Keira Rathbone – Artist/Typist

Keira Rathbone, a British artist, is becoming known for her drawings made using old-style, mechanical typewriters. Apparently it is not a new thing in the world of art –   artists have been doing this since the 1940’s. Keira considers her work performance art, so she creates in public dressed like she is belong to  the same period as her typewriter. The final results are amazing. The process magically produces images that at first glance, look hand drawn.

Keira Rathbone was always interested in art. Grown up in Dorset, England, she attended several art courses at Bournemouth Arts Institute and UWE Bristol. Keira  first started experimenting with typewriter art, when she was in university. She bought an old typewriter, from a flee market, in the hope that she would soon use it to write something.

By the middle of her first year at the university, she had not come up with anything to put down on paper, so she decided to use it as a drawing tool. The first results were promising, and young Keira quickly realized she would be exploring this new art form much further.

Fast forward to present day and Keira Rathbone is an established artist with her very own niche, praised by the entire artworld. She now has an arsenal of 30 typewriters which she has used to create unique portraits of Barrack Obama, Kate Moss, Marylin Monroe, and others.

Being the sole maker of typewriter art, Keira devised a way wherein she can illustrate objects, places and people through her vintage typewriter, casting out each detail through the letters, numbers and symbols appropriate to the form. This takes place of a brush, and the whole array of figures creates enigmatic images that are both fascinating to be done and behold.

Keira Rathbone says she simply turns the roller to move the sheet of paper, and uses different characters to create the shapes she wants. It might sound easy enough, but creating detailed artworks from simple letters, numbers and punctuation is definitely not the easiest thing to do.

Keira Rathbone also proceeds to creating art within the traditional norms, such as illustrating by hand and painting. Although she has been commissioned to do these fine art works before, nothing strikes the public more appealing than her unique way of creating typewritten art. Setting out of the typecast zone of creativity, her works has been published in press and magazines such as Elle.

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