After his politically-painted pumpkin made waves on the Internet, the man behind the "Trumpkin" got to take his decorated gourd straight to the source.
John Kettman, of La Salle, Illinois, took a $5 pumpkin from Walmart and created what is now known as the "Trumpkin" by painting Donald Trump's face on the front. His creation went viral, and when the business-mogul stopped in Springfield earlier this month, Kettman had a chance to show off his work to Trump himself.
The Republican presidential candidate held a rally at the Prairie Capital Convention Center on Nov. 9 on his way to the GOP debate in Milwaukee the following evening. After the rally, Kettman met Trump, pumpkin in hand, and presented Trump with what he called "a drawing of his life," in one of about 20 meet-and-greets after the event.
According to the convention center's general manager Brian Oaks, the billionaire businessman and reality television star attracted a record-setting crowd for the convention center of 10,200 in downtown Springfield, the state capital of Illinois.
Kettman is a portrait artist, and painted his first pumpkin 22 years ago. This year is the first time he has made his pumpkin painting political in nature, having painted not only Trump but Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders pumpkins as well. Kettman said he'll likely paint a few more candidates' likenesses on pumpkins, but he hasn't decided on which ones.
"This year is very political," Kettman said. "We've got a lot of important topics that are representing different people, too. We've got a surgeon, we've got a billionaire, we've got Hillary Clinton."