Calligraphy is one of those professions where people ask for unusual things. This seems to be true across the centuries and across cultures.
In the year 2000 I heard a lecture at the Society of Scribes. The presenter, an art historian, spoke about a famous 12th century Chinese calligrapher who was asked to write surprising things on surprising surfaces.
Contemporary manuscript illuminators have the freedom to conflate imagery and concepts which span multiple centuries and cultures. Researching themes and images appropriate to a commission is one of my favorite things to do. You can call it my personal journey.