Draplin’s use of colour, stroke and technique enable him to work on some of the world's most prestigious communication campaigns. He has been featured heavily in the Vans | Off The Wall series, as well as working for brands as large as Nike down to small American bands as part of his “passion projects”. Aaron's career started with a snowboard graphic for Solid snowboards and took off like wildfire and soon after, Draplin Design Co. was born.
What made you want to get into graphic design?
I’m creative, I love design, I love the look of things.
What project have you been most proud of so far in your career?
Every project means something special to me. I talk about it in the workshops, it’s a really unique question to ask, what project am I or any other designer most proud of, man, there is a question. So much goes into that, so you really have to look at a lot of contributing factors, some good, some not so good, but at the end of the day, I have a whole bunch. You can check them out online or better yet come and talk to me about them in either Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, I’d love to see and hear about some of the designers in Australia and what their proudest projects have been, it’s a really unique question and a different answer for everyone.
What's your worst client story?
Can’t really share that one, not in print anyway. Come to the events, you are guaranteed to hear a great story there about it – no recorders!
How would you define your “passion projects”?
Projects that come to life through my merch, Draplin Design Co., also projects for people and business who can’t really afford to get something amazing done, but have an amazing story, that’s really unique – my buddy Cory’s Cobra Dogs hot dog cart. That one is always on the mind. Mainly for its spirit. It was a rescue effort and at the same time offered many lessons to me.
What are you most looking forward to about Australia?
I’m not a big fan of the heat, so I’ve been told by JMC Academy that the timing of our events will mean I get a great blend of late winter into the next season, so bring it on! I am really looking forward to seeing some unique places, I love going to record stores and I am also looking at getting out and about, checking out some signage. I’m hoping to find some cool, imaginative images of the past on old awnings, things of that nature. I’d love to see some Aussie bands also.
What's in your tool kit?
Pencils, pixels and of course my Field Notes booklets, they’re used by designers and creatives worldwide; they allow you to quickly note down an idea and then take it into your design space to expand on it. There’s something magical and timeless about a pencil and paper.
What's your best piece of advice?
A lot of times I get to work on stuff I love and with people I dig. The shitty, blue-collar jobs I’ve worked in my life? They didn’t offer any of this. So, I’m rather proud to have graduated to something that suits me more. And, I know what it’s like to be bummed, and still, how to buckle down and finish the job. Out of design college or your first job, that sometimes is going to be challenging; don’t think it's going to be exciting either, sometimes the job you get may be boring. Guess what? It’s okay! That’s how it is for every designer starting out, including myself; chin up and make it happen, you have to take steps to make it to where you want to be, be realistic, work hard and don’t give up, you will get there!
Aaron Draplin will host a workshop at the JMC Academy Brisbane Campus 30 July; Melbourne Campus 31 July; and Sydney Campus 1 August.