I began by quickly sketching both some layouts/words as well as different methods which I could find a word to fit into.
I also started looking up interesting words, but I wanted to keep it simple as short words are often more powerful than long, elaborate ones. Additionally, I researched different, unique methods of art/ art forms or materials that artists use. On the left are inspiration pictures which I found on the internet (Disclaimer: Those are NOT my artwork, but were found online and their respective artists have complete ownership).
I narrowed down my ideas to three:
1) Walk: the idea was to make this word out of people's legs as they walked through the streets of New York, so to speak. When I fleshed out this idea though, I realized that it is more difficult than you'd think to make the word obvious as well as "natural looking".
2) Look: Originally the word "SEEK" in my first sketches, I turned towards a telescope instead of a magnifying glass and put the word "LOOK" in the eye. The issue with this one is that the word needed to take up 2/3 of the composition, which this idea couldn't do without cropping out the person looking through the telescope, making the concept unclear.
3) Give: In my initial sketches, the idea of someone giving a homeless person an apple and making pieces of this word out the parts of the composition was viewed from the side. To bring the letters together, though, I changed the angle of the scene, viewing it from the giver's elbow. This is the one I ended up going with.