Thunder Words

Calligraphy by Jim Davies

Artist's Statement
Calligraphy is the visual art of words. Borrowing from modern Chinese brush calligraphy, I relax the constraints of legibility, letter order, word order, letter orientation, and letter completeness. The text then becomes more of a jumping off point for a compelling visual image rather than the focus of the work itself. This is in contrast with traditional Western calligraphy, which is more like writing in a particular font, where each instance of a letter looks like every other instance of that letter. My letters grow off of the previous letters in a more organic way.

This approach also allows text to appear less linear. Usually the words end up being round, square, or in a diagonal line, but since each word is a jumble of letters, it can take any shape. The end results often end up looking, at first glance, like Chinese characters. This facilitates borrowing from Chinese calligraphy in other ways: placement of words on the image as the Chinese place characters on the image.

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The calligraphy is English but based on contemporary Chinese calligraphy. See the history of how I came up with the Thunderwords style.

To purchase a piece of calligraphy, send the word or words you would like, how much you care about legibility, and what size you would like. Also please let me know if you would like the calligraphy for a tattoo. Ideas for text: A quote, your name, a band, a poem.

About the Artist
Jim Davies studied Chinese calligraphy in Beijing and has worked as a graphic designer for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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