Recognise this face? You may have seen him behind the Football FIVE5 check-in desk!

Meet Brayden, our man of the moment and the creative mind behind the new Football FIVE5 hoodie design you may have seen our players wearing. As a keen footballer himself with an eye for design, it only made sense to ask Brayden to dream up our new, fun FIVE5 design!

We chat to Brayden about how he got into graphic design, his clothing business and living a life of football;

 

What’s your history with football? Who do you play for? Position? Club?

My life with football began at the age six with my local club Warners Bay FC. After enjoying a good 10 years there I sought after a more challenging competition and moved up into the Northern Premier League (NPL) joining the ranks at Broadmeadow Magic. They helped me learn more about the game and make some friendships I will have for life. A few fun and competitive years in the NPL came short as life began to get in the way – as it can! It wasn’t long after that I got a call from the people Hamilton Azzurri to join their small community club. I have loved playing in the position of center back for the Azzurri club ever since.

How long have you been a part of the FIVE5 team for?

I have been a part of the FIVE5 team for the better part of 4 years now, I joined as a referee to get some spare cash.

After we approached you to design our first Football FIVE5 hoodie design – how did you come up with the design concept and what’s the inspiration behind it?

The FIVE5 design concept was born from the idea of creating a fun, happy character that could best relate the good times to be had playing here. I was inspired by the old Disney cartoons, simple characters that are easy to distinguish and are well loved.


Tell us your story about how you got into graphic design?

My way into graphic design started while I was in high school, drawing on the school desks and doodling in all my work books. My parents helped find an artistic outlet for me, and after a few career days and job searches, we found a career pathway that was a more advanced version of doodling in a text book and I was sold. I went to the Tighes Hill TAFE NSW to get a Diploma of Graphic Design, which I used to start up my own skateboard/clothing company HQ Skate as well as doing some freelance design work.

Lot’s of people out there want to start their own clothing brand – how did you start yours?

HQ Skate was my independent start up for a creative outlet of my own ideas, designs and creations. It was what I needed after having gone through 15 years of schooling system and TAFE combined. So now it is my happy venture into my own creative projects when I have time between soccer and graphic design work for others.

That’s awesome! Did you start HQ Skate yourself?

HQ Skate is my brainchild! I started after I left TAFE NSW with the money I had saved to buy a handful of jumpers. From there things have grown at a steady pace and it has been amazing to see how far my work has come since the beginning.

What is the idea behind HQ Skate?

HQ Skate is just about having fun, taking things easy, and creating something different.

Where do you get your inspiration for designs from?

A lot of my ideas come from a phrase I may over hear in conversation. The best ones generally arise from the absolute and utter non-sense that comes up around with friends when we talk about stupid ideas and concepts. Then you get the ah-ha moment of “I want to bring idea this to life!”.

Who wears your clothing – describe your customer?

I have a good variety of people who wear my clothing. My range of rainbow hoodies seems to be the product that transcends age, gender, and specific markets. I have people as young as eight and as old as sixty purchase them. Typically the people that buy my clothing are looking for something different, locally designed and not over-priced like most things in the market.

Is it easy running your own business? How do you manage it?

Any small business owner will tell you there is an unquantifiable amount of time and effort that must be put into keeping it alive. The biggest thing that keeps HQ Skate alive is a passion for design, loving what I do and learned time management. Keeping on top of everything as it comes is always nice but pressure makes diamonds – so there are always late nights involved!

Tell us about your favourite design that you’ve created?

I love a lot of the designs I create, but one that stands out above the rest has to be my ‘reaper’ design. It is a delightful re-design on the grim reaper – a ghost with the reapers scythe but it’s happy and inviting. Just a nice tweak on a typically scary albeit misunderstood concept.

 

Is designing the FIVE5 design your first collaboration? What other design work have you done?

This is not my first rodeo! I have been fortunate enough to help make a many other peoples ideas come to life either for personal use or for their business. One of my favourite ongoing collaborations at the moment is with The Open Mind Space (as seen in HunterHunter) where every month I create a new mural for their space. It helps to keep working the creative muscles. Beyond that though I do a large variety of work from logos, posters and pamphlets, illustrations, murals, t-shirts and apparel.

What’s your future vision for HQ Skate?

At the moment the vision is to keep expanding, I am always open to new ventures and possibilities so I try not to limit myself or where the brand can go.

Where can people buy HQ Skate?

HQ Skate has a few outlets at the moment. You can find HQ Skate online at at www.hqskate.com – we have Afterpay available too! I have also teamed up with a few awesome local business who distribute HQ Skate as well; The Neighbourhood Barber, Pumped Up Kicks, The Open Mind Space, Brunker Barbers and Gomaz vs Pedro.

What would your message be to aspiring designers looking to start up their own clothing brand?

Don’t stop. You must always keep moving forward, working on the next project is the only way to get better. Learn from you mistakes and be open to criticism, you will kill it!


You can purchase your own FIVE5 hoodie at the Football FIVE5 desk at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility.

But be quick – they’re in hot demand!

Check out Brayden’s HQ Skate clothing and designs on;

Instagram @hqskate

Facebook @hqskate