DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — Halloween is all about candy and pumpkins — at least it is to Dublin resident Jeanette Paras.
For more than three decades, community members have been flocking to Dublin to see Paras’ famous celebrity pumpkins. It’s why this year, she was thrilled that a viral sketch could help her to transform two new celebrities.
“[I] start with a small sketch, just on like an 8×10, and then from there, a to-scale sketch as to the size of the pumpkin,” Paras said.
But it’s no easy task getting from concept to creation.
After the sketch is complete, Paras uses acrylic paints to transfer the drawing to the pumpkin — only after she’s washed the pumpkin, or else the paint won’t stick, she warned.
The entire process can take between 50 and 70 hours. But for Paras, it’s been a labor of love for 35 years.
“It’s really rewarding to do something, it doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is, what your job is, where you live, to do something that everybody enjoys and likes,” Paras smiles.
Over the decades, she has brought dozens of celebrities to life — from Donald Trump to Ted Lasso, and even Baby Yoda. Her creations have made both national and international headlines.
“I just took a risk one day, I guess if you want to say it’s a risk, and just started doing this and it’s gotten a lot of attention,” describes Paras.
Jeanette’s 2022 concept is based off a viral sketch on the Late Late Show with James Corden — a spoof from the hit series “House of Dragons.”
She transformed Kim Kardashian and James Corden into “The Targashians.”
“I just laughed so hard,” Paras recalls. “There’s no doubt as to the influence that the Kardashians, and ‘Game of Thrones’ has had on our culture.”
But the pumpkins, for Jeanette, are much more than quirky fun and games.
As a breast cancer “thriver,” as she refers to herself, Paras uses October to not only to celebrate Halloween, but to raise awareness for the disease.
“Back in 2015, part of my recovery, per my physician, they said, ‘You have to still do that. It’s an important part of your recovery,'” she recalls.
And while ideas for next year’s pumpkins are still months away, Paras plans to keep painting as long as she can.
“I do this because it cracks me up and I think it’s a lot of fun, and fortunately a lot of other people think it’s also a lot of fun and look forward to it,” Paras said. “So, I’m going to keep doing this. I might even be in a wheelchair one day painting, but I’d like to keep doing this as long as I can.”
To see more celebrity pumpkins from years past, you can visit Paras’ website or her social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
There, you can also find links to donate to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research.