Nick Haas – Chicago Artist and Founder of Haastyle

Nick Haas is an interactive, graphic artist and photographer whose gritty artwork has been the focus of exhibitions in Chicago and Los Angeles. His clients include companies such as The William Morris Agency, Random House Publishing, Livingstone Partners, Studio F Design, Art Effex USA, Night and Day Pictures, and Safeway Insurance, to name a few. Nick’s work has been featured in CS & CS Interiors Magazine, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Tribune Magazine, NBC News, websites, galleries, novels, motion pictures, and various residential and professional settings across the country.

To create his work, Haas shoots large-format digital photographs and collages them together in a digital environment. Each collage takes the individual objects out of their normal context and places them into one that more clearly expresses the beauty of the urban landscape’s form, color, and structure. Haas takes on a heavy influence from the movements of Futurism, Surrealism and Cubism. Haas’s artwork also aims to be eco-friendly, budget conscious, and unique in its production.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a bevy of new artwork from my recent trip to New York City, a new website, and some potential client work.

3 Trends that excite you?


I love the iPad and the opportunity it presents for application/web developers, designers, and artists to really push human computer interaction. Less is more, only the essentials are needed. Beautiful.

Street art’s influence in design and pop culture

Everywhere you look there are new street art and artists popping up. The heavy influence of artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairy is being felt throughout cities and rural areas all over the U.S.

Augmented reality

I find the idea and use especially in the mobile arena really exciting. The more it becomes available the more it will shape the way we use our mobile devices. Imagine being able to point your phone at a row of apartments and get all of the details on those apartments, price, sq. ft, lease terms, photos, etc., all while you are walking by them. That is here, and it will continue to grow into some pretty amazing applications.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I bring ideas to life by setting out an action plan that helps translate the idea into something tangible. I often start by bouncing these ideas off of many people to gauge reactions, get input, and step outside my own head. Then I start to plan out their execution. For me ideas often evolve around a way to bring my art closer to people. Whether it is on the wall, furniture, apparel, or digital. How can I allow my audience to feel a part of the work? I will usually come up with something overly complicated. But that is okay; once I get them out in the open, discussions occur, they become much simpler and more effective in their execution.

What is one mistake that you made, and what did you learn from it?

One mistake I made early on in my career was pricing my work lower then I should have. This is a pretty common issue with artists. I did not know any better and had to gauge the market value of the work in order to really understand how I should price it. I spent a good part of early career eating a lot of my costs. Over time I was able to raise them to their correct value. My goal in pricing was to find an affordable structure so anyone really can afford the work, but also to make sure that certain costs are covered. What I learned from this process was to treat your work like any other product. Do your research on pricing and market value, do some market testing and see what customers respond too. I do this now with new works we release. I also learned to stand strong on my cost structure. People are always looking for ways to cut your prices.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

One business idea that I can communicate that has worked well for me is to take each opportunity you can to promote your work. You never know what can come of it. As an artist, it is imperative that you get your work in front of as many people as you can. Places such as galleries, wine bars, restaurants, furniture showrooms, online showcases, etc., all can benefit your exposure.

Also, network your ass off with interior designers. If they like your work, they might use it in their projects.

In what new ways are you hoping to grow Haastyle?

Well, a few things have been on the radar. We definitely want to continue our foray into furniture with more modular pieces. We want to create a large collection of furniture pieces that people can use to mix and match their Haastyle art. Another avenue is a more philanthropic approach to things, working with shelters, children, teaching computer arts and photography. We have had some opportunities to do so in the recent past and it has been wonderful. Also, connect with companies to do some more commercial work. Things such as book covers, ads, posters, etc.

What’s your favorite thing(s) about Chicago?

Well there is plenty, but I would say that one of my favorite things about Chicago has to be its depth. I have lived here for over 10 years and I am still finding new places, neighborhoods, stories, opportunities, experiences, and people that make our world here so very interesting. Chicago constantly amazes me.


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