Art English Language

Chemical Calligraphy

Mattthew M. DeBlock received a BA in Chinese from Beijing Language and Culture University as an adult student. Before university, he worked as a Unix software developer, and afterwards as a business consultant in mainland China. He is obsessed with devising codes, data formats, and constructed scripts. A a jack-of-all-trades and “Mad Scientist” at heart, he loves inventing commercially worthless devices to challenge standards and seek strange synergies.


Chemical Calligraphy is a way of drawing organic compounds. This method is NOT meant to replace standard notation; rather it is primarily meant as a mnemonic device and art form. It attempts to simplify the memorization of the large complex molecules and structures in organic chemistry and make the learning process more fun and engaging. In this document the amino acids are shown in standard notation and in some basic forms, as well as some playful artistic forms. The “function” of the artistic form is:

  1. Art Form: An art form that encodes chemical structures (“to bring science into art or vice-versa”).
  2. Creative Engagement: Even though creating such “ridiculous” structures might not have any direct relation to the molecules, the simple act of choosing a structure and “playing with it” helps make study more fun.

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