We had the good fortune of connecting with Tori Hauser and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tori, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I remember my third-grade teacher, Ms. Setka, asked our class to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up. I drew an artist, painting a painting. When I got older and decided to go to college though, choosing a path in Fine Art to me seemed like an insecure move if I wanted a steady career, so I tried more seemingly stable options. I had friends who went to college in the sciences, and I tried that, but chemistry was not my thing. I tried computer engineering, which made me cry, my brain just does not work like that. So after panicking about what to do next, I sat in my room and cruised the printed catalog of programs the university offered, not feeling a particular interest in any of them. Then I got to the very last page where it said: “Visual Communication” and a light-bulb went off. I read the description which talked about graphic design and web design, it seemed exciting, interesting, something I could have a steady career doing, and most importantly, I could be creative! This is when I finally was able to really get into doing something and it felt like the right path.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve had a long and winding road of a career up to now, and that’s a good thing! I’ve had the opportunity to get my hands dirty in many different places which ultimately has given me experience and knowledge that you can’t get in school. My favorite quote is from Pablo Picasso, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” I say yes to a lot of things that I might not have any business saying yes to, but in my mind, how better to learn something than to just do it? My college internship was at UGG Boots/TEVA Sandlas that turned into a full-time position. There I designed websites, emails, and shoeprint catalogs, exactly what I wanted to be doing, awesome. At the time, we had a freelancer taking product photos and sending us the pictures to use. One day my boss asked me if I would be interested in taking over the photography. I had taken a couple of photo classes and loved it, but certainly did not consider myself a photographer. But, I said yes anyway, because what an amazing opportunity, and clearly someone thought I could do it. They gave me a budget to build a studio in an unused part of the building, and I did. I successfully photographed many, many shoes and accessories, and more importantly, I learned so much in the process. Since then, I’ve said yes to other things I didn’t necessarily have experience with, like starting a small creative business or directing TV commercials, and most recently I’ve begun teaching design at GCU and NAU, something I never thought I’d be doing. I love all of it, bring it on!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best girlfriends and I love good music and food, so we’d probably end up at Crescent Ballroom after visiting a couple of spots snacking and having some cocktails along the way. I’m in South Tempe, so we might start off at Ghost Ranch for dinner, head next door to Cotton & Copper for an amazing cocktail, then hop in an UBER downtown. Before the show, we might go to Cobra Arcade, because, FUN, and maybe stop in The Vig or Gracies Tax Bar.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband has been immensely supportive throughout my career, whether it was when I decided to start my own businesses, or when I decided to go back to full-time work, or when I decided to start my own business, again, he’s been there as my rock. Also, both of my parents have been a source of inspiration. Growing up my mom was always trying new creative classes, and my dad was always building something. Looking back, that really helped to shape my drive as an adult in the creative industry.
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