• Ishika Paruthi

Calligraphy as a Form of Art

Updated: Oct 25

More than just the pretty looking handwriting; calligraphy is an “art of forming beautiful symbols by hand and arranging them well. It is also a set of skills and techniques for positioning and inscribing words so they show integrity, harmony, some sort of ancestry, rhythm, and creative fire.”



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Calligraphy is the closest one can get to hearing music with their eyes and this soothing and mesmerizing art form just calms you down. Here are a few important terms in calligraphy that you as an artist should know:


1. Symbol:


A mark that has a specific agreed-upon meaning in a language, like a letter of the alphabet.


2. Integrity:


Admirable proportions and form. 


3. Harmony: 


Describes a pleasing relationship between different visual elements in a piece of calligraphy: parts of a letter, letters, words.


4. Ancestry:


Refers to the heritage of letter-shapes, materials, and techniques which calligraphers use. 


5. Rhythm: 


Means the calligrapher's deliberate repetition and variation of marks and spaces to create feelings of pattern and emphasis when you look at the work.


6. Creative fire:


The mysterious life and individuality of any piece of art. That’s the part of it which is you.  Calligraphy in Greek means beautiful writing, but there is a distinction between ‘writing as an art form’ and ‘artistic looking handwriting’. Calligraphy is not just artistic looking handwriting, rather it evokes a deeper meaning that connects the artist and the viewer, whereas writing’s sole purpose is to be read.



The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines calligraphy as:


1. Beautiful handwriting; elegant penmanship. (Early seventeenth century)


2. Style of handwriting, penmanship generally. (Mid-seventeenth century.)


3. In painting etc: the beauty of line; (elegant) brushwork. (Early twentieth century).


And the same dictionary defines art as “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.


Don’t you think that calligraphy does this very thing!? It evokes emotion and is an expression of human imagination. Calligraphy includes an array of different fonts and that is another thing that makes it art! If you can’t read what was written, according to the definition of art then, calligraphy is indeed art!


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Here are some amazing facts about this artistic writing that is art but is also not art!


1. Flourishing calligraphy


Calligraphy literally flourished at weddings, when the wedding cards and menus had interesting and beautiful handwriting. This even included graphic styles, spiritual art, graffiti, typography, cut stone inscriptions, and embossed handwriting amongst other things. Another thing that made calligraphy popular was its use in film, television, certificates, and maps among other things.


2. Art in the Middle East


Calligraphy is highly regarded as a form of art that is superior to sculpture and painting in Middle and East Asia. And it was in China that it reached those heights.


3. Calligraphy and Bamboo


Calligraphy and bamboo have a long relationship. In East Asia, calligraphy was done and still is done using a brush and ink. The body of this brush is made of bamboo and its hair was made from a Siberian weasel, mouse, wolves, pigs, fowl, goat, and sometimes even human hair!


4. Styles of calligraphy


Calligraphy in East Asia mainly introduced us to 5 styles:


• Seal Style: mainly used in signature stamps and engraved seals


• Clerical Style: This was written on bamboo strips or wood with a brush


• Standard Style: This was used to teach children in primary schools


• Running Style: The strokes in this style are condensed for ease of writing


• Cursive Style: This brought drama and individuality to writing. This was one of the most

flamboyant styles.


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In today's time when everyone is busy typing away each and everything, writing on papers is becoming extinct! And calligraphy is becoming something of a relic. But despite that, it remains magical both as a form of writing and as a form of art. This soothing, calming, and beautiful looking abstract piece of art can be learned anytime, anywhere. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, bring out your brushes and start

creating your own unique art!


You can always learn about art, here is a list of top youtube channels where you can learn all about art.


#StayRad


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