I feel this is pretty straightforward as far as visual metaphors go, but just in case I'll give you a second to figure it out...
...It's writers block. Which is something I experience fairly often when writing my comic unfortunately. This was by far one of the most difficult projects I had over the course of sophomore year. Mainly in the idea stage. It was so insanely challenging just to come up with a good metaphor to illustrate. Then add to that the clarity that needs to be present in a metaphoric illustration. It was quite a good mental workout. I did have another design that I'll try to post up at some point which was more literal. It consisted of a giant typewriter in a glass box with a big lock which was preventing a tiny man from using the typewriter. My teacher said that it was clear but that there was no real visceral read to it. Which is why he preferred the design above, simply because there is more of an emotion and an opinion to it. It's clear but it's not spoon feeding the concept to the viewer like the other one I described.
I have to say until I actually finished the painting I don't know if I agreed with him. But I definitely agree with him now. I'm really happy with the typewriter, especially the keys and I also enjoy the color palette. As far as the actual painting of this goes it was one of the fastest ones that I did. However all the prep work for this project took forever. I feel that that's how it should be. Nothing is worse than starting a finish with an unresolved sketch and/or concept except maybe looking at a finish and realizing you should have put more time into the sketch.
Also as a side note, this piece was done in gouache on cold press illustration board. It is also a mixture of watercolor and opaque gouache. Again I really recommend trying gouache if you want something versatile to work with. It can be a bit pricey but once you get comfortable with it it's totally worth it in my opinion.