The Bee’s Knees: Word Pictures
Hello, and welcome to this week’s Bee’s Knees! For those of you new to this column, every Friday I take a look at a creative and unusual way in which people are blending words and art to make something new. My selection this week is the word picture.
So what is the word picture? Many of you have probably seen simple versions of this, such as when the letters L-O-V-E are formed into a cute heart shape, but some artists like to take this to the extreme. This is a terrific art form for anyone who wants to do something extra special with words.
My first selection here is a word picture of Darth Vader made by Jonathan Feinberg, on a suggestion by his son. It’s instantly recognizable as the infamous Star Wars villain, but at the same time one could spend hours studying it and looking up all the words. In this picture, Feinberg uses a couple different shades in his letters to make the image recognizable.
My second selection is one website’s compilation of the final dying words from several famous people through the centuries, cleverly arranged into a skull. Unlike the Darth Vader picture, the words put into the skull do not change in their shading, but are all black, with extra black and white coloring between them to form the lines.
The options are limitless. Below is my own attempt at word pictures, covering Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night with a poetic description while using the painting as a model. These pictures can be made starting with the picture or with the words, and there are many different ways to play around and experiment.
If you’re intrigued by this idea and want to try it, but don’t know how to go about it, I’ve got some good news for you! Wordle.net is a site dedicated to creating word pictures. All you need to provide is a text, which could be anything—a story, a poem, a term paper, anything. After some simple work copying and pasting, you are provided with a simple word picture of your own, which you can mess with and tweak to your heart’s delight.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Bee’s Knees, and please come back next week for a new adventure in pictures and words! Also, please share in the comment section if there’s something word-and-picture related that you’d like me to look into. I’m always excited to see new things!