Artist carves crayons into incredible pop-culture icons

Hoang Tran's carved crayon Hulk is just one of many incredible works.
Hoang Tran's carved crayon Hulk is just one of many incredible works. Photo: Instagram/@mumblestohimself

You may have watched your child create art with crayons but in the ultimate example of art imitating life, the crayon has become the artwork for Hoang Tran.

The US-based artist has been transforming your everyday crayon into carved pop-culture icons, that are so detailed they need to be seen to be believed.

Tran, who calls himself a "purist" hasn't enlisted the help of paint to bring the finer details of his work to life, as some have assumed. Every millimetre of the crayon artwork is made up of wax, either carved or melted down from different coloured crayons.

"Painting would probably be a lot easier but I'm a purist and want the entire carving to be made of crayon wax. I don't want to reveal the exact technique but I basically melt wax from one crayon and carefully apply it drop by drop to the main crayon I'm working on," said Tran in an interview with Lost At E Minor in 2014.

But what gave Tran the idea to create such works of art? The artist, who initially trained to become a dentist, credits his former career path and a similar artwork he once stumbled upon.

"I had seen someone else's crayon carvings years before, and they stuck in my mind. Because we'd done something similar in dental school — we carved teeth from wax — I knew I had the skills to try," Tran told Instagram.

Trading under the name, Wax Nostalgic, Tran now sells his carved crayons on his Etsy store for around $50 each.

The former dental student doesn't regret the career path change for a moment.

"It turns out I really, really enjoy this work," Tran says. "Now that I'm selling pieces online, showing in art galleries, even doing commissions for people, I guess other people really enjoy them, too."

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