Ah, Windows XP. The OS of a generation, up until Vista pissed the bed. You all remember the green hill (aka everyone’s wallpaper, Bliss), rouge sunset (found in the photos section alongside water lilies and blue hills) and Movie Maker’s title cards (often used to start Evanescence lyric videos). But there is one recognisable set of designs that have made a renaissance in recent Y2K-aesthete-favouring years: WordArt.
The thing is, whether you were writing homework about your “hero” (either your mum or a globally famous celeb) or planning out fantasy girl band videos (wait, just me?), you clearly chose one particular standout in that abundant pack. Mine was The Rainbow One, of course.
Blessed with a talent for mysticism and following a brief attempt as a Witchtoker, I have called upon my tarot cards (sorry Clippy) to decode your creative past, present and future from your noughties-era formatting choices. “Why tarot specifically?” you ask. Because I wanted to spice things up and flex my minimal tarot skills. As much as niches matter in this industry, it’s always good to try something new.
The rainbow one
Then: You were an absolute show off. You could probably flip your eyelids inside out or Speed Stack with a bunch of neon-coloured cups. You weren’t necessarily a clown, because you wanted flair, but you still wanted bucket loads of attention. Known for half-arsing a project? Maybe, but you definitely did enough to make things work.
Now: I picked the Queen of Pentacles for you: the one that represents prosperity, wealth and status. Maybe all that attention-seeking, cold-emailing and persistence has paid off. However, don’t expect to be a “leader” but a “follower”, possibly even someone mentored by a hero of yours. You can expect to be taken under someone’s wing soon. With a WordArt choice like that, they might be comparable to an exotic (and probably endangered) parrot. But savour every moment, because sooner or later that someone will be gone in a flash.
The curved black one
Then: You actually were the clown, even if half of your jokes were about farts and/or bums. And if you did send in your homework, you still understood the assignment. Whatever you wrote about, you picked this WordArt because it was simple yet twisted – who knew words could curve like that? When you were in the nativity play, you called frankincense “Frankenstein” and the entire audience groaned.
Now: I’ve drawn the 4 of Pentacles, the one that shows success but urges caution against being too materialistic. This means that you’ve turned into something from one of those Instagrammers In The Wild posts, mixed with a bit of Anish Kapoor going after a can of Musou Black paint. You’re still loud, but you’re as much bling as you are a burden. Be conscious of what you spend – maybe you’re likely to discover that experiences, such as a workshop or even a surprise grant, can outweigh material goods.
The one that kinda looks like a river
Then: Everyone used this one somehow, but the percentage of “everyone” over 18 exclusively consisted of people running swimming and sailing lessons. Great swimmer or not, naturally, you wanted to be a marine biologist at one point – someone who specialised in dolphins. This fascination may have been caused by Britney swimming with them on that VHS tape.
Now: I drew the Eight of Wands, which depicts speed, progress and movement. It’s all about taking the initiative with immediate effect – and things are clearly paying off. Obviously you didn’t turn into a marine biologist, but you did make avalanche slime with your niece once. You probably help make things flow as a project manager, account manager or even creative strategist. And you’re also gaining success in and out of your chosen field. In fact, it’s already started – you were (minorly) successful in helping to free Britney and, for that, I cannot love you enough.
The purple one
Then: You also considered being a marine biologist for a hot minute, but most of the time, you wanted to be a princess. Your Jeans for Genes were bedazzled and, if you’re from mine and this website’s neck of the woods (the UK), probably from Tammy Girl or Peacocks. You also spent a good two or three years as a Twi-hard, where you were staunchly Team Edward (emphasis on were – you now think he’s a douche). Your favourite Bratz doll was Yasmin; your favourite MyScene doll Wesley.
Now: Justice was drawn for you – an almost self-explanatory card, helping you find fairness on whichever roads you’re about to travel. With all that naïve noughties/early 2010s femininity seeped into you, you probably work in fashion and think that Sultry Virgin is gonna be the next big label. That being said, you’re one trip to Primark away from leaving it all behind to become a full-time Disney Adult (aspiring to get married to your Prince(ss) Charming at Cinderella Castle). Make sure you weigh out your life’s decisions carefully.
The orange one
Then:Another absolute jack-of-all-trades font. You played it funny, but you were also more sporty and, let’s face it, crushed upon. But not in a jock archetype way. When you were choosing your aforementioned “hero” to write about, it was David Beckham (or international equivalent).
Now: The Ace of Cups card was picked for you – the cup that would be considered “the Cup of Love” if not for The Lovers (which is basically the soulmate card). You’re the hero now – you probably run a start-up and/or have the gift of the gab. It’s time to release all that’s weighing you down (aside from dumbbells obvs – I presume you need them). Curate your relationships carefully, because the ones that will truly benefit you will transform you for the better. My only caveat is this: You can be a bit of a complainer sometimes, so don’t rely on heat-of-the-moment snap judgements and conclusions.
The metallic silver one
Then: You loved a bit of tech, to the point where people called you a “geek” even if you weren’t rational and strategic enough to fully justify it. You played Cool Math Games religiously. You collected Bionicles and got a Robosapien for Christmas in 2005 after circling it in the Argos catalogue and pleading. You saw Superman Returns in cinemas and somehow liked it.
Now: Drawn was the Ace of Swords, the card of breakthroughs and ideation. You’re still as futuristic and forward-thinking as ever, and it’s time to push those boundaries further as you’ll be able to reap those rewards. You like to make fantasies a reality, and you’ve probably dipped your toe into the Metaverse. Anime is your biggest inspiration – Akira and Bleach changed you. But even with your interests and direction in life, you’re still humble enough not to buy Twitter for $4bn. (You have probably figured out all the nuts and bolts of Mastodon, which is no easy feat – good on you!)
The chrome one
Then:You were a bit of a contrarian, but you played it cool. You were the type to literally scribble outside the lines and draw a horse purple just because the thought of a purple horse was aesthetically pleasing. Somehow, you wished you were a cowboy when you grew up, and even though this WordArt is supposed to be chrome, it also looks like an Arizona desert sunset (i.e. you have a knack for the subliminal). You probably had a crush on someone 30 years older than you that you managed to suppress because you were too busy being a child.
Now: The Sun, the card of success, fun and everything “feel good”, was drawn for you. Pushing boundaries and finding the solutions to problems often accepted by the masses seemed to work well. You are successful. You are abundant. You are… perfect? You also like a good party, telling everyone that you fancied Jamie Lee Curtis in the Freaky Friday remake.
The basic one
Then:This is the most customisable one (that Format tab, you’re a lifesaver!), so naturally, you were a chameleon. Not in an all-rounder way, but in a mutable, hard-to-predict way. Perhaps you were a bandwagoner, trying out the trendiest things until you were punished. You were all in on Yo-yos, your pencil case was shaped like a Coke can and your favourite Power Rangers season was Ninja Storm.
Now:The Tower, the card of sudden change and revelations, was picked for you. You’re most likely a doer and able to do well in literally every situation. You probably call yourself “multidisciplinary” in order to make yourself seem like you’re the next Vanessa Beecroft, when in fact you just make brand packages for local juice bars. Embrace your versatility and turn it to your advantage. If not, prepare to go through the five stages of grief. Expect chaos. Fear for the worst. I’m so sorry.
The green one with the drop shadow
Then: Simply put, you’re more traditional, bordering on “serious”. Not enough to queue out for the Queen’s funeral, but either you wrote 1,000 words about World War II for your history class and religiously wore a poppy every November until you couldn’t be arsed, or you are literally an aristocrat. Either way, you’re very much a thinker and often a planner.
Now: I drew the Ace of Wands, the card of inspiration and growth. It’s an especially creative time, when, even if you don’t consider yourself that creative in the first place, you can’t avoid setting your juices flowing. At any rate, you’ll be like an otherworldly and captivating alien, innocently discovering new parts of the world, for better or worse. Ah, gorgeous.
Note that I’m just a lowly artist and less gifted on tarot than I am with astrology, except for knowing that The Tower – the card of chaos and destruction – is a fate worse than Death (the card and the act). That being said, all I’ve predicted will come true. Trust me. We’re all made of stardust and the stardust told your younger self to pick this WordArt to jazz up some childhood poetry about how “leaves are brown and falling down”. And now, you’re either prospering or in ruins. Crazy how life goes.