Today, with the innovation of computers and tablets, the typewriter is a rare commodity. Fortunately, there are people like Kiera Rathbone who keep this legacy alive. The London-based typewriter artist uses different machines to type pictures of places, people, and things as she travels the world.
While most of us usually see numbers, letters, and symbols on a keyboard, Kiera describes them as “purely marks, stripped of their conventional purpose.” This is brilliant, as she basically sketches using the keys in varying intensity, akin to traditional artists shading using things like pens or paints.
Her unique technique and style has brought her all over the world, exhibiting mostly across the UK and Europe. She has been featured on various media outlets including BBC 1’s The One Show, Huffington Post UK, and BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show.
Kiera’s unconventional use of machinery is so detailed that people often mistake them for pen or ink drawings. She started using these typewriting techniques she’s developed over the years because she sat at a typewriter with the desire to type, but she had nothing to say using words.
At the moment, she has around 30 typewriters at her arsenal. On average, she spends about 90 hours for each typed “drawing,” using hundreds of keystrokes in place of brushstrokes or pixels in her enigmatic graphics.
For more of her portfolio, visit Kiera’s website. Thanks for reading!