By day, Dave Blumenthal is a (largely) ordinary man who works in finance and tries to navigate the ups and downs of fatherhood. Dave works as a cartoonist at night. Dave mixes his love of art with his passion for wordplay and dad jokes by drawing under the alias "Sandwich Bag Dad."
The story of Sandwich Bag Dad began in 2012. Sharni, Dave's elder daughter, had just started school a few weeks after her baby sister was born. Dave's wife began carving little love hearts and other shapes into Sharni's school sandwiches to make her feel special and cherished throughout this upheaval of events. Dave took up the sandwich carving chores after a few days, and things quickly got out of hand. Dave was soon hearing fresh carving requests from Sharni's friends and instructors as the daily sandwich cut-outs became more and more detailed.
The daily sandwich carvings continued for weeks.
Dave spotted a marker pen on the kitchen worktop one day as he was about to begin a new sandwich carving "masterpiece" and had an idea. Rather than cutting shapes into the bread, why not have him draw his patterns on the sandwich bag? They say the rest is sandwich bag history.
Drawing on Sharni's lunch bags became a daily routine after that. Dave's lunch bag art grew in popularity among Sharni's classmates, teachers, and school personnel over the next five years. "Your daughter is doing wonderful, but can we chat more about your lunch bag drawings?" Sharni's instructors would often begin parent-teacher interviews with.
Dave finally joined the world of social media in 2016, after much coaxing from Sharni's instructors, and created his "Sandwich Bag Dad" profiles on Instagram and Facebook to begin sharing his works.
Dave's daily lunch bag workload increased and then quadrupled over the next four years when Sharni's two sisters, Tia and Milly, attended school and began to demand their own original sandwich bag paintings. Throughout this time, he continued to share his work on his social media sites and amass a huge following.
Dave's odd habit went widespread in 2020. Sandwich Bag Dad has been featured in a number of newspapers and international entertainment websites. His lunch bags even received their own show at the National Cartoon Gallery in Australia.
Dave continues his custom of drawing lunch bag drawings for all three of his daughters every school day to this day. The bags are normally made at night, and each one takes between 10 and 30 minutes to sketch, depending on its complexity. When Dave is finished, he pictures his work and stacks it for posterity on social media. The Sandwich Bag Kids go through the stockpile every morning to choose their bags before dumping their sandwiches inside and heading to school. Although Dave's lunch bag is periodically hung on the classroom wall, the vast majority of the bags are crumpled and thrown in the recycling bin. Dave, on the other hand, is unconcerned. He knows the bag did its job, delivering a smile, an eye roll... and a sandwich to school lunchtime.
All images supplied by Sandwich Bag Dad.