“I’ve been drawing on napkins daily for my two sons’ lunch boxes since 2006,” says Nina Levy. “I started out drawing simple pictures in black Sharpie on a nice big Vanity Fair napkin for Archer’s nursery school lunches. I wanted to reassure him and to win him some additional attention at lunch- perhaps his teacher would have to read the message to him and then they could talk about what interested him about the character in the drawing. I tried to draw characters from the books we were reading at home, but those were often upstaged by Archer’s obsessions with movie and TV characters and other pop culture detritus. We went thru months of “Draw me driving with Lightning MacQueen!” or “Draw Chicken Little having Gatorade poured over his head!” (Archer’s favourite scene at 3 years old from the widely panned Disney movie).
“Our napkins usually come back home along with all the uneaten food. They are sometimes crumpled and a little spotty, but usually in fairly good condition. Neither child used them for their original purpose anymore. Archer, tells me, “oh, I only use the napkin to get attention, I just wipe my hands on my clothes.” We have boxes and boxes of hundreds of returned napkins at home. They enjoy looking through them, revisiting their previous obsessions day by day, and leaving masses of crumpled napkins all over the apartment.”
“Over nine hundred of the school lunchbox napkins are posted on my blog, Daily Napkins.