Kultur Stories

Guest Artist Story, May 12, 2021

Kultur Stories welcomed New York-based musician and composer Augie Haas to speak on his creative process and experiences. He was interviewed by Kultur Stories co-leader, Cindy Oxberry, who is also a musician, and from the start, the interview proved to be lively and informative. 

Interns and scholars found Mr. Haas’s story to be engaging. Joyce Koo, a college intern for Kultur Stories, reflected on what inspired her the most: “Augie Haas shared very practical advice that can be applied to any aspect of art, although his main focus was on music.  He spoke about his experiences as a trumpet player and his journey of realizing and pursuing his passion. When talking about how to deal with creative burnout, Mr. Haas emphasized that the key is to find balance between your artistic passion and other life interests. Everything you do that you love will complement the other thing that you love.  This personally resonated with me the most, as I’ve been experiencing artistic burnout recently, and have had less and less energy and creativity to pour into my projects. Much of my creative exhaustion comes from focusing all of my energy and efforts into my school assignments, and as a Visual Arts major, most of my courses and schoolwork revolve around artistic projects. With the spring semester coming to an end, I personally have been feeling less creative and motivated to not only complete my final projects, but to work on any art in general. But Mr. Haas reminded me to not just focus on visual art, but take the time to explore my other interests which will only then complement my visual art.”

Liz Morgan, another college intern, took to heart the lessons that Augie Haas shared with Kultur Stories. Specifically, she noted that Mr. Haas learned how to play the trumpet at age 10 and then left home to go on tour when he was 14 years old.  “He knew what he wanted to do in life right away. Not everyone knows what they want to do with their lives, so when I meet someone who has that direct instinct, it is extremely inspiring. Especially at that young of an age. One of the keys to his success was that he had multiple people in his life helping him and supporting him because they believed in him. With a support system like that, it is easier to succeed in life.” 

“Mr. Haas gave us some useful advice to use every day in our professional and personal lives”, Liz explained.  “Be professional towards others and practice your instrument/artwork at least five minutes every day. Feel passionate about other things in your life that you enjoy doing. These other passions will complement your art. Finding a balance in your life is so important, so that you don’t burn out.” He recommended that we find people who do what you like. “Figure out how they accomplished their own dreams and memorize their work, copy their work, practice what they practice. After you get good at imitating them, forget it. Go on and do your own thing and find your own unique voice.  Once you start to find your own voice in your art, you are on the path of artistic satisfaction.”  When he realized that he had established his own career, he knew that he would be ready to go onto the next step. He told us,“The older I get, the less I want to work for other people. I have stuff I want to contribute to the world.”  Mr. Haas knew that he was ready to create his own music and find his own brand. “Find your honest and authentic self. Pull from the inside as to how you are really feeling and use that to express your genuine being.”