AN architecture graduate who creates drawings with typewriters is now working on a Christmas card collection.

James Cook, 24, has taken commissions from around the world, recently staged an exhibition at Finchingfield Wonky Wheel Gallery and has recreated Maldon High Street from the top of the Moot Hall.

He first discovered typewriting art while he studying for his A-levels, with the course requiring him to look for alternative ways of creating art.

James, from Braintree, told the PA news agency: "I was scraping around on the internet to look for alternative mediums and came across this guy called Paul Smith who was born with cerebral palsy.

"At the age of 11, his parents gave him this typewriter.

"There's a portfolio of his life which spans 70 years and he recreated the Mona Lisa and all these different varied subjects – people, buildings, vehicles – and I thought 'wow'.

"I didn't even know it was possible to draw with a typewriter."

He continued: "I thought, 'I'll try and get my hands on one' and I was rummaging around different charity shops and this elderly couple had overheard me at one of the shops and they said, 'we've got a typewriter'.

"They gave me their address and I came round and bought my first typewriter, which I use to this day. Seven years in, I've done about 140 drawings now and I've got just over 35 typewriters."

It usually takes up to two weeks to create panoramic scenes of London, with A5 pieces taking around two days.

He is often asked for commissions, and in one case an American lawyer requested a series of drawings with specific punctuation used in litigation.

James said: "The lawyer found me a typewriter that has very specific punctuation and then he posted it to me so I can do these drawings.

"Last year, there was a fashion designer in China who wanted a picture as a memory of his mother who had recently passed away.

"He wanted a drawing of her that integrated messages from the wedding speech that she had read out on his wedding day.

"When you looked at the drawing really closely, you could see all these little messages that were moments of the speech that were read on the day of his wedding.

"When you stand back, you see the whole picture of his mother."

The picture took a month to create and James said he used around 100,000 stamp marks from the typewriter keys.

He will be creating 10 Christmas card designs this year, five of which are London-based scenes and five which are winter-themed, including animals and birds.

Meanwhile, he is also working on large-scale London scenes from rooftops to be sold at Christmas, which include Trinity Buoy Wharf, the Garden Museum, which looks out towards the Houses of Parliament, and Central Hall in Westminster.

To find out more about his work, visit