Sehar Shahzad

Thank you for visiting my website! Here is a little bit about me and some of my experiences as a calligraphy artist. 

I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and graduated from the University of Toronto in 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and minors in French and Political Science. I then completed a graduate certificate program in Human Resources Management. I suppose that's the academic side of my life, because anyone who knows me knows that what truly defines me is my love and passion for calligraphy.  

I've loved art since I was a child (art class was always my favourite!) but as I grew up, a specific interest in Islamic art began to blossom rapidly. It weaved together my long-time passion for painting and drawing with my growing love and devotion towards my religion. I believe that although all art can have some form of beauty, Islamic artwork is especially beautiful to me because of the deep meaning it carries with it. This spiritual aspect in my art becomes a form of remembrance of God, as well as gives me the opportunity to let the beauty of Islam touch the hearts of the people around me.

Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to participate in many local art exhibitions and create commissioned works for mosques and centres around Toronto. In August 2012, I co-organized a youth group art exhibition entitled "and He loves beauty", and in 2013 presented my work on stage at the Being ME (Muslimah Empowered) conference. In May 2013, my work was featured in exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum. Some of my most special commissioned works include pieces for the University of Toronto's prayer room in Emmanuel College, SeekersHub Toronto, TARIC Mosque, and the South Bay Islamic Centre in California. 

Currently I continue to create custom artwork for local and international clients and am learning traditional Arabic calligraphy as a student of Master Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen. My dream is to earn my Ijaza/calligraphy certification so that one day I can take on students of my own. When I first started practicing calligraphy, I felt a lack of resources in the Toronto area, and felt that I wanted to become a resource for future aspiring calligraphers in my city. Although I didn't study arts for my university degree, my artwork holds a very significant place in my life that I can always rely on as a source of comfort, peace, and serenity.