20 October 2008

Saga of a Calling Card

(enlarge pictures for larger view)

I've been asked countless times if I had a business card or calling card, and my answer has always been an awkward nay. So I set out to create one. I started with the first one below. I wanted to incorporate images from my paintings as well as my Arabic geometric design work. I included one of the most recent paintings from my Land Memory series, as well as a cropped section of an earlier watercolor portrait. I also included my name written in a Kufi script I developed in Adobe Illustrator recently; (I will post about this script in the near future.)

But I did not like the design. It looked too contrived, too organized; and the Arabic geometric designs on the left felt too random, and looked too small and detailed to be visible with any accuracy when printed in such a small format as a business card. So I played with it some more and enlarged them:

and considered some other background color options, including this one:

But Alas, it still felt too, I don't know, blah. So I experimented with a vertical design, in which I decided to showcase only one painting, and came up with these two variations of one design:

but I was still dissatisfied. So I called Radfan Alqirsh, a good artist, graphic designer and filmmaker, and he took the elements that I had been playing with and came up with the first design below. At first, I was shocked. How could he chop off my painting like that? and how could he cover it up with so much stuff? and how are people supposed to see the Arabic geometric designs if they are all white and faded like that? But still, there was something about the design that captivated me, yet I would not succumb to admit it to myself.

I decided to sleep on it. Literally. (I was watching old episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on my laptop, in bed, and actually fell asleep a bit too close to the laptop, which sat on the mattress next to me.) When I woke the next morning, I took another look at Radfan's design, and decided that I liked it very very much. It not only focuses on quite a dramatic section of my painting, but it also does a marvelous thing with color, juxtaposing that blue-green with a nice pumpkin red-orange; and I also love the way the pattern of Arabic geometric motifs disappear in the white areas of the painting, and come through in the dark areas, as if to follow the curve from left to right. But I still wanted to expose at least one of the geometric stars, so I added a bit of color to one lonely star, and Radfan liked it. So finally, this is the one I'm printing.


12 October 2008

Arabic Geometric Design 7azzoora

Who would like to try to solve a 7azzoora? In my ongoing quest to dissect, try to understand, and re-invent traditional Arabic geometric design through a digital medium, I have created here 12 versions of the same design motif. Here's the 7azzoora: Which two are identical?!?

(click on image for larger view)

© Ibn Bint Jbeil 2008