Alumni Profile: Daniel Smith

Where can you find critters that make your skin crawl, zombies, clowns and monsters that aren’t afraid to push you out of windows?

It’s a place so terrifying that even the brave don’t usually make it to the top of the 13 stories.

For those of you who are crazy enough to take your chances on getting thrown out of a window by an evil clown, don’t get too excited. This famous, 13-story haunted house is nothing more than a myth told among haunted house enthusiasts.

Or is it?

Design by Daniel Smith

13 Stories Haunted House, located in Newnan, Ga., is the home to one of the scariest haunt attractions and the employer of one of Nossi College of Art’s very own graduates.

Daniel Smith, graduate of Nossi College of Art and creative designer at 13 Stories Haunted House, spends three months out of the year working to help keep the visitors of 13 Stories thoroughly scared out of their minds. With the final say in anything art and PR related, Smith has had the pleasure of watching the business succeed and move on to a bigger and better location.

“I love the fact that when I’m there, I’m working with something huge that matters to a lot of people,” Smith said. “Seeing a company grow and flourish from the inside is pretty exhilarating.”

This alumnus is involved in more than haunted attractions and has had the pleasure of watching his own business grow too. When Smith isn’t working with 13 Stories, he’s heavily involved in the Designer Toy Movement. Collaborating and working with designers and artists from all over the globe, Smith has been busy making his mark in the realm of designer toys. Smith first discovered his interest in toy making in 2010.

“One morning at Nossi, I arrived early for class, was searching the web and discovered the ‘Designer toy’ movement.” Smith said. “I fell in love with everything about it and knew from the get go that it was going to be a life long mission for me.”

Elephantos by Daniel Smith

Now with his own toy line and contacts in the art toy world, Smith has seen his own business flourish as well. Smith’s line has a few different collections of toys, including Elephantos, Cuddlehard, Ion Men and other custom toys.

“I have always loved character design and drawing comic book and sci-fi related stuff, and toy design is the next step beyond that,” Smith said. “Ideas come off the page or the screen and are turned into actual three-dimensional objects.”

Between his work with 13 Stories Haunted House and his line of designer toys, Smith has been pretty busy since graduating from Nossi College of Art with his degree in graphic design.

“There is no average week for me,” Smith said. “I could be doing anything on any given day, from design on the computer, to sculpting, working with clients, painting or marketing, and the work never gets stagnant.”

Smith is a great example of how hard work can turn passion and interests into a career. Nossi College of Art encourages students to develop their passions and use them with their degree, and we love to see alumni, like Smith, be successful!

“Nossi prepared me in a lot of ways for what I’m doing now, and if it weren’t for all of the things I learned at Nossi, as well as inspiration from teachers like Arden (von Haeger), Bruce (Stanley) and Mark (Fleming), I wouldn’t have the confidence or technical skill that I have now,” Smith said. “Class only gets you so far though, and getting out there and actually using your skills is an even more profound learning experience.”

Interested in learning more about Smith’s work? Check out his awesome toy designs along with his illustration and graphic design work on his website!








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