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Meet Scott Richards

Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott Richards.

Hi Scott, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Grew up in Detroit, Michigan and tried surfing the Great Lakes as a teenager. Eventually found my way to Newport Beach, CA in 1989 to surf and go to school for filmmaking. Dropped out from surfing too much and eventually got into art school in Laguna Beach. I was hired straight outta school at a small design studio/ad agency that worked with youth culture brands such as Vans, G-Shock, KROQ and Mammoth Mountain. From there, I went on to working for my childhood favorite surf brand Quiksilver… was there for 12 years as a Graphic Designer then Art Director then eventually Creative Director for the Americas.

There I traveled the world for photoshoots, design inspiration and begin to witness the creative output from street artists, sign painters, DIY craftsmen and designers opening small boutiques and shops. I developed a strong POV in typography and gained a passion for hand-scrawled type and graphics. Through these years, I held an off-site art studio where I painted into the late hours while still keeping a happy marriage and raising two boys. My last professional stint was with the brand Stance as their Creative Director. I tell you all this because I’ve been able to combine my passion for art & design and the love of surfing & travel. My work has always been a balance between these two and the companies I worked for just trained me to be a professional storyteller, product/design developer and someone who is passionate about creating special things for rad people.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Nothing has been easy, but when you’re doing something you love, you just keep plugging away at it. My art has always progressed at a pace I was in control of, but professional, the businesses I worked for had control over my career. Out of the six jobs I’ve had in my profession, I was laid off four times for various reasons… usually cause the business f’d up, but it seemed to always put me in a better position. I wouldn’t be where I’m at or doing what I’m doing now if it wasn’t for those lay-offs. So I has a paper route as a kid delivering The Detroit News in the snow and shoveled driveways all the time… this taught me grit, hard work and determination. I believe this helped me to get through the tough times.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
So I began an art project called Slightly Choppy… its a reference for the windy texture of the ocean and imperfect approach to my art style. Five years ago, I started to stitch and stencil onto some old repurposed canvas to make an old nautical flag like the ones I’ve been collecting living down here at the beach and bay. A friend saw the small gathering I was working on and actually thought they were vintage. I began by making handmade flags for my local surf spots using distressed materials giving them a painterly, vintage aesthetic. One of my favorite steps in the process is spinning the globe or driving to surf spots to sketch the newest type and design. Each spot has its own sensibility between the surf break, local topography, the local history and folklore and the characters who’ve spent their lives surfing that spot.

Over the years, my flags have become collected by those surfers and fans who hold their spots dear to them with a handmade keepsake. The business has grown into my full-time job and livelihood and lets me again balance my love for design, craft, art, surfing, family, travel and music. I believe that my unique story from my childhood surfing on the Great Lakes and dreaming of living in California, then actually coming here, living here for 30 years and little by little, making my dreams a reality. Has taken hard work and dedication but everyday, I’m working on trying to be unique and doing things differently… if it’s been done before, I’m usually over it. But Slightly Choppy has given me the permission to dream, build it, and make a few bucks to get up in the morning and do it all over again.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
So much “craft” has been going on, but I see it as this massive shift away from mass-produced, technical product that has no soul. Things that are handmade are so much more personal and remind us of our humanity. It’s not for everybody, but those who care and have a heartbeat do… those have been my biggest supporters. I’m not in the personalization business, but my work and products strike an emotion, personal chord with people done in a classic timeless way and I don’t think that will ever go away.

Pricing:

  • Flags $60 – $100
  • Sweatshirts $120
  • T-shirts $48 – $58

Contact Info:

  • Email: slightlychoppy@gmail.com
  • Website: slightlychoppy.com
  • Instagram: @slightlychoppy


Image Credits

Ryan Garvin Cameron Oden

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