August 15, 2022

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[PHOTOS] He paints portraits and monuments...with typewriters!

[PHOTOS] He paints portraits and monuments…with typewriters!

Only the click of a key breaks the silence that reigns in James Cook’s office, where he prepares maps with his typewriter… with disturbing precision.

From American actor Tom Hanks to the London Eye, the famous Ferris wheel in the British capital, James Cook, 25, creates authentic works of art using letters and symbols from his device.

The teenager began painting this way in 2014 after discovering the work of an artist in high school who used a similar process in the 1920s.

He then decides to attempt the “impossible” himself.

“I decided to buy my own typewriter, out of curiosity,” he told AFP from his London studio.

“Since then, I’ve learned to draw little by little,” he adds.

At first, the young artist recreated buildings, which he believed were easier to draw because of the straight lines and left-to-right movement of the machine.

“I couldn’t draw faces before I started typing,” he says. “Actually, I draw faces better now with a typewriter than I did with a pencil,” smiles the now architecture student.

Building on his success in social networks with his 20,000 followers on Instagram, he continues to draw and give a second life to typewriters given to him by some fans.

“Always a Challenge”

James Cook could paint anywhere in the shadow of the London Eye or on the banks of the Thames next to the British Parliament. Under a big blue sky, he draws the day using the “@” sign, numbers or the letters “W” and “P”.

For the portraits, he uses brackets to reproduce the shape of the eyes, while for the skin, he uses the sign “covering a large surface.”

As he meticulously types on his machine, he quickly draws the audience’s attention.

“This is how we used to write letters before we invented Microsoft Word and everything else,” impressed David Asante, a computer engineer at a hospital. “It’s impressive that he was able to turn this into a work of art. »

James Cook can take four to five days to paint small illustrations, but portraits are more difficult, and the young man explains that working with a “restrictive” tool is “really satisfying.”

And “it’s never going to be easy,” he says. “It’s always a challenge. »

The artist will exhibit his work in England this summer and hopes to enter the “Guinness World Record” for the largest typewriter drawing.