Is ASCII Art Open Source?

Some people get peeved because I don’t offer my art in a plain text file. I don’t like having my ASCII ripped off, as it so often and easily is. So, for the past few years, I only post an image file (a .png screen capture from NotePad). It still gets ripped off because people like to assume any ASCII art is free, like free software in price and availability. One person even claimed, “no one owns ASCII art”.

I don’t want people to assume it is free. Not free in price. Not free in value and not freely available to be copied or taken. Each person is different in this way. I do not see my ASCII art as free software. I’m not that generous. Mostly, I don’t like feeling taken advantage of when someone else is using my art and it makes me angry when it is being sold, or given away in a product without any consideration to myself. Financial consideration yes, also at the very least, an artist credit. How stingy is someone who takes something offered to them, claims it as their own and sells it at a profit to themselves only?

I would rather ASCI art was open source (the image file which at least still has my artist initials rather than the text file so easily “edited”). Any image online is pretty much open source, whether the artist likes it or not. Watermarks can be removed with software or scissors.

If it were possible, I wouldn’t have ASCII Art as open source either. Respect the ASCII artist, any artist, don’t steal art! You may want to think it is all open source, the person who created the art probably does not see it that way.

Gallery is Uploaded

I have my gallery up. It’s a mess, lots of duplicated images. I will get to work on tidying it up and more importantly, re-doing images for size. Now I can really see how they didn’t work when I tried CafePress, Zazzle, etc. I’m going to work on creating my art in bigger sizes, dimensionally and artistically. Sort of a meeting in the middle between making bigger pictures and creating them as bigger images using software. (I know what I mean).

Let me know what you think about the gallery.

Note, there are no text files. The software does not upload anything not an image file. I’m not really keen on giving free access to my text files anyway. So, I will likely upload them in a directory of their own and limit access. I doubt most people will care. Then I still have all the set up and art to do for the email postcards, which are on yet another sub-link I haven’t posted yet.

I made an ad campaign on Project Wonderful today too. I don’t know what traffic that may bring. It’s likely not the best ad, for SEO, or anything else. But, it’s alive and I will see how it goes.

Tracing Images to Make ASCII Art

How to make ASCII art by tracing digital images

I got the idea to try making ASCII art by tracing an image. To do so I had to find a way to make my Notepad transparent on the screen. I ended up using Peek Through. It has the least extra features but it gets the job done, with my own Notepad and settings for font, etc.

The two text editors have some interesting features, but I didn’t explore them. I may yet. At the time I just wanted to try tracing an image.

Tracing an image did not actually work out as well as I thought it could. For me it was better to stick with using an image (usually several different images) as inspiration for my own creation.

I found tracing difficult to work with because the font was smaller, in Transparent Notepad.

Most of all – I just didn’t want to work with the image exactly as-is. When tracing I lose the ability to adapt as I go along. It was too much like making a copy than making my own art.

Two WordPress Plugins to Add ASCII Art to Source Code

Adding ASCII art to the source code (the HTML files) may not interest people who don’t look at source code.

The source code is an easy place to add ASCII art because those files open in plain text, no formatting or fancy fonts. So, the ASCII art shows up without much extra work, almost none in fact.

If you access your HTML files you can add ASCII art yourself, without the plugins. (See above). But, not everyone wants to do that.

WP Figlet

WP Figlet is all about adding text created in ASCII art fonts (figlets). It even lets you choose which figlet fonts you want to use. The auto suggestions creates a figlet in your source code like this (you choose your own words):


It does work.

Source Code ASCII Art

Source Code (although not updated in 4 years, also works). If you are timid about mucking around in the HTML files then either of these plugins will work for you. Source Code lets you choose to have the ASCII art in your header or footer. However, I found it did need the extra HTML code for keeping the formatting after I saved my text image.

One thing I dislike about Source Code is the lack of artist credit (artist initials). I checked several of the ASCII images available with the plugin and none had artist credits. I used my own ASCII image with my initials.

In the end… DIY.

Don’t be bashful about getting into your own source code. Skip the plugins and just do it yourself.  Once you access the file it’s very simple to add the ASCII art with the code for notes. (See the first image in this post, no reason you can’t do that yourself).