Creating art with crayons doesn’t need to start on paper—just ask Hoang Tran, a California-based artist who transforms Crayola crayons into intricate pop-culture sculptures. Whether it’s The Simpsons, Robcop, the cast of Star Wars, Street Fighter, or even US talk show host Conan O’Brien, Tran is incredibly skilled at immortalizing the likeness of these popular characters onto the tips of crayons. Tran’s growing collection of sculptures includes favorite figures from the 70s to modern day superheroes.
Tran started his crayon sculpting business in 2013, drawing inspiration from Diem Chau, an artist who also carves amazingly detailed figures onto crayons. After selecting the right crayon color as the base, Tran chisels the basic shape and then carefully applies extra colors by adding droplets of melted wax from other crayons. No paint is ever used. Each crayon can take up to a few hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the figure and amount of detail needed.
The popularity of Tran’s crayon art are in part due to the great diversity of his work: from Studio Ghibli characters to Breaking Bad figurines, Tran creates crayon sculptures that are easily recognizable and appeal to a wide audience.
Tran sells his works on Etsy and also accepts custom orders. There is a selection of his creations below, but you can see more of his miniature masterpieces on his Tumblr page Wax Nostalgic.