You never know when or where inspiration will strike. But if you’re open to creative opportunities sooner or later you’ll see something that makes a connection. Check out photographer, Vern Brieitenbucher‘s story about how his portfolio evolved into the beautifully hand-crafted and rustic looking object it is today.
I asked Vern if he made the case and portfolio himself. This is his response –
“In answer to your question, yes I did make it myself, with the help of one of my clients. When I first started it was just to solve a problem. My book didn’t fit well in any kind of travel case. And every time it returned it needed to be cleaned up and repaired a little. One time I set it down on an old apple box (the wood ones that you use to prop up things in the studio) and realized it was the same size, plus the box had great patina to it, it was all texture and tone. I thought this would be a perfect fit with the images I’ve been working on. I couldn’t bring myself to cut it up, so I decided to make something that looked just like it. After I finish the wood part of the box. I realized that the spine of the book would look much better if it matched the seam of the box. In about a week I had everything completely torn apart.
What had started out as an idea for a shipping box Snowballed into a completely new portfolio. I finish the woodworking portion, and requested help from one of my clients shoe designer George Esquivel. I couldn’t think of anyone better to help me with the leather portion. He quickly guided me through soaking the leather,shaping it and then leaving it in the sun so it would shift color. The last thing that I added was the side graphics. The apple box that was the original inspiration, had the studio name stenciled on the side so you could identify it when it was all stacked with the rest of the boxes. Every time I had been in a art buyer’s office there was always a stack of portfolios and all you could really see was the side, it seemed the perfect place to get in some name
recognition. And it illuminates the need to open everything up just to get my name.”