As we have seen from our last two interviews the process of creating ambigrams is different for
everybody, and especially for beginners it can be difficult to start out if they try a method that does not work for them. This is why we interview different ambigram creators to see how they do it.
In this interview we will be talking to the Ambigram Ferret, an ambigram artist who is active on Facebook and known for his very ambigram creation streams. He also created the Ambiferret alphabet for our website!
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and about your pseudonym?
Hi, and yes, I’d like you to just call me the Ambigram Ferret, because ferrets are so adorable and they’re my favorite animal. I’m American and I am 28 this year. I started the page 2 1/2 years ago. I was inspired by The Ambigram Artist, Mark Palmer, so I came up with The Ambigram Ferret because I’ve always liked ferrets. And I’ve always liked the Pizza Rat, ever since the OG one from NYC in 2015. This OC rat-ferret of mine is called Yamagōri Yura (山氷鼬裸) and she actually came before Pizza Rat, but I remixed her design in 2020 in honor of the Year of the Rat. Yura in fact is my OC from this manga I was planning called Honnōji Gesshi Gakuen (本能寺齧歯学園 Honnōji Rodent Academy), Hongetsu (ホンゲツ) for short.
2. When did you start making ambigrams, and why?
I started making ambigrams in 2019 after discovering Mark Palmer on YT. I was so inspired by his work that I decided to try my hand at it.
3. Could you tell us a about your ambigram making process? How do you find a solution for a certain word?
The first thing I do is look for the obvious naturally occurring glyphs such as n/u, o, s, etc. I start at the ends and work my way to the middle. What I gathered from Mark Palmer is that it’s all about vertical lines. I particular love working with A and M, also adding tails and loops to my T’s and F’s.
4. It was always amazing to see your recordings where you made ambigrams on the fly, especially knowing that you do not prepare them beforehand. Is this always how it works or do some require more puzzling? How do you tackle those type or ambigrams?
That’s pretty much always how it works. But there are some times where I do have to make sure to count my vertical lines for each part of the solution. If need be, I can add an extra vertical line to a capital letter, give it that Gothic, sort of blackletter look. I sometimes find W and U hard to work with because the context is established at the top of the letter.
5. You sometimes also make ambigrams in other languages, is the process similar to what you do in English? Do you speak all these languages?
This is very similar indeed. I got very lucky when making a Sonic 29 Japanese Ambigram. ソニック vertically, and since 二 is 2, I put 九 (9) beside it. But I put some hedgehog quills on the 九 character
And I’m glad to say I speak all those languages. And I have pages and channels for them too.
6. You also made a complete ambigram alphabet which got published on the site in January 2022. In the half year since then over 150,000 ambigrams were made in this font! Could you tell us about your experience creating such an alphabet?
Thank you for publishing it! I found the W and U most challenging as the context is established at the top of the glyph rather than the bottom like for most of the others. All in all, I found it a rewarding experience, especially since with 26 A glyphs, I then only had to worry about 25 B glyphs since the A/B glyph had already been done, then 24 C’s because A/C and B/C were done, and so on. I did a weasel war dance when I got to Z!
7. Do you think that these generators will ever surpass humans?
Only time will tell XD
8. Do you have any other large ambigram projects that you are working on?
I’d like to write all the Pokemon names as ambigrams. I’ve done all of the original 151 so far, now about 800 more to go lol. In the meantime here are all my language pages and channels.
LIKE & SUB
Kantan Kanji – 簡単漢字
Hangul Hamster – 한글 햄스터
Mandarin Meerkat – 漢語貓鼬/汉语猫鼬
German Gerbil – Deutsche Rennmaus
French Falcon – Faucon Français
Ukrainian Unicorn – Український Єдиноріг
9. Do you have any advice for people who want to start making their own ambigrams?
My advice is to focus on the vertical lines. Start by making one word look the same both ways, then when you feel comfortable, try to see if you can make an ambigram that says two different things. It’s possible so long as you can match the number of vertical lines.
Thank you so much!