Like so many moms around the world, Nina Levy, an artist from Brooklyn, NY, began drawing on napkins for her young son Archer’s nursery school lunches. But what started out as simple black marker drawings for just one, has turned into over 2,000 elaborate, mini works of art for her now two very lucky boys.
Each napkin, which takes Nina about 1-2 hours to create, comes with a fun and inspiring message that accompanies an image the boys have personally requested. Her attention to detail and ability to create an entire world of wonder on a napkin is astounding, and really cool!
Nina’s sons Archer and Ansel
I have been drawing pictures on napkins for my sons’ lunch boxes every night for the last eight years. This year I am mostly drawing for the younger son, as the older one is now able to eat in the school cafeteria. He certainly participates in coming up with nightly requests for images. I am often unable to live up to my sons expectations (often for multiple characters performing amazing feats), but I’ve tried to improve my drawing skills over the years.
Our napkins usually come back home along with all the uneaten food. I draw only in waterproof marker as the napkins used to come home with yogurt and ketchup. At this point, they are rarely used for their original purpose. As my older son told me, “oh, I only use the napkin to get attention, I just wipe my hands on my clothes.”
I find it a not completely useless activity in relation to my own interests. And the act of drawing something for them every evening reminds me to pay attention to what they are thinking about, even if it is the fifteenth rendition of Batman.
Here’s a small sample of some of our favorites. You can check out more on Nina’s napkin blog and archive here.