Napkins from 2010 or before:
I have to admit the exact dates are a bit imprecise before 2011 when I started posting them at dailynapkins.com.
Before that, used napkins were collected in cardboard boxes and the kids spread them around the house when they waxed nostalgic and wanted to revisit their fixations of years, or months, past.
I started drawing for the first kid in 2006, and there were maybe three or four years of just Sharpie, mostly black, with some special efforts in Sharpie colors.
By the time the second child was added to the program in 2009, I had caved in to the pressure for more color.
Then there was the pressure to fill in the whole napkin and have multiple characters.
Napkins with too much white space were perceived as shirking. And god forbid if one kid’s napkin had less white space than the other- that was a blatant case of favoritism.
While the napkins did return home most often, they were improved by selective crumpling and applications of yogurt and catsup.
Eventually I graduated to more expensive art markers that allowed a wider palette and faster coverage of the surface.
And eventually the kids stopped using them as, well, napkins.
My younger son looked at the image of the sand person napkin tonight and told me my drawing has improved a lot. While this is true, these truly daily napkins back from the early days with a six year old and a two year old were only drawn at night after the kids were in bed in the midst of multiple other domestic chores including of course, the packing of a nutritious lunch (so nutritious!)
So, my time was rather limited, and the finessing of sand person fingers was not a priority.
But yes, I do draw better after 13 years of napkins, it is true.