When you travel, what camera do you use to capture those Instagram-worthy moments? Me, I use my Canon S95, iPhone 6S, and when there’s still space in my luggage, my Fujifilm Instax.
A Chicago-based artist named Jane Labowitch has elevated the game of travel photography with her medium of choice—an Etch-A-Sketch, the classic drawing toy that I assume we’ve all gotten our hands on when we were kids.
Jane, a.k.a. Princess Etch-A-Sketch, played with her first Etch-A-Sketch when she was 4 years old. She spent so much time playing with it that she mastered how to properly turn the knobs to come up with more intricate drawings. When she grew up, she got a BFA degree in Illustration at the American Academy of Art, while continuing to hone her Etch-A-Sketch skills as a hobby.
She now makes a living out of her Etch-A-Sketch skills, selling customized art, signed prints, and ornaments. Check out her Etsy shop here. Her unique retro art recently got the attention of Intrepid Travel, who sent her on a trip to India to capture iconic structures such as the Taj Mahal on Etch-A-Sketch.
The biggest question I had in my mind while browsing through her gallery is, “Oh no, what a waste when she has to shake off the drawings!” Turns out she preserves her art. According to an interview, she takes photos of the final sketches using natural light and posts them in her online gallery. “If it’s a work I am particularly proud of, I will preserve it so that it cannot be erased,” she told Intrepid Travel. To preserve the artwork forever, she goes through a lengthy process of drilling a hole, shaking all the aluminum powder out, polishing the drawing, sealing the hole, and gluing down the knobs to prevent anyone from drawing over the art. She does this to her favorite sketches and customized art for clients. Otherwise, the drawing is erased and the Etch-A-Sketch, reused.