Originally from Germany where they were called garden dwarves. It was the English who started calling them gnomes. Although they are usually seen as cute or traditional garden ornaments now, they got their start as a garden protector, from all that evil sorcery.
I’ve always liked garden gnomes. The bearded little fellows with a tall red hat and a twinkle in their eye. When you try to create a garden gnome in ASCII art the challenge is to keep it looking like a garden gnome and not let it turn into a clown, an elf, or Santa Claus.
You can see my first try at making an ASCII Art garden gnome. That beard is a trial. Each time I try another idea he starts to look too much like an elf or Santa.
At first I had given him a circle for a nose. It looked good but I found he was leaning towards looking like a circus clown. So I changed it.
In the end, I saved him as he is. I will leave him that way. The next time I started over from scratch and its better, but still looks like it could be Santa Claus.