We were lucky to catch up with Stevan Hass recently and have shared our conversation below.
Stevan, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. How do you feel about asking friends and family to support your business? What’s appropriate, what’s not? Where do you draw the line?
I have been fortunate enough to have made some very loyal and very supportive friends over the years. Do all of them use my services, no, but they always show their support. Whether it’s sharing my social media posts or dropping my name to a colleague, I never have to ask them to spread the word.
My family is also super supportive of my career and goals. They mention projects I’ve worked on or people I have done projects for when we talk, which means a lot to me. Knowing they are part of my team gives me a little extra confidence. I hope that my path has made them all proud!
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I am a Denver born and Texas raised graphic designer and I also manage a small sign company in DFW. My love for computer graphics, printing and vinyl work goes back as far as I can remember. I was printing paper banners on Apple II computers starting in 1st grade, good ol Dot Matrix style! Having a computer at home also gave me the ability to mess around with coding colors and shapes with my Commodore 64! When I got up to high school, I was able to get into a more advanced graphics class which introduced me to adhesive vinyl stickers, shirt designs and other production aspects that I still do today. I found my current path in 2003 when I briefly went to a trade school to learn true graphic design.
I started Hass Productions in 2006 as a way to offer my services and goods to friends and family. After a few years in the sign industry, I felt confident enough to bring my skills to people I knew personally. Since then, I have grown my brand to become one of the best in DFW. My turn around times and ability to offer a wide range of goods really set me apart from the competition. I also like to think my product quality is a step or two above other vendors. I also offer delivery services around the metroplex, which most people don’t provide.
All of those qualities have led me to work for some big name events and organizations in the DFW area over the years. I have also been fortunate enough to work for and with some of my heroes growing up as I am print provider for some well known voice actors. They are actors on Dragonball, My Hero Academia and other well known anime properties. I would say that being their go to guy for their merch is easily one of my career goals!
Any fun sales or marketing stories?
When I set out to be a graphic designer/artist, I wanted to work for Funimation. They are a local production company that houses many anime properties. My skill set didn’t work out to where I was a good fit there, so I went a different route. In 2018, I received a call from a voice actor who needed a rush banner print for a show that weekend. That actor just happened to be from my favorite anime show, Dragonball Z. Needless to say, I went out of my way for him that weekend to earn his trust.
After meeting him, it opened my eyes to another convention that had just started, Kamehacon. That is a fan driven show that is built around the show and all its fandom. As a fan of the show, I knew this was my chance to get my foot in the door I had originally set out to get in. I got tickets to the show and went mostly as a wide eyed fan boy, looking to meet the people who brought my heroes to life. At that show, I networked like never before, introducing myself to everyone I could. Since then, I have managed to meet almost everyone I look up to from the show and been able to work with and for almost all of them.
I am most proud of the fact I stumbled into achieving my overall dream of working in conjunction with something I was so passionate about and the main reason I started my journey. If wasn’t quite the path I thought it would be, but it ultimately worked out in the end!
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
For me, there are a few rewarding parts of my job, and they are all equally important to me. First off, being able to create new things is extremely fulfilling. I am not rewriting history or anything, but it’s something different from day to day. That helps keep my job feeling fresh and not so dull. Another thing I really appreciate is the excitement my customers show when they get their product(s). It may be something easy for me to make or produce, but to them, it’s the end result of a vision they had or dream come to life.
It really makes me feel good knowing I can help a friends business grow or be successful. Being able to make a product that they can turn into a profit or positive marketing tool is another aspect that really drives me. It’s always a cool feeling to be out around town and see something you designed or made that is helping another business grow.