This article proposes that the aesthetic concept of yi is essential for understanding the creative process and the nature of creativity in calligraphy and in wider Chinese aesthetic discourse. This article divides the yi in calligraphic creation into two types—the voluntative yi that refers to the calligrapher's intention, and the cognitive yi that denotes the "idea" within the artist's mind. The voluntative yi is further divided into two aspects—youyi (being intentional) and wuyi (not being intentional). The discussion of the cognitive aspect of yi engages Yu-Kung Kao's understanding of the term as the moldable substance of the mind.