Student artist grows following from her Etch A Sketch art

Sarah Shadburne

Editor-in-Chief

sshadbur@unca.edu

Psychology and French student Amber Hausle continues to be an artist of varying phases of interest throughout her life. With an underlying love for drawing, she experimented with watercolor, embroidery, knitting and now most recently, she’s perfecting her Etch A Sketch art.

“I have found the more I’m doing I don’t have to think about which knob I’m turning I just kind of instinctively know what to do,” Amber said. “The whole thing is one line.”

Amber realized her Etch A Sketch talent as a nanny in 2014 when she offered to draw Etch A Sketch portraits of her kids. To their amusement, the portraits actually looked pretty good.

“That whole summer I was nannying I would just draw on the Etch A Sketch all the time,” Amber said. “I told my mom about it and she

Amber Hausle recently rediscovered her talent for Etch A Sketch art and decided to make an Instagram account @etchingsketchez so her friends could see her work.

bought me an Etch A Sketch.”

She would play around on her personal Etch A Sketch periodically until one day she drew a portrait of her chocolate lab Nala and she didn’t touch it again for a year.

“I had it hanging on my wall and my friends would come over like, ‘Oh my god, you’re so good at the Etch A Sketch you should keep doing it and see if you can create something else,’’ Amber said. “I gave it a shot.”

With her friends’ encouragement, Amber made an Instagram account @etchingsketchez to show the world her work and quickly received many requests.

“If being a successful Etch A Sketch artist is a thing, it couldn’t really have existed for anyone until the Internet came about,” Amber said. “Instagram is a great platform for it because they never really go away.”

Collin Jenkins, a 26-year-old glass collector and resident of Thousand Oaks, California found Amber’s work on a recommended page and decided to check out her art.

“I saw she was taking requests and I thought it would be interesting to see if she would take my request and I sent one in and she responded really quickly and drew it the next day,” Jenkins said. “I sent her a funny picture of my dog and she did a great job on it and I like the twist she drew on it, it was really funny.”

Jenkins sent in a photo of his dog Opi wrapped tightly in a blanket on his couch and when she posted her version she depicted the dog as an American gothic-esque nun standing in front of a well-proportioned church.

“She’s an amazing artist and it’s really cool she was taking requests from people and responding so quickly and actually doing it,” Jenkins said. “It’s cool when artists are inclusive with their fans.”

Amber said she begins her new piece by erasing the old one. Then, in no particular order of importance, she just goes for it.

“Sometimes it’s kind of sad to know I worked for a long time on a particular one and I’m going to erase it, but that’s how you’ve got to do with the Etch A Sketch,” Amber said. “And you know the next one will be great too.”

Fiber artist April Hausle hopes to see her sister go viral.

“I’ve always thought that Amber would become famous for her art and it’s good to see people appreciating her weird brain,” April said. “Last year for my friend’s birthday she requested a piece of art from Amber.”

Amber ended up creating a watercolor of a mermaid whose strands of hair branched out into an array of different animals. April’s friend loved it.

Amber Hausle, left, and her sister April display several works of Amber’s art, including a piece April framed from an assignment Amber did in high school. April said she loves the framed piece because it shows Amber’s weird, creative brain.

A long-time admirer of her sister’s work, April keeps a similarly strange framed watercolor of an anthropomorphic part-cow part-boy Amber created in a high school art class.

“It really shows how creative Amber’s brain is and how weird it is because it’s a cow with a man’s head and a top hat smoking a cigarette in front of the sunset,” April said.

Amber jokingly called Buddy the Elf her inspiration for her art, citing scenes from Elf when he draws a detailed portrait of the Mona Lisa and then a cursive goodbye note to his family on his Etch A Sketch.

“I like the idea of comparing Etch A Sketch art to street art, because street art inevitably gets cleaned up or painted over for the most part and the Etch A Sketch will always erase,” April said. “Even if you shake it a little bit.”

Amber said she hopes to continue exploring her talent and putting her work up for her friends who want to see it, but isn’t taking herself too seriously.

“It’s turned out to be something interesting that people want to see more of,” Amber said. “I hope I stick with it.”

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