There may be little use for typewriters in today’s digital world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t commission them to do something else. Artist Kiera Rathbon has found a novel way to put the old office staples to work, employing them as her primary drawing medium.
Based in Chiswick, London, the 27-year old uses characters printed on manual typewriters to build a fascinating array of imagery. It’s not unlike ASCII art, except she can layer characters over and skip blank lines by holding the platen. The result is pretty amazing — looking more like artful sketches than typewritten pages, especially when viewed from a distance.
Kiera’s subjects vary in range, from portraits to architectural scenes to still life objects. Much like regular drawings, each one is a laborious process, with some pieces taking as much as three weeks to finish. So far, it’s been well-received — her art has graced the cover of numerous magazines, apart from appearing at various events and festivals.
According to the artist, she currently has 30 typewriters shored up in her studio, ranging in age from a couple decades old to an ancient 70 years. She uses them alternately, depending on her vision for the project, so there are likely some differences with the way they each make an imprint on paper.
You can click on the link below to check out Kiera Rathbon’s typewriter art portfolio. She does commissioned work, too, with details available right from the website.