JZ Aamir did it all himself. First learning calligraphy as a child in Pakistan, later learning to create light calligraphy. If it looks difficult to do calligraphy using light, JZ learned it easily. He has practiced calligraphy so much as a child, not only with pencils, but also with large brushes on big surfaces. The movement to writing in the air with the correct proportions comes naturally. Creating the light calligraphy on the other hand, is a different story. JZ has a lot of instruments he uses to get the different effects, backgrounds and colors (he uses gels on the lights to create the colors) he needs. And they all need different holds, to be able to make all the movements, and turn the lights on and off. All the instruments he made himself (see the last photo). There’s one instrument with a paint-roller for example. And he made a light sabre. Three of them. How cool is that?
The koran inspired words he chooses are short, he doesn’t use entire phrases. And JZ Aamir is working on a big project: ’99 ways to spell Allah’. There are 99 ways to spell Allah in Arabic (although JZ’s mother tongue is Urdu). Add to that all the different styles that Arabic can be written in and each way you spell Allah can look entirely different. It’s a good thing he’s learning to work quickly now. As said JZ was already an expert calligrapher, but to get it to work well in the photo he was challenged by the camera, himself still being quite new to this type of photography. Getting the settings perfect turned out to be a lot of work, and for his first few shots he’d have to check the settings up to fourty times. There’s no photoshopping going on, so no time to spend there. Now it takes him maybe five checks to get the settings right and he can focus on the calligraphy. And he’s done live performances too. So if you see some brightly lit words in Dubai where JZ lives now, he might be near.