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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Oct 12 12:37 AM

October 12, 2008: Typewriter Art

I got an email about Paul Smith, with samples of his art work.

Paul Smith, the man with extraordinary talent was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921 with severe cerebral palsy.
Not only had Paul beaten the odds of a life with spastic cerebral palsy, a disability that impeded his speech & mobility but also taught himself to become a master artist as well as a terrific chess player even after being devoid of a formal education as a child.
"When typing, Paul used his left hand to steady his right one. Since he couldn't press two keys at the same time, he almost always locked the shift key down and made his pictures using the symbols at the top of the number keys. In other words, his pictures were based on these characters ..... @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ .
Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records.
As his mastery of the typewriter grew, he developed techniques to create shadings, colors, and textures that made his work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings."
This great man passed away on June 25, 2007, but left behind a collection of his amazing artwork that will be an inspiration for many.
Not belonging to the Art Community in Philly, or anywhere else, I'd never heard of Paul Smith. But the story interested me enough to look him up, here and here.

I figure if you're computer literate enough to be here reading this, you've run across some ANSI or ASCII art on the web. Some is pretty crude and some is very complex, but hey, it came from a computer. Yeah, yeah, I know, hand coding, but they didn't need white-out... make a change and print, repeat.

Generating those pictures on a typewriter, even without the additional hurdles Paul Smith faced, is nothing short of amazing to me. A real

TheMercenary  Sunday Oct 12 03:50 AM

That is pretty amazing.

(waits for the first ding-dong to say, "I have never seen a typewriter")

Agent-G  Sunday Oct 12 04:19 AM

that is soooo cool. Nothing short of amazing

SPUCK  Sunday Oct 12 05:36 AM

So.. Umm.. What's a typewriter?

TheMercenary  Sunday Oct 12 05:56 AM

ZenGum  Sunday Oct 12 07:51 AM

I have a typewriter but I can't find the cable to plug it in. Useless damn thing.

Razzmatazz13  Sunday Oct 12 08:58 AM

My grandmother used to let me play with her typewriter when I was little. I still think it's the coolest machine, and spending the time to actually type with it, use the correction ribbon when I messed up, and untangle the keys every three and a half seconds really did give me a better appreciation of what we have now. So there, merc :P

sweetwater  Sunday Oct 12 09:08 AM

At last! Something that an infinite number of chimpanzees with typewriters could not produce in an infinite amount of time.

Cicero  Sunday Oct 12 10:44 AM

Heh. I love typewriters and typewriter art! Especially the ones with no correction keys and the art that comes from it. This does not allow for screw ups.

I'm staring at my Remington right now. We're in love.

Elspode  Sunday Oct 12 11:45 AM

The Boston Typewriter Orchestra

YellowBolt  Sunday Oct 12 08:58 PM

Are there any closeups of his art on the web, by chance? Just to take a look at the level of detail involved.

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Oct 13 01:42 AM

Yes, at the first link.

ZenGum  Monday Oct 13 06:19 AM

Typewriter cartoons:







Tortoise training. It takes patience.



Albert comes out of his shell.

Cicero  Monday Oct 13 10:25 AM

lol! Cute....

spudcon  Monday Oct 13 12:32 PM

Originally Posted by Elspode View Post
The Boston Typewriter Orchestra

Someone needs to get a life. These guys make computer geeks look really sexy and hip.

Shawnee123  Monday Oct 13 01:55 PM

I wish you could zoom in to the pictures to see the actual characters. I don't see proof they aren't just real drawings.

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Oct 13 11:36 PM

If you go to the first link, and click through the galleries, they show closeups.

Shawnee123  Tuesday Oct 14 09:13 AM

I didn't click far enough in.

Truly amazing!

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