We had the good fortune of connecting with Chad Rea and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chad, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Transformation and personal growth can only happen when you get out of your comfort zone, become vulnerable, and experience new, often scary things. In advertising, where I spent most of my career as a copywriter and Creative Director, I lived by the mantra “If it’s been done before, don’t do it.” That way of thinking raises the bar when it comes to taking a risk. As a student of improv comedy, I learned to only focus on taking that first step onto the stage and let the rest of the story write itself. That’s where all your learnings and muscle memory kicks in. And, lastly, as someone who is on a constant quest for personal growth, I’ve learned that the best things in life, including meaningful connection and support, have all happened when I put my most vulnerable self out into the world. Don’t overthink it. You’re ready already. No one has written the manual for what you want to do the way you will do it. Just focus on the first step. Trust the universe that the next step will reveal itself then. Every experience is a learning one. The only “risk” is how much you will learn from it.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Put simply, I’m an artist. Previous titles and disciplines – and there have been many – never quite fit me as well as “artist”. To me, the term “artist” is all-encompassing and forgiving, which may be why I like it so much. An artist can literally do anything and call it art. This is the wide lens by which I approach all my multi-faceted projects – be it a new business, an advertising gig, or teaching/mentoring. In a more traditional sense, I’m an intuitive artist that mainly works in the painting, digital, and sculptural mediums. My work is an emotional response to current events as they relate to things like social justice, politics, climate change, mental health, and gun control.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shout out to all the people that have helped shape my professional and creative life. I’m grateful to my Grandma Barbara for filling my Summers with arts and crafts projects. I’m grateful to Todd Tilford for giving me my first job in advertising and helping me find my voice as a writer. I am grateful for the folks at Mother in London and KesselsKramer in Amsterdam – two of my favorite advertising agencies – that taught me, if you can imagine it, it can be created. I’d like to thank my Vedic meditation teacher, Thom Knowles, for teaching me how to turn off my monkey brain. I’d like to thank Kirk Souder for helping me reunite with my authentic self and embrace my purpose as a social impact artist. And, lastly, I’d like to thank my mother for supporting my unconventional ways despite not always understanding them.

Website: https://www.chadrea.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chadrea
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chadrea/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chadrea
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chadrea
Youtube: https://vimeo.com/chadrea
Other: https://www.saatchiart.com/chadrea https://chadrea.threadless.com

Image Credits
All photos (except portrait) by Scott Van Osdol www.vanosdol.com

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