A Bit Of Typing

Day 18 - Cool Retro Typewriter Illustration - Doodlewash

Since a prompt of “cool colors” could be anything at all, I decided to do a quick doodlewash of a typewriter because I’ve always wanted to try sketching one. This is an object that may seem as rare as a unicorn to the younger readers of my posts, but once upon a time, this was how we put words to paper. I learned to type on one of these machines, and still remember the thrill and terror of doing so. There was always a bottle of Wite-Out nearby to correct any horrible mistakes, as many occurred in my fevered attempt to type quickly. I soon got much better and could type without very many mistakes at all, but imperfections still found their way to the page. I rather loved using a typewriter, and I even had a fancy one where you could change the style of type used. The mere act of needing this feature should have been a signal that I would end up in a career of graphic design and marketing. I wanted full control over both the words and the visuals. But the efficiency of computers to deliver both at once soon won me over and I quickly converted. Today, I often feel like I spend most a my time typing, so it’s nice to pause and pick up a pen and paintbrush instead.

But typewriters have a special place in my heart. They were the analog equivalent of drawing. While I can happily dash something off on paper with my ink pen and quickly color it with a brush, I’ve always struggled a bit more with writing. It wasn’t until I started blogging that I even began to write on a regular basis. But my current rambles are all actual stories about life, and my real goal is to write a bit of fiction one day. November is National Novel Writing Month and, each year, I get the urge to make a book. Last year, Philippe and I publishing our little cookbook, called DO Cook!, and this year, I’ve assembled some of my favorite writings and illustrations, including some brand new rambles, into yet another book. Tonight, I just hit the “publish” button, which means, if things work out as intended, the book will be available in hardcover and paperback on Amazon and elsewhere very soon. I’ve no idea when this will occur exactly, but once it does, I’ll be announcing it properly. Doing so, though, took me back in time to when I was plunking out words on a typewriter. There are many stories that I told one plunk at a time on those things and all of that paper has now been quite lost. Even my mother, who collects everything from when I was young, has no record of those stories. So as cool as this old technology is, I have to admire the updated version as it’s nice to have what you write captured a bit more permanently.

There are some stories I’ve written captured on a dot matrix printer. These were 2-minute mysteries that I wrote one time when a winter ice storm took our power out for a week. I have to giggle that my writing hasn’t really leapt past this short format. Today, I’m still just writing a couple of pages of story and then leaping onto the next one. So, a full novel seems like something nearly impossible for me to write. Yet, I’ve just hit publish on a book with nearly 50,000 words and over 180 illustrations so perhaps I have it in me to write that novel after all. Life is a strange and wonderful thing. Our dreams are simply a guide to direct us in a particular direction. They’re never a perfect replica of what might actually occur, but a perfect hope of something that might just be possible. So, I dream on with wild abandon and let those crazy thoughts do whatever they intend. Who really knows what the future will bring? Perhaps, one day, my dream of writing that amazing piece of fiction will come true. But, for today, I’m just thrilled showing up to sketch and tell stories, while I happily enjoy a bit of typing.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 18 - Cool Retro Typewriter Illustration Sketchbook - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

12 Comments
  1. timecrawlerblog 3 weeks ago

    I feel so old reading this! :). Truly, the advancement of technology miraculously helped us create better. But the work, the equipment we use before brings greater value for the effort that we put into it. Will keep watch for your book.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕Yeah, I’ll announce the book when things have appeared properly… it takes some time for everything to show up in Amazon. And I love what you said!! It’s SO true! Having that knowledge of how hard it was to create before does make us a bit more appreciative of our creative path today!

  2. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    Love your typewriter! I used to have one like that. Did you know the typewriter has made a small comeback as a craft/art journaling item. People use to type their quotes with that ‘vintage’ look. Not sure why they actually need a typewriter for that, lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕hehe… yeah, it seems everything old is new again! I think anything analog has a certain charm today. Too much tapping screens and not enough that feels real!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 3 weeks ago

    Love your sketch of the typewriter – brings back so many memories of my own! Congratulations on another book!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I have very fond memories of typewriters! Though I wouldn’t have possibly been able to create a book with one… hehe… way too difficult. So modern technology is certainly a fabulous thing indeed!

  4. Lisa 3 weeks ago

    Ever since I was young, I wanted, and expected to write a novel. Turned out I don’t have one in me. I don’t enjoy the process even a little bit. So I am especially glad I have had three chapbooks of poetry published. One was even a prize winner though I don’t think it was the best of them. It is fun to have these books out in the world. When I was writing poetry I would do a lot of poem a day months, writing to prompts were provided by me quite often. During that time I knew a few poets who would take a typewriter outside somewhere and produce poems on demand for people. At a small fee, they raised quite a bit for charity. You could do the with doodles I bet.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Oh wow that sounds like a lovely thing indeed! 😃💕 Though I think, blogging is as “on demand” as I could get without falling apart. lol I don’t think I would be able to perform quite as well in person being so shy and all. 😊

  5. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Love your typewriter and what wonderful memories surface with your painting. There was a really old manual typewriter in our house when I was a kid and I can still remember the sound the keys made when someone was typing. I loved that sound and even more the look of the uneven type.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I agree! That sound of a typewriter was so awesome! And the type was never quite in place… it felt like drawing with words.

  6. When I was 16 I asked for an unusual birthday gift from my Mom. Typing and shorthand lessons. The shorthand went the way of all annual plants, but as I subsequently put in 31 years in the computer industry, I still thing that the typing lessons were the best birthday gift I ever got, as I’m a rare geek that’s also a fluid typer, not a hunt-n-peck.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      hehe! I love that story! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m a rare geek as well that can type incredibly fast. I love that! I’ve wanted people type with one hand and it makes me a bit sad… so many ideas far too slow to form that way. I love that I can type so quickly, and it’s the only way I could possibly show up each day and write!

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