The Only Dogs Smaller Than a Teacup Chihuahua

You can give your pet all the attention you want, but until you get a custom carving of their likeness on a crayon—how much do you *really* love them?

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Ever wished you had a pocket-sized version of your dog that you could carry around with you and occasionally use as a writing utensil? Us too! Which is why we are very much in love with Hoang Tran's custom pet portraits that are carved into—you guessed it—crayons!

A crayon carving fit for the Queen!
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Hoang Tran, a native northern Californian who now works out of Pittsburgh, PA, started his company, Carved Crayons, in 2013. For a mere $65, Tran will take a photo of your beloved pup and recreate its adorable face on the top of a crayon. Below, Tran talks about his surprising entry point into crayon carving, and what makes the microsculpting all worth it.

Depending on the intricacy of the carving, it can take Tran two to three hours to complete one.
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An Unpredictable Beginning

"A few years ago I was attending dental school when I decided to withdraw because I realized I wasn't passionate about it. Around the same time, a friend asked me to participate in an art show she was putting on. I had seen crayon carvings before, and the idea had been stuck in my head because I was doing similar work in dental school carving teeth out of wax, so I decided to give it a try using my old dental instruments. They turned out well and I enjoyed making them—so I've been doing it ever since."

Tran's intricate carvings have amassed a following of almost 100,000 on Instagram.

The Limits of Wax *Do* Exist

"I've been carving crayons for a while now, so I've overcome most of the early challenges. The biggest challenges now come from trying increasingly complex designs and carving faces of real people. I'm a perfectionist, so if it doesn't look exactly like the person, I'm not happy with it. But I now know the limits of wax and have a good idea of what subjects will or will not work on a crayon. I rarely break a crayon while carving, and I've learned how to add in different colors by melting and applying wax from other colored crayons."

What could possibly make you happier than owning this little crayon-dog hybrid?

Wowing the Crowd

"I'm kind of a pop-culture junkie, so that's what often inspires me and I tend to focus on with my work—I enjoy carving something most when I have a personal connection to it. What's really popular, however, are the pet carvings. I often stylize the cartoon characters and superheroes I sculpt—but with pets I try to make them as realistic as possible. I enjoy seeing the reaction I get from their owners, and I love how amazed people are at how I can create something so lifelike on a such a tiny canvas."

Order your own custom pet carving at etsy.com/shop/carvedcrayons and follow Hoang Tran on Instagram at @mumblestohimself!

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