Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

The Magic Dust of Child Artists

Wed Sep 12, 2012, 7:35 PM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:








:icontechgnotic: Sep 12, 2012 by techgnotic

When recently asked how his political candidate would explain certain positions taken during the
nomination process with contrary positions to be taken during the general election, the campaign chief
replied that stated political positions were “like an Etch A Sketch,”—meaning they could simply be
flipped over, erased and begun over from scratch.


Were it that adult life were as simple as a happy Etch A Sketch memory from childhood.


(The campaign chief took heavy heat for his flippant, if truthful, statement.) The incident made
me wonder how many of us had early experiences as “sketch artists” with that incredible red toy that
has become almost standard issue for so many children still to this day.















For those unfamiliar with the magical plastic slate, an Etch A Sketch is filled with aluminum powder
which scraped off a glass screen with a simple stylus operated by the artist (one knob controls horizontal,
one vertical—the true artistry comes in the dual knob operation required for curved lines). The art itself is
fleeting, a simple flipping over of the tablet makes polystrene beads re-coat the glass “canvas” surface
with the aluminum powder. Like so many, I spent many an hour engrossed in trying to produce
ever more evocative works from that simple art machine, forever trying to learn that perfect touch to get
the curved lines right.



We house an incredible array of line art drawings on deviantART that are pure amazement of detail and
meticulous design. There is a natural thread that flows through the first workings of an Etch a Sketch beginner
through to the mastery of beautiful sketch or line drawing by a skilled artist.




Line Art Drawings (on deviantART)





























An Interview withJane Labowitch


I thought it would be best to have a friend of one of our most skilled Etch a Sketch enthusiasts handle this introduction.







:iconayame-kenoshi:


Ayame-Kenoshi:




It’s with greatest pleasure that I introduce Jane (pikajane), one of deviantART's most talented Etch A Sketch artists. She
creates masterful portraits and stunningly accurate fan art, all by deftly turning those two knobs on that small plastic box that
frustrated so many of our childhoods. Her efforts have earned her a
deviantART Creative Grant
-- a program providing a source of funding to allow artists to make their creative dreams a reality. Jane plans to use her deviantART Creative
Grant to create two installations to be displayed in galleries. The first installation will be a life-size rendition of a skeleton,
using multiple Etch A Sketches mounted to a wall. The second installation will be a 3-dimensional piece using a skeleton as a base
for several mounted Etch A Sketches, which will act as a sort of "reverse x-ray." She's already hard at work on this project,
purchasing Etch A Sketches and depicting various parts of the skeleton. In this interview, she talks about working with her chosen
medium, her plans for future projects, and gives tips to aspiring Etch A Sketch artists.













techgnotic:

Why Etch A Sketch? Is this a purely artistic aesthetic fascination or something deeply meaningful to you? How long have you worked with Etch A Sketches?





pikajane:

I started playing with an etch a sketch when I was about 4, and as a child I didn't realize there was anything special about being able to create anything more than rudimentary shapes. It started as a toy I loved to tinker with, but throughout my life it has grown into a passion. I love painting and drawing and working digitally, but there is something truly special about creating art on an etch a sketch for me.









techgnotic:

Can you sense who is going to immediately “get” your art and who will be less receptive; i.e., does the medium being viewed first as a child’s toy block some people’s ability to appreciate the quality of the art?





pikajane:

Yes! There are definitely some that are more receptive to my art than others. Sometimes I feel as though people will respond the same to my etch a sketch art no matter what I etch. I have to keep myself in check so that I don't get complacent--I always want to keep improving!





















techgnotic:

Beyond your Etch A Sketch-Skeleton project, do you have an ultimate Etch A Sketch installation idea?





pikajane:

I have a few project ideas I'd love to pursue. Lately I've been wanting to create images using multiple etch a sketches, so that when you set them next to each other, the individual screens comprise the full image. I am doing this with a few etch a sketches for the skeleton project, but I'd also love to try this with some famous paintings. I also have a few series ideas running in my mind, but nothing has been fully planned yet. If I could work on an ultimate etch a sketch instillation, I think it would be a mural made entirely out of etch a sketches.



















techgnotic:

What are your best tips for an EtchaSketch artist?





pikajane:

First and foremost, practice practice practice! Everyone has to start at the basics. Even I did when I first started playing with an etch a sketch. The only reason I got where I am today as an etch a sketch artist is because I have put a lot of practice into my passion. And the more you play with an etch a sketch, the easier it gets.



To everyone that would love to start etching, here's a few tips for how to improve your skills:


Practice basic shapes, starting with the square. When you turn both knobs at once at the same speed, you get a diagonal line. When you turn them both at varying speeds, you get a curve. A circle is the hardest basic shape to etch because it is made up of 4 curves. If you learn to make a circle, you're doing very well, but don't stop there! Once you master the basic shapes, try out drawing your favorite cartoon character. I started with cartoons, and moved to realism.



If you ever get frustrated, remember that like any form of art, etch a sketching takes time and patience. It took me years to get where I am today, but I believe that with determination and passion, you too can master the knobs.



















QuestionsFor the Reader


  1. Do you think there have there been other toys that have sparked and encouraged as much childhood creativity as Etch A Sketch?
  2. If you ever created with an Etch A Sketch did the frustration you experienced trying to draw on Etch A Sketch teach you discipline and practice are important in creating art … or just made you wonder if you had what it takes to be a dedicated artist?
  3. Do you detect a natural evolution from Etch A Sketch to something like Muro?
  4. Do you still own an Etch A Sketch, or was it long ago consigned its fate to that of Citizen Kane’s beloved sled?










When recently asked how his political candidate would explain certain positions taken during the nomination process with contrary positions to be taken during the general election, the campaign chief replied that stated political positions were “like an Etch A Sketch,” -- meaning they could simply be flipped over, erased and begun over from scratch.

Were it that adult life were as simple as a happy Etch A Sketch memory from childhood.

(The campaign chief took heavy heat for his flippant, if truthful, statement.) The incident made me wonder how many of us had early experiences as “sketch artists” with that incredible red toy that has become almost standard issue for so many children still to this day.


Writers: $techgnotic
Designers: $marioluevanos
Featured:
*pikajane
~bryanetch
Cthulhu! by =Sch1itzie
Tribute To Lee Jeffries by ~ronmonroe
crying by ~DanielGrzeszkiewicz
Add a Comment:
 
:iconrhynwilliams:
RhynWilliams Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012   General Artist
1.Major Morgan

2.It was fun, never really had the patience, and never related it to art

3.of course, people with the skill could do great work from it

4.mum and dad bought an etch-a-sketch for my brother and an electric guitar for me so never really owned one so i never got one either
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
1 - Legos.
2 - I didn't till I was old enough to have ideas about art already.
3 - Natural? Only to people who've grown up with computers as much a part of their reality as anything off of it.
4 - Never had one. Yeah, I was deprived.
Reply
:iconchaosfay:
ChaosFay Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional General Artist
OMG Yes, Legos! You can never go wrong with those. Unless you leave them on the floor and step on them in the middle of the night on your way to the bathroom.
Reply
:iconkousaichi:
kousaichi Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012
LOL legos became my "mum trap" and as a result of that, they were all thrown away before i was born. Thankgod my school allows me access to the awesome lego box.
Reply
:iconpriteeboy:
priteeboy Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's why my mother would NEVER let me or my brothers leave them lying around. The second we were done playing with them, back in the box they went (I stepped on one once too :rage:)
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:la:

Haha, yeah, seriously!
Reply
:iconchaosfay:
ChaosFay Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional General Artist
There is no pain that can match that. I've had three surgeries and honestly...stepping on one of those buggers is enough to make me scream some of the most colorful words at 2am.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, damn! And they always hit you right in like...a nerve or somethign.
Reply
:iconchaosfay:
ChaosFay Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional General Artist
Right between the toes or in that soft spot on the bottom of your foot.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:crazy:
Reply
:iconkaizokushojo:
KaizokuShojo Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012   Traditional Artist
Legos. I second this. Best toy ever.... Now where's our Lego article. xD
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wait a few months :eager:
Reply
:icondeshrubber:
deshrubber Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
1. Crayons and markers, and maybe Lite-Brite with blank paper.
2. I don't really remember. It had been about 25 years since I've played with one, until just recently.
3. I can see how that evolution could occur, but it's never really came to mind until you asked.
4. I haven't own one in years, but I bought my nephew one when I saw him last month. It provide hours of entertainment for both of us. :)
Reply
:iconlyrabela:
lyrabela Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
omg! I loved Lite-Brite!!!
Reply
:icondeshrubber:
deshrubber Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I may have to order one for my nephew!
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
LITE BRITE :highfive: Damn, I miss that stuff.
Reply
:icondizzyflower28:
dizzyflower28 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Professional General Artist
Exactly what came to my mind!
Reply
:icondeshrubber:
deshrubber Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconoriginalhappycry:
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:icontechgnotic: More from techgnotic


Featured in Collections

Journals by GiottoLover

Journals and News by RavenclawChic

News by Katy133


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
September 12, 2012
Submitted with
Sta.sh Writer
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
79,413 (1 today)
Favourites
740 (who?)
Comments
477
×