1. Use your text tool and type a word. Think verbs, nouns, and adjectives.
2. Enlarge while holding shift. You can right click and browse fonts.
3. Right click your word and select: Create outlines. You are now able to edit individual letters with your Direct Selection (white arrow) tool. Experiment further with Effect>Warp, or Effect> Blur.
You can also search for images of stencils/silhouettes online to combine with your text. After you File>Place your image into your document, go to Object > Image Trace > Make and Expand. You are able to group the pieces and edit.