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ASCII art is created for various reasons.
One can speculate that the majority of ASCII pictures have been
drawn and posted somewhere `just for fun'. Anyway, like for other
online graphics ASCII art travels faster through the nets than the
signatures of the artists. That makes it difficult to get to know
the people behind the ASCII canvas. At some point I started a list
of artists' names and their signatures (also called `tags' or
`initials'): my Who is Who
in ASCII art.
Several other people have tried to
gather some information with respect to the artists: the late Colin Douthwaite
once compiled and maintained the Gallery of ASCII Artists, a collection of many ASCII self portraits.
At the moment Shanaka Dias maintains a current version (and posts
it sometimes to alt.ascii-art.
The version in my collection might differ from Shanaka's at the moment
but I take care that not too many people are missing.
Another nice resource is the collection of Net Surfer's Licenses by Daniel C. Au. Of course none of these lists is complete or
up-to-date. Check the Artists' homepages (see below) for many more!
There are very many webpages with ASCII
Art on the web. Among
those you will find pages with collections and with weird rubbish
heaps - but also personal exhibitions from people who created their
own ASCII pictures. By visiting these origins of ASCII Art one
usually finds pictures of a `better' quality, because they are
presented in their original form and are altered to serve
needs of other people. Altering ASCII pictures (the so called diddling)
can produce very interesting new pictures or maybe
very funny jokes. Alas, it mostly gives birth only to typically
bad jokes with obvious illustrations. This is why my personal choice is
the original personal exhibitions! I have compiled a rather long
list of the artists' own homepages. It is far from complete and merely
meant to whet your appetite for more.
In addition to pointing to artists' homepages
I wanted to raise some people above the
crowd. Since I liked their pictures and because I believe
that, as for other admirable objects (like e.g. food, wine or
books), a certain amount of background information can enhance
the magic that is the source of admiration. Of course I am
satisfying my own curiosity here as well.
Since I have just started this portrait
section there is
much left to be done. Colin Randall decided to be pioneering
and kindly volunteered to take part. I am still gathering