Get to know Blowfish Malibu Art Director, Nikol Drapeau (Macias)!
Welcome to the Blowfish Malibu Spotlight, a new feature on the Journal! We’ll be spending some time each month talking with different members of our team and giving readers a little bit of insight into what each person does in the office every day.
First up, meet Nikol!
Tell us about your position at Blowfish Malibu.
I am the Art Director here at Blowfish Malibu! Which means I’m the lead graphic designer, producer of our photoshoots, and oversee most artwork that goes out. My role recently went to part-time, as I just became a mommy!
When did you first become interested in graphic design?
My mom has always had a knack for creativity and we would always scrapbook or be doing something creative growing up. In my senior year of high school, I was on the yearbook committee and my school actually offered a graphic design class that I took and really found my passion!
What did you do previously before joining the Blowfish Malibu team?
So random, but after I graduated college with my bachelor’s degree in graphic design, I moved to the South Bay and got a job at a dental office. It started as a front desk position and then quickly moved to me developing their social media channels and updating all of their branding and marketing. I stayed there for three years and then decided that wasn’t for me. So I started freelancing for myself and at an agency and shortly after, found my home with Blowfish Malibu!
I’ve been here for five years now!
What creative projects have you been working on that you’re excited about? Can you tell us about them?
We’re launching a new line of shoes called 4EARTH that I’m very excited about! These shoes are made with recyclable upper material and we, as a company, are doing our part to move towards a more green, sustainable way of working. This even goes down to our environment at the office; getting rid of all paper plates, plastic silverware, no more k-cups, etc!
It’s an exciting initiative that I’m excited to be a part of and it makes me so happy that Blowfish Malibu is making an effort to make less waste.
What do you like most about working in the fashion industry?
Working at Blowfish Malibu was my first job in the fashion industry (not including retail!), but it’s really made me step up my fashion game and makes me want to dress for my personality and not just wake up and throw on whatever I can find that’s clean and run out the house.
I’ve never owned so many shoes in my life!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The creative outlet that I get to express when designing things like hang tags, email blasts, brochures for customers or store posters! We’ve worked hard over the past five years to create a cohesive look and feel for the brand and it’s exciting getting to implement that in my design. It’s also really cool to walk into a store and see my work being displayed!
The Blowfish Malibu offices are in LA. What’s your favorite thing about the city?
I live in the Southbay, which is a little sub-city of LA that has a slower, beach-like feel. But I love that LA is only a 20-minute drive (with traffic, more like 45 mins) and that there is so much near us. You can go to the beach, take a hike up to a waterfall, and have a drink on a rooftop overlooking the city all in one day.
Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?
I gotta say my Granola-B sandals! Every year since they have come out I have had a Granola tan line on my feet! You can ask anyone in our office. It never fails! They are so comfy and come in so many color variations for every outfit. Plus living in SoCal means I can get away with wearing sandals almost year-round!
If you weren’t a graphic designer/art director, what would you be?
I have a ton of side projects/creative outlets that I do aside from my graphic designer life! I love the wedding industry and have coordinated a handful of weddings. My husband and I have even talked about buying a property where we host weddings, and I coordinate and design the look and feel. I have experience in event management and this really has helped me with weddings.
I also love photography and could see myself pursuing that more seriously.
In addition, I even love to buy old furniture and give it new life. My husband and I have also joked about starting a business doing this!
JUST FOR FUN
What was the last thing you were obsessed with?
My 6-month-old daughter! Haha – still obsessed and forever will be!
Where are you from and how has that shaped you?
I’m born and raised in California! I grew up in a town called Palmdale (some of you may know it from the popular song by Afroman). It’s a desert city with not a lot to do. I learned a lot growing up there and also knew I never wanted to live in a desert ever again. So as soon as I graduated high school I moved to San Diego, where I attended college and have been living by a beach ever since!
What’s your dream travel destination?
Oh, way TOO many places to be listed here! I’ve only been to Europe once and I went to Italy, so I’d love to return to visit more places like Paris, Greece, and Amsterdam. I’ve always wanted to go on a safari in Africa. Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand are on my top bucket list places to visit.
Basically, I want to travel the world someday! I always say I’m not a materialistic person and would rather spend my earnings on experiences and building memories.
When do you feel best about yourself?
Probably when my to-do list is complete. This just makes me feel accomplished and feels good to not be stressing over all that I have to do.
What’s your personal motto?
“Risk it all every day.” I even have it tattooed on me.
For me, this means that you never know when your last day will be and to live each and every day to its fullest. Don’t turn things down that scare you or challenge you!
What’s a fun fact about you most people don’t know?
This is a hard one for me to answer. I’m an open book, even with strangers I don’t tend to hold back!
FILL IN THE BLANK!
I learn the most from my environment.
I can’t live without sweets.
You can find me shopping at Old Navy, BooHoo.com, Blowfish Malibu (hehe), Hobby Lobby.
My astrological sign is Scorpio.
I’m not scared of snakes! I used to have one for about 6 years until I moved in with my now-husband (who’s deathly afraid!).
The last book I read was The Client by John Grisham.
Most people would say I’m caring.
I’m currently listening to Lennon Stella.
My style mantra is comfy.
I feel most comfortable in jeans and a cute top with sandals.
When I woke up today I felt thankful for my amazing life.
I feel the freest when I’m in the comfort of my own house.