ASCII Art

Nicolai Troshinsky (from Madrid, Spain) has ASCII art on Society6. ASCII and ANSI art murals. I like the first one, with what I think are wolves in the mountains. I like the details, the airplane and the spider in the cave. He also makes video games, animations, and illustrations.
Source: Emoticon Dictionary - Gomotes I had not thought about fonts from other languages being used to create emoticons. This screen capture about Arabic emoticons was the only real information I could find on my first search. There must be more, but, chances are it won't be in English so it won't turn up in my search (using the English language).
I especially like the idea that these styles of art, ASCII art, typewriter art, teletext and others, keep coming, without influence one from the other even. Just something people get an idea to make when they site down at the machine.
Though it is still around today, ASCII art reached the zenith of its popularity before the web. It was the visual language of BBSs, Telnet, and many other pre-WWW networks. In a wholly text-based world, these works proliferated. For the brief moment that modems were the preferred mode of access to other computers, they were useful. And their sketchy aesthetic seemed right for mediums that were provisional and changing rapidly. These things did not evolve one from the other, so much spontaneously regenerate down through the years, time and again.
Source: The Lost Ancestors of ASCII Art - The Atlantic
It seemed that many of the newspapers of the era carried such illustrations, with large titles and sometimes simple shapes like hearts and crosses all composed out of type. I know it as ASCII art, but it appeared roughly a hundred years before the personal computer even existed. Of course, before there were computers, there were typewriters, and the first recorded instances of typewriter art date back to at least 1893, but I’d never seen a record of any other ASCII-type art as early as the 1870s. I felt like an archaeologist who picks up an ancient clay urn and finds a modern emoji on it. In the early days of computers, those first graphics were text inside terminals or printed by daisywheel printers. However, unlike other ASCII art, the designs in these newspapers were definitely not created on typewriters—but painstakingly composed one letter at a time with blocks of type by professional typesetters. Nor are they actually art per se, but stylistic tactics employed to exploit scarcity as an advantage. For most of the 19th century, newspapers were slim things. Every page had to be typeset by hand, meaning that the largest daily newspapers stretched to only 8 or 12 pages—and many were even shorter. Advertisers soon figured out how to exploit this scarcity of space by buying more ads than they needed, perhaps to deny their competitors any room. But once they had all that real estate, what do they do with it? An ingenious solution emerged: What if, instead of giant letters, you could build large letters out of smaller blocks of text? I haven't yet figured out the exact point when and where this practice started, but I did learn that it predated even the 1870s. I found an 1860 ad for hoop skirts in the shape of a skirt. And in 1862, Smith & Brothers brewery in New York placed ads with ASCII text in several papers nationwide.
Source: Solving a Century-Old Typographical Mystery - The Atlantic
Lucas provides a brief history of emoji’s predecessors, all the way from ornamental characters in the hand-executed typesetting of early-16th-century printed books to the many symbols of digital type. His journey touches upon the evolution of the dingbat and the emergence of emoticons, the punctuation-based kaomoji, ASCII art, and even expressive punctuation such as the ironieteken — conceived to denote ironic statements — and late 16th-century English printer Henry Denham’s proposed percontation point — to mark rhetorical questions.
Source: On the Origin of Emoji
Don't be afraid to make your own ASCII art. Of course it won't look just as you imagine, or want, right away. Mine didn't. There are still ideas I start working on and end up deleting because they just aren't working out. If something still has hope, I keep it. The point is, don't get discouraged too easily. Don't be lazy either. Software can convert an image into text, that doesn't make it art. Computer generated images are not art. Computers are not that advanced yet. A human still needs to be part of the process. If you're just using software to copy art created by someone else... why are you bothering? Make something of your own. Lastly, don't steal or claim art as your own. Try making something of your own and don't decide it's too hard before you have really tried.

How to make your own ASCII art with your computer keyboard

I use Notepad with MS Windows. No extra features, nothing fancy. My favourite font with Notepad is FixedSys or Consolas. Change your Notepad settings by going to Format and then Font. Don't use italics or bold. Later, if you save your ASCII art to an image file, you might see if it looks better using bold. Leave it off while you work on creating it. Set your font size to something you can work with. A little bigger helps but too big just doesn't help at all. Start with a stick figure. Pretty simple to make those basic shapes and then add details. Don't try to start making some epic masterpiece on your first try, or your second, probably not your third either. Keep it simple while you figure things out. Give yourself room to work. Start creating in the middle of the Notepad screen, not at the top or right at the side. It can matter what part of the picture you start making. ASCII art relies on spacing, not just the space between characters but the space the letters hit on the page. Not everything meets up where you would like it to. Experiment, it's the only way to really figure out how the letters, numbers and symbols work together. A stick figure is a good way to begin to understand this. Start with the head. Go with a small head or try something bigger. Curved lines are harder to build. You will learn to layer things to make your curves. Don't forget you can also skip a space, leave it empty, that can work better than adding more characters to fill in every space but make your picture look cluttered and complicated to work with. You're going to need to go back and forth, a lot. As you type in ASCII characters things move around and get out of place. The backspace key is the one you are likely to use more than any other on your keyboard. Pull characters (typewritten/ font characters) back into place with the backspace key. To move them the other direction, just use the space bar. Have patience! Moving things around can be a fiddly thing. Add lines for the body, arms and legs. Feet can be a simple line too. Hands are easier to work on if your stick figure is bigger. Smaller pictures require more experimenting. You have less space to work with and only so many ASCII characters will fit in the space where you want them to. Add a hat to your stick figure. Give it something individual, original and uniquely you. Or, try adding hair. Get creative, try different characters to create the face for your stick figure. Can you change the look with just a small change to the face? What will your stick figure wear? Try shoes instead of the simple flat feet. Save what you have along the way. Just copy and paste your work as is and leave one as a reference and the other as a working copy. It helps to look back and see what worked before you made more changes. You might go back to what you had before, with a modification or two. Don't forget you have capital and small letters to work with. Every character you can see on your keyboard is available. A few are great for just that spot you needed a little something for. Work on bigger and fancier images when you get the general feel for it. Consider using line art, my favourite, or get into shading and other more complicated methods. Last tip - Don't work in the dark. It's really hard to see the keyboard that way. When you're done, or happy enough with what you've made, add your artist initials or your full name as a signature and artist credit.  
Copy of an orginal post by Heather Champ. This is reposted from ASCIIArtGallery.com which is no longer online.
For those online whose Internet experience precedes the World-Wide Web, a first brush with ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange--a 7-bit character code capable of representing 128 characters) art might have been a computer print-out on the perforated feed paper with a representation of George Washington, the Mona Lisa smiling her mysterious smile, or perhaps even the somewhat silly grin of Alfred E. Neuman. For the most part ASCII art lives on in thousand of signature files, representing three-dimensional letters, animals, and recently a stick figure doing the Macarena. And while the rest of the world may snickger and grin at these overly large "business cards" attached to each and every e-mail, ASCII art is coming into its own on a variety of different Web sites. Why allow those chubby graphics to clog up a users bandwidth. Pixels are not the only element that can be used to create images online. Granted, ASCII art will never replace GIFs, but it can offer a very stylized look and feel that might be an appropriate design solution for a specific project. On the other hand, given that ASCII is generated in HTML, it's easy to play with the font color without going through the bother of making changes in Photoshop and then retransparentizing GIFs. äda'web has just launched their 4.0 interface--"Why äda'web interface 4.0? Because things go better with ASCII, the original Web art, the other white meat . . . and it is still best viewed with Netscape 3.n." It's wonderfully refreshing. Be sure to find Elvis! It's a very smart and refreshing take on information delivery. How to ASCII ASCII art will only work with monospace fonts. Monospace fonts (e.g., Courier) allow the same letter spacing for each letter. For example, an "i" will take up the same room as the fatter "o." Proportional fonts allow for smaller letter spacing; an "i" will have enough space so that the text flows more freely without looking as "gap toothed" as the monospace fonts. An HTML document must be coded using the < pre > tag to ensure that arrangement of the characters will display properly with monospace fonts. Online ASCII Resources ASCII World--"You give us 26 characters, we'll give you the world"--has a great online Transformation section that enables a user to generate Figlets, or ASCII headers. Gifscii is a utility that turns GIFs and JPGs into ASCII art. Enter the URL of an image and ASCII World checks the URL, fetches the image, and then converts it to an ASCII version. The process can take a minute or two, which is longer than the almost instantaneous Figlet generator. Sophomore Colin Cross created a Figlet Input Form that generates a very impressive variety of output "fonts" more than ASCII World. It's great for headers! ASCII Art: Figlet Factory, Title Maker, Banner Generator Past installments of Design Diary