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Andy Toy fixes up a drawing that's gotten smudged. Photo: Sarah Harris
Andy Toy fixes up a drawing that's gotten smudged. Photo: Sarah Harris

Chalk is Burlington-area amateur artist's favorite medium

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During his day job, Andy Toy is a salesman. But he's has always been a doodler, an amateur artist. He just never thought he'd make any money at it.

A few years ago, Andy was working an overnight shift at a hotel in Williston, Vermont. There was an empty chalkboard -- which Andy filled with intricate drawings, usually detailing the weather forecast and events around town.

His drawings caught people's attention, and now Andy creates chalkboard art for several Burlington-area businesses, including Hotel Vermont and the Burlington Beer Company.

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Andy does chalk art at home with his daughters, too. Photo: Andy Toy, used with permission

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Reported by

Sarah Harris
Reporter and Producer

Andy's latest spring update. Photo courtesy of Andy Toy, used with permission
Andy's latest spring update. Photo courtesy of Andy Toy, used with permission
Andy's work usually has to do with the season or events around town. At Hotel Vermont, he'll highlight agricultural producers who supply the restaurant's food. 

Chalk drawings require touch-ups — people are always brushing up against the bar and smudging the drawings — but Andy says that's the beauty of the medium. If you mess up, you can jump back in and try again. 

Andy's handiwork. Photo: Sarah Harris
Andy's handiwork. Photo: Sarah Harris
Andy never expected he'd actually get paid to do chalk drawings. And even though he is earning a little bit, chalk drawings mostly remain a fun hobby. And they're a huge source of entertainment for his two daughters. They have a chalkboard in their playroom, and in separate instances requested that Andy draw a fairy princess and a cat. The cat was looming above the fairy princess's head. So Andy thought to combine the two. The result: a delightful and whacky elvin-looking princess, adorned with a cat headress covered in leaves. 

Chalk, Andy says, is fun. It keeps him young. He feels like a kid when he's drawing. And if you mess up, you can always start over again.

 

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