Did You Know Cardboard Could be Used as Art?



The other day I was at a festival downtown perusing the many different tents that had set up shop for the day. I had biscuits with mushroom gravy for the first time in my life (didn’t even know it existed before then, really). I visited an old garage that had been turned into rustic, artsy coffee shop.

It seemed like the place to find interesting and unique things like those I saw early in the day, so I explored some more and came across probably the coolest art I had seen in awhile.

It was cardboard art.

The artist seemed to have taken old cardboard boxes of various sizes and painted cartoonish art reminiscent of street graffiti on them. The style was very Invader Zim-esque, with a boxy style to the lines (this was probably intentional). Another unique feature of the art was the use of many “layers” to create a 3D effect. The main focus always protruded from the background layer.


I was almost tempted to buy a piece because of how unique it was. Everything was cleanly and professionally done. There were smaller pieces that could be hung in an apartment or larger pieces for basements and party rooms.

Perhaps the thing that interested me most, though, was how familiar the medium was. Packaging supplies like cardboard boxes boxes are everywhere in our daily lives, yet they seem to be something we overlook. They’re almost entirely made for function with no other use, yet the repurposing of them as art was just brilliant.

Maybe that was the message, though. We pass by so many things in our daily lives and don’t stop to register what it is we use all the time. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are most brilliant. Pens, pencils, and markers, for instance, are essential to our lives, yet if we had no access to them but needed to write something down on paper, what would we use to write with instead?

There are many other packaging supplies we could think of that could be repurposed (even if it’s not art). Rubber bands are useful for hundreds of at-home needs. Bubble wrap is almost more of an entertainment than item for packaging and support. Packing tape is remembered more for its distinct sound when being unraveled than its actual use.

What other everyday items can you think of that elude your notice but are essential to productivity?

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