Every VETERAN & ARTIST collaboration CREATES inspiration & impact.

stories come alive through the transformative power of art, weaving narratives that resonate deeply within our hearts ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

Connecting communities through Art + Design
Connecting communities through Art + Design
Connecting communities through Art + Design
Connecting communities through Art + Design
Connecting communities through Art + Design
Connecting communities through Art + Design
Connecting communities through Art + Design

How the hero[series] Began

A Veteran Met An Artist

The Veteran

Meet Michael Hyacinthe

The Artist

Meet Tyler Way


U.S. Navy Veteran, Michael Hyacinthe was introduced to artist & designer, Tyler Way in 2010. Once they met for coffee, they soon realized the divide between their respective Veteran and creative communities living and working in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This first conversation over coffee led them to bridge the divide by utilizing the power of art, design, and the creative process to bring their two worlds together.

At a local Veterans event, Michael met a wounded U.S. Marine & his full-time nurse. Paralyzed from the neck down & unable to speak due to injuries suffered in Iraq, the young Marine shared his story through a special alphanumeric communication code that was translated with the aid of his nurse. Michael learned of his love of t-shirts and asked the Marine if he would like to design his own. Seeing the larger-than-life grin come across his face, Michael called Tyler to see if they could design a shirt together.

From that first t-shirt design & its powerful creative process, the HERO[series] was created: a Veteran partnered with an artist for the shared mission to tell their story through the mediums of art, design, & fashion.

The Hero[Series] Process


Project Breakdown

At HAS HEART, we initiate the journey by pairing a local veteran with an artist. Over the next two days, affectionately termed as the “Design Days,” they delve into mutual exploration, getting acquainted and collaboratively crafting a design concept that authentically reflects their shared narrative.

Day 1:

Connecting + Crafting The Vision

The HERO[series] begins with connection over coffee, where questions and discussions flow leading to meticulous note-taking and the capturing of the veteran’s story and coming up with ideas, inspiration for an initial design concept.

Day 2:

Reflection + Story Telling

On day 2 we regather to review the artists sketches and concepts, culminating in the finalization of the concept. Participants portraits are captured, and insightful video interviews are conducted to enrich the narrative further.

3-6 Weeks

Refine + Complete

Over the following weeks, the artist refines the design details, ensuring that every aspect of the design is thoughtfully considered and crafted, resulting in a final product that embodies the essence of the collaborative journey between the veteran and the artist.

6-16 Weeks

Prepare + Launch

Attention is devoted to preparing the techpacks, laying the groundwork for production. With a steadfast commitment to crafting each item with precision and care in the USA. The culmination arrives as the project is launched online, marking the culmination of months of collaborative effort and creative endeavor.

Hero[Series] Designs

Veteran + Artist Collabs