Calling Aaron James Draplin a “graphic artist” is the understatement of the century. Draplin, aka D.D.C., is a Detroit-born-and-bred powerhouse. He’s a designer, artist, and author, with signature creations that are immediately recognizable—a huge feat in the world of art direction and design. Draplin Design Co. and LEUS have come together for a full capsule featuring the iconic DDC look. Just prepare yourself, wherever you go with this towel, you’ll no doubt get the question, “Whoa, is that a Draplin towel?!” …Buy one to use, buy one to keep in mint condition, this may be our first ever “investment” towel.
Born and raised? Born in Detroit, 19073. Raised in Central Lake, Mich. until I was 13. Then Traverse City until I was 19, when I headed out west with buddies to snowboard in Oregon.
Guilty pleasure? Damn, a couple of slices of pepperoni pizza and a Coke are high on the list, but that would make my internist squirm. Forever hungry. Dang it.
Pet peeve? People who are mean to checkout workers at a grocery store, DMV or the like. If I see that shit go down, I’ll stand up for the worker every time. Get a grip, Karen.
Words of wisdom? Don’t know how wise these words are, but they roll around in my head all the time: “Keep it fun.” When working, when traveling, when hitting the grocery store. It applies to everything and makes life a little bit more exciting.
What led you to graphic design? It was just creative enough to tickle my art bone. But also, pragmatic to make a living. I paid my way out west, and had to put myself through school and all that shit required making loot. Graphic design offered the best of both worlds: A way to make art, and a paycheck. Thankful as hell for that.What inspires you to create Trying to make then best use of my time on Planet Earth, trying like hell to make a good living to take care of those around me, and maybe just maybe enjoy it along the way. So far, so good!
Who are some of your early inspirations? Legos, Adventure people, Star Wars and Hot Wheels. This is up to about ’83. After that it was heavy metal music, right into alternative stuff and then smashing my head on the indie rock.
Top five albums?
01. Dinosaur Jr - Green Mind
02. Red House Painters - Songs For A Blue Guitar
03. Flaming Lips - Transmissions From The Satellite Heart
04. Son Volt - Trace
05. MC5 - Kick Out The Jams
Must have road trip essentials? Things that come to mind to keep stocked: Burly jumper cables, a good flash light, tie-down straps, duct tape, small set of tools, couple box cutters, roll of packing tape (never know when you might have to ship some merch from the road), mattress, pillow, clean-ish sheets, blankie, 5-gallon drum and a roll of toilet paper. (It’s good to be ready for when nature calls in some antique mall parking lot.)
In the immediate? Extra-long phone cords, a mounted phone for safety, snacks within reach, a big cup of crushed ice and nothing pressing on me project-wise. This way I can be free, easy, and vector-free for a bit.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset! I’m saving sunrise for my older days. I remember my dad suddenly starting to get up at 5 AM. And how he got so much done before noon. I liked that, but I’m saving it. Hell, I’m hoping I make it to 49!