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Draplin Design Co., North America
December 30, 1998
Team Chiquita Banana
Posted at 02:10 PM
Draplindustries Gazette #4
December, 1998

Dear All who trust in us:

Hope everyone had a good turkey day.

I spent mine cruising around town with the parents and little sis. Mom and Dad and Leah showed up last Tuesday night the 24th…picked them up at the big Twin-Cities airport. I was greeted with chocolate chip cookies and Mom’s killer spaghetti sauce. Yes, these things need to be mentioned, for they are the basic elements of Draplindustries subsistence. My Mom could warm up a plate of dirt and it would be good. There.

We spent the last couple days shopping around town. My 15 year old sis Leah was on a pilgramage to the Mall of America. She shopped hard and gave thanks to the Abercrombie, Gap and Old Navy gods….hell, I even yellow down jacket ever. “Team Chiquita Banana”. Thanks Dad.

I was constantly full the whole time they were here….big meals out to eat….whoa. Dad loved my favorite surplus store, the mighty “Axeman”. Pride of the Twin Cities, Axeman offers the largest supply of pretty much useless junk. Surplus lots of “weird plastic things” and “space shuttle noses”….everything in the world and then some. Dad loved it…he stocked himself with a bag of “treasures”. Long live Axeman.

We even caught a pal from days in Bend, on layover in the airport, the Amazing Travis Yamada, he was coming in from Boston. Really nice to see him, made me miss the easy livin’ in Oregon. He finally got to have a beer with my Dad. A dream of his come true…hearin’ my spiel about “My Dad this, that Polack that…” sort of riff-raff. The family liked him, cordial kid…the real thing. Travis is thinking of taking up snowboarding, good luck!

The family flew out yesterday. Nice to see them here in the big city. They liked it, thought it was clean and safe…and loved the skyscraper skyline we’d pass by back and forth from my pad. Already miss them.

Kind of a slow month for rock. I did catch the Afghan Whig a couple weeks back….sexy, sultry sounds….”ohhh’s” and “ahhh’s” from the backup singers…”wah-wah” guitar squelch from McCollum….Dulli’s “devil-made-me-do-it” slither as his Telecaster hung from his shoulders. Full on stage production with the lights and Minneapolis jokes written in to the songs…I guess he used to live here. Cool night out…

Literary Update: Of course, we like to think of ourselves as “well-read” individuals here on the factory floor. We just finished up our latest literary endeavor, David Lee Roth’s “Crazy From The Heat”. Oh yeah, laugh it up, but hey, Diamond Dave can tell one hell of a story. This was his “chance” to tell “his side” of the Van Halen breakup… through his angelic eyes. Full on groupie accounts and rock-gone-bad money problems and Dave’s personal credo engrained into my little brain: “My personal best is 5 chicks at once, in Nashville.” Yikes. Hey, he just wanted to, “…party….baaaaaaabbbbby! Yeow!” Please imagine bird calls and other David Lee Roth-isms as you read this section. Hot damn, I found the book at a thrift store for 50 cents and couldn’t pass it up. This month, “Crazy From The Heat”…next month, “War and Peace”. Yeah right.

Onto other enlightened pastures: School.

The semester is winding down and the students are kicking into high gear puttin’ the finishing touches on the final works. Lots of energy and a new exhibit put up every couple days of different works. I had some metal revelations a couple weeks back…my eyes totally opened and welded, riveted, grinded, etc. Love it. Metallic operations added to our expanding arsenal of mediums. Something about molten metal makes me hot. (And burns the hell out of yer gloves!) The materials are very unforgiving….you have to repsect them and their respective properties…and wear the glasses….”fuckin’ shards of metal shootin’ all over hell.” as one shop-tech put it.

I’m building myself a metal portfolio presentation case. Y’know…a holder for my work, for when I go out for an interview. Current portfolios available are the same old black zippered case….monotonous drama….really expensive and the norm. Well, let me suffer for the rest of you as I try to figure out how to one-up the current commercial examples. Aluminum….rivets…weld…hinges…. gonna create a portfolio as tough as steel, and, it will be steel! Wow!. It’ll take a beating! …polished real nice…strong, clean, functional, durable, pragmatic…just like me, right? Well, cross those fingers inside those safety gloves as I go for the gold…uh, steel.

A friend from school, this super-talented Senior by the name of PJ “Hoss” Chmiel took me down to the CSA Design offices for a tour. That’s the Charles Spencer Anderson Design Company…a true hero of mine. Hey, some kids like Micheal Jordan or Leonardo Dicaprio. Me, I’m crazy for this tall, fast talkin’ design enigma named “Chuck”. Amazing studio…3 designers pumping out the latest-greatest promotions, interns cleaning up clip art samples, one kid was shooting Chuck’s favorite “plastock” images…these campy little plastic toys. The air around the place was very laidback and friendly…colorful….pieces of work everywhere…in stacks, framed up, ready to be proofed…so much energy. I would heavily recommend gettin’ yer name on the French Paper Run-of-the-Mill Club’s mailing list…the latest promotions that are soon to come out rule. Thermography highlights…full color series of postcard….fucking amazing.

CSA’s Enemies of Good Design:

  1. Design by executive committees.
  2. Design by oppressed marketing directors.
  3. Design for the lowest common denominator
  4. Design void of any redeeming aesthetic qualities
  5. Design by the pound…the more you crank out the better.(more money you make.)

They design the way they see it fit…laughing at all the theory and terms…just having fun and creating compelling images. It was wonderful to hear it from the man….made my day and reassured me of why I love this design stuff. Because it’s fun.

Developments shaping up for the near future….first completed big-art-school semester…grades!…westbound dreams…maybe a southern jaunt to see/meet (!) friends in Georgia…and all on the chumpiest shoestring budget imagined.

Draplindustries: not yer average farce-ridden Design Co.

Happy Holidaze as the shopping days drop like flies….goddamn consumers anyways.

Aaron James Draplin and the proud people behind the scenes of Draplindustries.