We had the good fortune of connecting with Doug B and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Doug, why did you pursue a creative career?
I never fit into the 9 to 5 corporate world mold. I have tried many times to fit into that world and it was like mixing oil and water. I’m far happier and more productive when I have creative freedom. Many of my ideas do not mesh with the mainstream and I hate the idea of working to fulfill someone else’s goals and dreams just for a paycheck. Money is great and we all need it but I desire to create my own dreams and chase my own goals. I have always worked best and been my most productive when I am free to march to the beat of my own internal drummer. Art, all art for me gives me that freedom and drive. It doesn’t matter if it’s a painting, a sculpture, a haiku, or whatever. I find it exhilarating knowing this is my design, my creation and I am able to share that vision with others. To be able to have a gift is wonderful, but to be able to share the gift is a true blessing and that is why I pursue art as a career.   

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is like my mind; a seemingly jumble of chaos, darkness, random paths and emotions. But when one looks again there is a strange order, light, and adventure. For me, my work is part therapy, part invention, part free flow of thought and emotions. I tend to recreate what is going on in my life and in my head at the time, I guess that would explain my eclectic style and approach to my art, I am mostly a self taught artist so I learn by trial and error, “…happy accidents.” to paraphrase Bob Ross. I learned from my days as an actor to be bold and willing to try new things, I try to bring that into my path as a visual artist. I see something in a piece of art I find interesting; I try it. If it doesn’t turn out as expected I learn something; if it turns out okay or brilliant I learn something. It is a win, win situation. I set aside painting in the 90’s and pursued a career in theatre. I was moderately successful. But I was also pursuing a path of self destructive behavior at the same time. I struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism for decades, the pursuit of self indulgence and instant gratification was literally killing me. I have been sober for over 10 years now, and I can take no credit for that success. I just shut up and listened to some friends and did what they did to stay sober. I started painting again in 2012 as therapy more than anything else but then I sold one of my paintings more or less by accident, then I sold another, and art became a new career path. The paintings that I originally sold were actually things I was about to paint over because I didn’t think they were that good. Ironically the paintings I thought were my best work were the ones that ended up sitting in the closet or getting painted over. So I learned early on I’m not the best judge of my own work. I recently started to do sculpture and found objects assemblage work to add to my expanding interest. I found a different kind of satisfaction in “3-D” work than I did in painting but I found if I combine the two techniques it opens new horizons and gateways to and for my work. I guess if I just let go and enjoy the free form style process of my art I do my best work.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well since the advent of Covid-19 a lot has changed some of the places I love are unfortunately closed forever and others are closed until further notice. But with all that going on there are still a lot of cool things to do in Houston. First Saturday in the Heights is a great place to start. It is a great monthly art show with lots of great art to see and buy. Also there are lots of great restaurants and shops in the Heights. My favorite places to eat are small out of the way places and dives. La Carreta on East 20th Street is one of my favorite places for Mexican and TexMex food. It is a little known place and I would hate to see it destroyed by fame, but it’s a great little restaurant. Perhaps on Sunday I would take my guest to the Orange Show in South Houston near the U of H, it is a quirky little museum/monument dedicated to the fruit and color orange, It was created by an eccentric gentleman named Jeff McKissick in the sixties and seventies. The Orange Show has to be seen to be understood. After the Orange Show maybe we will walk next door and check out Smither Park after that we could take a short drive over to Rice Military and check out the Beer Can House which was built by another eccentric, John Milkovisch in 1968. Another thing I would like to show my guest would be a short trip down to Surfside Beach and hang out and maybe fish awhile, a good place to eat while we are there would be Red Snapper Inn, The rest of the week I would show off as many of Houston’s art museums and galleries including the Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel and The MFAH. I would also try to squeeze in a trip to Mai’s Restaurant, a traditional Vietnamese food place located on Milam Street. I would probably wrap up the week with an afternoon at Second Saturday at Sawyer Yards, it’s a great monthly art show that has great art for sale by local artists.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people I owe a debt of gratitude to. I have friends all over the country and the world that have inspired and encouraged me to take the first step and to dive into challenges. I have friends who have seen me and dealt with me at my worst and still love me. Those same folks have encouraged me and inspired me to be better and to excel and to dare to be audacious enough to believe in my dreams…and pursue them. I have always had a problem with crippling self-doubt, but I have been fortunate enough to have people cross my path who not only believed in my abilities and talent but pushed me to accept challenges to have the courage to face my dreams and oddly enough my demons. Some of those people are old friends who stood by me even when I was on the path of self destruction; Robert Platz Jr, (who is closer to me than my brothers), Diane Linn, my brother Bobby, and my daughter Eva (who gives me hope) are some of those people. Other friends, colleagues and mentors are people who taught me to be brave about art; Russell Sanders, Gary Izzo, Doug Kondziolka, Barbara Geary, Chris Tappe, Lori Gomez, Bob Platz Sr. and Stacy Williams Bakri. And there are folks who showed me there is a better path to follow Dennis R. Beth Y, Carlos, Anne H, Emily, Dr. Russell, Dudley F. and Ralph Fabrizio, Most especially my late mother Nancy Bible, who put up with all my nonsense and never gave up on me. I was only supposed to pick one person, but that is nearly impossible and I left out so many others who shaped me to my current and future self but they were and are part of who I am.

Website: Coming Soon
Instagram: DougBArtist
Twitter: @DougBible
Facebook: https://fb.me/doug.b.artist

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