In the early days of computing, since the only font available was the tty font, (as approximated by present day Courier font), ascii-art was a cheap way to depict a picture. Please see an introduction. One time, it was customary to attach a three or four line signature ascii-art at the end of an email. Later, when the web got saturated with enriched fonts ascii-art lost its practical significance. But, in spite of this, ascii-art still has a certain amount eye catching cuteness, low-tech simplicity and aesthetic elegance compared to a jazzy bitmap-ed graphics chunk.
Here is an example of signature sized line art.
~V~ ~V~ ~V~ ) ~V~ ) ) >-~-< ) >-~-< email@example.com >-~-< \ /~ >-~-< \,,,,\,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,\,,/~,,,,,,,,,,,,,/,,,/~,,,,,,,
Coming up with an aesthetically pleasing ascii-art chunk for any pictorial theme is a difficult problem. Further, ascii-art is far less expressive than bitmap-ed graphics.
Are these produced by the computer?
Ascii line art is entirely made manually. There is no algorithmic involvement in the production of this. It is as much of an art as is a painting.
Why this medium?
A medium like painting or illustration is continuous and not limiting. But in art, one has to strive for standing out from the crowd. The question that was hanging before me was ‘Ok, so what can you do different?’. That is the raison-detre for my adopting of this medium.
But this is not a gimmick to catch attention, (like the case of some body using human feces as a medium). There is an apparent artistic quality to these pictures. There is an air of simplicity and elegance.
So it is yet another retelling of mahabharata ?
There has been several retellings of Mahabharata. There are popular retelling-s by William Buck, C.V.Narasimhan and an online free version by C. R. Rajagopalachari. Further, every reputed Indian author, would have his/her own retelling of Mahabharata, told often from the vantage point of one of the predominant characters of the story. Two exquisite examples are the Second Turn, by M. T. Vasudevan Nair and Yajnaseni by Pratibha Ray.
What I have done has little literary merit. My stress is on art. Each of my postings are renderings of the corresponding scenes from the story. I also assume that you have already a grasp on the story.
Are you creating these as we speak?
No. I have been thinking about these and creating these for over a period of 8 years. So I have already done most of the drawings. I am only releasing them incrementally.