The Gifted Blog

May 16, 2012

Cajas de Vlad | Why We Make

I write The Gifted Blog because I love to create. I've been reflecting on what it means to love making things. I hope this series will be a jumping-off point for thoughtful discussion among us. For the whole series, click here.

There are many different answers to the question, "Why do we create?" But one of them has got to be - we just can't help it. When reader Vlad wrote to me from Caracas, Venezuela, I couldn't help smile at his story. I think it perfectly exemplifies that I can't help it! aspect of creating. But before you read further, check out his album of gift boxes.

Wild, right? There are 150+ photos of boxes that Vlad has lovingly covered with wrapping paper. He writes:
The story of my boxes is a long one. About 15 years ago, I started collecting the used cardboard for storyboards before it got to the garbage (I was at the creative department of an advertising agency). I made the boxes from scratch... but it took me about a week to make one in my spare time after work. Why did I start making boxes? Because I didn't like all that material going to waste after so little use.
Years later I found a place where they make mdf boxes, and it hit me that I could use all the wrapping paper that I had left over the years to go back to handcrafts again, and so I did. It relaxes me a lot, and there's a lot of satisfaction from the feedback I get.

Vlad sells his boxes - last year an edition of 85(!) - and gives them as gifts, especially around Christmas. This year he wants to do even more and started making boxes in March to ramp up his production for Cajas de Vlad (Vlad's Boxes).

One thing I really enjoy about Vlad's story is how he wanted to make something beautiful with material that was about to go to waste. It reminds me of one of the lineages of Japanese packaging described in the book How to Wrap Five More EggsYou look at what is in abundance around you, which is perhaps even waste material, as the inspiration for your wrapping.

I also like that Vlad's inspiration came while on the job. Many of us are working jobs that help pay the bills but don't necessarily satisfy our desires as creative people. I'm inspired by the way that Vlad's specific brand of creativity found its way into the office. Do you recognize yourself in this aspect of his story? (Reminds me of this book I came across many years ago.)

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{Images by Vlad Carvajal Crespo via Cajas de Vlad}


  1. absolutely beautiful!

  2. Hi!

    I'm really honoured to be featured in this wonderful blog. Thank you thank you very much! You made my day! I feel kind of international now;-)


    1. Por supuesto! Su cajas are definitely international now. ; )

  3. every box a delicious bit of eye candy. thanks for the introduction Charissa!

    1. My pleasure. The part about wanting to use up the unwanted storyboard cardboard strikes a chord, doesn't it?


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