When you’re 10, it’s not likely that you’d take the mechanical yet basic Etch-A-Sketch toy seriously, but if you did, you’d probably be surprised at the amazing things you could create. Just ask professional Etch-A-Sketch artists Jeff Gagliardi, Kevin Davis and George Vlosich.
Mastering the art of Etch-A-Sketching for over 35 years, Gagliardi is known as one of the original Etch-A-Sketch geniuses. But get this -- he never owned or even toggled with the toy as a toddler. He first got his hands on one that belonged to his nephew when he was a college student at the School of Visual Arts in New York in the '70s.
“I didn’t think it was a big deal, but my family wouldn’t let me erase it,” Gagliardi says on his website. “From that point forward, people would walk past the serious work I was doing as a painter and want to see the Etch-A-Sketches.”
Unfortunately, Gagliardi’s Etch-A-Sketch career came to a halt after he broke both of his wrists in an accident. After a series of five surgeries, the artist is no longer able to create original work, but still manages to produce prints for clients.
Gagliardi’s work has been displayed at the Denver Art Museum, the Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts, and he has also been a guest on "Good Morning America." His work has also been featured in various magazine publications such as People magazine and USA Today.
Who doesn’t love "Toy Story"? Young or old, the franchise is kind of a classic, just ask Kevin Davis. Sourcing the 1995 animation as his main inspirational source, Davis, a Southern California native, first knew that he could make Etch-A-Sketching a solid career after drawing a picture of Woody on the toy.
With a bachelor’s degree in film and video production from Bob Jones University and professional certification in graphic and web design from Los Angeles Pierce College, Davis is a seasoned pro at all things art.
Now with a growing collection of about 30 sketches, Davis has extended his hobby into a full-blown career, shipping his work to local buyers.
Imagine starting your professional career at the age of 10 -- sounds hard, right? For George Vlosich, this was a piece of cake. Perfecting his Etch-A-Sketch skills early on, the 34-year-old Vlosich is now considered one of the world’s best!
A graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Art, Vlosich, like Gagliardi and Davis, is a professionally trained painter and designer.
Taking a staggering 150 hours maximum to create, Vlosich’s Etch-A-Sketches are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Boasting intricacy and extravagant detail, every image he creates is one of a kind.
Most famous for etching the world’s greatest celebrities and athletes, Vlosich’s resume is jam-packed with amazing accolades. From being invited to speak at the Kennedy Center to being on court with Michael Jordan and LeBron James, the man has done it all.
Currently in the process of opening a new studio to showcase his work, Vlosich is not one to rest. If you don’t know his name, chances are you've seen him before one way or another. He’s been featured on various national television programs such as "Oprah," "20/20," CNN and ESPN and was even invited to the White House, where President Bill Clinton marveled at his work.
Showing the world just how awesome he is, the artist posted a video of him demonstrating how he comes up with these elaborate creations with such ease.
How do they do it?!