I used to work in a shipping/receiving center (back in 2004, at a now-defunct family-owned music store). I appreciate the unique kind of boredom and goofy inspiration that can germinate in the repetitive, “hurry-up-and-wait” hustle working shipping and handling.
As I find myself ordering an increasing amount of goods from large corporations that automate their processing/shipping on assembly lines, I realized that small stores that pack/ship their own products deserve some special love, so I got the idea to engage them with a bit of creative fun, to share a bit of (still-)human joy beyond the cardboard and tape and distance between us.
So in 2022, one day, when ordering some musical toy, I added into the Notes for Shipper’ to “if you have the time and inspiration, take sharpie and draw on my box your interpretation to the art-prompt…“
and the best idea I could come up with for something simultaneously silly, evocative, abstract, and totally relatable.
Here is a gallery, in chronological order, of selected interpretation-drawings that lovely hands behind this shipping and handling have been kind enough to share.
From some eBay Seller
From Drum Factory Direct #1
From Drum Factory Direct #2
From Music Go Round
…this one was a BLAST. When I made this order, there was not a “shipper comment” field to offer the prompt… so I called their office and talked to the manager. He said, “yeah, I’ll relay the message to my guy in shipping… he has a degree in Fine Art… he’ll love it.”
I hope to keep this fun exchange going for as long as I can.
Who knows, maybe you’ll see your own work show up here.