If writing was primarily painting to begin with, then what do you call paintings that are made up of writing? I would prefer calling them 'history comes full circle', but they are more commonly known as text art. They can be as nerdy as ASCII art (static or animated art created with the characters of a computer keyboard) or as exotic as giant letter installations in your neighbourhood artsy park. Appreciating those art installations might not be a walk in the park, but to appreciate ASCII art, you don't have to travel further than your mobile or computer screen , the emoticons or 'smileys' are the most popular examples of them. They are also the most harmless. The cutesy characters of ASCII art have been accused of steganography, the practice of sending hidden text messages, in this case, obscured in ASCII art. Among many other terror organizations, Al Qaeda is a heavy user of digital steganography.Though all these about ASCII art sound breathtakingly futuristic, it has been around since the age of typewriters. The other forms of text art can be as varied as your imagination. They can be created with (including but not limited to) saplings, blood, newspaper, sand, chocolate and hair. On (again including but not limited to) gardens, skin, malls, roads, movie credits and postcards. What gets painters so worked up about creating art with text, which don't hold much interest for most of them when laid out in pages? It must have to do with symbolism. Letters are shorthands for emotions and ideas and the most well-known symbols of the world, laden with both meanings and possibilities. 'Aye' again for writing and painting getting along.
If dyslexia was commercially available, all the wannabe painters would have lined up for a shot. Because this ailment related to reading and writing is ironically pretty empowering for painting. Compared to the average person, a dyslexic generally has very strong visual skills, a vivid imagination, strong practical / manipulative skills, innovation, and an above average intelligence. Basically the right side of the brain is stronger than the left, and that's what a good artist needs. Whatever inhibits a dyslexic person while reading and writing, liberates him or her as a painter. For example, for a regular person, the word 'apple' written in different handwriting and different fonts still represents apple : an idea of a red, juicy, toothsome fruit. But for a dyslexic person, each of those will stand for different entities for their different appearances. You can interpret it as utterly stupid or an in-built aptitude for two-dimensional visual representation and three-dimensional constructs. Hence an interest or career in art is definitely a strong possibility for anyone who has dyslexia. And before you dismiss it as a propaganda cooked up by the Dyslexic Association, consider this: the list of famous artists believed to have been dyslexic includes: Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Chuck Close, August Rodin and Andy Warhol. So again writing and painting seem to be at loggerheads.
If the beauty of individual letters drove painters to create text art, the beauty of words turned writers into painters. In the ancient days, when literacy was a noble virtue and the written words were the privilege of an elite few, handwriting was way more important than we can imagine. The scribes wrote the words so beautifully that they were as breathtaking as paintings. Though we categorize them today as calligraphy (derived from the Greek words for beautiful writing), any writing was calligraphy before printing was invented and we were allowed to grow callous with our handwriting. Almost every major civilization in the world has its own distinctive calligraphy style. Today, it's heartening to note that calligraphy is not only confined to wedding and event invitations, religious art, cut stone inscriptions and memorial documents, testimonials and birth / death certificates, but is also thriving as an independent art form. The most prominent difference between text art and calligraphy is, in calligraphy the meaning of the written words are equally important as the design of it, where as text art only concentrates on the shape of letters. The importance of meaning, however, doesn't bind calligraphy to be legible. The beauty of it is, the writing can be enchantingly illegible, yet can make its meaning perfectly clear through the design. As long as we are talking about writings as gorgeous as paintings, we can't but talk about graffiti. Though putting calligraphy and graffiti in the same sentence might draw a sharp gasp out of the purists, graffiti lettering has enough beauty in it to be called calligraphy. Although traditional calligraphy shares nothing with graffiti in its history, (the former stands for everything pro-establishment and the latter, everything anti-establishment), they both concur on the combined power of writing and painting to get their points across. Though the variety of lettering styles in graffiti (prevalently bubble and 3D lettering) are yet to match those in calligraphy, we can give some leeway to graffiti in this matter. Though graffiti has been around since the dawn of time (I am talking about those rude scrawls by cavemen), its evolution to an art form has been only in the late sixties. No matter whether we can call graffiti calligraphy or not, we can safely say, writing and painting got along fine in this section.