Buckhannon native Chase Long, an expert at curating images, models one of his go-to stretches. / Photo courtesy Chase Long

Dear Neighbor: An artist, influencer and athlete, Buckhannon native Chase Long is a triple threat in the industry

BUCKHANNON — Defining art has long been a slippery slope by which divisive genres and media are created. Even worse, the word ‘artist’ is often reserved for people in a select group of artistic mediums.

However, I’d like to challenge those preconceived notions with Chase Long, the subject of my most recent interviews. Chase might not play an instrument, nor draw or paint; yet his keen eye for image and publicity have helped create an aura of success that follows him.

Chase is a Buckhannon native who graduated from high school in 2010. He was an all-state wrestler, track member, and a football player in the fall. Even during those formative years, Chase exhibited an understanding of style and presentation, winning the “Best Dressed” superlative in the yearbook.

And while these accomplishments might seem small in the grand scheme of life, Chase now attributes much of his success to the work ethic he developed during those years.

Today, Chase serves as a social media manager and content producer for the company Nutrabolt. Nutrabolt is an independent sports nutrition company which launched in 2002 and has steadily grown since. (“Realistically, I’m more of a producer and partnership manager,” Chase admitted, as we discussed his mind-over-matter mindset as well as what it is to be an artist.)

“I find freelance workers such as photographers, video editors, and all other artists necessary and bring them together,” Chase said. “I really pride myself on being a facilitator.”

The mediums through which artists can link up and share ideas are often an overlooked sector of the industry. Someone in Chase’s role not only has to find artists, but one must also find artists who can create the overarching vision of the company and producers. This talent for recognizing and producing an engaging image is an art itself. And Chase remains an artist of the image.

As we discussed the road that brought Chase to Austin, Texas working for Nutrabolt, we also discussed what artistic image really boiled down to.

“It’s an expression of yourself through many different avenues,” Chase stated firmly. “How you dress, the music you listen to, or movies you watch all mix to create your unique image.”

All of these are subject matters that Chase’s social media deal heavily with. What started out as a personal page on Instagram grew into a fitness and motivational page with artistic insights from Chase himself: “Social media opened up an avenue of success for myself,” Chase explained. “I got people through the door with fitness to introduce them to music, television shows, and style that I care about.”

Today, the page hosts a wide array of subject matter and still provides an underlying message of hard work and perseverance. I asked Chase how he developed such an enduring mindset, hoping to glean some information I could turn into personal practice.

“It started with high school wrestling,” Chase said. “I went the whole freshman year getting pinned. I remember that vividly,” he added with a dignified reverence.

Over the course of the next three years, Chase chose to work at all the weaknesses exposed by his freshman season. And in just a couple years, Chase became one of the most harrowing and consistent wrestlers.

“I realized that is how everything works,” said Chase, as he continued to dissect his mindset. “I have the ability to just take what’s given to me or apply myself and consistently work at a goal.”

Buckhannon native Chase Long contemplates the desolate beauty of the desert / Photo courtesy Chase Long

Yet even the strongest of superheroes have their moments of doubts and weakness, and with the nature of the pandemic, Chase admitted that it’s a constant battle.

“My mindset is something that I’ve really had to work on,” he related, speaking of the high-pace lifestyle in media and arts. “An all gas, no brakes lifestyle eventually leads to some explosions,” Chase added. “But I try to be very cognizant of where I’m at versus where I started and remind myself that the journey is just as important as the destination.”

It was a truly dignified and worthwhile response to the strange times we have all come under with the recent world events. Chase represents an often-unappreciated facet of the art industry. An artist of the image, Chase understands design, presentation, and timing better than most, yet remains a humble and grateful individual to the place where he was raised. And while his keen eye for style was the seed for success, his mindset seems to be the very thing that kept him focused.

I encourage you to visit his Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/chase504/ and enjoy the fitness and motivation. Or maybe cast your vote on which superhero has the best wardrobe. The subject matter is eclectic and exciting. But even if you don’t speak with Chase, I’d hope you can take away his message of perseverance and gratefulness.

Tyler Hall is a Buckhannon local whose enthusiastic interests include, but are not limited to music, gaming, public service and literature.

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