DAILY PLANET Donderdag 24 april 1997  Editie 5.40

        8. Elektronisch borduurwerk

 Wie zich wil laten overvallen door nostalgie kan `Spunk`s gallery of original ASCII art` bezoeken. Op de pagina`s zijn voorbeelden te vinden van ASCII art, een kunstvorm die stamt uit het pre-grafische tijdperk van het net. Om toch plaatjes te kunnen tonen, maakten creatieve geesten handig gebruik van alle beschikbare letter- en leestekens en vervaardigden een soort elektronisch borduurwerk. Het zijn de grottekeningen
van Internet. http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/7373/

        8. Electronic embroidery

Those who like to get a taste of nostalgia can visit 'Spunk's gallery of original ASCII art'. Exaples of ASCII art can be found on these pages, an artform that stems from the pre-graphical era of the net. To still be able to show pictures, creative minds cleverly used the available letters and punctuation marks to create a sort of electronic embroidery. These are the cave-drawings of the internet.

Subject:        TECH TALK: Hot News on 97/05/30 
  Date:        Fri, 30 May 1997 15:22:22 -0500 
  From:        Tech Talk News <News@ttalk.com>

TECH TALK's Hot News For Friday May 30, 1997
There are always more Hot News Stories at:
  23 (Twenty-Three) More Stories

Weird Site of the Day

Tech Talk News Archives

Ken Rutkowski                   Tech Talk Network
                                        Connection For Techformation
Direct Dial - 1-708/614-7302    17525 South 71st Court
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Ken@ttalk.com                   http://www.ttalk.com/news.html

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The following article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on May 25,1997.  Diane Wenner scanned it, and since Times Roman  doesn't scan well, there were a lot of corrections to be made.  Diane also recreated the ASCII art. 
[Diane's comments are in brackets like this]:

[begin quote] "A bottomless paint can and a limitless palette of custom-made colors await the savvy computer artist. Start with fancy software, add an expensive scanner and the latest tools plus some artistic talent and imagination, and the field is literally boundless.

But those with a more Spartan perspective might prefer the pared-down images known as ASCII Art. You may already be an ASCII artist. You are if you've ever punctuated your online prose with a keyboard smiley face :) or frown :( made from colons and parentheses).

ASCII art is a back-to-basics form of picture-making. It's about as low-tech as a computer can get. In fact, the diligent and very patient artist can create ASCII art with a mere typewriter. All you need is your keyboard keys and an ability to see the larger picture up close.

Exactly what is ASCII art? A quick scan of the "ASII Art Frequently Asked Questions" (http:// www.ioc.eet-valdo/ascil/ascart.faq) (ORIGINAL SITE NO LONGER ACTIVE-- SUBSTITUTE URL) will help inform you in no time. The FAQ, written by someone nicknamed Scarcecrow (with help from friends), explains that ASCII art is an image "that can be sent over the net, received, viewed on any standard terminal type or communications software, and can be printed. This requires the image be made by using orly letters, numbers and other characters such as punctuation marks and symbols. These characters are part of the ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)  set.

The FAQ also offers some neat tricks to help with the "drawing" process, such as what tools to use and which fonts make the best ASCII art.

ASCII art is pretty useless, you surmise? Nay, my friend. Feast your pupils on the lauded series known as "Tai Chi." Here you can find poses and postures for the Yang Style Tai Chi moves. If you can follow these, you'll truly be a genius of ASCII interpretation and re-enactment.

                    d888888P'                    `Y888888888888,
                   88888p,                     Ybaaaa88888888881
                  a8888'                       `Y8888P' `V888888
                d8888888a                                 `Y8888
               AY/'' '\Y8b                                  ``Y8b
               Y'      'YP                                     ~~
Since push technology is all the rage, a lower-tech alternative may be having ASCII art sent directly to your email box daily. Send e-mail to thurstme@cda.mrs.umn.edu. with the instructions to "Add me to the ASCII-art of the day list."  [BTW, this email address is not valid]

You can find a large directory of the stuff on a popular FTP site (ftp://aug3.augsburg.edu/files/text_files/art/). Each file you click on is a picture. Some of my favorites are a cockeyed Martian, a portrait of the entire Simpsons fancily and a burly thug with a smoking gun. File sizes range from a few hundred bytes to six kilobytes. A 6 KB portrait of a full-length woman is a remarkable example of detail, perfectionism and near photo-realism.

"Spunk's Gallery of Original ASCII Art"  (http:/www.geocities.com/SoHo/7373/) incorporates color and JavaScript animations (you need a newer browser for the latter). The effect is a vibrant change from the monotony of $$$, @@@, and ####. Some of Joan Stark's work includes a colorful array of flowers, aquatic creatures, zoo and farm artimals and popular cartoon characters. Her triptych of Pooh portraits is especially appealing.

            $$$$$$'d$$$$$$$$$P<!!./` -'`((((!!!!!!!
            $$$?$'$$$$$$$$$$$ !! `,cucucuc, `'!!!!:
            $$Jz".,"?$$$$$$$F   u$$$$$$$$$$$[ `!!
           d$$$$ d$$$   """""  d$$$$$$$$$$$$" ueP
          -$$$$"ci"$"         $$$$$$$$$$$P".,d$$             e$cc.
     e=7?Rb13P ??$$P         d$$$$$$$$P" < PF??? ..ccd$$$c,`""??$$eec._
      -?F""""               ?$$$$$$$$$b$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$c."""""""
                            `""""""""""""""""""```        """``

                 |   |                 |   |
                |     |               |     |
               |       |             |       |
              |         |           |         |
             |           | _______ |           |

       /              ___           ___           \
       |             |   |         |   |           |
       \             |___|         |___|           /

         -                    |                    -
          _                  / \                  _
           -                /   \                -
            ==                                 ==
           -                                     -
          -                                       -
         -                                         -

[ this picture is an enlargement of:   /\_/\
                                      ( o.o )
                                       > ^ <          ]
Caption: Using only the available characters on a keyboard--letters numbers, punctuation marks and other characters--ASCII artists create images like a dolphin, a crawling baby and a cat. [NB:  The cat is a poor reproduction; I had to "recreate" it since was done in a
font other than Courier 10 point.  dw]

Naturally, you can find several Star Trek collections, such as "Shu's Star Trek ASCII Art" (http://ece.wpi.edu/~shu/s-t-asci.html). (SITE NO LONGER ACTIVE)  And two newsgroups cover the topic: the newer, moderated rec.arts.ascii and the original, un-moderated, alt.ascii-art.

There are a gazzillion other sites which showcase ASCII art collections.  One of the more comprehensive is called "ASCII Arts" (http:/www.info.polymtl.ca/ada2/tranf/www/asciiarts.html), a years-long gathering effort of note. (SITE ALSO NO LONGER ACTIVE)

All of which goes to show that too many people have way too much time on their hands."


Send Erika Milvy e-mail at erika@well.com.

[end quote]

I thought this article might be of interest to some of you.  Personally, I was
disgusted with the last paragraph.  It's a weak ending, and since writers are
artists too, it shows an unbecoming lack of respect for the other arts.


|                                                    .,,,.     |
|  Diane Wenner                 Silicon Valley      (?~~~?)    |
| <pixel8ed@cache22.org>        California USA     ))(@ @())   |
|                                                  (() ^ (((   |
|__Anything is possible if you have enough cache!_____\~/______|

Copyright 5/96
December 23, 1997

I am a columnist of Il Giornale, one of the biggest italian political newspapers. I have also a weekly column, Internettiamo, where I comment Internet facts and I give my advice to our readers.

I visited your site, and I found it one of the most beatiful and useful ones on the Net, and I am an old so-called Guru of the ancient times ante-www! Great site!

Today I wrote about ASCII art (other than emoticons and signs) and about your site. I paste in the original text:

....L'avreste detto che si possono ottenere riproduzioni di quadri famosi, stereogrammi e persino animazioni? Su Internet vi sono siti ove tutte le tecniche vengono svelate, e si possono liberamente prelevare esempi di ogni tipo, suddivisi per categorie. Per dirne una, se volete trovare ispirazione per i vostri auguri elettronici di Natale visitate
(http://www.chris.com/art/christmas.html), recandovi prima alla deliziosa estraordinaria homepage di Joan Stark (http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/7373/), un'artista che vi introdurrà ai segreti più reconditi di questa forma d'espressione.

                Gianfranco Gallotti

              _                                         _
  __   ___.--'_`.  __   __                _           .'_`--.___   __
 ( _`.'. -   'o` ) \ \ / /__ _ _ ___ _ _ (_)__ __ _  ( 'o`   - .`.'_ )
 _\.'_'      _.-'   \ V / -_) '_/ _ \ ' \| / _/ _` |  `-._      `_`./_
( \`. )    //\`      \_/\___|_| \___/_||_|_\__\__,_|    '/\\    ( .'/ )
 \_`-'`---'\\__,                                       ,__//`---'`-'_/
  \`        `-\    uggc://jjj.yhqq.yhgu.fr/hfref/ix/    /-'        '/
   ` _____________________ r93-ixa@fz.yhgu.fr ____________________ '
        LIKE MY SIG? GO HERE: http://www.surfplaza.com/figlet/

[Comments from me (VK) look like this. I have added URLs where there
were links in the pages]
Comments from me (Joan Stark) are in blue after Veronica's translation.

from: http://www.drrling.se/nr12/ascii_art/
>            _____  _____ _____ _____                _   
>     /\    / ____|/ ____|_   _|_   _|              | |  
>    /  \  | (___ | |      | |   | |______ __ _ _ __| |_ 
>   / /\ \  \___ \| |      | |   | |______/ _` | '__| __|
>  / ____ \ ____) | |____ _| |_ _| |_    | (_| | |  | |_ 
> /_/    \_\_____/ \_____|_____|_____|    \__,_|_|   \__|
>                                  - en bild av tusen ord
>                                  av Dan Linder

ASCII art - one picture of a thousand words

by Dan Linder ( Dan_Linder@rmi-berghs.se )

> Är du bra på att göra en bild av Bob Dylan, Kakmonstret, din katt
> eller Eiffeltornet med hjälp av några parenteser, ett par apostrofer
> och några bokstäver? Då kan du bli ASCII-konstnär när du blir
> stor. Det som förr betecknades som slitsamt datanörderi har blivit en
> egen konstform på Internet.
Are you good at making a picture of Bob Dylan, the Cookie Monster [?],
your cat or the Eiffel Tower with the aid of a few parentheses, a
couple of apostrophes and a few letters? Then you can become an ASCII-
artist when you grow up. What used to be considered hard work for
computer nerds has become an art from of its own on the Internet.

> ASCII-art (uttalas asski) är en förkortning av American Standard Code
> for Information Interchange. Med andra ord är det bilder som skapas av
> tecken (siffror, bokstäver, snedstreck, parenteser...) från ett
> tangentbord. Totalt använder man omkring 97 tecken, det vill säga i
> stort sett alla som finns. Ett riktigt petjobb som tar tid och kräver
> stort tålamod men som blir riktigt vackert när det är klart. 
ASCII art (pronounced asski [that makes sense in Swedish]) is short
for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. In other words
it is pictures created of characters (digits, letters, slashes [?],
parentheses...) from a keyboard. Totally one uses about 97 characters,
that is practially all that exist. A really picky job that takes time
and demands great patience but which becomes really beautiful when
it is done.
Joan's comment:{Actually there are only 94 characters to choose from
to create an ASCII picture... 
1234567890 <>{}[]()\/ ;:,.?!"'`~|+=_- *&^%$#@!~  }

> ASCII-konsten har sitt ursprung i en konstform som kallas "art typing"
> och från början satt man och målade sina konstverk på vanliga
> skrivmaskiner. Konstens egentlige "uppfinnare" heter Christopher
> Latham Sholes, mannen som uppfann urskrivmaskinen 1867. ASCII-konsten
> har alltså haft 131 år på sig att utvecklas. 
The ASCII art originates from an art form called "art typing" and from
the beginning one sat and painted great works of art on ordinairy
typewriters. The real "inventor" of the art is called Christopher
Latham Sholes, the man who invented the typewriter in 1867. Thus ASCII
art has had 131 years to evolve.
Joan: { Christopher Sholes is the person accredited with inventing the 
typewriter..  I don't think that he made pictures with his creation-- but
one never knows...}

> Det tidigaste exemplet på art typing gjordes av en koreansk konstnär,
> Gwang Hyuk Lee, som mitt under brinnande Koreakrig (omkring 1950) tog
> hela texten ur Bibelns Johannesevangelium och skapade en stor bild av
> Jesus. Dessvärre såg inte nordkoreanska kommunister med blida ögon på
> nyskapande konst, så Gwang Hyuk Lee dödades för det han gjort. 
The earliest example of art typing was made by a Korean artist, Gwang
Hyuk Lee, who right in the middle of an ongoing war in Korea (around
1950) took the whole text of the [?] from the Bible and created a big
picture of Jesus. Unfortunately North Korean communists didn't like
creative art, so Gwang Hyuk Lee was killed for what he had done.
Joan's comments: {Gwang Hyuk Lee hand-designed a picture of Jesus 
from the text of 'The Book of John'...  I have color and black/white
jpgs of the work at my 'history of ASCII art' page.}

> Spanjoren Guillermo Mendana Olivera hade Lee som förebild och satt i
> början av 60-talet, i Leon i Spanien, och gjorde stortartad
> teckenkonst med bara ett fåtal olika tecken: x, o, kommatecken och
> mellanslag. Olivera var stenograf på dagarna och mästerlig
> ASCII-konstnär på nätterna. 
The Spaniard Guillermo Mendana Olivera had Lee as a role model when he
sat in Leon in Spain in the beginning of the 60's and made great
character art with just a few different characters: x, o, comma and
space. Olivera was a stenographer during the days and a master ASCII
artist during the nights.
Joan's comments: {Well, actually I would call him a "keyboard artist"
-- the term ASCII wasn't developed until more recently}

from: http://www.drrling.se/nr12/ascii_art/2.html
> Joan Starks guide till ASCII-skapande:
Joan Stark's guide to making ASCII:

> - Gör små, enkla bilder till att börja med. Öga-näsa-mun.
- Make small, simple pictures to start with. Eye-nose-mouth.
Joan's comments: {Start with smallest part of the picture
and build around it.}

> - Gör alltid en modell eller skiss av den bild du tänkt dig.
- Always make a model or a sketch of the picture you have in mind.
Joan's comment: {It is helpful to have model or sketch of the picture}

> - Stressa inte. ASCII-konst är tids- och tålamodskrävande till max.
- Don't stress. ASCII art demands huge amounts of time and patience.
Joan's comments: {Huge?  Maybe.. depends on what you want to make!}
> - Kontrollera proportioner.
- Check the proportions.

> - Lita till ditt ögonmått. Om du själv inte kan se att det är en
> känguru, kan ingen annan det heller.
- Trust your eye measure [?]. If you can't see that it's a kangaroo,
then nobody else will either.
Joan's comments: {This is what I use my kids for-- if they know what
my picture is supposed to be, then it is a success in my mind.}

> - Lämna plats för betraktarens fantasi, men gör inte bilderna
> plottriga med massor av smådetaljer som förstör helhetsintrycket. Ju
> renare, desto bättre.
- Leave space for the imagination of the viewer [?], but don't make
the images too cluttered with lots of little details that destroy the
total impression. The cleaner, the better.

> - Studera tecknade figurer i serietidningar. Profilbilder är lättast.
- Study cartoon characters in cartoon magazines. Pictures in profile
are the easiest.
Joan's comments: {I'm not sure about profiles being easiest.. Looking
at pictures and objects will certainly help... once you know where the
characters fit together, you can get an idea of how they can be used
to create your ASCII picture.}

> - Ska du skicka in din ASCII-bild till en newsgroup eller liknande, så
> se till att signera ditt verk. Interaktiva konststölder och plagiat
> finns det gott om.
- If you intend to send your ASCII picture to a newsgroup or something
like that, make sure you sign your work. There are plenty of
interactive art thefts and plagiarism.
Joan's comments: {Not that it will stop the plagerism-- text characters
can be deleted easily.  Just a reminder that ASCII art follows internet
copyright laws. Give credit where credit is due.}

> - Kolla hur andra ASCII-konstnärer gör sina bilder.
- See how other ASCII artists make their pictures.
Joan's comment: {Look at as many ASCII art pictures as you can!}

> Joan Starks galleri med ASCII-konst finns att hitta här 
Joan Stark's ASCII art gallery can be found here:

from: http://www.drrling.se/nr12/ascii_art/2.html 
> Fyrabarnsmamman Joan Stark från Mississippi i USA är en av många som
> lagt ut sin konst på nätet. På knappt två år har hon byggt upp ett
> stort arkiv ASCII-bilder som föreställer allt från seriefigurer,
> husdjur, byggnader och hennes familj.
Mother of four children, Joan Stark from Mississippi in USA is one of
many who have put out their art on the net. In less than two years she
has built a large archive of ASCII images of everything from cartoon
characters, pets, buildings and her family.
Joan's comment: {heehee-- I live in Ohio -- but that's ok}

> - Det var mest av en slump jag fick upp ögonen för den här
> konstformen, berättar Joan. Jag fick ett mail med en liten bild på
> en cykel. Då visste jag inte ens vad bilderna kallades, men jag blev
> fullständigt såld på det, och förstod att folk måste ha grava
> sysselsättningsproblem som håller på med det.
- It was mostly by coincidence that I noticed this art form, joan
tells me. I got an email with a little picture of a bike. Back then I
didn't even know what the pictures were called, but I became totally
addicted to it, and realised that people must suffer from serious lack
of something sensible to occupy themselves with in order to do this.
Joan's comments:{I don't still feel this way about the ASCII artists..
I did when I first saw the pictures.  But now, I understand the
addiction.  And certainly I do have many activities to occupy my time
with..  I have a life outside of ASCII art-- I really do!}

> - Kort därpå började jag sökte jag efter fler bilder på Yahoo och
> hittade ett ställe där man kunde skicka in sina egna ASCII-bilder. Och
> i juli 1996 började  jag data ihop egna teckningar. 
- Shortly after I started to look for more pictures on Yahoo and found
a place where one could send in one's own ASCII images. And in July
1996 I started to make pictures of my own.
Joan's comment: {I found the newsgroup, alt.ascii-art on USENET}

> Vad är det som är så fascinerande med ASCII?
> - Dels är de roligare och smidigare att få och skicka per mail än
> vanliga pics. ASCII är ju text och tar därför mindre plats.
> - Dels finns det bara 94 tecken att jobba med (97 i Sverige med å, ä
> och ö) och det är allt.
> - Och så ligger det en fet utmaning i att använda ett tangentbord som
> palett och skärm som duk.

What is it that is so fascinating about ASCII?

- Partly they are more fun and leaner to get and send in email than
ordinary pics. ASCII is text and because of this it takes less room.
- Partly there is only 94 characters to work with (97 in Sweden with
å, ä and ö [NOT!]) and that is all.
- And then there is a fat challenge in using a keyboard as a palette
and a screen as a canvas.

> Det finns olika sätt att skapa ASCII-konst på.  Ett sätt är att
> använda program som modellerar bilderna, till exempel Gifscii. Men det
> är inget Joan Stark rekommenderar, bilderna blir kantiga och fula:
There are different ways to make ASCII art. One way is to use programs
that design the images, for example Gifscii
( http://www.io360.com/v2/yo/asciiworld/gs.html ). But that is nothing
Joan Stark recommends, the pictures become square and ugly:
Joan's comments: { Ugly?  I wouldn't say "ugly" -- how about 
"unattractive"?  But that's just a matter of opinion.  There are
people who like this stuff... it makes my eyes hurt.}

>                  :                                 :
>                  :                                   :
>                  :  RRVIttIti+==iiii++iii++=;:,       :
>                  : IBMMMMWWWWMMMMMBXXVVYYIi=;:,        :
>                  : tBBMMMWWWMMMMMMBXXXVYIti;;;:,,      :
>                  t YXIXBMMWMMBMBBRXVIi+==;::;::::       ,
>                 ;t IVYt+=+iIIVMBYi=:,,,=i+=;:::::,      ;;
>                 YX=YVIt+=,,:=VWBt;::::=,,:::;;;:;:     ;;;
>                 VMiXRttItIVRBBWRi:.tXXVVYItiIi==;:   ;;;;
>                 =XIBWMMMBBBMRMBXi;,tXXRRXXXVYYt+;;: ;;;;;
>                  =iBWWMMBBMBBWBY;;;,YXRRRRXXVIi;;;:;,;;;=
>                   iXMMMMMWWBMWMY+;=+IXRRXXVYIi;:;;:,,;;=
>                   iBRBBMMMMYYXV+:,:;+XRXXVIt+;;:;++::;;;
>                   =MRRRBMMBBYtt;::::;+VXVIi=;;;:;=+;;;;=
>                    XBRBBBBBMMBRRVItttYYYYt=;;;;;;==:;=
>                     VRRRRRBRRRRXRVYYIttiti=::;:::=;=
>                      YRRRRXXVIIYIiitt+++ii=:;:::;==
>                      +XRRXIIIIYVVI;i+=;=tt=;::::;:;
>                       tRRXXVYti++==;;;=iYt;:::::,;;
>                        IXRRXVVVVYYItiitIIi=:::;,::;
>                         tVXRRRBBRXVYYYIti;::::,::::
>                          YVYVYYYYYItti+=:,,,,,:::::;
>                          YRVI+==;;;;;:,,,,,,,:::::::
> "Solid-style" är en annan möjlighet - men rätt svår. Den används mest
> till att skugga och konturera bilderna: 
"Solid style" is another possibility - but quite difficult. It is
mostly used to shade and construct the images:

>       _                      _______                      _
>    _dMMMb._              .adOOOOOOOOOba.              _,dMMMb_
>   dP'  ~YMMb            dOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOb            aMMP~  `Yb
>   V      ~"Mb          dOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOb          dM"~      V
>            `Mb.       dOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOb       ,dM'
>             `YMb._   |OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO|   _,dMP'
>        __     `YMMM| OP'~"YOOOOOOOOOOOP"~`YO |MMMP'     __
>      ,dMMMb.     ~~' OO     `YOOOOOP'     OO `~~     ,dMMMb.
>   _,dP~  `YMba_      OOb      `OOO'      dOO      _aMMP'  ~Yb._
>  <MMP'     `~YMMa_   YOOo   @  OOO  @   oOOP   _adMP~'      `YMM>
>               `YMMMM\`OOOo     OOO     oOOO'/MMMMP' 
>       ,aa.     `~YMMb `OOOb._,dOOOb._,dOOO'dMMP~'       ,aa.
>     ,dMYYMba._         `OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO'          _,adMYYMb. 
>    ,MP'   `YMMba._      OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO       _,adMMP'   `YM.
>    MP'        ~YMMMba._ YOOOOPVVVVVYOOOOP  _,adMMMMP~       `YM
>    YMb           ~YMMMM\`OOOOI`````IOOOOO'/MMMMP~           dMP
>     `Mb.           `YMMMb`OOOI,,,,,IOOOO'dMMMP'           ,dM'
>       `'                  `OObNNNNNdOO'                   `'
>                             `~OOOOO~'   TISSUE
> "Line-style" är precis vad det låter som; ASCII-konst med enbart raka
> streck:
"Line style" is just what it sounds like; ASCII art with only straight

                               (\                   \\\) |
                              __\\                   `|~~|
                             (((<_|            ____   |  |
                              `-__/\         /~    ~\|   |
                                 \  ~-_     |--|     |___|
                                  `\   ~-_  |_/     /--__/
                                    `\/ / ~-_\___--/    /
                                      `-_    ~/   /    /
                                         ~-_ /   |   _/
                                            |         |
                _-~~\                       \_       /
              /(_|_-~                       |       /
            /   /~==[]\     ____-------_    |_____--|   ______________
          /    (_ //(\0)~~~~    YAMAHA  ~\ /_-       \/'         ___/ ~~~~/
         (|      ~~--__                   |/         )_____---~~~    YZF  \
          \.      ___  ~~--__ ____        /        _-/              __--~~'
            ~\    \\\\       ~~-_ ~-____ /      _-~~          __--~~___
       _ ----/ \    \\\\         ~-_    /---__-~        __--~~----~~_  ]=
    _-~ ___ / /__\   ~~~            ~-_ ( )-~ ~-_~~~/~~~ _-~         ~-_
   /-~~~_-|/ /    ~\                  _) ~-_     \ /~~~~~---__-----_    \
  ;    / \/_//`\    \           __--~~/_   \~-_ _-\ ~~~~~~~~~~~~-/_/\    .
  |   | \((*))/ |   |\    __--~~     /o \   `\ ~-  `\----_____( 0) ) |   |
  |    \  |~|  /    | )-~~           \ 0 )    |/' _-~/~--------| |~ /    ,
   \    ~-----~    / /                ~~~~~~~~/_/O_/'   \    ~-----~    /
    ~-_         _-~ `---------------------------'        `-_         _-~
       ~ ----- ~                                            ~ ----- ~  -TX

from: http://www.drrling.se/nr12/ascii_art/3.html

> ASCII-art siter:
ASCII art sites:

> Best of Ascii pics

> Christopher Johnson´s ASCII
> Art Collection

> Wicked ASCII Art
> Med ASCII Awards!

> Strawberry Jamm´s ASCII
> Artwork Collection

> ASCII kor

> Beavis & Butthead 

> - Man måste ha en modell att jobba utifrån, säger Joan. Annars är det
> jättesvårt.
> - Egentligen handlar det bara om att veta hur och när man ska använda
> tecken och se proportioner. Vill man göra en ASCII-katt bör man ha
> koll på proportionerna så det inte ser ut som en isbjörn eller insekt
> när du är klar med den. 
> - Allra bäst är det att börja med kärnan; om du ska göra en björn så
> börjar du med nosen och jobbar dig utåt kanterna.
> - Ögonen brukar vara lättast att börja med: 66, 99, ee, aa, oo, db, qp
> är bra att använda där.
> - Kurvor och små detaljer blir bäst med apostrofer, cediljer eller
> citattecken. Därefter brukar jag "fylla" bilder med kolon och
> semikolon. 
- One has to have a model to work from, says Joan. Otherwise it is
really difficult.
- It's really only about knowing how and when to use characters and
see proportions. If you want to make an ASCII cat you should make sure
to keep control over the proportions so that it doesn't end up looking
like a polar bear or an insect when you're done with it.
- The best thing is to start with the core; if you are going to make a
bear you start with the nose and work your way towards the edges.
- The eyes are usually the easiest to start with: 66, 99, ee, aa, oo,
db, qp are good to use there.
- Curves and little details are best with apostrophes, [ ??? ], or
quotes. After that I usually "fill" pictures with colons and

Joan's comments: {A model really isn't a necessity-- but is certainly
helpful.  Knowing how the characters fit together and interact with
one another is more important.}

> That's it. De tangenter som får jobba mest när man gör ASCII-konst är
> backspace (sudd) och mellanslagstangenten. 
That's it. The keys that get to work most when you make ASCII art is
the backspace (eraser) and space bar.
Joan's comments: {Yep, my spacebar works a lot... I prefer insert mode
rather than the overtype mode.  Each person has their own technique..
whatever works for you...}

> - Men det går inte göra bilder på kommando. Jag måste ha lugn och ro,
> gott om tid och mycket inspiration. Bra dagar tar det inte mer än en
> halvtimme, säger Joan.
> - De svåraste och mest tidskrävande bilderna är de största, uppåt 20
> rader höga, och de minsta. Då kan det ta dagar, veckor.
> - En stor bild är svår för att det är många tecken som måste fungera
> tillsammans, ungefär som en roman. En liten bild måste uttrycka
> väldigt många detaljer med få tecken, som poesi. 
- But one can't make pictures on command. I have to have peace and
quiet, plenty of time and loads of inspiration. Good days it doesn't
take more than half an hour, say Joan.
- The most difficult and most time demanding pictures are the biggest,
upwards [?] 20 lines high, and the smallest. Then it can take days,
- A big picture is hard because there are so many characters that have
to work together, a bit like a novel. A small picture has to express
really many details with just a few characters, like poetry.
Joan's comments: {True, I must feel inspiration to make the ASCII
pictures.  Average time to make a picture is about 15-20 minutes...
longer for the larger pictures.  Weeks? Good golly -no- not anymore...
the more I make, the faster it gets.  Only my very first picture took
a week.  I typically will complete a picture in the same day lest I run
out of inspiration.  From experience I know this is true.  I have 
several unfinished pictures that I have no urge to go back and complete.}

> Joan Stark har själv förebilder bland ASCII-konstnärerna.
> - Kännetecknande för en bra ASCII-konstnär att han får den som loggat
> in på hans galleri att säga "wow". Så känner jag när jag ser bilder av
> Rowan Crawford, Felix Lee och Daniel Au.
> - Riktiga perfektionister, allihopa. Det måste man vara. Slarvar man
> blir det bara skit och då får man göra allt från början igen.
Joan Stark herself has many role models among the ASCII artists.
- What distiguishes a good ASCII artist is that he gets the person who
logs in to his gallery to say "wow". That's how I feel when I see
pictures by
Rowan Crawford ( http://www.afn.org/%7Eafn39695/crawford.htm ),
Felix Lee ( http://www.teleport.com/%7Eflee/home.shtml ) and
Daniel Au ( http://pubweb.acns.nwu.edu/%7Edcau/newdcau.htm ).
- Real perfectionists, all of them. You have to be. If you are
careless it just becomes shit and you have to start all over from the
beginning again.
Joan's comments: { My kids are going to wash my mouth out with soap
Rowan Crawford, Felix Lee, and Danial Au were my inspirations to start
creating the ASCII art pictures.  They are all great.  Unfortunately,
none of them are still making the ASCII pictures.
  As for being careless, I think that if you take your time, feel the
inspiration, and create something good, you won't need to trash it. 
Being careless isn't what makes a picture look bad-- inexperience and
lack of know-how..}
> Och ASCII-konsten har kommit till Internet för att stanna. Åtminstone
> enligt Joan Stark:
> - Om säg tre, fyra år tror jag ASCII-konsten är mer känd än nu. Folk
> skickar dem redan nu på kul med e-mail eller använder dem på
> hemsidor. Men ASCII-konsten kommer aldrig kunna ersätta vanliga gif-
> eller jpeg-bilder. Den kommer bara att finnas där på kul.
And ASCII art has come to the Internet to stay. At least according to
Joan Stark:
- In say three, four years I think that ASCII art will be better known
that it is now. People already send them for fun in email or use them
on homepages. But ASCII art will never be able to replace ordinairy
gif or jpeg images. It will just be there for fun.
> Joan Stark tror också att ASCII får en massa "junkies", precis som
> till exempel MUD-spelen fått.
> - Man kan bli riktigt fast på det här. Hög. Jag har drömt i ASCII
> flera gånger och det var verkligen helsjukt. ASCII-konst kan verkligen
> göra skumma saker med din hjärna.
Joan Stark also believes that ASCII art will have lots of "junkies",
just like for example the MUD games have got.
- You can get really hooked on this. High. I have dreamed in ASCII
several times and it was really totally sick. ASCII art can really do
weird things to your brain.
Joan's comments: {I love how English translates to Swedish and back
again...  I have dreamed in ASCII -- perhaps I've spent a bit too much
time at the keyboard.  But I haven't gotten sick of it as yet... and I
think my brain is doing OK... although on some days....}

> I Sverige finns det inga ASCII-konstnärer, än. Här tror vi att ASCII
> är något för datanördar, inte att det är en seriös konstform. Mårten
> Castenfors är konstkritiker på Svenska Dagbladet, han tror däremot att
> ASCII-konsten har en framtid.
> - All konst som är bra eller som gör något bra måste självklart
> betraktas som seriös konst. Och all seriös konst har en framtid, menar
> han.
There are no ASCII artists in Sweden, yet [ :-D ]. Here we think that
ASCII is something for computer nerds, not that it is a serious art
form. Mårten Castenfors is an art critic for Svenska Dagbladed [A
Swedish newspaper], he on the other hand thinks that ASCII art has a
- All art that is good or that does something good must of course be
looked upon as serious art. And all serious art has a future, he says.
Joan's comments:  {Oops, he must not have seen Veronica's ASCII work
There are some people in Sweden who have hit the ASCII art scene.}

> Så för den som vill bli pionjär inom svensk ASCII-konst är det fritt
> fram. Datanörd eller ej.
So for anybody who wants to become a pioneer in Swedish ASCII art just
go for it. Computer nerd or not.

> /Dan Linder
Thank you Veronica for translating this article for me!  :)