Jo Ann Briseno spends weekday mornings like many parents: She gets her daughter breakfast, helps her get ready for school and then packs her lunch.
She then takes 10 minutes to draw.
It may seem strange but it does make her 8-year-old daughter Maya happy.
“She loves getting them,” said Briseno.
Maya has Down syndrome and anything Mom can do to help her smile is time well spent.
“She is worth every second,” said Briseno.
It’s something Briseno has been doing the past three years. She draws a picture on a tiny napkin, often of Maya with a message or thought.
“They have become more about her life,” said Briseno.
The paper art has become a way of life. After seeing it for the first time at lunch, Maya brings the napkin home and sticks it up on the refrigerator. The artwork has become a memory book of sorts. Briseno has kept almost every one and now has 465 napkins in her office.
“I feel a lot of joy having her, and I want to share that with the world,” said Briseno.
The napkins are often drawn from pictures of Maya. Many illustrate milestones in her life, like walking up the stairs or drinking out of a cup for the first time. Briseno has dozens hung on a wall in her office, dozens more are neatly placed in a show box.
“My art reflects the joy and happiness she brings to my life,” said Briseno.
The napkins will now be part of an art show featuring Briseno and Maya. Dozens of the napkins will be on display at The Millet House Gallery in Mesa starting in November.