CTA on paper: Artist depicts public transit denizens

CTA on paper: Artist depicts public transit denizens

Today we expand our roster of contributors again to include illustrations from my talented wife, Susan Wise. (You may recall that last week we featured the first in a series of CTA haikus by Jen  Masengarb.)

Susan the artist carries a small notebook with her and dashes off quick sketches of people she sees on CTA trains and buses.

“You have to be quick so they don’t catch you doing it,” Susan said. “A few times I’ve gotten the stink-eye while drawing someone. Evidently, drawing people is considered more intrusive than photographing them in public.” Then Susan comes home and completes the drawing from memory.

The first one in this occasional series is apropos, given recent discussions about passengers not fitting in the “bucket seats” of the new aisle-facing seats on the news Series 5000 rail cars. Plus the news that the FTA is recommending new bus safety rules because Americans are getting, ahem, bigger.

Overage Forgiveness.jpg

Illustration by Susan Wise

Back story: This gentleman is occupying two seats under the watchful eye of a U.S. Cellular cell phone ad, touting its “overage forgiveness” plan.

Meanwhile, here’s a video From People of Public Transit.by an artist from San Francisco chronicling his trips on Bay Area transit.


Leave a comment
  • Good stuff, Mrs. Tattler!

  • I wonder why it bothers people more to be sketched than to have a photograph taken.

  • I think because it takes longer and the "subject" notices that he/she is the subject.

  • I find it sad that one can't relax in peace on the train without being sketched or photographed without their permission. And to publish their image and likeness is nothing short of unethical and rude.

  • In reply to Gerec:

    Many courts have ruled that public transit is a public place, so no permission is needed.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    It's still unethical and rude.

  • In reply to Gerec:

    You are free to wear a ski mask to avoid identification. I also recommend the use of a tinfoil hat.

Leave a comment