Chad Crouch: Embracing Change

Today’s creative world is a ripe environment for ‘renaissance professionals’: individuals who can do a variety of things and have the ability to visualize projects across mediums.

Chad Crouch, Founder of Hush Records, musician, visual artist, designer and sometime handyman/property owner/landlord falls happily into that realm. A painter by trade, Couch has had his hands in a bevy of projects over the past ten years, juggling his disparate responsibilities with fluidity and pragmatism.

We recently caught up with Crouch, allowing us a better sense of what makes this creative polymath tick and, more specifically, how he finds time to finish one project while working on countless others.

For Crouch, keeping projects on track is one of his highest priorities, so simple solutions are often the right ones. “I think visualizing the steps is key.  For me, it’s easy to loose steam, so visualizing a workflow that doesn’t bog me down is as important as the impulse.  For example, when given a choice to work in 16 bit or 24 bit audio, I often choose 16 even though it isn’t as pro. My computer is more responsive and reacts to me more fluidly.  That could be applied to anything: natural light instead of lighting, panel instead of stretch canvas, SD instead of HD, pocket camera instead of SLR, pine instead of walnut, 8 tracks instead of 32, homemade instead of store bought, etc. I don’t have any special tricks.  I’m either off or on.  If I’m feeling on, even when I have something else ‘productive’ to do, I don’t deny myself the opportunity to create, within reason…  Motivation can be elusive.  Ultimately it just takes setting aside the time, and giving oneself an attainable goal.”

I’ve always resisted what I call the ‘blue chip’ path.

Similarly, Crouch values the art of collaboration, focusing on individuals who “balance the roles of inventor and motivator” as sounding boards for his various projects. He explains, “collaboration is the spice of life.  It requires that you open your mind to new ideas, patterns, techniques, etc.  As a creator it’s all too easy to revert to your winning formula once you’ve found it.  But that becomes anathema to the creative spirit, which demands innovation.  The sources of my innovation are typically local — people who I know in 3 dimensions… I think it can be helpful to let people see/hear your work when you’re just goofing around.  Masterpieces do not exist in a vacuum.  Masterpieces are given context by all the work that came before.”

Tellingly, Crouch has continuously chosen to bypass traditional top-down creative processes, favoring community-driven efforts that offer accessibility over grandiose exposition. He elaborates, “I’ve always resisted what I call the ‘blue chip’ path.  Namely, I prefer a plain, simple, transparent and accessible aesthetic code to a pedantic, complex, and oblique one. More to the point, that meant showing art in cafes and mixed-use spaces instead of trying to take the gallery and museum path. Indie label rather than major; low budget instead of high; melodic instead of atonal; self-taught instead of well-bred; and slow and steady instead of rocket to the stars.”

Finally, and perhaps most exemplary of his ethos, Crouch makes a concerted effort to adapt to changes in the creative world, finding that in doing so he remains both relevant and personally excited. “My big thing right now is to just not to fear change.  Follow the path of least resistance to delighting yourself.  People will be receptive and supportive to the artist that demonstrates an ability to enchant oneself. In the same way the capacity to love is diminished by an inability to love oneself, the disenchanted cannot hope to truly enchant others with their creativity.”

More insights on: Innovation, Motivation, Well-being
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