AUSTRALIA’S calligraphists have found a niche in the booming world of digital art.
Photo: Simon Schluter “The industry is booming, but it’s not just digital art,” says Australian calligraphist and author Nick Waugh.
“It’s calligraphic calligraphies.”
Photo: Jason Southard Mr Waugh says the industry is exploding and it’s growing by leaps and bounds, with some calls in the thousands.
“We’re now at a stage where people can get a professional grade digital painting done,” he says.
“The demand is just so great.”
Calligraphy is now the most popular profession in Australia, with a rise of more than 400 per cent in the past decade.
“When people started calling themselves calligrams and started painting digitally they had this whole idea of making the artwork they create,” says Ms Waugh, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Western Australia.
“They had to learn a little bit of how to draw and a little more of how they paint to get the message out.”
Then they got a bit of experience painting in a studio, and they knew how to do it properly and they were able to start producing high-quality art.
“And that’s when it really took off.”‘
I’m in a very unique position’ to make a living calligraphying Ms Wagh says she has to be careful with the type of artwork she chooses.
She says the majority of her clients come from the West Coast and “are looking for something different”.
“I know that when I’m working with a particular client, I’m going to have to look at it for a few days, to see if it’s something I would like to do,” she says.
“But I also know that if they’re looking for a painting that’s going to capture the essence of the character, that’s the one that I’m in.”
The calligram industry is growing at a staggering rate, but there are also concerns over the future of the profession.
“I think it’s really important to keep in mind that there are a number of things happening in the industry right now,” says Mr Waug.
“One of those is that the art industry has become much more digital, so that’s changed the way people make their work.”
Another is the shift in technology.
There’s a lot of things being developed now that have a really big impact on the way that artists can work.
It’s all happening in such a fast pace that it’s hard to keep up.
“Calligram paintings will be produced digitally.
“And that is really unfortunate. “
You need to be a bit careful about what you’re doing in the art community, because I think people will be very, very upset with you for doing something that they don’t approve of,” she said.
Ms Wauggart says there are several signs that calligrama will be in decline in the near future. “
So if you’re a professional artist and you do something that you don’t like, that should be a problem for everyone in the community.”
Ms Wauggart says there are several signs that calligrama will be in decline in the near future.
“There’s a huge trend for people to produce calligraphical art,” she explains.
Calligraphy has also become a way to make money. “
For example, calligraffic art, which is a style of painting, is getting quite popular, particularly in the West.”
Calligraphy has also become a way to make money.
So there’s a real problem.
“Art is a way of life, and we need to embrace that.”
The future of Australia’s art industry Photo: Martin Rickett Calligraffiti is the new art style, and the calligrass can often be seen on walls of major cities, and has even been the subject of a TV series.
“Calligraphics is one of the fastest growing art forms right now, but they’re not doing very well in Australia,” says calligrasist Daniel Waugh of Perth, who has a client base in the state’s north-east.
“In Perth, the art scene is very vibrant and very vibrant people are coming out to buy calligraphic art.
It used to be just one of those things that was kind of done by hand, so you’d see these artists selling their paintings on the streets of Perth and you’d think, ‘that’s not happening here’,” he says, referring to the booming industry.”
So people are really interested in being involved in the artistic community, and there’s been a really exciting and very exciting time in terms of art, especially in the last few years.”
In Melbourne, artist Chris Hargreaves has worked