Combining words and images is the idea I’ve been chasing for about two years. I didn’t want to be middling-good with calligraphy. Hand-lettering is a better idea for me. Quotes from others are wonderful, but many other artists have done that, and done it better.
While scrolling through the images on my phone, I came across the photos I take of graffiti and marks put on the street by utility workers. Those interesting hieroglyphics make me think of alien alphabets. Alphabets that can be written, but not read. Suddenly, it came together. How we struggle to say what we mean and be understood. How we long to be heard and understood.
Here are the first three works in progress.
The abstract landscape is easy enough to understand, but what do the three lines at the top mean? It’s not a code; it is deliberately not explained. Just like much of what we say and write.
This night landscape can be calm or eerie, depending on what you interpret the letters to be. Meaning-making, the purpose of creativity, is always up to the viewer.
Is this an explanation for the abstract? Is that a waterfall? Is the sun rising over the left part of the landscape, or is it burning? All up to the viewer. All left to your imagination. Because I believe we all are imaginative beings.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer who teaches writing. She is also a creativity coach.