for me to practice typical fonts and experiment with new designs using them.

8. Do you believe that true creative expression can exist in the digital world in terms of calligraphy?

Yes, true creative expression does not necessarily require a qalam (pen) or paper only to exhibit the depth of creativity. In the world of the modern era, digitalising is becoming part of the societal norm. To be honest, the only thing that matters is the concept of work and the meaning that it reveals.

12. What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?

I usually prefer doing calligraphy in utmost silence because this enables me to reveal the work in the strokes and the designs I think of.

13. What is your creative process like?

Real life incidents – positive/negative are the key to my ideas and creative process, which goes on with the shape and font of calligraphy. And after multiple trials, I come up with the final design.

14. What art mediums do you normally use? Which is your favourite?

I use the traditional qalam (pen) and paper, calligraphy pens and digital platforms. My all-time favourite though is traditional calligraphy because of its design, complexity and effectiveness.

15. What do you think of the calligraphy scene in Qatar?

Qatar has undoubtedly given a unique platform for artists like us to represent their artwork and themselves. In the succeeding years somewhere down the line, Qatar will probably also reveal inexplicable arts. This land has always been creative, and so the world should see what this land holds in terms of its various calligraphies.

16. Do you have any message for the people of Qatar?

This country isn’t a 'foreign' nation for expats like us - just because of support, love and enthusiasm you all have given us. Thank you for all of that, and I, as an 'expat' pledge to support this nation till the last breath in whatsoever form possible for me: 'Qaṭarun satabqa ḥawrratan tasmū birūḥi l-awfiyāʾ' (Qatar will always be free in the spirit of loyalty).

17. Do you have any message for emerging calligraphy artists in Qatar?

Connect with people, show them your work, take part in exhibitions - and reveal your identity and work whenever it is possible. Let everyone know the artist in you.

For more on this talented calligrapher/artist/engineer and if you want to get something written by him in Arabic or English Calligraphy, check out his social media pages:

Arabic Calligraphy:
English Calligraphy: