George Viosich III

Etch-A-Sketch® Artist

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December 2005 / September 2009

You make Etch-A-Sketch® look easy! How did you master it?

Art has always been a God-given talent. I began Etch-A- Sketching when I was ten years old. The first time I picked up an Etch-A-Sketch was my mom’s from when she was a kid (a 1960 original Etch-A-Sketch). We were on our way to Washington, DC for a family vacation. I did the U.S. Capitol building. My dad was so impressed, we pulled over to a gas station to take a picture of it.

In reality, Etch-A-Sketching is not easy. It takes a great deal of practice and patience. I have been doing this art medium for 15 years, so I have had a lot of time to practice and develop my own techniques. People do not realize that I usually spend over 60 hours – sometimes up to 80 – creating each piece of artwork. With anything, hard work pays off.

Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from my will to be the best at this type of art medium. After I finish a piece I am already thinking about how I could improve upon my work the next time around. I am probably my toughest critic because usually my work doesn’t impress me at first because I tend to see the mistakes I made (which anyone else would never notice) and focus on the negative things. It takes me awhile away from the piece to really start to appreciate the complexities of the design and the effort that I put into it.

What was your greatest Etch-A-Sketch® challenge?

The reason I Etch-A-Sketch is because I am always up for a new challenge. It is much easier for me to draw or paint, but here I have my work cut out for me. I challenge myself each time to make my next one better than the last. Another big challenge is the fact that I cannot make a mistake once I’ve started a design. Therefore, I must carefully plan the piece before I begin – or at least find a way to incorporate any mistakes into the piece so I don’t have to start all over again (which usually happens about three or four times with each Etch).

Do you work in any other media?

I have been painting since I was two years old. My dad had a T-square in my hand when I was four. I would get up, watch cartoons, and color. Today I am an art director at Wyse Advertising in Cleveland. Although my day is spent on the computer doing graphic art, my true passion is drawing, working with colored pencils, and painting. My favorite type of art to create – still to this day – is sports art. I appreciate what they do athletically and it is cool to see them amazed at my talents artistically.

Share your top tips for successful Etch-A-Sketching.

The number one thing is patience and persistence. It takes a great deal of time to create a piece of artwork. My work has changed considerably since I first started. Being a successful Etch-A-Sketch artist does not happen overnight. Persistence is key because often times I want to give up in frustration.

Another thing I have learned over my years of practicing is that it helps if I draw out my design on paper before I begin, as a guideline. The finished piece is basically one continuous line – so it helps to have an idea of how I am going to accomplish that feat before I begin.

Tell us about a day in the life of George Vlosich III.

At my job, I spend the majority of my day doing graphic design artwork on the computer. Working for various companies and clients, I strive to come up with creative ideas and designs that they can use to improve the image and advertising for their companies. I also do a lot of design work on the side with my dad who has been in advertising for 30 years and my younger brother who is majoring in graphic design at Cleveland State. During the week, I play basketball or baseball and spend time with my wife Kelley and new baby boy, George IV, who already plays with a paint brush. I’m very appreciative to be at Wyse Advertising because they support my other artwork and if I have to do a show or make an appearance they are understanding and encouraging.

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