Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co. was a featured speaker at last month’s THREADX Conference at the Kona Kai Resort in San Diego. Also having led a sold-out, two-hour designer workshop the day before the event, he presented a dynamic, thought-provoking mind-bender to the entire conference titled “Things that Don’t Have a Thing to Do with Graphic Design.”
My take on creativity centers around the theory that people are either left-brained or right-brained, meaning that one side of their brain is dominant. If you're mostly analytical and methodical in your thinking, you're said to be left-brained. If you tend to be more creative or artistic, you're thought to be right-brained.
As a self-defined left-brain guy, I was unsure of what my takeaway would be from Draplin’s presentation, but as a decorated apparel business owner, I knew that I needed to better understand creativity, and THREADX was my opportunity.
The right-brain crowd in the room was already worshipping at the Draplin altar after participating in the pre-event workshop, eager to learn more. From my seat in the back of the room, I could readily identify the "spreadsheet analytical” individuals in the room as they reached for their electronic devices when Draplin was introduced to the group.
Draplin skillfully began to tell his story guided by a PowerPoint presentation that kept him on track and pace while very effectively displaying his unique style and tremendous passion for his projects, family and the friends that have effectively become a part of his extended family.
His bigger-than-life persona, supported by a bigger-than-life presentation style, slowly and very effectively drew the analytics in as the electronic devices were set aside and full attention was devoted to his passion for creative design.
Looking back, my observations showed how the education attendees found at THREADX spoke to all aspects of a garment decoration business, where creativity and innovation meets the analytical and methodical aspects of running a business. The conference education covered design, consumer culture, branding strategies, leadership approaches and more.
I personally now have a greater respect and understanding for the creative mind and hope to be able to better nurture creativity in my own business thanks to Draplin’s presentations.
Now, I look forward to seeing what THREADX 2020 in Scottsdale brings!