The Art Plug Editorial: Chad Knight

Marcel Katz Art
Sep 26, 2018 4:20PM


Art often gives viewers a look into the mind of an artist. For Chad Knight, his surreal digital creations are a personal journal begging to be explored and dissected. Knight is both a senior 3D design manager at Nike and a 3D digital artist, and his reach is growing immensely alongside the digital sculptures he creates.

At first glance Knight’s work might make you question reality or even believe that such a place exists; at least in a dream. His massive structures loom above dense forests, deep oceans, and infinite deserts, conveying a sense of adventure interpreted uniquely by each viewer. But the detail and potential within these mysterious figures and the land they occupy is what makes his work so unique.

“I would love to convey hope,” Knight said. “For them to question the limitations they have bound around themselves through their distorted self-definition. I want people to see my art and feel invincible.”

Chad Knight was a professional skateboarder for 16 years before he started working with 3D design as a full-time job.

“I was first exposed to 3D when I had a brief gig doing skatepark design,” Knight said. “I loved how limitless 3D’s potential was. There are no rules, it was just like skateboarding. After that job, I locked myself in a room, found some bootleg 3D software and taught myself enough to get a job doing 3D design.”

As he progressed, he developed a wider set of skills that led him to a managerial position in the industry. This required Knight to oversee projects rather than do most of the hands-on design work, but he refused to let his skills corrode.

“I did not want to get rusty with my craft. I committed to a self-directed project each day to continue learning new software and tools. This initiative quickly evolved into a diary of sorts. It evolved from technical training to a journey of self-discovery. I have always enjoyed creating art, but this was one medium that I could control accurately, capture, and convey my intent.”

This self-directed project led to what has become one of the most impressive 3D art portfolios on the internet as he continues to post a creation nearly every day on his Instagram @chadknight.

A common misconception with Knight’s work might be that he draws inspiration from science fiction or supernatural beings. Despite their spine-tingling appearance, his art is very grounded in reality, drawing inspiration from everyday life experiences and commonly explored concepts.

“I try to capture what I feel or what I am thinking visually. Things that are surrounded by mystery, such as psychology, philosophy, quantum physics, spirituality, religion, connections, and intuition have always intrigued me. This leads to my other area of inspiration, which is potential. I believe we are all capable of far more that we think and are connected to something bigger.”

Working for Nike

Working for one of the most prestigious companies in the world helped Knight explore his unique potential. He has worked at Nike for over two years and is currently a senior 3D design manager.

“Nike contacted me to help lead their growing 3D department and I jumped at the chance. Working for Nike is incredible. It allows me to collaborate everyday with driven, brilliant people. I am fortunate to have worked for other companies prior to Nike, so that I can appreciate what it offers. I also love that Nike encourages people to believe in themselves. That’s what it’s all about.”

The Future

Knight plans on continuing his art while working for Nike. He made it known that he will never stay stagnant in his craft and will continue to explore new concepts both with his art and in his everyday life.

“This has all been so unpredictable that I cannot imagine trying to predict where it’s headed. I would like to think I will gravitate to whatever allows me to tell my story best. I can say that stagnation and complacency are the things I fear most, so I can predict I will evolve.”

As Chad Knight builds his artistic resume, new opportunities allow unique outlets to be explored. He signed exclusively with The Art Plug earlier this year and plans to release limited edition prints with lifestyle art publisher Monsieur Marcel based on a new series of work:

435 Guidance: “This reflects my breakthrough moment with intuition, when I discovered which voice in my internal dialogue is connected to love and not fear. I then knew how to hear that voice and I knew following it was my path to happiness, pride, and integrity. It also captures the meager means of my vessel in contrast to the universe.”

436 Involution: “This is a celebration of the complexity, dimensions and connections of humankind, while acknowledging its fragility.”

576 Omega Plus One: “This piece represents the connected self and that there are levels within our intuition allowing for growth/strengthening.”

640 New Dawn: “I have always perceived crowds or large groups as a single, connected entity. This always made them feel intimidating and unapproachable. I would even feel like a known outsider in large cities. When I was able to see the individual faces, I saw the same look in their eyes as me. Seeing the similarities makes us feel accepted.”

These four pieces will be featured in the exclusive release, sized at 18x24 inches on Moab Slickrock Metallic Pearl 260gsm paper. Each print will have an edition size of 25 and is signed and numbered by the artist.

They will be available for purchase on on October 4th at 12pm PST.

For more information and inquiries, please contact [email protected].

Marcel Katz Art