Ever since the MINIONS movies US release in July 2015, people have been head over goggles, er…I mean heels…about them! NO wonder it was the 5th highest grossing film that year. WOW! They sure are adorable creatures.

Well, let me tell you, the Minion craze is hardly over.  From what I understand, a sequel is due to come out in 2020.  In the meantime, there are Minion costumes, dolls, jewelry, memes and all things Minion-esque.

So, I thought you’d enjoy these two Minion dolls created by incarcerated artist, Cuong Tran (CA). ). Meticulously hand-crafted from cardboard, paint, fabric and sewing supplies. Cuong learned how to sew from his Mom, and is a heckuva lot handier around a thread and needle than I’ll ever be (in spite of the fact that my mother was a seamstress and avante garde fashion designer.  Each doll measures approx:  10-1/2" x 8" x 5"

Here's what Cuong has to share:

"I've always dabbled in drawing my whole life. As a kid I could look at a picture and draw what I saw. After a few years however, I felt like drawing became a chore. Besides, there are a good number of artists in prison already doing the same thing I was. I wanted to push the envelope, so I started to build and sculpt figurines out of whatever materials I could find. 

I didn't have the faintest clue as to where and how to start. I fell back onto my mechanical background, constructing skeletal frames using our cardboard lunchboxes. I then applied soap over the frame, creating 'muscle and skin'. I would paint over the dried soap with some hand-me-down acrylic paints. Digging around, I was able to find some scrap materials such as old t-shirts, burrito wrappers, beads and pen barrels (just to name a few things) and turn them into accessories for my figurines. 

Things have snowballed from there.  I've become more proficient at using the materials available to me (i.e., junk) to make artwork. Over the last two and a half years of sculpting/building, I've made over 80 pieces; the major ones being a functioning carousel, a remote control go-kart with racetrack, and a scale sized Chevrolet Impala.

Art has always been very therapeutic for me. It allows me to free myself despite being physically restricted. In an environment where my every move is monitored and controlled, my ideas, my creativity and imagination are the only things that are limitless. Art is freedom. It allows me to put a part of myself onto paper or in a sculpture". - Cuong Tran (CA)

Watch out for more great hand crafted projects from Cuong! 

PS Minion Wannabees are Rafael the Raccoon –San Rafael Chamber of Commerces mascot; and last but not least, our female Calico cat, Simone.


Leslie Lakes, Director

Minions Hand-crafted by Cuong ("Mike") Tran; CA