Artist designs elaborate, incredible jack-o'-lanterns

A Chicago artist has been creating some elaborate and stunning jack-o'-lanterns. (John Seyal)

One of Halloween's most cherished traditions are jack-o'-lanterns, where anyone equipped with a pumpkin and a knife can create some beautiful, spooky concoctions. But if you're looking to make your jack-o'-lanterns extra special this year, you should take a page out of Edward Cabral's pumpkin playbook.

The Chicago-based artist creates some incredible pumpkin concoctions for the at the Louisville Jack O'lantern Spectacular in Louisville, Ky. Cabral's pieces are meticulously detailed, where figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and William Shakespeare are illuminated on fruit.

Cabral's process for designing his jack-o'lanterns is extensive.

"The image is selected and then we find a pumpkin that has a shape that would work well with what we want to draw," Cabral told ABC via email. "Sometimes we use a projector to align the image, and then use our references to render the darkest blacks and shadows on the skin of the pumpkin. We then carve out the highlights and texture before gutting and lighting the pumpkin."

Cabral says that the response for his jack-o'-lanterns has been enthusiastic.

"People love the artistry and themes, [they] generally are amazed it is even real," Cabral told ABC. "A lot of people get sad because they rot, but I love their impermanence. Eventually a painting or pot would rot too just over a larger time frame. When a pumpkin needs to be replaced I just add more details and make it more grand."

Even though Cabral has mastered the pumpkin carving craft, he still has some tips for anyone who wants to make some scary good jack-o'-lanterns.

"Whenever anyone asks for advice I always say invest in some linoleum cutters (like Speedball, available at craft stores) so they can carve the surface and not just cut it out," Cabral said. "Markers and (black) paint can also be used to obscure the surface, and those things combined gives you a range of tone to replicate an image well."
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