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Paul Smith’s Typewriter Art

Biography | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Typewriter Art

Paul Smith had cerebral palsy from the time he was a child. It took him 16 years to learn how to talk and double that to learn how to walk. He was an artist for 70 years.

What is Typewriter Art?

A typewriter is used to type letters. It consists of a keyboard with alphabets, numbers and special characters. By striking the keys on a ribbon, ink impressions are transferred on a paper. A typewriter artist creates drawings and sketches using this keyboard.

The keyboard becomes his brush for painting. Paul was unable to hold a regular paint brush or a pencil. That did not deter him from creating beautiful art.

How did Paul create Typewriter Art?

Paul would press on the keys “@, !, ^, (, ), _, %, & and #” to create a portrait. He would use the space key to create long or short gaps between symbols, depending on the effect that he wanted to achieve. He would press his thumb on the typewriter colour ribbon to shade paintings.

His masterpieces include the squirrel with whom he was friends with, trains, and re-creations of the art of other famous painters like Leonardo Da Vinci. He could not erase a mistake as typewriters do not have the delete key.

He was meticulous and spent hours in creating art. It took him weeks and sometimes months to make one painting. This art expressed what he wanted to say to others.

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