Chad Kouri


  • Mantra Maker


As a fine artist, freelance illustrator, art director, and general stuff-maker, I tend to have really busy days and nights- so I find comfort and momentum by repeating short phrases and mantras in my head and on paper. Most frequently, I use a balance between “Slow down!” and “Keep going!” with an occasional “Good work!” lobbed in-between.

Mantra Maker was not only made to look good on a wall but to be interactive and playful as well. The set is an edition of three, consisting of nine 5”x7” pieces made of wood salvaged from old letterpress type drawers, with screen printed three-color letterforms on each side.

These nine boards can be rearranged throughout the day, week, month, or year – remind yourself and others to stay on track, stop and breathe, or take that pat on the back.


Chad Kouri started his freelance design career at the ripe young age of 15. Knowing that he did not have the money to complete a full undergrad program, he came to Chicago after high school and began his flurry of networking while attend as many college level design classes as he could afford.

After 2 years of school, 4 years at a small marketing company, and dozens of freelance projects, Chad realized that being on the computer for twelve or more hours a day is not as exciting as he had once thought. With the move of The Post Family in late 2008 (of which he is a co-founder) and the growing popularity of his collage and illustration work he was doing in his free time, Chad dropped his 9-5 to focus on curating shows, collaborative art projects, and freelance illustration and art direction work.

Over the past few years Chad’s mixed media collage work and hand lettering has run on many blogs and magazines including Apartment Therapy, Daily Candy Design*Sponge, FFFFFOUND, Flavorpill, Grain Edit, HOW Design, Kitsune Noir, MocoLoco, ReadyMade and Swiss Miss.

Chad’s more recent projects include art directing Proximity Magazine, writing for Julia Rothman’s book-by-its-cover.com and curating/participating in gallery shows/art parties at The Post Family’s Gallery (The Family Room) as well as other spaces around Chicago. Kouri also participates in various panel discussions about art communities and collaboration, all while working on freelance illustration gigs and teaming up with local and internationally based artists on various collaborative projects.


Screenprint on found wood
Edition of 3