When Dominick Cabalo noticed three years ago that his son Nicholas, then in Grade 4, was struggling to make new friends at school, he came up with a creative way to help him “break the ice.” The graphic artist from Glendale, Calif. started creating amazing drawings on his son’s brown paper lunch bags.

From Captain America to Darth Vader to Kobe Bryant, Cabalo has drawn approximately 400 pictures of superheroes, movie characters and pop culture icons on his son’s lunch bags. The Grade 7 student told CTV News Channel on Wednesday that he’s noticed the impact his father’s artwork has had on social life at school.

“It would spur a conversation. If it was a movie, then we would talk about what happened or our favourite scenes,” Nicholas said. “More people would talk or people I don’t talk to would start talking to me about what he has drawn on bags.”

Although Cabalo said he can’t see his son’s schoolmates’ reactions to his drawings first-hand, Nicholas will often let him know which ones were hits at school.

“If I do something funny or draw something quite humorous, Nicholas will report back to me and say, ‘Oh yeah, they really liked this one or we really cracked up at this one,’” Cabalo said.

Cabalo said his son’s favourite drawings are the ones that feature superheroes. He explained that, every time a new superhero movie is released, he will make sure to include that character on a lunch bag. With so many lunch bags and superhero movie sequels, Cabalo admits there have been a few repeated characters over the years.

“Every time a new movie comes out that we share an interest in, I’ll draw that again or in a different pose maybe,” he said.

Cabalo has posted numerous photos of his son’s lunch bags to the sites Imgur and Instagram. He wrote in one of his posts that he tries to keep as many of the bags as possible, but some are lost to the “occasional soggy sandwich or leaky drink,” which is why he tries to only spend an hour working on each one.

As for how long the artistic father plans on decorating his son’s lunch bags? Cabalo said it’s up to Nicholas.

“It depends on him,” Cabalo said. “If he wants me to keep doing it, I’ll keep doing it.”


"Braised Beaker" #LunchBagArt #sharpie and #coloredpencils on #brownpaperbag #muppets #beaker #meep #muppet

A photo posted by DomNX - Artist (@domnx_art) on