These pictures say a thousand words – The beauty in Tag cloud word art
A step in the write direction
As many of you already know, I got into this writing business because I couldn’t draw and found myself having to constantly explain scenarios playing out in my head to compensate. So as my imagination grew, so did my comprehension to elaborate said experiences.
However, writing for me has always been a coping mechanism in expressing myself. I sometimes feel it’s a shame the majority of these beautiful thoughts and imagery pieces floating around in my head, will never be able to be conveyed, simply because the language to describe them doesn’t exist yet (or I’m too retarded to seek it out), Oh well, first world problems.
Anyway, I think it’s ironic that I’ve managed to recently find something that is capable of a bit more of a compromise between the worlds of art and literature, to help me with my plight.
Due to working out and getting bigger, I’ve started developing some stretch marks on my arms, nothing crazy but if they continue, it may be more appealing to get them covered up with something. So I’ve been looking for a sleeve type tattoo design. I’ve always been in two minds about getting them but I would say I really liked the Hennai stuff that I got around this time last year when I went to the dimensions festival in Croatia. With that and the stretch marks, it seems fate is shifting more in the direction of me eventually getting one.
So on my previous searches, my deliberations have covered everything from tribals, to combat armour, to glow in the dark tattoos to big comic/manga related pieces to absolute clusterfucks and comical pieces. The problem with me, as is with most people is fading interest.
I tend to become bored of things relatively quickly and while I like the idea of multi-coloured pictures or gimmick set pieces, I would get bored of them within an hour. Plus some of those wouldn’t look great on my skin, so it has to be writing or a single colour design, which leaves you limited to tribal patterns. And I hate the notion of tribal patterns. If I was going to dedicate a life to having something on me, I’d like for it to at least carry some meaning rather than just look pretty, so that’s where it always ends.
So my housemate is a starving artist and he comes up with these amazing designs. He recently put something together that looked stunning. Personally I think it’s fantastic, really simple yet classic. One of these days I’m going to ask for him to commission it so I can have it up on my wall.
The reason I like his work is because the simple patterns end up developing in to a larger picture and because of this, it is a timeless piece. It’s almost….art in its most primal form. It’s minimalist yet it has everything you need there right in front of you and so much more if you are willing to delve into it. It literally has a little something for everyone.
It’s almost like hieroglyphics or sorts, something you would find on the Bayeux tapestry, something that anyone from an period and place in history can understand. Basic Human Conflict
By the by, if you also like this, you should check out some of his other works, he’s really talented and versatile, click on the page to link to his facebook page and help a man out peeps.
Did I mention he was starving?
So I’m now thinking if I was to get something, I would get commission a piece along the lines of this.
But a tattoo should be personal right, or should I say write?
With this in mind, I thought perhaps I would utilise something like the pattern above and also put some text underneath it. I have a fondness of matching pictures with text regardless.
But most of the time tattoo poems are kinda lame. Instead, I did think it be cool if I was to create a writing piece for myself, or use something up on my blog.
Now I know what you are thinking,
Just how much skin does this Novembre pleut have, some of his shorter pieces are still over 1000 words, he’s gonna be covered from head to toe
And you’d be right.
The thought getting an actual piece of mine fully written up on myself would be weird, like the worst form of advertising, plus people might actually try to read it. So I thought why not use a tag cloud type design. That way I can wear something without actually wearing it. the words themselves become their own art. It also means that the piece would keep its meaning while also remaining private by removing most of its context, so I could wear my heart on my sleeve and no one would be the wiser.
All in all, a happy bunny
Tag clouds in my coffee
So to display these words in a beautiful manner, I went snooping on the internet for tag cloud generators and I came across worlde.net and it was great but it only really allowed me to create things like this, which is based off this very post. That’s some freaky Inception bullshit right there folks
This would have been fine and dandy had my constant search for word clouds didn’t bring this to my attention.
I thought it was brilliant that someone had used words in the same way as mosaics use broken glass to create a picture. Not a single lin’s been drawn and every word in the mix is different and it keeps you interested in both the big scale and the little scale. It was simple, subtle and striking all at the same time. Considering it actually uses words, it’s an understated subtle piece of genius.
I did think this was generated ion some high class digital image software, with some sociopath deciding on the location of each word while cortoting it into place.
The lack of opportunity to do something like this took me back to my lack of art ability and such a feat appeared to be out of my grasp. It would have been nice to be able to do something like that for myself. There aren’t that many elaborate examples of tag cloud art on the internet and I was keen to see what type of things I could come up with.
Tag, you’re it…
So after seeing this greatness, you could imagine I quickly got bored with standard cloud generators. Instead I decided to do some more searching for tag cloud art and it made me eventually stumble across a site called Tagxedo.
At first I noticed that you could create tag clouds based on a larger variety of designs than wordle. General simple 2d shapes, cars, animal outlines, vehicles, all very Kosher stuff. But then I found out something really interesting.
In the options, it allows you to upload your own pictures in order to create the tag templates., you were no longer limited to designs that were going to end up on a gift mug for mother’s day.
Dare I say it can be a bit tricky to eventually get it right and it is no where near as advanced as the picture highlighted above but given some time and TLC, the results can still be absolutely stunning.
What’s even better, it allows you to do this for free at super high definition with a plethora of save options so you can actually create genuine contemporary art with it.
As you can imagine, this was like selling cocaine to a teenage celebrity and I’ve been hooked on it all week.
Here are a few test pieces of stuff I’ve done so far
Devil is in the detail
Now the reason I think these would be appealing as a tattoo is because they are forever giving.
A sleeve is normally a selection of smaller pieces, when viewed in greater detail, that all merge together when viewed from a distance . The same occurs with these tag cloud pieces. So while I cannot get the best out of a usual tattoo sleeve pictures per say I can mimic what it provides by having a number of smaller words joined together to combine into a bigger piece.
I think the ability to see ‘the bigger picture’ when zoomed out while also seeing the devil in every little worded detail is a marrying of concepts that really sits well with me.
Every time you look at it, you’ll pick up on a another unique aspect or collection of words and you’ll always have that magical moment of people realising it isn’t a single piece, rather just a bunch of words. A bunch of words that also have their own meaning when placed together in the right context. The duality of having these words being able to form both a picture and a poem, merging together two art forms is just.. pretty damn cool if you ask me.
Plus it would allow me to combine a primal art piece with some contemporary words, deriving something complex from an originally perceived simplicity.
All in all, everybody wins. I just have to be careful that the words don’t all eventually blur into one. I could think of nothing worse than having the word CLINT eventually turn into slang for a woman’s beef curtains *tremor*.
So it looks like I’ve finally decided on a unique style. Now all that’s left is to think of a piece worth using and a picture worth creating. First though, I’m going to see how that Hulk piece looks on a t-shirt, it’s pretty badass if you ask me.
In the mean time, I’ll be having some more fun with this website and looking to create a few more of these. The marriage of words and pictures has always been a real niche of mine and I’m now in the midst of the joy of caricaturing people and characters alongside their iconic phrases.
If you have any suggestions for pieces, please let me know and I’ll see what I can create for you or better yet, try it out for yourself, it’s some serious fun