‘The King of Crayola’ brings “The Ripple Effect” to Hinson Museum 

Staff Writer: Alexandria Sessions

Edward Binney and Harold Smith intended only to create safe crayons that were affordable and of high quality. With this idea, the Crayola company was born in 1903 with just eight colors in a box and expanded into wonderful creative drawings from all ages. If you were to look up Herb Williams, Google classifies him as the “The King of Crayola”, however you will not find him on the website of Crayola even though he uses their product.

‘The King of Crayola’,  as mentioned in Nashville Arts Magazine, arrived at Wingate on Wednesday, February 23 to display his newest sculpture, “Ripple Effect”, made just for the university’s Hinson Museum.  The sculpture took 400 hours worth of work and 36,000 crayons,  creating an art piece that astonished people of all ages. Williams answered the burning questions of the audience who could not tear their eyes away from the tips of crayons that seemed to grow out of the foam and fiberglass that was formed in the shape of a deer.

“They [Wingate University] reached out to me… and wanted the best example of my art,” Herb said.

After viewing his art in the Sozo art gallery located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Wingate University was in contact with Williams who provided another variation of a previous sculpture, similar to The Ripple Effect. The only difference between the sculpture in the Hinson Museum and the sculpture seen in Sozo, is that one has melted and waxed crayons and the other does not. The reason behind this was due to durability, the Nashville artist wanted to give Wingate a brand new sculpture that would last.

If you are an aspiring artist and want to follow in his footsteps, Williams advises you to dream big.

“Take the biggest risk you can afford to take,” the Crayola artist said. “Keep the sketch book by the bed when you sleep because you never know when inspiration will hit.” 

One artist who was appreciative of his visit and art wisdom was senior Sarah Hartman, who dabbles in graphic design. 

“I think it takes a very keen eye to pick up a certain medium and then just go with it,” the art minor said. “He took a big risk just going with this medium and figuring out what his idea was. I think he’s really cool…and I got to shake his hand.”

Hartman took a risk and started creating logos upon request, just like the Call of the Wild artist did when he once was a little kid carving into the red clay outside his home with a butterknife.  The Crayola sculptor points out that anything you do is art, you do not have to use crayons or a computer in graphic design. How you sculpt your deer is your choice.

“Certain things hold over in anything you’re creating… make sure it’s your voice,” Williams said. “You have to do your research, you have to know what else is out there. Stay true to your voice, what it is you’re doing that makes it completely unique.”

Wingate students can look forward to a potential visit from The King of Crayola in the future, who said he enjoyed his visit and will come back. Until then, to follow along with his crayon journey and his other works, follow Herb Williams on Instagram @herbwilliamsart.

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