To walk into the office of Scott Richards is to enter a world of beautiful chaos. Countless illustrations, photographs and vivid images that blur the lines of fantasy and reality adorn the walls. Colorful fabric swatches, hand-bound journals and keepsakes from around the world line the shelves. One doesn’t quite know where to look first—and can’t help but wonder what story is behind each visually rich piece of the puzzle.
“For my whole life, I’ve always looked at things differently and from a creative point of view. As a kid, I’d collect all the scraps from other kids throwing stuff away and use the neglected pieces,” Scott recalls with a smile. “This helped me to develop my signature style.” As Alternative’s Creative Director, gifted artist and resident good guy, Scott now lends his signature handmade style and eclectic creative vision to Alternative’s Marketing Department, leading a team of designers, writers, photographers and videographers.
Since joining the Alternative team last year, Scott has played a key role in reshaping the company’s visual identity by developing a brand new logo, look and creative design strategy for the casual lifestyle apparel brand. With his authentic, custom-crafted methods, the task was almost entirely intuitive. “My approach to art and design is much like Alternative’s approach to clothing: honest, genuine and inspiring,” he explains.
Indeed, inspiration is a key element in Scott’s creative process. An avid surfer, adept painter and world traveler, his creativity is fueled by his interest in international cultures. From Paris to Tokyo and along the coast of Baja, he explores side streets, back alleys and natural landscapes, constantly collecting images on his global journeys and compiling hand-bound visual journals. “There’s something unbelievably inspiring in traveling the world and observing other cultures,” he remarks. “Fashion, art, music and just plain life are so different around the world, but the raw passion and creativity is always consistent.”
That same raw passion for his craft is precisely what comes through in Scott’s own work and sets Alternative apart from an industry filled with unnecessary promises and mediocre products. Describing his aesthetic as “organic and imperfect,” he declares, “As an artist, I’ve learned to embrace the imperfections and let happy accidents happen. When you make something with your hands, it’s craft; but when you include your heart, it’s art. With Alternative, I wanted to create something inspirational.”
In short, maybe our consumer-driven world could use a few more imperfectly perfect creative minds like Scott Richards.
Photos by Stephen Zeigler