When we moved into our current apartment in the Short North, we bought a washer-dryer machine from the previous tenants of our place. It’s a 3rd floor walk up with a maze-like set of stairs, so it was easier for them to just leave it in the flat and sell it to us. They stopped by on a hot afternoon while we were moving in, dripping in sweat, to collect the payment for the washer-dryer. We got to talking about the apartment, of course, and their nostalgia for the old walls mingled with our fresh excitement for arranging our belongings in a new light-filled space. They told us they had become good friends with the landlord by drawing little pictures on the envelope when they paid rent. I really took to this idea, and I picked up the practice where they left off. Except for (I think) one month, we’ve given our landlord a tiny piece of art each month that we’ve been here. Typically I like to draw the buildings in our neighborhood- especially the ones they own. Partially because of my predilection for architecture, and partially because our landlord is basically responsible for the resurgence/establishment of our neighborhood. I like the idea of living in the arts district and generating these little bits of art each month. It’s a good ritual. Here’s part 1 of my collection of rent check doodles.