Are you thinking of learning Islamic art? If so I have 3 tips for you.
I’ve been in this field since 2017, and I’ve seen it all.
I’ve spent thousands of euros in supplies on Amazon and art shops just to throw them away. I had a 2-months-long artist block. I worked 16+ hours every day for a whole month with terrible back and neck pain to deliver the artwork in time. And I had nightmares of me spilling water on my artwork just to see it become reality 2 days before the completion of the piece.
But I’ve also worked with companies across the world, I’ve taught Islamic geometric patterns to other people, and I’ve sold almost every piece I’ve created.
Was it easy? Not at all. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY.
But I know you are not here to read about my tragedies so here are the 3 things I suggest to anyone who wants to start with any form of Islamic art.
1. BUY HIGH-QUALITY TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
I know your heart cries for every cent you spend on Amazon, and I know you don’t want to hear this, but YOU CAN’T ACHIEVE THE SAME RESULTS WITH CHEAP STUFF.
My mom always says “if you don’t know what good quality is, you certainly know what is expensive”. This is not always true, but 99% of the times it is.
By using a cheap compass, you will make mistakes during the division of the circle affecting the whole design. Buying cheap watercolours will lead you to make flat paintings with low vibrancy. Even the quality of the paper you use is fundamental for the creation of stunning artwork. You can use high-grade watercolours but if the paper is not absorbing the pigment or it warps the result will be lousy anyway.
Sooner or later you will understand that you can’t do the work with the cheap stuff and you will want to invest your money properly. So save yourself some money and go for the good-quality tools straight from the beginning.
Going for the cheap stuff will give you cheap results, so if you are serious about becoming an artist, always choose the best.
2. BE PATIENT
Oh, how many times I’ve heard someone say to me “you are so patient”. HAHAHA, I’m sure my sister has a million reasons to oppose to this sentence, BUT Islamic geometry has certainly made me more patient than I was before. And you can tell it from my mood when was the last time I picked the compass.
But patient is not only something you become when drawing and painting. You become patient by accepting your flaws. You learn that if you are not able to do it now, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do it in a month or year. Sometimes you just need to experience something else before being ready for it.
Whatever happens in your life be patient
3. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Oh, this one is my favourite, for sure. If you think that you can master Islamic geometry with a minimum effort, you will be surprised to find out it’s not like that.
If you are serious about this form of art, you will want to practice A LOT every day to understand the principles and improve your accuracy.
I can’t tell you when you will be able to analyse a pattern on your own. Someone seems like born for it, others just don’t get it. But who cares? What I’ve learned during these years is to enjoy the journey rather than chase the end result.
I hope these words help you find some inspiration and help you with learning Islamic art.
3 Tips for Learning Islamic Art
January 15, 2020
Thank you for sharing this information. If possible can I ask your compass brand name? Mine makes me so upset!
thank you my compass is Haff
You will run out of no.2 if you haven’t followed no.1. No.3 will be impossible if you haven’t followed no.1 and no.2.
All three are important right?
Thanks for sharing your art and happiness
It’s very useful for me in my work
Wish you the best
Aww thank you so much for your beautiful reminder, #2 & #3 were exactly the reminder I needed right now today
Comments like this make me so happy
Amazing. Thank you so much
thnkewww very much ..amazing work
Thank you for your encouragement and reminders Sandy! You are 100% right!!! … I picked up my pencils again today for more practicing after a long time… so satisfying!!
Yeyyy so happy to read this you made my day
Thank you for sharing these tips, your time and your experience with people you haven’t even met! I really appreciate it .. I like your work.
Thank you Areej 🙂
I’m a self-learner artist, your artworks are so incredible the day I saw your work decided to also try Islamic art.
But I didn’t know how do I even learn it.
These posts are so helpful, informative and supportive for unsupported learners like us. It’s like your showering hopes in my heart.
I’ll try this art n post it to you, can you help me in improvising?…
Thanks a lot for sharing your experience and knowledge…
Thank you soooo much. I’m glad you find these posts useful.
I’m not that good at improvising lol. I love Islamic geometry because I have to follow certain rules and in that way I have control over my drawings. that relaxes me. If I had to improvise I would have drawn mandalas haha 🙂
But I do improvise with colours 🙂 that’s when I free my spirit
Thank you for the honest advice .I’m a complete novice I all this and just started . Totally agree with this form of art being calming and helping one being more patient and still.
Thank you for repeating what I thought it’s true -takes a lot of time and practice .
Starting with the right intention inshallah it will go well for me .
Dear Sandy, I’m wondering whether you have more tips than just practice. Would you go to classes? Try to understand patterns? What steps have helped you greatly improve your drawings and understanding of patterns? Thanks a lot!
Hi Christina, Thank you for your honest comment and suggestions. I haven’t included those tips because they are covered in other blog posts already and also in my freebies 🙂 I hope this helps