“I was very inspired by album art, posters and merchandise of the bands that influenced me back then.”
Got his start slinging ink and shredding strings - this one is not afraid to get his hands dirty. Drew Lakin spends most days obsessing over type, texture and print design. His secret? His family's recipe for Gooey Butter Cake!
Tell us about your path to becoming a graphic designer.
To this day, I think about how it's been a very interesting path into this field. When I was 17, I dropped out of high school, got my GED and joined a band so that I could tour, travel and play music every chance I could. I had always been a doodler, enjoyed design, even though I didn’t quite comprehend how important it is and how fun it could be. Our vocalist was our designer, designing all of our merchandise, website, album covers, posters, etc. At one point we decided we were tired of paying someone to print our t-shirts, so he and I invested in a screen printing set up. I quickly taught myself how to print and eventually I got super interested in wanting to do some design work myself. I was very inspired by album art, posters and merchandise of the bands that influenced me back then. I got a very limited version of Photoshop and I was hooked. I had a short lived t-shirt company, all designed and printed by me. And then it dawned on me, I love this, I’d like to go to school to learn more about design history and get more technically proficient in creating design work. It’s been an obsession ever since.
Who or what inspires you?
I’d say it's a mix of specific individuals and general activities I try to experience as often as I can. I often note Jacob Bannon (of Converge) as a huge inspiration to how I approach utilizing my creative energy. Loving his band, record label and art from an early age engrained the idea of doing things myself and living that mentality. I’m inspired by my dad who has been self-employed a large portion of my life, with a lot of ups and downs and managed to raise my brother and I to be successful men. And my mom for always believing in me and pushing me to pursue any crazy idea I ever had. Throw in a slew of creative friends and loved ones that I interact with regularly that excel at their craft. Aside from individuals, traveling and experiencing other cultures, landscapes and ways of life has always inspired me. I also cant forget about the music I listen to on a daily basis. It is how I got into this whole thing, so thanks music.
Were you creative as a kid?
That’s a great question. I remember enjoying art classes as a kid and doing relatively well with it, though I dont think I realized how much it meant to me then. I was more of an active kid, playing a handful of sports, climbing trees and getting into trouble.
What do you like about living in Austin?
The answer to this question could feasibly change regularly hah, but in general I love the creative energy of the city. Becoming apart of the design community here has been very rewarding from a career and relationship perspective. I’ve made so many friends since I moved here from San Antonio 12 years ago and even as it’s evolved in some good/not so good ways, the creative energy remains.
What is your typical day like?
Typically I get woken up by my pup and tend to her. Make some coffee and answer emails before I get into any work. Then I just grind most of the day, take a break for lunch and try to check out by 6pm.
What's your favorite food?
Such a tough question, but I’d have to say some form of Tex-Mex. Can’t beat a meal that starts with chips and dips, a spicy marg, a dish comprised of tortillas, cheese, some tasty spiced meats and veggies.