The History of Typewriter Art
Humans are always trying to create art in the most impractical ways. The first typewriter was released to the public in 1870 and it only took us awesome artists a few years to start playing with the keys and strokes to produce art, not just letters.
Flora F.F. Stacey
|It is believed that the very first known example of typewriter art appeared in 1898. This is a mechanical “drawing” of a butterfly by Flora F.F. Stacey|
Flora was an English stenographer is considered one of the oldest artists to practice this type of art. People created typewriter art with backgrounds in secretarial studies; this is how they tended to make art while studying in school. It’s like doodling!
Paul Smith is a typewriter artist that was born with cerebral palsy. Despite his physical ailments, Smith was a determined man with a passion for art. Paul Smith has had no limitations with his typewriter art since the age of 11 when he captured his first typewriter from a neighbor’s trashcan.
Keira is a London-based Typewriter Artist. She aims to travel the world using different typewriters and typing pictures of people and places along the way. Keira sees her vintage manual typewriter’s characters purely as marks, stripped of their conventional purpose. Keira has exhibited across Europe and the United Kingdom over the years.
Leslie Nichols uses a variety of found and original text to create images.
She uses the early tool of secretaries (typewriter) to craft images of women. Her images of women emerge from historical texts and are featured as a series called Textual Portraits: Envisioning Social Heritage. Leslie states, “Each woman's image emerges from the chosen text, just as she emerges as a person into a specific context of time and place that is influenced by past thinking and action.”