Your Free Copyrights

Long before the Internet people used the mail service as a cheap way to protect and establish their copyrights for written material. You just make a copy of your work and mail it to yourself. If you keep the envelope sealed you have a preserved copy of your work, dated by Canada Post (insert the name of the postal service in your location).  It was a cheap and fairly good way to prove your work was your own original work.

Now we have the Internet. Publishing online is risky if you want to control your written work, your words. Copyrights are in battle with artists, governments, corporations and the public all pulling in their own directions. Each group has their own agenda and all too often they don’t really seem to listen to each other. At times they actually want the same thing and yet, can’t see it.

Anyway, today I found a link to on a blog by Veronica. I have seen it before but today I clicked the link and went for a visit.

I thought it was funny how the basis of the copyright plan was following the traditional idea of mailing your work to yourself. Something so old is still around, just in an updated version for the digital age.

This could work for most people. You would have something to show for the date your work was created. It would be using a service not of your own making to prove the date.

However, it doesn’t really do anything to control your written work online. It’s still out there, waving around like laundry on a clothes line. Anyone can still come along and take what they want. Publishing online is still reliant on the honour system, old fashioned trust and good will.

Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it worth steaming and stewing about? Not really. As individual artists we just don’t have the resources to do a lot about it. I have had my work taken. I’ve even had my ASCII Art taken and claimed to be created by the person who took it. I only know about that because she was silly and posted it to the ASCII art newsgroup as her own. I was active in that group. Everyone that mattered knew I had created the work. She looked like a fool. So, in that case I had my petty revenge and the thief did admit what she had done. From that I learned to stop focusing on controlling my work online. Once I put it out there it really is available, fully and completely. I just have to do what I can to protect it, which isn’t much.

I would like to see the copyright laws made to protect artist’s work online. But, I can’t see it really happening for us. For the corporations… yes. The music industry, the film industry… etc. those will be protected, as an industry. As individuals… I think we really just have ourselves and an old fashioned reliance on the honour system, good will and trust. Maybe a touch of karma, now and then.

Today’s To-Do List

Today (this week)  I am working on:

  • Setting up a newsletter for the ASCII Art blog.
  • Deciding how to add ASCII art by others without merging with my own creations.
  • Thinking about a newsletter for Word Grrls. Looking at plugins and other practical stuff.
  • Exploring the options for selling art online.
  • Working through link rot on Word Grrls. Fixing and finding what I can.
  • Setting up One Word Blog Day with a page of it’s own.
  • Must find and mail a receipt for the Acer computer thing.
  • Need to pick up more coffee. I am drinking the last of it this morning.
  • Laundry, even though it is not the cheap time of day for it. Yes, I do feel a bit guilty and I will feel more guilty when I get the hydro bill.
  • A Valentine’s Day post for each blog. One with a paid link for lingerie. I’m not sure I will do paid posts again. But… someone has to pay the bills.
  • Two hours of writing as per the 90 Day Plan.
  • Should go to the coffee night group tonight, especially when it is Valentine’s Day.
  • Starting a St. Patrick’s Day ASCII Art post for Hubpages.
  • Check the usual places for any interesting freelance work that might pop up.
  • Look for post ideas to be rewritten for HubPages.


Lo-Res Graphics

Lo-fi graphic, low-res graphics, text mode visuals, ASCII art, ANSI art, pixel art, Unicode, Twitter art, Facebook art and all the other forms and styles of creating simple graphics.

Otromatic, 8 bit graphician.

Raquel Meyers – Lo-fi graphics mixed media artist.


8 Bit Today

8 bit collective – 8bitcollective is the first completely open chiptune-related media repository and file sharing community.

Plain Text Formatting

I’m working on a blog to display my ASCII art and the art from other artists which I have collected and gathering electronic dust bunnies on my hard drive.

I had a struggle to get the ASCII art to display in plain text without warping to the left. Then I found the Preserve Code Formatting plugin. It works! I just have to keep the art from getting too close to the left margin, that seems to throw it off a bit.

If you want to format your text as plain text, with a plain fixed font this will work for you as well. Might be a nice change from using blockquote as a method of highlighting text. At times the text we are using wasn’t a quote, just something we want to give an extra emphasis to.

Merry Season’s Greetings in ASCII Art

Today is my birthday and I’m possibly not sitting in front of my computer at home. As I’m typing this, I’m thinking of many things I’d like to be doing rather than staying home. Anyway, I am leaving links to all the Christmas ASCII art posts I made on HubPages this holiday season. Enjoy the galleries I worked on and send someone an ASCII art Christmas greeting, or just load one of the images into your own site for everyone. You can add a holiday greeting to the ASCII image file pretty easily.

Please do not remove the artist initials from the ASCII art. The art is free to use and it doesn’t come with watermarks that distort the image, just initials from the artist who had enough pride and love for their work that they wanted to show it off. 


See also: ASCII Art Christmas

Twitter/ ASCII Artist Interview with Andrea Pacione

The Portfolio of Andrea Pacione 

Andrea on Facebook and Twitter

Q: How did you first find ASCII art, ANSI art, Twitter art or text art? Which style came first for you?

I remember seeing ascii or text art appear in some old-school programs on my Apple IIgs family computer that I grew up with back in the 80s. Since graphics were limited, a lot of these sorts of images appeared in games and educational software. I didn’t come across twitter art until about two years ago. I met a friend in my Color class who was facebook friends with New York City artist Larry Carlson, who claims to have invented the #twitterart hashtag. I began studying the posts that would appear in this hashtag, from a wide range of people from all over the world. I was entranced by this new language of expression through images and something about lining up the characters in 140 blocks was highly appealing to me. One very boring winter just before I started school, I would spend hours a day creating these little text arts or twitter arts, and after a few months of this, instead of taking two hours or more just to make one, I could bang them out in five minutes or less. It seemed like a useless hobby at the time, but I think that learning this skill has given me an advantage in my design classes, especially when working with the grid.

Q: What was helpful for you when you started creating text art? Any mentors, FAQ’s or other tutorials or guides?

I remember asking advice from Tom, also known as @140artist on twitter, who gave me a few tips and secrets. Back then, the first line of text on twitter started after your name, so it didn’t line up exactly with the other lines. This was my biggest problem, because what looked like it lined up right in the input box would look very different once you had posted it. Tom gave me the hint to put the hashtags first. Now that twitter has been remodeled, this is no longer necessary as every first line begins on the line below our names now.

Q: What tools do you use?

I use the Special Characters Map that was built into my MacBook Pro.

Q: Do you use a fixed width font or have particular fonts you especially like to work with?

I haven’t played around with different fonts much, as I only really got into this on twitter, which only uses one standard font.

Q: I hadn’t known about creating text art on different systems but now discovered PETSCII and AtariSCII. Have you experimented with a few of these, beyond the standard Windows Notepad?

Nope, haven’t used any program of any sort. Just the characters map and the twitter palate.

Q: Do you turn your art into an image file to display it or rely on HTML code or something else to keep text art formatted?

I have not used either of these methods as yet. For one or two pieces, I used the ‘Grab’ tool in my Mac to take a snapshot of the twitter art post, to post it as a picture on facebook, as the text art doesn’t line up the same on facebook as it does on twitter. But for the most part, I just create it in the twitter input box and hit the send button.

Q: Is it important to you to have set definitions and guidelines as to what is ASCII art, what is ANSI art and etc.? How do you decide which is which for yourself?

I’m honestly not that educated on the definitions. I just did it for fun and learned a new language in the process, which I don’t fully understand but enjoy greatly.

Q: Do you keep an archive of your art? If so, please include the link(s).

Right now I have a word processing and .pdf file storing about 2,000 pieces of text art I have made on twitter. A friend of mine, John the Baker, who has his own punk band and hired me to create a CD cover for his new album with my twitter art, has suggested that I publish it as a book on twitter art. I may do that someday when I’m not so busy trying to earn a college degree.

Keep an Image in your Sidebar

Even if you don’t use an image with each post you should have some kind of image on your site that represents you (and your site).

I’ve been working on Scoop.It (and lately on Snip.It too) as a content curator for a few topics. One thing I have noticed is how often I can’t get an image to go along with the post I’m making. When there is an image with the post I’m linking to I can usually add it to the post I create. Sometimes the only images which come up are nothing relevant, or just a link to the site’s page on Twitter, Facebook or other social media. Not something which illustrates the post they have made. As a last resort I will use the site’s own graphic for link backs rather than have no graphic/ image at all.

It should be simple enough to stick up an image which lets people link back to your site. Whether the image is used to link back to your site in a list of links or to link back to a specific post being referenced, it helps to draw the eye of readers when you get a link from another site.

Just add the image to your sidebar. You can add the code to link back to your site, or have it linked to your About page. There are other good options but those are the two I thought of first.

If you’re curious… these are the topics I’m curating at the moment. Subject to change as I weed out my ideas, focus on the topics I really want to spend time on and see which of them generate interest in others/ readers. Nothing is so simple as just collecting content to please yourself. I think we all need to keep our ideas growing and we all look for that tiny smattering of applause in some form.

Rural Exploration
Urban Exploration
Creative Writing Inspiration
I’m working on personal interest ideas on They aren’t as developed as I’d like yet but is growing on me and, as a site to work with, they are great. Very interested in performance, ideas and the people who join up. It’s a small network that could become important if they can keep it from the sploggers and others like them.

Descriptions with Details Large and Small







These ASCII art houses are cute. Making it small is a different challenge from making them much bigger. You have to think about the details in the small size, how to show as many as you can. Unlike the big art where you are thinking how to show smaller details to make the complete work look full versus having a lot of white space.

When we write we do some of each thinking, filling in details while making a clear picture. It’s a balance. Write a description of a landscape, a time you were people watching somewhere or the view from the window nearest to you right now. Consider various elements in your description. Do you create an overall picture, clearly with enough details to bring it into focus and make it feel unique in some way?

Edward Scissorhands in ASCII Art

I’m not an illustrator, I just play one on my own blog. But, I’ve got the idea to create an ASCII art illustration for Edward Scissorhands’ 20th Anniversary. I can’t believe it has been 20 years. Anyway, wish me luck. It’s going to be bigger in size than any ASCII Art I’ve created in the past. I drew a sketch of my idea in the coffee shop today. I like it so far. But, bringing it from my hand drawn sketch into ASCII is going to be challenging. Not that I can’t do it. Just a bit tricky. So far I have my Edward. It’s possible this won’t be the final Edward but it’s what I decided on while in the planning stages.

I’m also going to work on creating some kind of ASCII art gallery. Every now and then I bump into an old ASCII art I did myself and forgot about. Plus there are so many others which are really good and I’d like to keep them from falling into the realm of dust bunnies. Also, I will try to keep artist initials with the art. That’s something not every one does when they show ASCII Art. So, another project. I think I will just start it out on Gives me something to do with my login there. I will have to look into how it works to use a lot of image files there and if it is tricky to export them later (should I end up doing more and want to move it to a domain).

For now… Here’s Edward!