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Jim Davies: Calligraphy

This is a how I got into English Calligraphy. My calligraphy business and gallery is at http://www.thunderwords.com.

I studied a bit of Chinese calligraphy in China, and bought a book there on modern Chinese calligraphy, as distinguished from classical. It inspired me to get back into it, and I started doing some in English.


As you can see from the above image, unlike much calligraphy in alphabetic languages, I relax the constraint that the final product is readable, as well as the constraints that the letters are distinct, in order, or share no elements. The word is simply a jumping-off point, or an inspiration, for a aesthetically pleasing image. Here are some more:



Then, while I was interviewing a technition in biomedical engineering, I came up with an insight: Rather than putting all the letters in a phrase into a single cumbersome, complex image, I could do an individual image for each word, and have the series of images make up one larger image. This makes it even more like Chinese calligraphy: In this case, the "character" is made up for the English word. It happened by my drawing the word "Morbid," then below it "aesthetic." I've been told I have a morbid aesthetic, so the words flowed one from another. Then I saw them on the page:


Here are some more. Note that these are doodles on paper with a pen. I plan to make better stuff on good paper with a Chinese brush.

Breeze Through Everything

Lonely In Your Nightmare

To Thine Own Self Be True
Here's some riffing on the name "Bahama."

Bahama 1

Bahama 2

Bahama 3

I've been told this style would be good for tattoos. If you are interested in some of this calligraphy for any reason, please contact me.

Thank you!

JimDavies (jim@jimdavies.org) Last modified: Wed Jan 29 17:18:09 EST 2003