What? Isn't the saying the other way around? Isn't the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words?" Why yes, it is.
After having worked as an illustrator for a number of years, I started to notice that I was drawing the same thing over and over again, in different variations on the same theme. It was at that point that it occurred to me to turn the classic phrase around.
A word is truly worth a thousand pictures.
Let me illustrate (No pun intended. I won't use pictures to make my point. It would take far too many illustrations. I'll use words instead). ;-)
After any number of different art directors had asked me to illustrate an elf, or an ogre, or a wizard, and make said elf, ogre, or wizard unique, those same art directors would again come to me asking for yet more of the same thing: more unique elves, unique ogres, and unique wizards. It became abundantly clear to me that if I was forced to, I could invent new variations on the theme of "ogre" for the rest of my life, or at least until I had drawn 1,000 ogres.
And I wouldn't need to stray too far from the core idea of a classic "ogre" to do it. You know: green skin, big tusk-like teeth, brawny body, lots of metal armor and holding a big, wicked-looking weapon in hand.
I knew I could draw 1,000 classic ogres without ever having to draw an ogre with an elephant's trunk. Actually, that's not a bad idea. Well, let's say I wouldn't need to ever draw an ogre with a cheesy pink elephant's trunk or with stupid, spindly flamingo legs. Wait. Can you picture it? I'm sure you can. :-)
Anyway, I would never need to resort to drawing that kooky-sounding Flaming-ogre, in order to make my quota of 1,000 regular ogres.
All those pictures of cool-looking, bad-ass ogres from just the one word "ogre." A word, a good word, truly can be worth a thousand pictures.
Aww, heck. You know you wanted to see him. So I'm adding this guy to my quota for 1,000 ogres: