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Like magic, artist Kristen Cumings brings Harry Potter to life with jelly beans at NYCC

Contributed by
Oct 6, 2018

It takes a lot to stand out at New York Comic Con, but the Jelly Belly Candy Company has found a way to stop attendees in their tracks. The company's "Artist in Residence" (yes, that's a thing) is working full-time on the floor of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center creating a portrait of Harry Potter made out of jelly beans.

By the end of the four-day event, Kristen Cumings will have spent about 40 hours carefully placing between 12,000 and 13,000 of the soft, gelatinous candies over a 20-square-foot painting (that she also created) of Hogwarts' most iconic graduate.

Cumings was offered the Artist in Residence gig after a Jelly Belly exec saw an acrylic painting she had made of his daughter, the girlfriend of Cumings' son. She's previously done about 50 other portraits, including Darth Vader, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. You can stop by Booth 503 to check on her progress this weekend.

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Credit: Rich Sands

The company has a licensing deal to produce Harry Potter-branded treats, hence the reason for the project. Cumings has done a portrait of the Boy Who Lived before, but this time it's more elaborate, featuring a colorful skyline background. "And with this one the most challenging part is probably going to be getting all the detail into the Gryffindor crest so it reads right," she told SYFY WIRE.

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Credit: Rich Sands

And while the art is important to her, Cumings says the experience at conventions like this is what she enjoys most. "I really like when Jelly Belly send me places and I get to talk to people," the San Francisco Bay Area resident says. "I especially like the comic cons. I go nuts with the people watching. I meet so many people, costumers and makers and other artists. That's probably my favorite part of the job."

You can see more of Cumings' art at her Instagram: @kristen_cumings.

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.

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