Aaron James Draplin needs no introduction – he is the Lionel Messi of graphic design. Someone who is humble and the best at what he does. This interview makes so much sense to someone embarking in to the world of graphic design and is well worth a listen but I thought I would summarise some points made below!
- Be Authentic
Aaron Draplin has no other personas than the one he always is. He is straight talking and honest which has made him one of the most famous graphic designers out there. As a result of his authentic character, he is the most relatable to people, and this has assured his great success as a designer and entrepreneur. Even now he earns thousands every logo, he is still modest and humble. Being authentic has hugely contributed to his success!
2. Be compassionate
Aaron sells merchandise when he does his shows if someone doesn’t have enough money to buy something, he’ll simply give it away. Why? Because he recognises the value in giving something for free – especially sharing when you have more than others.
In addition, Aaron does work for free for his friends if they need helping out. Being compassionate has helped him become seen as a generous and warm person which has, in turn, lead to jobs.
3. Create all the time
Despite being constantly on the road, Aaron is making new work in the little pockets of time he has. He has made sure his hobby has become his job by doing passion projects along side he work. Always carry a notebook round and constantly sketch. He suggests Field Notes (the books he made!).
4. Don’t work for others if you can work for yourself!
Aaron became freelancer when he realised that all the extra work he was doing he wasn’t getting paid for, so why not put all that work in to his own projects? He advises that when you’re ready and if you’re committed, working for yourself is more lucrative and more rewarding.
5. Hit small milestones
Aaron Draplin says that being broke taught him to be hungry and frugal. His first goal was to reach five thousand dollars, and then ten etc. These incremental increases keep you chasing your next goal but also mean you don’t bask in the glory of achieving your last goal. Stay hungry and focussed!
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