Adventures In Design



Adventures In Design with “Scrappers” Morrison

When AIGA decided to get naked on camera, we knew we needed a special kind of art director. Scrappers was the obvious and incomparable choice. His award-winning work as the Art Director for the Portland Mercury is widely known and loved not only for it’s reach, but for its range of content and unique stylistic voice. We’re certain that he will be sorely missed as he embarks on his new publishing venture, Stay Wild: The Free Adventure Magazine.

Daring to “go it alone” may be one of the more harrowing pursuits we can take in our careers, and our lives. As the first installment of our #DesignNaked series, we caught up with Scrappers to get his take on adventure, and his hopes for the future of the new magazine.

What made you want to strike out on your own?

I saw an opportunity in the wind and jumped for it.


Tell me the thinking behind the name Stay Wild.

It’s a simple and very powerful reminder that I’ve kept in my work since I was a kid. Over the years I’ve made a lot of zines, paintings, t-shirt designs, toys, workshops, and just art in general that use those two words. It means a lot of different things to different people, but people connect right away with it. There’s a spirit of ripping your clothes off and jumping into the river flowing through your city, and a call to preserve wild places for the nature.


What’s the scariest part of starting your own magazine?

Making money to pay for printing and shipping and NOT being used by advertisers or the self proclaimed “cool kid” brands who want free advertising.


You bill yourself as the “Free Adventure Magazine”. Tell me about your take on adventure.

The magazine is free, just like most daily opportunities for adventure. Riding your bike to an office job is an act of adventure. Sunbathing on your lunch break is an adventure. Riding your motorcycle up to a mountain lake after work to catch trout for a campfire dinner is an adventure. I guess when we say “Adventure” we mean living your life to the fullest.


You’ve had a lot of adventures yourself. What’s one your most daring?

Bringing a child into the world. There are so many ways to fuck that up for everyone.


Are you able to find that sense of adventure in your creative work?

Yes. Every creative challenge is an opportunity to make the most heroic choice. Sometimes that means ripping your fucking clothes off and posing naked with the AIGA board for a blog post, other times that means staying up all night painting the same words and shapes over and over till you get the logo lock up just right and looking like you nailed it the first time. Life is an adventure and Work is a big part of life, so erase the line that separates Life from Work and don’t wait for the weekend to say yes to the opportunity for an adventure


How else has adventure influenced you?

It helps me rise to overcome all obstacles that show up. Whether it’s an email I don’t want to answer or a trip to jail. If I see the opportunity to adventure it makes anything more fun to overcome.


Do you have any prescriptions on how to embody that philosophy?

Have fun, but don’t be a butthole to others while you’re having fun.


Can you tell us about a design project that made you nervous?

David Kennedy, of Wieden + Kennedy, tasked me with writing a “Just Do It” for the American Indian College Fund. There were so many ways to fuck that up, but I just locked my head into the challenge for a couple weeks and with the help of some good creative direction from Dan Wieden. Jed Alger was able to answer the brief with “Think Indian,” an ad campaign that spoke for both American Indians and anyone who wanted to help preserve their culture.


Any advice for the kids at home (in general)?

Don’t quit your day job, just work harder to erase that line between work and play.

You can find out more about Stay Wild by clicking here or you can pick up a copy for free around town and join the conversation using the hashtag #designNaked.



Published May 18, 2015
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