Chad Mount became an artist for life when he won a first place award for an art contest in 4th grade. The prize, he said, was a $10 savings account at Valley National Bank.
“I guess on some level I learned at a very early age that art has value,” he said. After graduating Jenks High School, Mount made his way to the University of Oregon to study 3-D animation. At the time, it was one of the few schools outside of California to have a good program in that field. Eugene, Oregon, is a beautiful setting, and Mount said he encountered some of the most influential people in his life during his eight years there.
Mount is an accomplished artist in several mediums, including illustration and painting, but he has also worked in branding and event production. In addition to various print publications, Mount’s work has appeared in exhibitions throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe.
You graduated from Jenks High School. How much a part of your life was art throughout high school and how did you get involved at a deeper level than your 4th grade win?
My older sister was in college studying to be a Graphic Designer. I remember seeing some of the design projects she would bring home to work on and I was hooked. By 8th grade, I already knew I was going to be a graphic designer. I didn’t care much for high school, so to get a head start in design I enrolled in Tulsa Technology Center’s two-year graphic design program during my junior and senior years of high school.
What is your preferred medium, and why?
Painting on a flat horizontal hard surface using mostly acrylic animation paints with a little oil mixed, lots and lots of water and two mystery bottles, one is labeled MAGIC and the other SPIRIT. I also incorporate air currents and more recently I’ve been experimenting with using cymatics [the study of wave phenomena] as another paint brush of sorts, occasionally working it into my painting process which I coined Blooming Currents. Why? Because it’s the most freeing, meditative medium that I personally have ever worked with. Once I get in a painting flow I can spend hours painting without realizing it. I’m constantly experimenting with different techniques and documenting the process. A bit of modern day alchemy through art.
What artistic accomplishments give you the most satisfaction?
Finishing a painting I may have worked on for several months, combined with the finished piece finding the right home.
What do you hope to do that you haven’t yet?
To visit the bathypelagic zone in a small submersible, turn off the lights and just watch the bioluminescent exhibition happening in the dark zone.
I have always been drawn to both oceanography and astronomy. Be it exploding nebulas or distorted underwater caverns, both teem with the illusions of life. In fact, some of my earliest paintings were aquatically inspired.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
The best part is the creation side as well as observing someone get lost in one of my paintings. If one of my works of art can make an adult stop and “fill them with a sense of wonder” if even for a few seconds before they become self-aware again, that is such a great feeling. The worst part would be email. (Laughs) Seriously, I’m so over email; it’s a major time-suck but still a necessary one.
What are your favorite spots in OKC or Oklahoma and why?
I suppose the truest answer would be relative to context. Let’s say I have a friend in town who’s never stepped foot in OKC. In that case, Junior’s–the underground time capsule that it is — would be a must as a first stop. They have the best Brandy Ice in town, but it’s more about the ambience and weird mix of people.
A friend and I just tried Pizzeria Gusto a couple days ago and the pizza really was quite delicious. I look forward to future visits.
I don’t smoke cigarettes and I am not much of a fan of smoky bars; however, I have to say the Hi-Lo is my favorite watering hole. There is no other bar I can walk into and be greeted by a bartender say, “Guess who met Chad Mount’s sister on some island last week?” My sister does live on an island, and it turned out to be true; he really had met her. So, I never know what to expect at the Hi-Lo, and I love it for that.
For local produce market items I like to support Urban Agrarian over in the old farmers market when possible.
Any brunch spots you favor?
I’m not an early riser, especially during creative projects. I am inherently a night owl, and I encourage anyone reading this to embrace their inner night owl. On the weekends, I have two current favorites. I like Cafe Kacao; their motuleño is delicious every time. Kitchen 324’s fried green tomato benedict is pretty damn delightful to the tastes buds in my opinion, as well.
Anything coming in the near future that you are looking forward to?
I’m excited for Fassler Hall to open. My art studio is just around the corner, and I’m curious to see what kind of crowd it draws, as well as music acts. I think it will be a major bonus for Midtown, and I’m a fan of the architecture I’ve seen thus far.