When asked what words he lives by, local student and artist, Gray Hauser chose the inspirational words of Tibor Kalman...
"The perfect state of creative bliss is having power (you are 50) and knowing nothing (you are 9). This assures an interesting and successful outcome"
- Tibor Kalman
Gray, a 4th year Graphic Design & Communication Studies major from Norcross, GA, is the creative mind behind Classic City Collection (CCC) who has a strong passion for what he does and for the life he is living. When Gray was nominated by his friend and fellow CCC member, Harrison Freemyer, for our Cool Humans section we were stoked to ask him some questions about his incredible work! So, sit back, relax, and get to know the talented Gray Hauser.
We love everything on your website! What is your main inspiration behind your work?
My inspiration primarily comes from...
3. My friends
4. Graphic Designers that I look up to like Michael Bierut, Tibor Kalman, Bruno Munari and Paula Scher.
What is your position at Classic City Collection? And how did you get involved?
I’m the creative director at CCC, so I create and direct our design, photo, and video. CCC was in the works for a long time before we actually launched. My friend Clay had the idea during summer of 2015, and just kind of sat with the idea for a while. He then approached my friend Harrison to join him and eventually realized they needed someone to design a logo, so they reached out to me. After that, I came on as part of the team and have loved it.
Favorite moment with CCC?
We partner with two non-profits in Athens that we give 10% of our profit to, and one of those is the Sparrow’s Nest. In our first meeting with them I was able to go to their space and speak with Jamie Scott (their Executive Director). It was both heartbreaking and very encouraging to do that. Heartbreaking because I came to a new understanding of how many people were hurting and in need in our city; however, it was very encouraging because I realized that we could make a difference.
For our readers who don’t know CCC, could you explain the concept behind Classic City Collection?
Classic City Collection is a lifestyle brand whose goal is to celebrate and connect Athens. We hope to share and champion the great businesses and people that are all over our city. There’s an originality and a willingness in Athens that we haven't seen in many other places, and we want other people to see that too. So we’ve partnered with many local businesses and are constantly looking to create more relationships with others. We want to celebrate them through our products and also push more people into their stores, so every purchase from CCC includes coupons to our local partners.
What has been your favorite project during your time here in Athens?
CCC has given me a lot of really cool opportunities to work with some amazing people in our city. One of my favorite opportunities has beenpartnering with Creature Comforts Brewing Company for their Get Comfortable Campaign. Get Comfortable is Creature's way of giving back to Athens, and helping people in need get more comfortable. I was able to design their shirt for this year's campaign and that was a really cool experience for me.
Any last words for our readers?
I’ll elaborate on the quote I shared. I think it’s really important to be able to balance power and humility in my work. It’s key to recognize the meaning and potential impact that work can have; however, it’s just as important that I never stop learning, playing, or realizing that I will never fully have it all together.