According to Wikipedia:
"A picture is worth a thousand words" is a proverb that refers to the idea that complex stories can be described with just a single still image, or that an image may be more influential than a substantial amount of text. It also aptly characterizes the goals of visualization where large amounts of data must be absorbed quickly.
It is believed that the modern use of the phrase stems from an article by Fred R. Barnard in the advertising trade journal Printers' Ink, promoting the use of images in advertisements that appeared on the sides of streetcars. The December 8, 1921 issue carries an ad entitled, "One Look is Worth A Thousand Words."...
...Despite this modern origin of the popular phrase, the sentiment has been expressed by earlier writers. For example the Russian writer Ivan Turgenev wrote (in Fathers and Sons in 1862), "A picture shows me at a glance what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound."
The quote is sometimes attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, who said "Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu'un long discours," or "A good sketch is better than a long speech". While this is sometimes translated today as "A picture is worth a thousand words," this translation may not predate the phrase's common use in English.
According to Robyn:
"A picture's worth a thousand words" is a proverb that has always caused me to cringe just a little; I am much more comfortable wielding words than I am wielding a pencil or a paintbrush, and I didn't much like the idea that words could never pack quite as much punch as the mighty piece of "art". Frankly, it offended my sensibilities. I have always considered myself a wordsmith, not an artist-- I wrote poetry, and I left the rendering of images to those for whom it came more easily. It turns out, however, that no amount of insisting that one is "only a writer" will stop the frustrated inner artist from finding an outlet... one way or another.
From the rumblings and grumblings of that inner artist, "The Picture's Worth" was born. Please understand, when I try to draw something friends usually smile and do that thing you do with kids when you can't tell what they've drawn and are hoping to find a way to get them to tell you without having to ask them: "Oh, how ... interesting. I really like the colors. Tell me why you decided to draw... ah... that". (OK, maybe it's not quite that bad, but I can tell you this: drawings never come out the way I intended.) I seem to have far better control over the written word. One day, though, I realized there was one thing I could draw: words!
I know, I know-- why would one draw a word when it can simply be written? Here's where we come to my humble creative theory: if "a picture's worth a thousand words", then a picture of a word must be, well... invaluable.
I haven't strayed entirely from my love of language; each word representation is paired with a famous quote, which hopefully makes each one even more "worthwhile". You can check out the card designs currently available in the online store, and I hope you will also challenge me with your suggestions for more words to draw. Please e-mail me with your suggestions, and be sure to include "Picture's Worth idea" in the subject line. I am also happy to tackle custom Picture's Worth designs for cards, bookmarks or prints, if you so desire.