Until I encountered the work of Hoang Tran of Sunnyvale, CA, it never occurred to me that a crayon could be used for much else other than drawing. But now, every crayon looks to me like an unused slab of marble.
Tran got the idea to carve crayons a few years ago when he saw another artist doing something similar. Last year, he started his own Etsy shop featuring his crayon sculptures, Wax Nostalgic. His forte is what he calls “pop culture and geeky type things like characters from Star Wars.” Here is his Darth Vader, and his Walter White.
I asked Tran to tell me about his process. He said:
First, I pick a color of crayon that will match the dog. Using reference photos, I envision how the dog would fit in the narrow column of wax and if I need to make any considerations for lack of space. For example, dogs with short snouts fit better than long snouted ones. Then I scratch out some guide lines on the crayon and begin carving away. I start out with a rough shape and slowly refine it from there. For different colored parts like the eyes or nose, I melt and carefully apply wax from other crayons. Once that cools, I can carve it as well. Hopefully by the end, I’ll have a nice looking dog.
Tran has graciously donated a custom dog crayon portrait as a “perk” for our IndieGogo campaign. Thanks, Tran!