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Meet Chicago's Etch A Sketch Princess

Etch A Sketch artist Jane Labowitch captured the city's imagination on Monday when Chicagoist posted a piece about her latest masterpiece: Georges Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte."

To me, the central question about Labowitch's work, however, remains unanswered: How in the world does she do that? I mean, is that one continuous line? And the shading and such? Can you erase stuff as you go along? It seems impossible.

Also, that Etch A Sketch - with her name on one of the knobs - looks pretty mini to me. Were they bigger when I was a kid? Does she get special units from the company? I went in search of answers. I found a few at Reddit.

For example:

"How did you get it home without shaking it clean?"

As long as I keep the Etch A Sketch flat, the image will remain unscathed. I took the CTA to and from the Art Institute for all 4 sittings and didn't have to deal with any fading/erasing.

"Since it's not like a normal drawing where you can just pick up the pencil and move from one part of the paper to another, do you have to plan out how you'll do an entire drawing in one continuous line before you start, or do you just pick a starting point and just go for it?"

I picked a starting point and hit the ground running!

"Did your hand(s) ever fall asleep?"

They never fall asleep, but if I were to work for 4 hours straight my wrists and fingers would begin hurting. My longest of the 4 sittings for this rendition was 2.5 hours. My fingers and wrists were doing just fine, but my butt and back were a little unhappy since I sat on the floor that day.


Here's a photo of her working on the Seurat piece.


Excerpt from "TAKE THAT, World:"

Ever since we were children, we were taught what was possible and what was impossible. We were taught what we could and could not do. I'll never forget a landmark day in elementary school, where we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. BUT!

Our teacher told us NOT to say sports star, movie star, artist or astronaut. How dare she limit our dreams? How dare she tell us what is and what isn't possible? If nobody dreamed of being a sports star, then THERE WOULDN'T BE ANY.

Fast forward, 10 years later. "Jane, you shouldn't go to art school, perhaps you should find a career in math. You're good at that. Go to a university, find a safe career."

I know, they were just trying to protect me. I know what I am getting myself into. I am well aware of the fact that I might become a starving artist. But I AM HAPPY.

What do I want to be when I grow up? An ETCH A SKETCH ARTIST. And I am going to do everything in my power to make my dreams come true.

She's on her way. From Chicagoist:

"[T]he Horner Park-based artist goes by Princess Etch A Sketch on social media, and currently works part time as a photo retoucher, part time as an Etch A Sketch artist. (She'll be a full-time Etch A Sketch artist starting in June, she said.)"







Of course, Labowitch isn't exactly the world's only Etch A Sketch artist. Here's another:


Other places you can find Jane:



- Etsy.

- Featured at Smosh.


Comments welcome.


Posted on May 11, 2016

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BOOKS - Why Chimps Don't Hold Elections.

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