As the name suggests, Maniac Pumpkin Carvers take your typical Halloween pumpkin carving to the next level—from recreating famous artwork, carving life-like portraits and popular pop-culture characters, to sculpting expressive faces and covering giant pumpkins in elaborate detail.
Chris Soria and Marc Evan, the pair who founded the pumpkin carving business, have been best friends and artistic partners since they were just 12 years old.
“The combination of our love for Halloween combined with our life-long artistic journeys made the perfect recipe for us becoming professional pumpkin carvers,” says Soria and Evan.
While working in the NYC service industry, the friends would bring carved pumpkin decorations for the restaurants and bars they worked at, and would display some of their creations when hosting elaborate costume parties.
News of their pumpkin masterpieces began to spread, attracting the attention of household names like Wired, Disney, Food Network, the NY Yankees, and Martha Stewart. In 2008, Soria and Evans officially started their professional pumpkin carving business, catering to these types of high-profile clients.
“Each year the pumpkin craze has increased and our labor of love turned business continues to grow,” the pumpkin professionals share.
With this growth, Maniac Pumpkin Carvers has since taken on a project manager, additional artists, and support staff, allowing for a rotating crew able to provide a variety of classes, demonstrations, events, and custom pieces.
“Outside of pumpkin season, the art doesn’t stop,” says Chris and Marc. The full-time artists practice in a variety of disciplines and mediums, including illustrations and large-scale murals, and own individual fine art studios. But there’s something so special about carving pumpkins.
“Pumpkin carving is really unique in that it is an ephemeral art, meaning it is temporary and meant to be enjoyed in the moment,” the maniac carvers say. “There is something very Zen about putting a lot of love and care into carving something so highly perishable.”
“Knowing it will only last a limited time (usually up to a week), means anyone who sees a particular pumpkin in person truly gets a unique experience,” says Soria and Evan. The team believes this is part of the reason they receive such incredible reactions from those who see their work.
A lot of love and care is right. While their work generally depends on the particular needs of their clients, carvings often take between four and six hours to complete. And some masterpieces can take up to 16 hours! The pumpkin professionals note this does not include the time that goes into sourcing their pumpkins, designing the art work, and meeting with their clients.
“Our artist series is one of our favorite things to do,” shares Chris and Marc. “Creating museum quality interpretations of great masterworks is extremely challenging, but also a lot of fun.”
The team also enjoys creating the increasingly popular “momentous celebration” pumpkin carvings for things like wedding proposals, anniversaries, and baby announcements. “So far, every pumpkin proposal we’ve done has been met with a big YES. Clearly a testament to our carvings,” laughs the creative carver.
You’re going to be saying YES to these incredible pumpkin masterpieces! View our 30 favorites below and let us know which one you like best.
Getting ready for your own pumpkin carving and decorating this year? We’ve got the best pumpkin carving tools and kits for your family!
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This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Marc Evan and Chris Soria of Maniac Pumpkin Carvers. You can follow them on Instagram and visit their website. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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