Meet the Team: Alyssa Prettyman, Creative Director

In our “Meet the Team” blog series, we interview members of the Scratch team to show how, together, we make up the dynamic and unique culture of Scratch.

This week, our Creative Director Alyssa Prettyman shares what she loves about designing at Scratch and where her creative passion has taken her within the workspace and outside of it.

How did you get here? What led you to a career in design?

I’ve always really enjoyed opportunities to be creative, be it in the kitchen or teaching yoga classes or any sort of art and craft. Even though I didn’t study design specifically in college, I’ve always enjoyed creating things for people to experience – whether it’s visual, a yoga class or a delicious meal. It’s always been in my blood to be a creator.

After college, I fell into a sales job for a signage company. We did any large format printing you could need, such as real estate signs, posters for trade shows or vehicle wraps. From the sales department, I slowly started to get involved in the graphic design side of things, where I learned about color properties, composition and all the necessary design basics for print design. That’s how graphic design became my career calling. From there, I went into video production for a while. I acted a lot in high school and college, and I still work with a casting agency downtown to act in little commercials.

Lora and I met while working at a music company that helping emerging bands, artists and creators become famous. Artists would submit their music, and every month the best music would be voted to the top. We would take the top artists and bring them to music festivals, help shoot videos for their press kits, interview them and help them open for bigger artists.

So, it wasn’t a targeted career in graphic design, but I always looked to step my feet into things that are creative. Then Lora and I fell back together after a couple years apart and that’s when we built the graphic design practice here at Scratch.

You mentioned that you like to cook. Is that your creative outlet outside of your work at Scratch?

I don’t cook as much as I used to, because I have two kids who are super picky eaters – and a husband who’s also a picky eater – so my ability to flex my creativity in the kitchen is somewhat limited. I love making homemade pastas and sauces and homemade sushi. Anything that I order in a restaurant, I’m always trying to reverse engineer. The question is whether I have the energy, as a mother of two young boys, to actually go home and test it.

Was cooking a hobby you did when you were little?

My mom is going to kill me when she reads this, but she was never really a very good cook. My dad would travel with us, and when we were exposed to more global food types, I wanted to figure out how to bring that more into my life. It was just exciting and different. So, I don’t know that we grew up with the most culinarily diverse menus (sorry, Mom!), but it was more about me trying food away from home and then saying, “This is amazing, how do I make this?!” The biggest problem is that there’s not much that I don’t love:)

What do you enjoy doing outside of Scratch (and cooking)?

I teach about four to five yoga classes a week. I’m also involved in yoga workshops and developing programs for teacher trainings.

I started taking yoga classes after herniating a disk in my back in 2004. I was 24 years old and all of a sudden I couldn’t walk for about three months. I realized, “Okay, I’m killing myself at the gym here, but something is out of balance.” From the first time I stepped into a yoga studio, I felt not just physically better, but mentally more balanced. I left the class wanting to be better to myself. I knew that there was magic there I needed to understand. Within six months of taking that first yoga class, I enrolled in a teacher training. I know that I’m a good public speaker and I’ve acted my whole life, so I’m not afraid to get up in front of a crowd – I actually love it. So, I knew that I had a talent for understanding things and giving them to other people in a digestible format. I just wanted to test it and see if I could do it.

I think there are a lot of people out there that are really struggling because we live in a society where we’re constantly bombarded with information and things that we’re expected to react to. It’s really hard for people to get mentally still and in the present moment, but I hope I can help with that through my teaching. All of the things that make people feel great and do great work happen when you can just slow down a little bit, and get centered.

What is your favorite part about working at Scratch?

I’ve known Lora for over a decade now, and she may be my favorite part about working here. Not to brown-nose or anything, but when you witness something in other people that you yourself are lacking, you just want to stand near it. It’s almost like you want to get closer to a warm fire. Lora is super smart and has incredible capacity for empathy and really sophisticated intellectual and emotional patterns. I’m totally fascinated by her as a person. She has a lot of things that I don’t, so I’m always super curious about her process and how she’s able to do such brilliant things on the resources she’s given. She’s like a hacker of life. I just love to be around her, and work with her.

The other thing about work here is that you really don’t work with lazy people. You work with people who have a solid work ethic, a hustle and a drive. It’s exciting to work around that type of person. There are so many moving parts, so many of our clients are different, so many projects are different. To work here you have to be nimble and driven and always be thinking on your feet. We’re always thinking in a thousand directions at once.

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Hustler, mother, joker.

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