I have learnt that calligraphy is not a part-time job or hobby. One has to work very hard to be a calligrapher. One of my teachers favorite saying is that one should work 30 hours per day if one wants to be a calligrapher.
When you look at a writing of thuluth script, you will notice invisible lines going in a certain angle that have measurements, like 5 dots or 10 dots. Zakariya hoca said, “these relationships of dimensions are only the beginning of writing.” Therefore, when you are first learning how to write in Arabic calligraphy, you are learning the measurements of letters.
Last fall, I had the privilege to sit with Zakariya hoca to talk about calligraphy and his experiences. But he shared with me more than just calligraphy. We talked about languages, poetry, past and current masters of this art, literature and of course calligraphy! For the next few months I will be sharing with you snippets of our conversation.
In his book, Outliers, pop psych writer Malcolm Gladwell said it takes approximately 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to achieve mastery in any field. Now this may or may not apply to every discipline, but in my opinion extended hours of practice is certainly needed in fields like art, music and sports. So, how long would it take to master roughly 16 different skills?