While actor Tom Hank's Hanx Writer App is topping the iTunes' most downloaded app charts, another man was able to create hundreds of works of art with the old-school writing device that Hanks has been collecting since 1970.
Artist Paul Smith lived in the Rose Haven Nursing Home in Oregon since 1967 until his death seven years ago at 85 years old. Although he was born with severe spastic cerebral palsy and was unable to feed or dress himself, let alone hold a pencil or a paintbrush properly, he managed to teach himself how to use ten characters on a typewriter to create portraits, landscapes, and other masterpieces.
Using only one finger on his right hand, assisted by his left hand, Smith tediously spent hours, days, even months creating art on his typewriter, inspired by places, and people he met in his lifetime. He even discovered that by pressing against the ribbon, he could create smudge effects in his work in addition to the intricate patterns of characters used to details in his pieces.
Although he never learned how to read or write, he painstakingly taught himself how to manipulate a piece of paper in a typewriter and press the keys to create his art, many of which decorated the halls of Rose Haven.
According to a report about Smith's astounding skills at both art and the game of chess, it was the calculated planning needed to excel at chess that helped his ability to create his masterpieces.
"Paul's technique requires that the entire picture must be planned before he starts. For example, on the teddy bear... Paul would have needed to make allowances from the beginning for the white space that creates the scarf."
Although Paul Smith is no longer with us, his work continues to inspire and amaze those with disabilities that nothing is beyond limits.