I’m a collector by nature. I gather random bits of beauty and ephemera to surround myself with to keep inspiration nearby but also to remind me where my influences come from. I enjoy slowing things down and reflecting on past methods of creation and how they’ve brought about our modern means.

I like to think of many of the things I collect as artifacts of creation; drawers that once housed metal type, cameras that require both patience and dexterity, and through their past use these items tell stories of their own operation and creation. They tell us how ideas take their first breath.

This typewriter is one such acquisition. I was lured in by its blood orange shell, but after cleaning it up and pecking out a few lines of text, something else happened. Using this obsolete machine gave me a new appreciation for its place and time. It has dozens of moving parts, each assigned to levers or keys by way of springs and hinges deep in its tangled metal innards.

This typewriter is a product of the technology and needs of its time. It was a stepping stone to the digital contraption I use everyday from a time when the input from finger to keys gave a direct physical output. How far removed from that am I now?

I had to spend time practicing typing again. The ideal page has even weight to each character, press too softly and you end up with grey letters, too hard and you deliver too much ink. I take the ease of use I enjoy today for granted. Take a moment to consider the things around you. Sit down and reconnect with an object. What can you learn from it? Does it inspire you?


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Jason Santa Maria is a graphic designer living and working in sunny Brooklyn, NY. More »

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