Garrick Infanger is not an artist. He does work hard on an unsuccessful art website called The Krakens that only his mother and sister read. He explains about his series Lunch Bags, “I work with two rules. I can only use a Sharpie and I have to work fast because everyone is trying to get out the door in the morning. I also love the fact that the bags are completely ephemeral–they don’t make it out of the cafeteria.” He lives with his wife and five hungry kids in Tampa, Florida.
Tell us about your evolution as an artist. Again, and I can’t say this any more emphatically, I am not an artist. I did doodle a lot growing up. I spent most sacrament meetings trying to craft a comic that would make my family laugh out loud. My dear mother was wise enough to see that my piano career was going nowhere and switched me to art lessons. My teacher, John Thrasher, was wonderful and is now on the faculty at Ohio State University. I will forever remember those quiet Friday afternoons in his eclectic apartment as he labored to teach a hapless, talentless boy to pen and ink.
Your series Lunch Bags, is…okay. The artwork is a little rough, but can you explain a few of these that don’t seem to make any sense? I feel like I keep repeating this, but I am not an artist. One is a pretty accurate series of aircraft. Another is a crude homage to cars from famous 80’s pop culture (can you name them?). One of my favorites is modeled after teams from the English Premier League. I also enjoy hiding birthdates or incorporating their names into the designs.
What’s been the reaction to Lunch Bags? I’ve received some nice reviews from the lunch ladies. My mother feigns interest when I text her pictures of the bags. But, like so many things in my life, I am the only person who enjoys them. My kids show mild amusement when they see the bags each morning, but after a few weeks of Dad’s doodles they diplomatically ask for lunch boxes and I put the Sharpies away for a spell. One of my favorites was the series I did for September 11, but my wife deemed them not-appropriate-for-a-grade-school-cafeteria and they didn’t leave the house. I thought they were pretty good–considering I’m not an artist.
(April Fools! Huzzah.)