Winter of Creativity Leads to Outburst of #Lunchbagart

Recently, the writing has been slow. Slow to form in my head. Slow form under my fingers.

Instead of waiting for inspiration, I started a new project to stir my creative juices: a cartoon a day for a daughter’s lunch bag.

It came about when the dry erase part of her lunch bag stopped working and the last message wouldn’t go away. We used to write supportive and fun notes each day, and it was disheartening to see we couldn’t do that anymore. I used to be an artist in high school, but haven’t taken any formal classes, except one elective in college. Still, I love to cartoon. I’m probably not an artist because I couldn’t stop cartooning and just draw a still life. I love superheroes and my kids like my art, when I get the chance to make it. Finally, in a quick fit of inspiration while my wife was packing the lunch bag, I created a silly drawing.

So this…

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Became this…

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Somehow, from that first, quick sketch, I branched out and made another and another. And now the inside of her lunch bag always includes a weird or familiar character or scene. Sometimes I draw from my love of pop culture or comics or the current season. I’m also a fan of the old Addams Family cartoons and H.P. Lovecraft.

monster image and Pac man scary funny image and Vampire Dracula hates Twilight.

Sometimes I draw from a character that she likes …

Rhett and Link

…and other times it’s ones my son likes …

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Other times, I just challenge myself to create on the fly and see whether it works.

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And once I even had a request from one of her classmates for a Phoenix.

Phoenix

I’ve taken to calling them #lunchbagart and have been sending some of them out via twitter @shawnproctor and via Instagram, just because, unlike my writing, it’s solely for fun. There’s a tiny audience I’m creating for–my family. It’s a thrill to hear one of the kids walk by and say, “That’s an awesome Rhett and Link.” Even if I copy an existing piece, I never resort to tracing, because there’s energy and thrill in discovering the shapes that make up a character. And, more than anything, I love to think about my daughter having something to look forward to in her lunch bag, a place where you’d least expect to find an original piece of art.

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