Paul Smith, an American typewriter artist, who was a spastic four-quad cerebral palsy patient, discovered his extraordinary talent for creating art on typewriter with just these symbols of the typewriter @ # $ % ^ * ( ) to express his extreme limitation. Over the time, he learnt to use one hand to keep steady and the other to press the desired key at the age of 15 and gradually he refined his techniques. He would love to listen to classical music while working for hours a day typing away on his typewriter. It would take him 2 weeks to 3 months to finish his arts.
In 70 years of artistic career, he created hundreds of incredible art pieces most of which he simply gave away to his friends and well-wishers.
Paul Smith was born on September 21, 1921 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with severe cerebral palsy which caused the loss of fine motor control of his face as well as hands and it made difficult for him to express himself and impossible to eat, wear clothe, or take bath. He never married and had no children. In 1967, he went to a retirement facility where he spent most of his life. His cataracts worsened with the growing age for which he had to stop creating high quality pictures in 2004. After 3 years, in 2007 he died at the Rose Haven Nursing Center in Roseburg, Oregon.
Isn’t it incredible how a person with severe cerebral palsy who didn’t even have control over his face or hands got the willpower to develop and also improve his typewriter art to the extent to create impossible shadings and fine textures and tunes that resembles charcoal and pencil drawings?
His extremely impossible life situations couldn’t keep him away from pursuing his artistic skill at the fullest of his abilities, which means nothing can stop us from exercising our passion or chasing our dreams.
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein