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Staff member uses lunch bags as canvas

Kilgore%27s+instruments+of+choice+lay+around+her+as+she+draws+a+winter+scene+on+a+lunch+bag+for+her+daughter%2C+Norah+Hadley.++Kilgore+uses+Prismacolor+colored+pencils%2C+sharpies+and+an+assortment+of+markers+in+her+lunch+bag+art+for+Norah+and+her+son%2C+Ethan+Hadley.
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Staff member uses lunch bags as canvas

Kilgore's instruments of choice lay around her as she draws a winter scene on a lunch bag for her daughter, Norah Hadley.  Kilgore uses Prismacolor colored pencils, sharpies and an assortment of markers in her lunch bag art for Norah and her son, Ethan Hadley.

Kilgore's instruments of choice lay around her as she draws a winter scene on a lunch bag for her daughter, Norah Hadley. Kilgore uses Prismacolor colored pencils, sharpies and an assortment of markers in her lunch bag art for Norah and her son, Ethan Hadley.

Jason Howell

Kilgore's instruments of choice lay around her as she draws a winter scene on a lunch bag for her daughter, Norah Hadley. Kilgore uses Prismacolor colored pencils, sharpies and an assortment of markers in her lunch bag art for Norah and her son, Ethan Hadley.

Jason Howell

Jason Howell

Kilgore's instruments of choice lay around her as she draws a winter scene on a lunch bag for her daughter, Norah Hadley. Kilgore uses Prismacolor colored pencils, sharpies and an assortment of markers in her lunch bag art for Norah and her son, Ethan Hadley.

Jason Howell, Assistant Photo Editor

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Growing up, Christy Kilgore was always an artist.

And that love of art translates to her work in design, but, more recently came to light through her children’s lunches.

Kilgore, the assistant director of marketing and creative services, became famous across the Internet after posting what she would send on her children’s lunch bags: colorful designs to help set them apart from the other children.

Kilgore colors snow on the bottom of a lunch bag set to be given to her daughter, Norah Hadley.

Jason Howell
Kilgore colors snow on the bottom of a lunch bag set to be given to her daughter, Norah Hadley.

She posted the designs to the social website Reddit, where it soon gained attention and traction.

“It was the craziest thing,” she said.  “I didn’t expect anyone to care about it.”

She started designing on her children’s lunch bags after their reusable bags became lost—she wrote their names on some bags in a decorative font with a quick drawing.

It went from there.

“After break, my daughter was like, ‘Are you still going to do lunch bags?’ and I was l like, ‘I hadn’t really thought about it.  I guess if you really want me to,’” she said.

Thinking of subjects to design is the hardest part for Kilgore.

“The kids will sometimes have requests for special days or if it’s their teacher’s birthday,” she said.

Designs she has done include a cartoon version of Captain America, Lisa Simpson and designs that encompass the day of the week or season.

With paper bags as her canvas, she uses pencils, Sharpies and Prismacolor colored pencils.

She’ll use pencil first, drawing out the design, after which she’ll outline it again in Sharpie.  Then she’ll color it in and outline it again in Sharpie.

“When I first started doing it I was just using the kid’s color pencils like Crayolas from school and I got all … anal retentive and I was like, I need to get some Prismacolors,” she said.

Kilgore welcomes the daily task of decorating the lunch bags, as she doesn’t do much drawing in her current role.

“Sitting on the computer all day, even if you like to draw, you just don’t really draw that much anymore,” she said.  “Even if you aren’t a good artist, it’s kind of therapeutic to sit and draw.”

She uploads her designs to Instagram and has connected with others who draw art on lunch containers — from moms who just do it to actual illustrators and tattoo artists.

Even with the time she spends on the bags, only some of them make it home, and it’s not a big deal to her.

She even asked her son after he started his seventh grade year if he wanted the drawings to continue, and he said yes.

And she expects that at any moment, as her kids grow older, they will tell her to stop.

“I like to do them,” she said.  “And the kids like them.”

Jason Howell can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]

About the Contributor
Jason Howell, Online Editor

Hi, my name is Jason Howell. I am a senior journalism major with an emphasis in photojournalism. I am currently the Online Editor at the Daily Eastern...

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Staff member uses lunch bags as canvas