I started carving pumpkins in 1999. I was throwing a Halloween party and decided I needed over-sized carved plant ovaries. It had been about two decades since I last carved anything but I wanted to do something special. At the time, my art style was very much strong negatives and positives. Very heavy on the Mike Mignola/Frank Miller side of things. Anyway, I had a doodle I had done of Plato laying around so I thought I'd give it a try. It turned out pretty cool (though most people thought it was Willie Nelson) so I sort of began a reputation for having carvings of literary or historical figures at all my parties.
Father and son pumpkining. I am holding a knife by the tip of it's blade as if it were a pencil
and my dad is exclaiming about the sculpting ribbon he's using, "OW, it's a good thing that was dull."
Pretty quickly I began experimenting with different cutting depths to simulate shading (this was before those awful stencils started coming out). As well, I tried a variety of canvases from the ever-reliable pumpkin to honeydew melon (too soft) to summer squash (way too hard) to watermelon (a tasty alternative). Over time, I grew weary of doing real people and began doing designs based on comics and anime.