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Daily Napkin: Mom Nina Levy Creates Masterpieces for Lunchtime

Nina Levy doesn’t see the simple napkin as just something to wipe spilled jelly or to erase the traces of spaghetti sauce of her child’s chins. This Brookyln based mother of two sees the humble napkin as a blank canvas to host masterpieces to be included in her son’s lunchboxes.

For the last six years, artist Nina Levy has doodled special messages and illustrations on square paper napkins often with special requests from her young sons, Ansel and Archer. She pays tribute to her sons interests and obsessions from Teen Titans Go! to Skylander characters to a variety of canines as superheroes.  She said of the artworks/napkins: “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.”

One of the coolest things is that Nina Levy photographs each napkin and posts it on her blog Daily Napkin, with details about the creation and inspiration. And inspirational they are. Check out a selection of Nina Levy’s masterpieces right here:

 

  • The Daily Napkin 1 of 25
    napkins2
  • Cat Pirate with Six-Pack 2 of 25
    CatPirate

    This fascinating piece of napkin art was inspired by the book "Crogan's Vengence" by Chris Schweizer. Her son requested a rendition of Catfoot Crogan but with a "sixpack."

  • Tigers 3 of 25
    AresWhiteTiger

    This piece, "Ares From "Lions, Tigers and Bears" Realistic and Stuffed," was inspired by "Lions, Tigers and Bears" by Mike Bullock and Jack Lawrence.

  • Predator and Assassin Kids’ Costumes 4 of 25
    photo-709921

    "Predator and Assassin Kids' Costumes," her sons dressed in their favorite video game characters.

  • Tyrannosaur, Robin and Batman 5 of 25
    TRexRobinBatman

    This piece was inspired by Doug TenNapel's "Tommysaurus Rex," with the addition of Batman and Robin.

  • Cardboard LEGO Batman 6 of 25
    CardboardLegoBatman

    Her sons were looking forward to the LEGO dvd: "LEGO Batman: The Movie- DC Super Heroes Unite," so she did this cardboard "treatment" of the LEGO Batman.

  • Tommysaurus Tyrannosaur with Dog 7 of 25
    photo-753050

    This one is pretty adorable. "Tommysaurus Tyrannosaur with Dog," was inspired by Doug TenNapel's "Tommysaurus Rex." So cute.

  • Brittany and Alvin Cosplay as Starfire and Robin 8 of 25
    RobinStarfireChipmunks

    Here she takes Brittany and Alvin in Cosplay as Starfire and Robin of Teen Titans, one of her kids favorite shows.

  • Alvin of the Chipmunks Dressed as Connor of Assassin’s Creed III 9 of 25
    AssassinsCreedAlvin

    After watching the Chipmunks "The Squeakquel," one of her sons talked of how much he loved chipmunks. She then did a mash-up of Alvin with his favorite video game, Assassin Creed III. 

     

  • Fantasy Dodgeball with Connor, Robin and Spider 10 of 25
    FantasyDodgeball

    One of her sons was having some anxiety about dodgeball at school, she brought some humor to the sport with her Robin, Spiderman and Assassin Creed rendition. 

  • Batman with Dog Head Hands 11 of 25
    BatmanDogHands

    This piece was inspired by an episode of Teen Titans Go!, it's Batman with dog hands. 

  • Scooby Doo Watches Beast Boy Eat His Scooby Snack 12 of 25
    ScoobyDooBeastBoy

    This is another Teen Titan Go! inspired piece, along with the guest star of Scooby. 

  • Momo From Avatar, The Last Airbender 13 of 25
    AvatarMomoSm

    This portrait of Momo From Avatar, The Last Airbender Momo From Avatar, The Last Airbender is pretty adorable. 

  • Kitty Sniper With Water Pistol 14 of 25
    KittySniper

    This piece was inspired by a  the "kitty sniper" internet meme she had seen. 

  • Skylanders Hot Dog Jumps on Connor From Assassin’s Creed III 15 of 25
    AssassinHotDog

    A Skylander and  Assassin's Creed mash-up. 

  • Commute 16 of 25
    6pm

    She wrote of this one, "From the 24 hours of dysfunctional parenting series: this is 6:15 pm, our commute home to Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge."

  • Teen Titans Robin and Komodo Dragon 17 of 25
    RobinKomodo

    Pretty adorable, Teen Titans Go's Robin meets a oversized komodo dragon. 

  • Teen Titans Raven as a Weimaraner 18 of 25
    RavenWeimaraner

    Teen Titans Go's Raven get the doggie treatment. 

  • Portrait of Picture Taking 19 of 25
    700am

    This one is not for her son's lunchbox, rather it is a portrait of her taking a photo of one of the napkins before it goes into the lunchbox. She wrote, "This one is 7:00 am, when I sit on the floor in the corner behind the couch and take a shoddy camera phone image of the day's napkin(s) before it goes into the lunchbox."

  • Dark Pug 20 of 25
    photo-737398

    For this one her son "requested a "dark Pug with glowing red eyes." Mission accomplished. 

  • How They Are Made 21 of 25
    photo-737592

    "A particularly illustrative napkin about how the napkins get drawn," Nina wrote. This one was not for the lunchbox but does beautifully demonstrate her process. 

  • 1:30 A.M. 22 of 25
    photo-710982

    Nina wrote:

    "This one would be 1:30 am.  This is about when I sometimes have to admit that listening to old podcasts of "Stuff You Should Know" is not going to mask the sounds in our bedroom enough to allow me to stay asleep.  Some might describe these sounds as snoring, but opinions in our house diverge."

    Another napkin not for the lunchbox. 

  • Young Justice Canines 23 of 25
    YoungJusticeCanines

    She wrote, "Super Canine Hodgepodge:  A last minute request that was clearly beyond my drawing resources late last night.

    In all fairness, Ansel only asked for four Young Justice Dogs: Nightwing, Robin, Kid Flash and Superboy.  I added the two females, Miss Martian and Supergirl in the interest of gender representation and composition."
     
  • Super Beagle 24 of 25
    SupermanBeagle

    A Super Man inspired beagle. Adorable. 

  • Robin the Pug 25 of 25
    TeenTitansRobinPug

    A Teen Titans Go Robin as a pug. Yes, this one is awesome. 

Check out more of Nina’s work here. 

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