It’s an absolute honour today to interview Rayhan and Roman Miah from Miah Calligraphy, whose Islamic Wall Art I’ve been admiring for ages and ages. They are both super crazy talented artists from the UK, who do stunning Arabic calligraphy and much more! Check out their interview below and definitely go follow on Instagram!
– M 🙂
Where are you located?
We are from Leeds, England!
In one sentence, describe your motivation in life:
Our faith plays the majority role in our motivation for everything in life and the sense of having to do better and be better as human beings.
Tell us the story of how you got started with your calligraphy:
We have always been fond of art and have been drawing since we can remember. A couple of years ago we decided we needed to start getting into one of the Islamic Arts because as being Muslims who love art this was only an obvious path to head towards. So we decided to pursue a short 8-week Arabic calligraphy course which was being run in Manchester at the time by Ghulam Farid Rafiq, and we went from there!
What is one of your favourite calligraphy designs that you have done and why?
Our favourite piece thus far is the ‘Bismillah’ wall art which we did in our kitchen wall. It’s our favourite because it’s the first one we completed and the first piece of calligraphy done on another medium other than paper and ink.
What has been the highlight or ‘I can’t believe this!’ moment so far on your artistic/entrepreneurial journey?
For me (Roman) my highlight has to be the view count for my Lamborghini drawing on my YouTube channel. I can remember when I woke up one morning and it went from something like 40,000 to 80,000+ in one night (that’s a huge deal for me haha, and I think it was because someone shared it but I don’t know who). It’s just hit 600,000 views now and that’s one of my proudest achievements!
For me (Rayhan) my highlight was when I drew Michael Jackson and tweeted it to his daughter Paris Jackson. She liked the drawing which was really surprising! I was commissioned by Olympic gold medallist Kerron Clement all the way from America to make a painting for him. Another highlight was when I drew the Mortal Kombat game character Scorpion and tweeted it to Ed Boon (the game co-creator) and he retweeted it to his followers and replied to me saying he loved it.
We also recently completed a wall art of the Islamic Shahada that was shared over 1,200 times on Facebook and reached over 275,000 people.
How does your faith affect your approach to your art/business?
When it comes to our Islamic art and calligraphy work we always strive to showcase some of the beauty of our faith and put out little reminders/reflections. That’s why a lot of our works are accompanied by verses from the Qur’an so that it gives a chance for our followers or even a passer-by (Muslim or Non-Muslim) to reflect on what our beautiful religion has to say.
What/where/who inspires you?
A lot of our inspiration comes from fellow artist friends on Social Media and artists around the world. We also inspire each other to constantly put work into our art. I think Rayhan is more inspired by me though because I’m the better artist. I joke!
How do you handle the inevitable creative block?
An artist’s nightmare! But it’s easily overcome because we have/follow so many artists and have access to so much artwork online that there’s always someone’s work that comes and inspires! And it doesn’t even have to be artwork, sometimes it could be a story or something we encountered that provides ideas/inspiration and that gets us back to work.
What 2 pieces of advice, based on your own experience, would you give to a fellow creative/entrepreneur starting out?
Firstly, because you’re starting out at whatever you may be doing, you’ll find difficulties and/or stages of inconsistency. Don’t worry! This is completely normal because you’re starting out so that’s where practice comes in. And don’t forget, practice make perfect so never give up practicing.
Secondly, don’t give up on whatever makes you happy (e.g. art). Do it forever and never stop.
Favourite Social Media or Marketing Platform?
If you could travel to one place anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
Roman – Hmm, I’d probably go back to Egypt right now to experience the magnificence of the Pyramids and then chill at a resort in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Rayhan – I would probably like to visit Singapore because it seems like a fascinating country with outstanding architectural buildings and beautiful scenery.
Where would you love to see your business in 5 years’ time?
Insha’Allah we want to make it as a business in art. We hope to put more work into our YouTube channels (Rayhan will be creating one soon) and have them become popular art channels.
We hope in that time we will be in a position to be able to make and sell art through Social Media and a website. It would be awesome if our art makes it as a recognisable business around the world – but that’s just us dreaming big haha!
You can find Miah Calligraphy here:
Miah Calligraphy: instagram.com/miahcalligraphy