Thursday, July 22, 2010

Language, Writing and Art Entwined

Whenever I can, I like to incorporate my various interests in my writing and art. One of my main hobbies is languages. I originally trained as a foreign language/English as a second language teacher in college. I love the sounds, the complexity of grammar, how semantics can change a spoken or written word, and how body language conveys messages on its own.

I think that's why I enjoy writing science fiction and fantasy. I can build my own worlds and make up their cultures and languages. Sometimes they are based on Earth peoples and places, other times they sound truly alien. I can draw on my experience as a linguist, teacher and artist to make my stories unique and believable.

Language can be a basis for art too. I'm currently studying Japanese, and brushing up on my Mandarin Chinese. My family history is from Southeast Asia, so it's also a link to my own cultural roots. Here are some examples of how I combine 3 of my loves: foreign language, writing and art.

Marumochi, Japanese rice cakes. The word is written in hiragana and kanji (two of the three writing systems in Japanese.

 Sakura, cherry blossom. The word is written on the right (and vertically) in hiragana.

 These two are Chinese calligraphy, yellow acrylic on a red acrylic background.  The character on the left is Ming, "bright", which consists of the characters for the sun and the moon. Makes sense, in a way, especially once you see the characters side by side to understand the meaning.

   The one on the right is Fu,  "happiness". This one's a bit more abstract. On the right side are the symbols meaning "to fill" (which consist of the symbols for "one", "mouth" and "field"), joined with the symbol for "heaven" on the left. To be filled with bounty from the rice field, sent from heaven equals happiness.

Language, writing and art are interconnected in many ways. I really enjoy incorporating the three in many different ways and in many different mediums. Fiction. prose, poetry, collage and art all tell a different story for different people. What does it tell you?

All writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010

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