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.
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.
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