Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

dragon slayerI have wanted to build an archive of ASCII art for years. I have masses of text files with ASCII art collected in files, some of it I even began trying to sort out. However, it is a much bigger and messier project than I expected. To start with, how do you sort it all out so people can find it? By original artist would be nice but – it is hard to be sure who the original artist is in many cases and I don’t think many people would be searching by artist since most have no idea who they were anyway.

Anyway, I create my own ASCII art. I began in 1998 with the newsgroups which are now a part of Google. Thank you to Google for preserving those old newsgroups – they even kept them current so you can continue making posts as if nothing has changed. But, the newsgroups changed and most people moved on when the spam over loaded the content.

I knew Joan Stark, Llizard, Veronika, Hayley and many others from those newsgroup days of alt.ascii-art (I may not have that exactly right, it’s been a long time). Joan Stark became a mystery, she just disappeared one day. I have tried to track her down but no luck.  Llizard and Hayley I did find and have sent notes the odd time.

But, the old days of ASCII art are gone. It isn’t used in email signatures now. Email became HTML and stuck with that. I protested at the time. It was doomed by marketing – people wanted to use HTML to spam email better. So they did, still do. But, I still have my email set to text only just to spite them all. Small and meaningless revenge makes me feel a tiny bit better.

ASCII art is not completely dead. It is sadly not always what I would call ASCII art. I will never think of mechanically produced text art pictures as true ASCII art. If you did not pick and choose each letter, number and character to create your picture then you don’t have ASCII art. Anyone can scan a picture into text – that doesn’t make it art just a copy of the original. You rely on the software to do all the work and software can’t replace a human who is less than perfect but can see things with emotion and use their intelligence to make unique choices. Machines lack that feature, so far.

Why am I putting up this site after all this blabbing about ASCII art…? I want to show my own work and I want to promote ASCII art as a whole. I don’t want ASCII art to fall off the sidelines into history as some dorky, geeky fad that time forgot.  I don’t like to see people mock it (that includes the computer produced art versus the human produced art). I want to see the ASCII artists remembered along with the art they created.

Is that too much to ask? Probably not. But, it is a pretty big project to take on. Wish me luck!

You can read more about me and my other posts for the WordPress Blogging 101 challenge and my other sites.

Links to ASCII Art Guides, Tutorials and FAQs

I still need to check these links but posting them meanwhile.

Alt.Ascii-Art FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and their answers for the alt.ascii-art Usenet newsgroup. Compiler: CJRandall
Rowan Crawford’s ASCII Art Guide
ASCII Graphical Techniques V.1
Normand Veilleux’s ASCII Art Tutorial
ASCII Art tutorial from Normand Veilleux.
Make a Start in ASCII Art
Tutorial by Danie Au.
Targon’s ASCII Art Tutorial
Targon’s ASCII Art Tutorial
So, You Want to Make Text Art?
Tutorial by Jonathon R. Oglesbee (JRO).
Susie Oviatt’s ASCII Art Tutorial
Susie Oviatt’s ASCII Art Tutorial
Welcome to ASCII-Art
Answers to frequently asked questions in the ASCII art discussion groups. Author: Matthew Thomas.
ASCII ART FAQ by Jorn Barger
ASCII ART FAQ by Jorn Barger
Ye Olde Ascii Art FAQ ( Bob Allison )
Ye Olde Ascii Art FAQ ( Bob Allison )
How to Make ASCII
ASCII guide by Flump.
Allen Mullen’s FAQ
Allen Mullen’s FAQ
About ASCII Art
About ASCII Art – Graphical Images Composed of Text
Scarecrow’s ASCII Art Reference
Scarecrow’s ASCII Art Reference
Scarecrow’s ASCII Art FAQ
Scarecrow’s ASCII Art FAQ – Long Version
FAQ fromLocalColorArts.com
FAQ fromLocalColorArts.com
How to Display ASCII Art Properly
How to Display ASCII Art Properly
Legal ASCII Art Characters
Legal ASCII Art Characters
Joan Stark: How I Make These ASCII Pictures
ASCII Art Tutorial by Joan Stark/ Joan Spunk.

 

My First ASCII Art Picture

first ASCII artCreated in 1998, when I was just getting into the ASCII Art newsgroup, this was the first ASCII art picture I finished. I thought it wasn’t too bad. But I didn’t like it. Other people in the group at the time, like Joan Stark, were making much better art. I remember many others but unless you were there at the time you won’t know them.

Take a look at my ASCII art now. I’ve been working on an ASCII Art Greetings site tonight. Over 125 images uploaded and sorted into categories so far. Still many others to be added. All of them are my own work.

 

Joan Stark: How I Make These ASCII Pictures


.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

How I Make these ASCII Pictures
and Links to Other Tutorials

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FAQ's About Creating ASCII Art:

1) Do you need any special programs or software to make ASCII Art?
2) You've heard of programs that make ASCII art- do they work?
3) How long have I been creating ASCII Art images?
4) What were my first ASCII art creations?
5) How much time do I spend on making just one ASCII art picture?
6) How do I make the characters "fit together"?
7) Aren't ALL keyboard characters "ASCII"?
8) Are there other ASCII Art tutorials online?
9) What suggestions do I have for aspiring ASCII Artists?
10) Do I have too much free time on my hands?

.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

1) Do you need any special programs or software to make ASCII Art?

The answer is "NO". All you need is a text editor with a fixed-width font. Examples of fixed-width fonts are: Courier, FixedSys, and any others where the following two lines of letters are the same length:

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

I don't have any "secret programs" or "magic software". I've created these ASCII pictures by using Windows notepad, my keyboard ( and monitor obviously ), my imagination, and plenty of inspiration. That's it. I create these pictures by free-hand.

Essentially I sit at the keyboard and type. The more I do, the faster and easier it becomes. Some images come from models (usually one of my kids' toys), pictures in books and magazines, or from my imagination. I can only make a picture when I feel inspired to do so. Not every day is a creative day.

.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

2) You've heard of programs that make ASCII art- do they work?

As you may have noticed, there are different styles of the ASCII art. I typically make the "line-ASCII art". Others, like Allen Mullen and The Dutch Dude make "solid-style ASCII art".

.-. .-.
.--' / '--.
'--. _______ / .--'
.-" "-. / /
/ / /
/ /
| .--. .--. |/
| )/ | | ( |
|/ __/ __/ |
/ /^
__ '=' __/
| /|
|'"VUUUV"'/|
`"""""""` /
`-._____.-'
jgs / /
/ /
/ /
,-' ( ) `-,
`-'._) (_.'-`

. .
..###' '###,.
'####; .ooooo. ;####'
'##, .o8P"""""Y8o. ,##'
'##, 88' '88 ,##'
'##8' '8##'
'#8 ,o. .o, 8#'
8 8 888; :888 8 8
8P '88' '88' Y8
P 8 'Y
b 888 d
`8b d8`
88'"88888"'88
8 `"""""""` 8
`8ooooooo8`
,##' '##,
,##' '##,
jgs ,##' '##,
.#####, ,#####.
`##' '##`

LINE STYLE

SOLID STYLE

There are converters available to turn GIF and JPG files into ASCII art. The results are usually solid-style --but even so, you still have to do quite a bit of work with them to make them look good. If you want to give it a go anyways, check out conversion programs.

There is a PicText Service online that will convert GIF images into ASCII... results are OK-- not ideal. As example, see an ASCII image of me in comparison to the original GIF graphic---> jgs

There is *ONE* conversion program that works well-- that is FIGlet! If you want to write your name in a fancy ASCII'fied font, this is the place to go: FIGlet Service. Also, check the alt.ascii-art FAQ for Internet locations to download your own copy of the program.

.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

3) How long have I been creating ASCII Art images?

I've been around the USENET's newsgroup since November '95 and I've been making the ASCII pictures since July '96.

I first saw ASCII art in the summer of 1995 and was intrigued by it. My immediate thought was that there were people in this world who had too much time on their hands! Nonetheless, I was amazed at what I saw. I tried to collect as much of the ASCII art as I could. Then when I found Scarecrow's archive, and saw the immensity of it, I gave up and decided to try to make the ASCII images instead.

I had been lurking on the alt.ascii-art newsgroup and saw many requests--most which were never filled. At that point I chose to create the ASCII art pictures to respond to the requests.

.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

4) What were my first ASCII art creations?

My first ASCII Art creations were letters that spelled out my screen name -- and I added a little fish and a swimmer.... Here it is:

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooojgs
__~~ _- ~~ -~~~-_/O_~~ ~~__~~ _-~_ __
/ ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo| | / /
/ /_ | _ | | | | | | | | | / / /
_ | | | | | | | | | | |/ / <')=< _ | |_/ | | | | | | | | | | < ` __ | __/ | | | | | | | | | | Spunk1111 / / | | | |__| | | | | | | @juno.com __/ |_| ______/ |_| _| |_| _@aol.com It's not very good, IMO -- but it was a start. Playing around with making letters helped me to figure out how the ASCII characters fit together. I don't remember how long it took to make. I stopped making the letters once I found out about "FIGlet". FIGlet is a program that creates the ASCII art letters for you -- all with a click of a button! Try it yourself! FIGlet Service The first big picture I made was of a dragon-- it took about a week to complete- When it was finished, I sent it to the alt.dragons ASCII art page (http://www.dragonfire.org/) - and they put it at the top! I was "published"! From then on, I was hooked on the ASCII art! ~ Fire-Breathing Dragon ~ 7/96 ___ .~))>>
.~)>>
.~))))>>>
.~))>> ___
.~))>>)))>> .-~))>>
.~)))))>> .-~))>>)>
.~)))>>))))>> .-~)>>)>
) .~))>>))))>> .-~)))))>>)>
( )@@*) //)>)))))) .-~))))>>)>
).@(@@ //))>>))) .-~))>>)))))>>)>
(( @.@). //))))) .-~)>>)))))>>)>
)) )@@*.@@ ) //)>))) //))))))>>))))>>)>
(( ((@@@.@@ |/))))) //)))))>>)))>>)>
)) @@*. )@@ ) (_(-b |))>)) //)))>>)))))))>>)>
(( @@@(.@(@ . _/`-` ~|b |>))) //)>>)))))))>>)>
)* @@@ )@* (@) (@) /b|))) //))))))>>))))>>
(( @. )@( @ . _/ / b)) //))>>)))))>>>_._
)@@ (@@*)@@. (6, 6) / ^ b)//))))))>>)))>> ~~-.
( @jgs@@. @@@.*@_ ~^~^~, / ^ b/)>>))))>> _. `,
((@@ @@@*.(@@ . ^^^/' ( ^ b)))>> .' `,
((@@).*@@ )@ ) `-' (( ^ ~)_ / `,
(@@. (@@ ). ((( ^ ` | `.
(*.@* / (((( . `.
/ ((((( _.-~ Y, ;
/ / (((((( .-~ _.`" _.-~`, ;
/ / `(((((() ) (((((~ `, ;
_/ _/ `"""/ /' ; ;
_.-~_.-~ / /' _.-~ _.'
((((~~ / /' _.-~ __.--~
(((( __.-~ _.-~
.' .~~
: ,'
~~~~~

.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

5) How much time is spent on making just one ASCII art picture?

That first large dragon picture took a week to make-- However, as I create more ASCII art graphics, they take less time to make... Usually, I spend about 20 minutes on each... a little longer for larger ASCII art, less time for smaller ones. I can create the picture quickly if I can envision the image beforehand, . At times, I see lots of things in "ASCII"--- it's at those instances that I have a creative spurt!

Remember that this website has been a labour of love which has lasted several years-- there is no way that I could create all of these pictures in one sitting!

.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

6) How do I make the characters "fit together"?

Playing around with the characters on the keyboard really helps...
For instance, the following characters can create a gradual slope:

_,.-'"^`

To change the degree of the slope, you can either add more characters, or delete... of course keeping in mind the "look" of whatever it is that you are trying to create.

a more gradual slope:

__,,..--""^^^

a steeper slope:

_.-"
.-"

Look at the individual ASCII characters-- you'll notice that they are located in various typographical locations. The periods, commas, and underscores are at the bottom of the character space. The hyphen, equal sign, and the plus sign are found in the middle of the space. The apostrophe, quotation marks, and caret sign are located at the top portion of the character space. The asterick and the tilde characters are either in the middle or the top of the space-- depending upon which fixed-width font you use.

Deciding which character to use often depends upon the desired 'feel' of a picture. However, I've found that some of the characters are "inter-changeable", such as:

" and '
. and ,
- and =

Sometimes it is very helpful to look at the ASCII art pictures created by the different artists. You'll be able to see just how that person handled curves, lines, slopes, and details.

I've added a really neat online ASCII art experience. If you have Internet Explorer 4+, you can give this a try. The text characters can be dragged onto a grid in order to create an ASCII art image. There is template to follow if you wish-- or just go freestyle!

ASCII ART HOW-TO --- GRID

:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

7) Aren't ALL keyboard characters "ASCII"?

No-- ASCII is an acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. There are only 94 ASCII characters (95, if you include the space)-- these are the ones that are typically found on the standard American keyboard:

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
0123456789
< > [ ] { } ( ) ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * _ + | - = ; : " ' ` ? / . ,
(space)

It is possible to make non-ASCII characters with your computer. Some examples of non-ASCII characters are the British pound-sterling, the copyright symbol, fractions, and the accented characters. These should NOT be included in ASCII art images because they are not standard from one computer system to another. One computer may interpret the character code accurately-- another computer may not. Believe me, it can make for a pretty bad ASCII art image!

I know that America Online users have "macros"-- proportional-font text art. These macros often contain non-ASCII characters. This will work on AOL because AOL users are all using the same America Online network. mIRC often uses the non-ASCII characters too (fixed-width fonts though) This works on mIRC because that is how the system is designed. Presently, the Internet is not as standardized. In conclusion, it is best not to use the non-ASCII characters in any international email/USENET posting.

If you have any questions about font, characters, or ASCII/non-ASCII, please refer to the alt.ascii-art FAQ or my 'What is ASCII Art?' webpage

.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

8) Are there other ASCII Art tutorials online?

There are several ASCII Art tutorials available... but, IMO, they don't help unless you've tried your hand at it first. Keep in mind that ASCII artists have their own 'style'. Accordingly, the tutorials differ in regard to the type of ASCII drawings.

Daniel Au's Tutorial
Susie Oviatt's Tutorial
Rowan Crawford's Tutorial
Normand Veilleux's Tutorial
Targon (Ed Wisniewski)'s Tutorial

.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

9) What suggestions do I have for aspiring ASCII Artists?

My suggestions for budding ASCII artists are the following:

look at as many ASCII pictures that you can
identify how the characters are used in those pictures
duplicate an "already-made" picture -

copy it line by line or section by section
modify an existing picture
start small- perhaps doodle and see what it looks like,

and go from there
use a model or picture as a guideline
read the tutorials and the FAQs
post your pictures for critique

(or send them to a friend for critique)
keep at it and have fun... <--- most important! .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:. 10) Do I have too much free time on my hands? Too much free time on my hands?? That's a funny one! As a mother of four kids, I can testify that I don't have excess time! However, I will confess that my laundry pile is larger than it ought to be! Laundry time has taken a backseat to ASCII art time. ASCII art is a hobby-- most people have hobbies. ASCII art is mine. Usually I create this ASCII art late at night when the kids have gone to bed. I try not to spend my life in front of the computer. Really! _ _ hehehehe (.)(.) / () _ '--' / _ { '-`""""`-' } `"/ "` / _/ / _ j { / } `"` `"` .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.

From the Original Respect ASCII Artists Campaign Page (now 404)

What is the “Respect ASCII Artists Campaign”? Well, it’s something that I decided to do not long after a few things happened that I didn’t agree with. When an ascii artist draws any art, that art is rightfully theirs. No other person has a right to claim the art. Most ascii artists will tag their art in some for or another. Such as…

Link With This Ribbon

Yeah! I got the SnowGlobe back up! LoL This SnowGlobe for instance, was made by Joan Stark. Her tag is the jgs. This is how people know that the ascii was drawn by her. When an artist colors it, for example how I colored it. The tag must always stay with that ascii art. Even if hidden within the color, the art is still tagged and people will know what artist drew it.

Not only does the respect go towards the ascii art. We can go a bit further with their popup files. Anything really, not belonging to you should not be changed without prior consent of that particular artist or creator. It’s just common sense and respect towards others.

Many people get confused about copyright laws and what they mean, I’ve included a few links below to let you know exactly what they are. They are important not only to the ASCII artists, but to any artist who creates. Such as…an artist who creates graphics for you to use on your websites. Give all artists the respect of a simple link back to their pages. All it takes is one or two lines of code. That’s all. Just like the tag on any ASCII art, link back to a graphic artist as well. They will thank you for it. If you don’t know who the graphic or ascii was made by….then kindly state that somewhere in the ascii art or on the website. If that artist sees it, they will be able to let you know. But in the mean time, just make sure that you give due credit.

Internet copyright Information
Intellectual Property Law Primer

Now… Hopefully, I have explain myself well enough for you to understand what point I am trying to make. It’s just important to give credit where the credit is due…just do the right thing. If you wish to support this cause, please download the ribbon to your own server and upload it with a link back to this page. Let’s let others know what this is all about. Thanks, and feel free to email me if you wish and I’ll put you on the list of supporters. Let’s do if for the artists as well as ourselves. We owe that to them.

Dog Hause – Animal ASCII Collection Part 3


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/^--^ /^--^ /^--^
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|/ ////
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|/ //// ~Dougal~
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| `---' / Down to the hollow;
| , . / And there let us wallow
| |-----'| / In glorious mud!
| ||__| |_|__|
Michael Flanders and Donald Swann

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(((( /|))
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entire collection by Donna Shepherd:

weasle or / ____ ,^-o, / .'"v"'.
ferret ``-,' `-';~~ rabbit ( ) = 'm' =
.',-'~`' , .( o ). " |/ "--_o
`^^ `^^ .:/ /m"..."m
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^^^ ^^^ @/ fox '''" '; fish ) /.
frog A___A '; _ //
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L|_|L|_|' /o/ Smiling (((( WW WW
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Niki Fowler

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-------. _________ > ____/< |||| |||| |||| |||| Veronica Karlsson _______ ZZZZ / __ // ZZZZ / / uu / _____|_ > ____/< ________)______)) V___/V ( 6 6 (..o) / / n (o|o)' // =(^)= ---// _( | ||'' || (J (J |_._/| |,__/| |__/,| |_._/| | o o | | o o| |o o | | 0 0 | ( T ) ( T ) ( T ) ( T ) .^`-^-'^. .^`--^'^. .^`^--'^. .^`-^-'^. `. ; .' `. ; .' `. ; .' `. ; .' | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ((_((|))_)) ((_((|))_)) ((_((|))_)) ((_((|))_)) Nika Nika looking Nika looking Nika saw left right a male cat |_._/| |_._/| |-o^o-| |-@~@-| ( T ) ( T ) .^`-^-'^. .^`-^-'^. `. ; .' `. ; .' |__/,| (` | | | | | | | | | | _.|o o |_ ) ) ((_((|))_)) ((_((|))_)) ---(((---(((--------- 4-eyes Nika Nika w/ shades Nika stalks the mouse ___ |__/,| (` _.-| | |__/,| (` |o o |__ _) ) { | | |o o |__ _) ) _.( T ) ` / "-.|___| _.( T ) ` / n n._ ((_ `^--' /_< .--'-`-. _((_ `^--' /_< <" _ }=- `` `-'(((/ (((/ .+|______|__.-||__)`-'(((/ (((/ `" " Nika plays with the mouse Nika plays with a computer mouse |__/,| (` |_ _ |.--.) ) ( T ) / (((^_(((/(((_>

Nika is sleepy

Nika the cat by: Mike
Nighthawk `.' unar2@sfa.ope.ed.gov SR-71 Blackbird

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