Some parents get a bit creative with school lunches, but one mum has turned them into an art form – quite literally.
Every day, Nina Levy gives one or both of her sons an extra-special treat in their lunch boxes – her amazing napkin drawings. The creations are inspired by everything from books, movies, comics and family happenings to pure imagination, and feature a special note from mum.
The sculptor and photographer from Brooklyn, US, says she has been drawing on napkins for sons Archer, 11, and Ansel, 7, since 2006.
“I began drawing simple pictures in black Sharpie on napkins for the older child when he started staying at nursery school for lunch,” she says. “I was just including a message from home and hoping to get him a little extra attention from the teachers supervising his lunch.”
“The drawings have escalated over the years into full colour. I now use waterproof art markers as the napkins go in the lunchbox with a cold pack and sometimes get soggy. And of course, they were used as functional napkins for several years, so it was important that they not smear. In recent years, they have become purely decorative and the kids do not use them any more.”
She says the napkins take from 20 minutes to two hours to draw, and she usually creates one a night.
“I often get specific requests at bedtime, and even if I am only doing a napkin for one child, both boys are usually involved in picking the character or topic,” she says. “If I don’t have a request, I usually try to draw something that I know they have been thinking about recently.”
“The napkins have certainly helped me to stay in touch with my kids’ interests. Even if I can’t stand a particular video game, TV show, or book that they are obsessing over, I have to look at it long enough to find something that I can draw, which usually makes me learn enough about it to appreciate it a little more.”
She has posted more than 900 of her drawings on her Daily Napkins blog. We think they’d make her kids the envy of any playground – and we’re pretty sure these lunches would never stay forgotten at the bottom of a school bag.
When you finish admiring Nina’s lunch art, check our previous post about the dad who draws funny images on his kids’ lunch bags every day.