Justin “Scrappers” Morrison
I was born in the deep northern woods of Vancouver Island in Canada, but grew up in the suburban sprawl of southern California. Now I stand firmly rooted between those two extremes in Portland, Oregon.
I’d rather be adventuring in the creative outdoors with my son Camper, but most of the time you’ll find me behind a desk making stuff. I make art, ads, and designs for myself and the best clients in the world.
If you want to make something with me send a message:
You can also connect with me these ways:
Robin Hood Was Right.
Not just in his ideas about the redistribution of wealth, but in the way he insisted in only working for good people. I only work for good people who do good work. This means socially responsible, eco-friendly, and ethical businesses who speak most clearly with their deeds not their jingles.
Intention Is More Important Than Decoration.
Mark Fenske, one of my favorite creative directors, made a bumper sticker that said, “Hard work is a waste of time if your idea sucks.” It’s true. If we don’t have a solid idea, intention, or point of view we’re just sprinkling glitter in the wind.
Be A Human Pocket Knife
A diverse range of skills only makes you more useful and capable of welcoming any job that pops up. This is how I’m able to switch from being a writer, to a graphic designer, to a project manager, or whatever is needed when working on a team.
Think Like A Volunteer
Whether it’s planting trees, cleaning the beach, or writing a grant proposal, volunteers work for reasons beyond themselves. I try to stay in this line of thought as I do any type of work even if it’s my 9-5 jobby job.
Know Your ABC’s
Always Be Cool. Freaking out when the power goes out and your computer loses the last 4 hours of what you’ve been working on isn’t cool, but you can find a way to keep going if you stay cool. Being cool in the work environment is FUNdamental (wink).
Branding Is Storytelling
I just want to help folks tell their own story. Everyone of us has an epic story holding us up. Brands also have awesome stories to tell about themselves and they can help people tell their personal stories as well.
Everyone Is An Artist
Nike believes everyone is an athlete. A good athlete however, has a very creative mind and is able to act and react when the situation calls for it. I believe everyone is capable of painting, snapping a perfect photograph, writing the most honest and beautiful words, or doing whatever it takes to react when the situation calls for it. That’s why art directors, writers, creative directors, account managers, hot dog vendors, and clients are all connected in the work, we are all artists.
If you’re not having fun it’ll show in the work. Getting burnt out on something? Go climb a tree or do a canon ball into a pool of mint chip ice cream. Do whatever it takes to bring the fun to the work table and into the work at hand.
I do my best work by staying wild and feeling connected to the naked truth.
The Portland Mercury (Portland’s only weekly newspaper.)
Art Director / Art Producer
I came to the conclusion while living on Maui that working at the Mercury was the best job I ever had. So, when the job opened up again I jumped at the opportunity with all I had (I sent flowers with a card that read “Take Me Back”. Now I’m using this second chance to do the best work of my life. It’s good to be back.
MAUITIME WEEKLY (Maui’s only weekly newspaper.)
Summer 2011-Spring 2012
Art Director / Illustrator / Maker / Production Manager
I fell in love with my job again here. The waves down the street were pretty sweet too. Like a lot of creative jobs done on a tight budget, I did the work of the whole department (designer, manager, puzzle master, art directer, studio artist, and anything else that needed to happen). I had to be truly resourceful and inspired in order to make the simplest ideas happen. I loved shit out of it!
The Avant/Garde Diaries made this video while I was doing this job.
The Portland Mercury (Portland’s only weekly newspaper.)
Art Director / Illustrator / Maker / Manager
Now this is “Art Direction”, right? Crazy ideas, low budget, fast pace, bare-bones crew, and all the other magical things it takes to make sure nothing gets in the way of the work. It’s sooooo much fun to just have to solve creative problems and pull idea out of thin (very thin) air as fast as you can.
“Working with Scrappers was inspirational. He pushed every illustration to be not just acceptable, but out of the park. And I mean every single illustration, week-in, week-out. And covers. And special issues. And features. We never ended up with a product that was anything less than exceptional. He brought tremendous energy and enthusiasm to the job. In an ideal world, I would work with Scrappers on every single project I ever do. He’s one in a million.”
-Matt Davis, Portland Mercury News Editor 2006-2010.
“Justin worked closely with me during my time as Food Editor for the Portland Mercury and often went beyond the call of duty to create images for articles and features that made my content shine. From photos of vegetables having sex to old-timey illustrations, the guy can put anything together. You need him.”
-Patrick Alan Coleman, Portland Mercury Food Editor 2006-2010.
Wieden + Kennedy (ad agency)
Spring 2006-Fall 2008
Art Director / Writer / Illustrator / “Creative”
Dan Wieden & David Kennedy are fiercely independent, creative, silly monkeys and the hardest workers I’ve ever had the honor to make stuff with. Although W+K is named after Dan & Dave, most folks don’t work with them directly, but I did. They were my Creative Directors because I was a writer/art director/illustrator on their personal favorite pro bono clients; Travel Oregon and The American Indian College Fund. I also got to work on Starbucks, Nike, Target and other clients, but working with these guys was my favorite. I learned many things from them and heard nearly all their stories (a couple times over, since old guys don’t care if they’ve already told you a story), but the most important thing I learned from them was to stay honest, friendly, and to put the work first.
Here’s what some other co-workers said about me:
“To be perfectly frank, I think there was some question about how collaborative Scrappers would be. How willing he’d be to fall in line with a brief and not just go and do his own thing. I needed some sustained help on Target Back to College and I found him to be incredibly collaborative, taking direction really well and completely subverting his ego for the greater good of the campaign. But most importantly, he had really good ideas and was able to execute them quickly in inspired ways. He was able to do by himself what many creatives need a partner and producer to accomplish.”
-Andrew Dickson (Copy Writer/Creative Director)
“We say we’re open minded. We say we’re unconventional. We say we value talent and originality and “the work” above all. If that’s so, we can’t live without Scrappers. He embodies all of those things. He doesn’t fit into a traditionally defined silo of ad agency skills, and in spite of that, he’s proven to be indespensible.”
-Ginger Robinson (Copy Writer)
“Creativity is supposed to matter most, but it’s no use to me if it doesn’t come with diligence and flexibility. Justin has it all. A distinctive style in illustration doesn’t limit his insight working with other mediums. Totally open to learning about the whole process and how he can best work with it. A great team player.”
-Jane Monaghan (Project Manager)
“In my experience Scrappers comes to each project with refreshing energy and unique thinking. His work comes from a distinctive and sometimes yes, humorous or whimsical angle, and is generally based on a researched insight. He is extremely industrious in nature”
-Danielle Flagg (Creative Director)
“Scrappers has a unique perspective that is rare — it’s a fresh POV that is informed by history, nature, good music, and the behavior of chickens. Not only that, he’s hard-working and enthusiastic. It’s Scrapper’s world. We’rejust living in it.”
-Marco Kaye (Copy Writer)
Spring 2006-Spring 2007
Art Director / Writer / Illustrator / “Creative” / Student
In the 3rd year of the experiment disguised as a school disguised as an ad agency, I busted ass along side the most talented creative communicators in the world. We made a lot of awesome work together and we had solid intentions thanks to our teacher Jelly Helm. He started 12 to encourage Wieden + Kennedy (the company) to do good work for good clients. We thought that if the ad industry insisted on only working with good clients we could change the way business is done, change it for good. So we worked for a sustainable outdoor clothing company, Farm Aid, made global warming awareness TV spots for MTV, helped a magazine called GOOD with their first issue and just made stuff all the time. We may not have changed the way the ad industry works, but now that we’re out of the school we are all trying our hardest to make the industry more like 12 used to be.
Here’s a video that GOOD made about WK12. I am the dummy with the raccoon on his shoulders.
Fall 2006-Winter 2010
Art Director / Artist / Curator / Manager
Grass Hut is an Art Market that Bwana Spoons and I built by hand. We ran a gallery, a shop and a studio within the Hut. Over the years we helped solidify Portland’s art scene and give wall space to a lot of artist who are blowing up right now. Bwana and I collaborate with each other and many other artists (Apak, Martin Ontiveros, Le Merde to name a few). We managed the shop, curate the art shows and made advertisements that said more then “Hey, buy some art”. It was a lot of fun and it’s kept me connected to a creative community that spans the friggin globe.
The Daily Vaguard
(Portland State University’s newspaper)
Winter 2005-Winter 2006
Photo Editor / Writer / Illustrator
Sure it was just the school paper, but it was freaking nuts. While finishing up my History degree I worked within crazy deadlines as the photography editor, an Arts& Culture writer, and an illustrator. That means everyday was a constant rush to write editorials, interview awesome people, photograph random stuff, file manage, doodle and communicate clearly to make impossible things happen. It was a lot of fun
Anything I did before 2005 was hard manual labor, service industry and crazy random stuff. For example I have danced around in a purple dinosaur costume at the LA zoo, I have gutted salmon for 20 hour shifts in Alaska, and I sliced sushi in the Redwoods.
2012: 3rd Place Cover Design (tied myself with work I did for two different newspapers) AAN Awards
2011: 2nd Place Cover Design Association of Alternative Weeklies
2010: 1st Place Cover Design Association of Alternative Weeklies
2009: Yellow Pencil Award in Illustration D&AD
Wieden + Kennedy 12, (year three) 2006-2007
I practiced Copy Writing, Idea Making, Art Direction, Production, Communication, and Fun. That was the last year it was directed by Jelly Helm. It was also the best year of w+k12, but Shhhh…don’t tell any of the other classes that came before or after.
Portland State University, 2004-2006
Somehow while studying Sustainability and Urban Planning I earned a BA in History?
College of the Redwoods, 1998-2000
I spent a lot of time in the darkroom developing photos. It was awesome!
Pasadena City College, 1996-1997
I just took a bunch of classes here and learned about random stuff like musical cultures of the world, feminist history, old fashioned photography methods (ever used the Zone System when taking a photo?), and 3-d arts & crafts.