What I've Learned in 2012: Aaron Draplin (@draplin)

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We reached out to the Portland creative community to find out some of what they learned in 2012. The responses have started coming in, and as promised, there are some gems being passed along.

In this, our third installment, we bring you the DDC commander in chief, Aaron James Draplin. Draplin has been blowing up this year, taking on nearly the entire world through his Tall Tales From A Large Man speaking tour. We couldn't be happier for him and the DDC crew. Here's a few things from the man himself about what he has learned during the past 365:

What did I learn in 2012? Where the hell do I start?

1. Go Wherever They'll Have You.

I did forty speaking fiascos in 2012, and got to go to some of our finest big cities, and, some real holes in the wall. Here's what I learned: It doesn't take a big city to make a place awesome. Rapid City, South Dakota can rule. So can Waterloo, Iowa. It's all about creativity, determination, adaptation, positivity and going for it. I met so many bad-asses in 2012, from places that you don't hear about. So thankful and touched.

2. Republicans Suck That Much More.

We already knew this. To see where the so-called Grand Ol' Party took their so-called message, roster of half-ass shining stars and thinly-veiled selfishness was deplorable at best. Embarrassing bunch of decaying dinosaurs. America is changing. Guns, disproportioned taxes and superstition is on its way out. Abe Lincoln would be pissed.

3. Have Some Perspective.

2012 was a weird year where I was able to step back from what I do and ask, "Is this really what it should be?" And fuck, I feel guilty for even thinking about that shit. Where I am from, every job is a good job. Do not question the good fortune! To take a little breather and look at the bigger picture, it's put some shit into perspective for me. Working as much as I do isn't the answer. So I'm gonna mellow out some. I don't know how that will play out, either. I'll be putting some of the displaced energy into things that have different sorts of returns. (see next paragraph...)

4. So Many People Need Help.

And I aim to donate more time, resources and design to things that help people. I've had a lucky run the last decade, and I guess I could keep working and saving and working and saving and all that, but hell, what the fuck's the point if you don't have the free time to spend it? I'm gonna find a way to help people with what I do. I don't know how just yet, but am excited to explore new ways of working on stuff, for things that help people.


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