Thalia Interview: Gregg Kaplan from Plate Lunch
Posted on 16 July 2013
Founded on the North Shore of Maui by brothers Gregg and Cory Kaplan, Plate Lunch offers limited edition apparel and accessories with an emphasis on hand-made radness. Inspired by the beauty of Hawaii and it's rich culture, the Kaplan brothers blend modern style with traditional Hawaiian textile prints. Plate Lunch is currently working with a select group of retailers in Hawaii and California. Aloha!
TS - Tell us little about yourself and where you are from originally?
GK - Howzit! My Name is Gregg Kaplan, I was born and raised on the North Shore of Maui. I am an artist, surfer, skateboarder, husband and father. My family and I are currently spending the summer in Laguna Niguel, CA, where I am working on a bunch of different art projects at the same time and surfing when their are waves... Basically just trying to keep things as busy as possible.
TS - What is your work background before you decided to start Plate Lunch?
GK - Yard work... lots of yard work. Everyday as kids we'd be out there raking, mowing and trimming in the backyard. We couldn't go surf until all the chores were done, but it was fun... its a good feeling to work hard and finish up a job. It's funny I am pretty much doing the same thing these days, just trying to get all my work done so I can go surf.
TS - What is Plate Lunch -- there has to be a good story there, right?
GK - Brah! If you never tried one, do your self a favor next time your in Hawaii. Plate Lunch is a common type of meal and can be made a bunch of different ways. The most standard way is shoyu chicken, two scoops of rice, and mac salad. We were lucky to grow up right next to Kuau Mart, they had all the mean grinds! We would cruise over there everyday and get cone sushi and spam musubi in the mornings and get shoyu chicken later in the day. Aunty would always hook it up. Their whole family showed us and all the boys so much Aloha. It's a bummer that they aren't there anymore...
TS - What and who are some of your artistic influences?
GK - My mom really helped to shape who I am as an artist. From an early age I was exposed to all types of art. My favorite artist has always been Pablo Picasso. He made art nearly every day, and was a master of drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and block printing. His work ethic, diversity, and endless experimentation are a real inspiration to me. I am also a big fan of Henry Matisse and enjoy looking at his more simple illustrations and free flowing shapes. Style wise, the art that I grew up with in my home probably had the biggest impact on me. Lots of drawings, block prints, and ceramics. Great colors and amazing textures. Will Richards, Sandy Vitarelli and Avi Kiriaty are my favorites out of this group. These days I've been stoked on all sorts of different people, mostly my friends. I try to surround myself with motivated, creative people as often as possible. I'm psyched on Russ Pope, Yusuke Hanai and Rich Jacobs to name a few...
TS - Your graphic style is unique, including a strong Hawaiian vibe with both traditional and modern interpretation. How did this come about?
GK - Right on... As far as the Hawaiian/Polynesian influence goes I was exposed to these prints and patterns at an early age, in Hawaii you see this look used in nearly everything. I really enjoy carving and block printing and have always been intrigued with these patterns so it seems only natural that I include them in my work. Color, balance, texture and shape are also important aspects in my art.
TS - What does Aloha mean to you?
GK - Brah! Aloha is everything! To me it means love, respect, community, sharing, forgiveness, and compassion. It's much more than some catchy phrase, Aloha is how my family and I choose to live everyday. Show Aloha, get Aloha!
We are currently running an Instagram contest with Plate Lunch for more info follow us @thaliasurf for the details! Buy Plate Lunch Apparel online here