Creative Dad Always Illustrates Stunning Works of Art on His Kids’ Lunch Bags

Creative dad Lynell Jinks, aka Brown Bag Dad, knows how to make his kids feel special. Using a plain brown paper bag as his canvas, he draws and paints stunning art on his 11- and 12-year-olds’ lunch bags. The illustrations range from cartoon characters to action heroes as well as important figures in real life. While the focus is often the figures themselves—Jinks is a talented artist who is adept at capturing likenesses—he also imbues the bags with written inspiration and wisdom that’s from the point of view of the characters.

Jinks, who works as a creative director, first drew artwork on his son’s bag five years ago for a field trip. “My wife said I should draw his name [Izaac] on the bag,” he recalls. “I drew Iron Man but instead wrote Izaac Man.” Since then, it’s become a tradition, and Jinks dedicates a couple of hours a night to decorating the bags for the next day. His kids, Izaac and Zelina, are appreciative; they’ve kept every bag he’s ever illustrated for them.

While Jinks’ kids are undoubtedly fans of his work, someone else likes his brown bag art. On Father’s Day, former President Barack Obama shared Jinks’ recreations of the Obamas’ portraits at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery on his Instagram. “Now this is a pretty cool dad move,” Obama wrote. “Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there like Lynell Jinks, who creates beautiful art on his kids’ lunch bags to remind them to be proud of their own gifts.”

Every school day, creative dad Lynell Jinks draws and paints amazing brown bag art on his kids' lunches.

Recently, his years-long tradition caught the eye of someone special: former President Barack Obama.

The Obama bag paintings were inspired by a trip the family had taken to see the two portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. But, that's not all that Jinks illustrates…

A post shared by Lynell Jinks (@brownbagbrowndad) on

Lynell Jinks: Instagram | Facebook

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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