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Design Speak | Rukpong Raimaturapong

One glimpse at Rukpong’s portfolio is enough to know that young man is multi-talented. His mediums of art ranges from typography to fashion. Even after having his work (4X4 MAN Spring/Summer 2011) being up on billboards at Central World in Bangkok, this ambitious twenty-something remains humbled. We know talent can get you to scale skyscrapers but with such positive and inspiring attitude, the sky has no limit.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m currently a Graphic Design student at Chulalongkorn University. I’m based in Bangkok and I’ve been doing freelance design work since 2009. Most of my works are for web and graphic design. Also, my clients are mostly fashion brands that are based in Bangkok


Take us through a typical day in your life.

On weekdays I usually get up, get dressed and spend my days at the university. After classes I usually head to Siam for some food with my friends, hang out for a while as well and then head on back home to my projects and assignments. Normally I would stay up till about 2 in the morning and then go to bed. As for the weekends I tend to sleep in as much as I can, and then head out somewhere to sit and work in a different environment.


What do you do in your free time?

In my free time I like to take a walk alone and take the city in. It’s a way for me to clear my head. Sometimes I bring my camera out with me as well.


Recommend us some cool haunts in your city.

Bangkok is known for its food. There are many cool places to eat and chill. Right now, I absolutely love ‘Li-bra-ry’. It’s a small cafe tucked in Sukhumvit 24. The place is an old house that is transformed into a cafe so there’s a sense of coziness that just makes you want stay there all day long. Another place that I love is ‘Mellow’, a bar and restaurant in the Thonglor district. There’s great food and great music, what more can I ask for in a chill out place?


Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows.

Sometimes I listen to K-POP or Madonna while I’m working.


How do you define yourself as a designer?

It is probably in the process of design that every designer goes through. Personally, I don’t really like the word designer as much and I don’t really wish to call myself a designer just yet. I am still learning new ways and mediums to communicate my work. I’m always learning something new everyday.


What inspires your work?

I draw a lot of inspiration from architecture. I love buildings and skyscrapers are another thing that I’m passionate about. Especially when you live in Bangkok, there’s a full range of design and sizes, each with it’s own unique characteristics. I find the lines, textures, colours and contrasts very inspiring.


How much time do you devote to doing your creative stuff?

It depends on the project; some projects can take weeks but some just a few days. For my studio projects there’s a certain process that each work has to go through, like marketing analysis and research for example. I also have to balance the time that I have between my studio projects and freelance work. It can be quite challenging sometimes.


Which of your design pieces is your favourite, and why?

My favourite piece of work is something that is very simple. It’s a plastic shopping bag for a menswear brand 4X4Man. I like this piece the most because one time I was carrying it on the skytrain and a guy read the quote on the bag and smiled. I realized that my work could actually communicate to a person. The idea of just a simple text with nice font on white plastic can provoke an emotion and it really surprised me. It made me smile. J


Is there a designer/artist that you can relate to?

It would probably be the graphic designer, Olt Aicher. I love and admire his design and style of work. His sense of proportions, grids, lines, colours and space is something that I find so great and inspiring for designers like me today.


What’s the best and worst thing about being an artist?

The best thing about being an artist for me is probably the people that I have had the chance to work with. Each one has taught me something as an artist and designer. I have extremely been lucky to work with many great and inspiring people and I find that very cool.

The worst thing is probably in the way that others look at what we do as something unnecessary without realizing how big of an impact a good design can make. That’s the reason why I think at times, we are under-paid. For me it’s not about the money or how much we are paid but it’s the freedom of the creative direction that I have.


Check out Rukpong’s amazing portfolio and follow him on twitter.


– Liyana Meer


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