Rama McCabe: BANKS: Los Angeles

Don’t do it because you think it’s cool or some other superficial reason. Do it because you love creating things whether it be a brand, clothing, graphics or art.

Name: Rama McCabe

Occupation: gosh this is a hard one… my title is General Manger but as we are a small business I’m putting on different hats all day long. Sometimes I’m designing clothing, flying to China to check up on production, calling accounts to get orders in, seeing who owes us money, or putting in window displays. It’s basically all hands on deck to get the job done. This is one of the great things about being a part of a growing business.

Hometown: I grew up in Byron Bay but haven’t lived there for the past 15 years. I can’t wait to get back there one day and call it home once again.

Current Location: I’m based in Laguna Beach, California.

When I was a kid I wanted to be… a pro surfer for sure. My older brother Pritamo surfed really well and I looked up to him so much. I really just wanted to be like him.

My earliest fondest memory is… of playing on the jungle gym at the park at Byron Bay’s main beach just near where the Beach Hotel is now. When I was a kid around 4 or 5 it was the best playground for kids. My mum used to take me there all the time and play on the swings and slip down the slides. As it was just on the beach there we use to go swimming and surfing out the front after a few hours in the playground.

Tthe studies I took to get where I am… was a design course at Shilliington College in Melbourne. That’s pretty much all I’ve done since leaving High School. In creative rolls I don’t think you need to study too much. Most of it is pretty natural.

I’m most creative when… I’m happy and in a place that feels comfortable to me. I think the most creative I have ever been was when I lived in Bali with my girlfriend Jesse. It was so free and easy over there and you have access to so many creative outlets in such a small area. You can design product and have it made in a sewing house just down the road and get perfect waves all in the same day. It’s a dream place for any creative that loves the ocean.

We started BANKS because… we thought there was a gap in the market for product that was more suited to a slightly older customer and one that was looking for a more sustainable approach to design and development.

I moved to LA… because at the time the business was doing well but needed a little more guidance and direction to get it where we want it to be.

The tools I can’t live without… is my macbook pro, pen, paper, a pair of trunks and a surfboard.

I’m inspired by… the people that I surround myself with especially through my career when I was living in Bondi. It’s such an incredible place for creative talent. Everywhere you look there is someone doing inspiring work, whether it be music, art, fashion design etc.

I’m currently reading… nothing! Sorry I was going to pretend I was reading the latest hottest publication but I haven’t sunk my teeth into anything lately.

The website I hang out on the most… is STABMAG.COM I love getting into work each morning and see what’s happening in the surf world.

The Instagram accounts I dig… are kinda just random ones. I don’t have anything particular that I go to… im more of a scroller and just see what’s going on across the board.

I’m currently listening to… reverberation radio.

The last film I watched was… Finding Dory in 3D. My girlfriend Jesse loves animations.

Travel is… everything. What’s better than taking off to a new country and absorbing everything it has to offer.

My travel essentials are… a passport, surfboard, and my brown leather overnight bag with a few changes of clothes and my Dr Martins.

One thing I would like to do but haven’t got around to it yet… is learn how to meditate. In the modern world of a million distractions it would be great to have a tool like meditation to separate from it all and focus on yourself rather than what is happening around you.

The challenges of being a creative… are pretty minimal. I guess the only real one when you’re working in a commercial world is being creative to a time frame. It can be hard to whip up great ideas on a schedule. For me a good idea comes at such random times of the day or night. I need to always write them down as I forget things so easily!

The highlights over the past 12 months have been… the learning curve that I have gone through. I feel like I have absorbed and grown in my career more in the past 12 months then I have in the past 5 or 6 years. That’s a really rewarding feeling and one that I really want to continue with.

Advice I have to share for those who want to follow in my footsteps… is make sure you’re getting into whatever your career is for the correct reasons. Don’t do it because you think it’s cool or some other superficial reason. Do it because you love creating things whether it be a brand, clothing, graphics or art. Just get into it because it makes you happy and that’s what you want to do every day.

Do what you want… and surf all day… there is nothing better. I wish I could!

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Photos + Video: Steve Rowe