Post it

Roy Sanchez enjoys the challenge of creating portraits on the limited space Post-its provide.

Artist Roy Sanchez wants no Post-it to go to waste.

Since September, he has been drawing portraits on the little 3 by 3-inch squares with a flair pen, aiming to complete 100 by year’s end.

Roy Sanchez

Former Astoria English teacher and coach Roy Sanchez is experimenting with art on a nontraditional canvas.

His models are people he knows personally, friends or followers on social media, and even people from online stock photos.

“About a quarter are actually animals because people started asking me to draw their pets,” Sanchez said.

Why make art on Post-its?

“Somehow I inherited stacks of these,” Sanchez said. “There’s so much waste with art supplies and office supplies, I wanted to see what I can do with them.”

Sanchez added that Post-its are easy to carry around, and push the boundaries of traditional art.


Sanchez is on a mission to create 100 Post-it portraits.

“It’s a creative constraint, if you limit yourself to 3 by 3 inches, you’re going to learn how to do things, like composition,” he said. “You really have to work hard to figure out how to make it work.”

‘A creative explosion’

The learning curve is just another in a series for Sanchez. He is the new program director of the Miss Bea Johnson Fund, an Astoria Visual Arts program that partners with Astoria and Knappa high schools to help teens create art. The role is an extension of Sanchez’s previous career as an English teacher and coach at the Astoria high and middle schools, and he continues to substitute teach today.

While teaching English, his only connection to art was doodling, which, he admits, he never took seriously.

“I wanted to get out of the classroom to explore artmaking and do something I felt I was good at but never got a chance to explore in depth,” he said. “I was trying to focus on doing things for my mental health and just being creative.”

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Often inspired by comic books, Sanchez enjoys drawing portraits.

Sanchez quit teaching, “against everyone’s advice,” to dedicate himself to drawing, and then the pandemic hit. The timing allowed him the chance to figure out what was next.

“It was a creative explosion,” he said. “I got to improve my craft.”

‘You can tell a lot of stories’

His first work was a watercolor painting of Dog the Bounty Hunter and his late wife.


Sanchez displays his first piece, a painting of Dog the Bounty Hunter and his late wife. 

From that moment, Sanchez has explored a range of techniques and media, from sidewalk chalk art to watercolor to pen or pencil drawing. He draws every day, building on his love of comics.

“I love the funniness of comics and the truthfulness,” Sanchez said. “You can tell a lot of stories with that.”

Sanchez focuses on creating portraits with regular school and office supplies to avoid waste.

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Sanchez draws portraits of people he knows.

“The one thing that I do constantly is draw people,” he said. “At airports, restaurants — people like that stuff.”

A plan for the future

Sanchez’s goal is to display all 100 Post-it portraits at a local exhibition space.

“It would be interesting to see the progression of my drawing over the three months doing this project,” Sanchez said. “And the patterns in the portraits.”

More than 1,000 Post-its still remain in his stash, ready to become works of art.

“I’m going to use them eventually,” he said.

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