• Top

    Chad Kouri’s studio

Graphic Design

Introducing...The wonderful, multi-disciplinary artist Chad Kouri

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Please welcome very busy image-maker Mr Chad Kouri. Tirelessly juggling about a hundred projects at once, Chad is a good example of someone whose work/play life is as one. His consistent swapping of mediums makes him one of Chicago’s most impressive commercial multimedia artists. He’s also a bit of a dab hand at typography. Here he is, let us introduce Chad Kouri…

Where do you work?

Sometimes in Los Angeles. Sometimes in New York. Sometimes Detroit. Sometimes Minneapolis. Mostly in the beautiful city of Chicago. Sometimes at my home studio. Sometimes at the art and design incubator I run with some buddies called The Post Family. Sometimes at Struggle Inc, and sometimes at the local coffee shop. Sometimes on a computer and other times on a cutting board. Although my location, influences and the medium I’m working in unusually change multiple times in a day, the one rule I have is that no matter what, I genuinely have to be having a good time while doing it. It seems so simple but it makes all the difference. 

How does your working day start?

If I’m lucky, with no alarm, typically around 10am. Why anyone thought that getting jerked out of bed by a loud noise in the morning is a good way to start the day is beyond me. Although it might get a little later start than most people, I typically get into work pretty quickly, not needing much time to ease into my morning email routine. Since I’m not very active on social media (I don’t even have a Facebook account) I put almost all that time into emailing and what some people might call “new business” but what I can only explain as randomly emailing people from around the world that are smarter than me to praise their work and make a connection. In fact, that might be why you are reading this today.   

How do you work and how has it changed?

Not so long ago I prided myself on knowing and customizing a plethora of keyboard shortcuts. The Post Family brothers and I would share them like codes for video games saying “Oh, that’s nice, but check this shit out. It takes so much less time if you…” It was like this weird competitive interaction where everyone won in the end. Although I still move pretty quickly on the keys, a lot of my efforts lately have gone into learning how to use new materials and methods for my fine art practice. Usually this includes a panicky call to my good friend Adi Goodrich who was recently featured on your lovely site as well! I’m also reading a lot of art theory lately which is a totally new thing for me since I was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and have literally never been excited to read. Somehow I got through grade school only ever reading one book cover to cover. Fudge by Judy Blume. And maybe Superfudge as well… but come on, those two books together are way thinner than even one instalment of Harry Potter.  

Where would we find you when you’re not at work?

Probably talking about work somewhere. At a film screening, gallery opening or my neighborhood bar or cooking dinner at a friends place. I don’t really have an off switch and tend to keep similar company. Some people would say it’s a blessing and a curse but I absolutely love what I do. I’m so fortunate to be able to spend the whole of my day doing what I love, stewing on new projects, discussing concepts with friends, trying new things and having a good time in general. It’s not a job, it’s a calling. I can never get enough. 

  • 7

    Chad Kouri: The Post Family

  • 6

    Chad Kouri: The Post Family

  • 1

    Chad Kouri: Cut paper and silkscreen on bristol board – 14″×17″

Would you intern for yourself?

Hell yes. I think five-years-ago me would learn a lot. I never pass off work that I wouldn’t do myself. That’s a general rule. In fact, I’m more likely to do it myself if I know the work sucks just so I don’t feel bad for making someone else do it. As you can guess, I don’t work with people in a typical intern/boss way. I strive in an atmosphere where everyone is equally important to the process, and try to work with people who thrive in that kind of an environment as well. 

  • 8

    Chad Kouri: Josh Berman Poster

  • 3

    Chad Kouri: Grids in real Life

  • 9

    Chad Kouri: Good Wood

  • 10

    Chad Kouri:

  • Studio

    Chad Kouri’s studio

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. London-is-changing-intlist

    Public art project London is Changing makes Londoners uncomfortably aware of the truths we’re perhaps trying to ignore: that our city is morphing beyond recognition, that creativity is at risk, and that for many people, it’s simply becoming unaffordable.

  2. Bensanders-potdealer-3-int_copy

    While keeping himself busy with postmodern Howard Hodgkin-esque painting and collage work, Ben Sanders is somehow finding the time to paint funny faces on ceramics. Cutting through the “worthy lifestyle” pottery trend with googly eyes, zigzag nostrils and creepy grins, Ben has stamped his sense of humour and aesthetic all over these thriving succulents’ homes.

  3. Olafur-eliasson_little-sun-int-1

    A “giddy joy” was described as the feeling evoked by the artwork of Olafur Eliasson when we interviewed him for last year’s Autumn edition of Printed Pages, and with his monumental, often participatory pieces, it’s not hard to see why. From his incredible 2003 Weather Project at Tate Modern to its portable, socially-conscious, tiny counterpart Little Sun(which “produces clean, affordable, and portable solar-powered lamps to areas of the world without reliable access to electricity”), his work is a glorious, utterly original ray of light shining on the sometimes impenetrable art world.

  4. Christian-marclay-vinyl-factory-int-1

    In another brilliant feat of creative engineering that bridges the gap between music, art and design, a project at the White Cube gallery in London’s Bermondsey sees musicians including Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore perform a composition for Christian Marclay, which is recorded and pressed on site by The Vinyl Factory Press. The press is housed in a shipping container, and the artwork for the record – also created on site – is designed by Christian and printed by Coriander Press, in a series that feels like cottage industry, DIY ideas brought into a slick, art-world setting.

  5. Lynda-benglis-int11

    “Think of bayous…crawfish…sea creatures…metal…tieing shoelaces…not knowing what to do sometimes and just doing it.” This is Lynda Benglis’ bizarre monologue, with which she ends the introduction to her new show.

  6. Brechtvandenbroucke-the-fame-main-int

    Brecht, after five years of admiring your work I can happily say that I can spell your name without looking. And I can tell you that even though I’ve spent years admiring the skill of your painting, I can finally say that I think I actually get it. Over time, Brecht’s erratic artworks have become increasingly crowded with characters, pop culture references, logos, and his trademark long-limbed creatures.

  7. Antoinecorbineau-6-int

    It’s my personal opinion that some of the most exciting creative work starts life as a side project to distract from commercial jobs. Such is definitely the case for Antoine Corbineau, a French illustrator and designer who has worked on a plethora of projects for commercial clients, drawing up large-scale, intricate scenes of characters interacting in an enormous, often map-like style. Potentially even more alluring, however, is Antoine’s painting work. It’s distinctly less bright, almost realist in its approach, depicting familiar domestic scenes and landscapes interspersed with small but resonant human activity. His attention to minute detail – the foliage of a plant, a picture frame, the icons on a computer screen – and his accuracy in creating scenes that you could swear you’d seen before makes this body of work oddly enchanting.

  8. Sethbogart-ceramics-home

    Seth Bogart is quite the Renaissance man. The frontman of San Francisco-based band Hunx & His Punx is also an artist, producing paintings, drawings and ceramics; a video director; a photographer and a fashion designer. He has collaborated with Yves Saint Laurent and has his own store, Wacky Wacko, for which he also designs installations. Seriously, this guy.

  9. Ellakru-painting-7home-int

    Latvia-born Ella Kruglyanskaya now lives and works in New York, depicting cartoon-like friends and “frienemies” out-and-about in large-scale oil paintings and murals. Ella’s work is packed with bawdy humour, exaggerated forms, exuberant mark-making and interactions. She describes her intention as “pictorial events… [that] aspire to an unspoken punch line” – the content, references and line-work all filtered through comedy.

  10. Anniedescarteaux-collage-7home-int

    Annie Descôteaux’s work is confident, engaging and straight-forwardly slapstick. The Montreal-based artist works with installation, drawing and collage and has seen her work exhibited and discussed at conferences on colour theory. In equally impressive outings, it’s also appeared in Bloomberg and Pica magazines, among other publications. Annie’s collage work is well-balanced with clean lines, sharp colours and discreet humour; each piece littered with raw steak, fried eggs and shuttlecocks.

  11. Oliviervrancken-untitled-1-inthome

    Olivier Vrancken is a graphic designer and artist based in Holland. Painting and drawing his way through commissions and personal work, he is inspired by everything from primitive art to the great lyricists that are Black Sabbath. Olivier has exhibited all over Europe, his Cubist aesthetic and visual references laden with nods to cut-outs, still life, architecture and the human form. There’s a great colour palette to his work and some nice titles like Bad Hair Day and Wanderlust. Olivier’s work reminds me of the prints that appeared all over the T-shirts of the 1980s, in a good way.

  12. Menutnutnut-drawing-4-int

    Me nut nut nut was one of Jason Murphy’s daughter’s first utterances, and is now the name for his drawings of awkward stories of fear and incompetence. Inspired by the physical comedy of The Young Ones and The Ren & Stimpy Show, Jason’s drawings rely on comic intuition and references to real-life moments, like dropping a potato on his cat.

  13. Seamus_murhpy_pj-harvey_-recording-in-progress_-2015.-an-artangel-commission.-_1_int

    While we wait to take our turn to become a sort of strangely sanctioned voyeur as PJ Harvey records her ninth album, thinking about what’s ahead feels peculiar. Essentially, we’re going to see PJ (Polly Jean) Harvey, her band, producers Flood and John Parish, a photographer and two engineers making an album in a Something & Son-designed box, formed of glass that allows visitors to see in, while the musicians can’t see out.