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Lunch box Drawings

In recent years, Jo Ann has merged her passion for art with parenting Maya, her daughter with Down syndrome. When Maya began school, Jo Ann started putting drawings in her lunch box each day. At first, the sketches were simply a way for Maya to know that her mom was thinking about her while she was at school as well as an opportunity for the artist to work on her art each day.

“As a mother to a child with special needs, I didn't have the time I wanted to devote to creating my art. I saw the lunch box napkins as an opportunity to practice the skill of drawing,” Jo Ann explains. “Every morning while Maya is eating breakfast, I challenge myself to create a little work of art to send with her to school. Each one takes about ten to fifteen minutes to draw.”

Later, the drawings became a documentation of special moments and milestones found in everyday activities, resulting in the series Jo Ann now calls “Happiness Is…”. While the drawings are personal and have meaning for Maya and Briseño, they also have a universal message of being mindful in everyday moments. Whimsy can be found in the ordinary, and challenges can lead to achievement.

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