I lived in Cedar Rapids from 2008 to 2011, in a very “suburban” neighborhood with plenty of families. Our neighborhood was known in the area as being safe and quiet, all streets ending in cul-de-sacs. With that in mind, folks would drive from all around to take their kids Trick-or-Treating there.

Our house had a perfect porch for a Jack-o-Lantern, and I had never made my own before, so that was going to be the year. Because of my lack of experience in carving, I decided to keep the design very simple, with easy-to-cut, straight lines and minimal detail. I sketched a few ideas out, and finally came up with this design—which I immediately loved.
I like the arch character, the menace implied by the “scar” on one eye, and the implicit motion in how the mouth is off center, as if the face is turning quickly toward the viewer. Most of all, I’m proud of how effective it is, especially considering the overall simplicity of the design.