Draplin at JMC Academy

Aaron James Draplin is one of the world's most recognisable designers, and recently, he flew down under to present talks at JMC Academy.

His work has been featured on campaigns from Nike to Cobra Dogs, and the President of the United States.

His design work is quite iconic of what is now known as the Draplin style, having a certain retro feature to his designs. Aaron gets his inspiration from the above outlets as well as just about anything he sees, including the Australian landscape and other surroundings on his recent trip down under to present talks at JMC Academy.

Where do you find inspiration?
“Legos, old logos, fall foliage, Carhartt clothing, Mom, Dad, water decals, going junking, road trips, old patches, skateboarding, snowboarding, things made in America, Field Notes, Filson bags, traveling, doing speaking gigs, my nephew Oliver, getting away with it all, saving loot, collecting records, Martin guitars, Fender Jazzmaster electric guitars, old signs, neon, smart tattoos, Levi 501s, growing up, beards, a cold Coke, America, President Obama, orange stuff, DDC merch, thick lines, Sasquatch lore, Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Stefan Kanchev, Wally Olins, arrows, pizza, bagels, caesar salad, black t-shirts, metal toolboxes, Saucony Jazz shoes, wiener dogs, getting cosmic, existentialism and Creme Brûlée, just to name a few.’

What advice would you give to people starting their career in design?
“That right out of the gates, it’s gonna be hard. And challenging. And boring. And, here’s the fun part: It’s okay. That’s how it is for every kid starting out. Same for me. Just take it on the chin and learn as much as you can, quietly scheming for that chance to make the next step. It’s gonna take time, too. I’ve seen the kids who expect the big time right out of school. That might happen for 1 out of 100? Sure didn’t happen to me, and I was okay with it. Be realistic, you know?”

Aaron recently visited JMC Academy campuses where he gave his Tall Tales From a Large Man talk, along with some tips and tricks for upcoming designers, he also spent quite a while after the talks hanging out with students and chatting all things thick lines. He covered topics as wide ranging as where he finds inspiration, how he handles problem clients and what music he likes to play while working.

Keep an eye out on our YouTube page for videos from Aarons visit down under, and keep updated on other great events happening at JMC on our Facebook Page.