[August 20, 2008 ]
Doug Boehm is a professional freelance illustrator and fine artist. His illustration work has been published in magazines and newspapers across the US, some of which include: Time Inc., The Village Voice, Rolling Stone Magazine, Seattle Weekly, and PC Magazine. He has been published in several other countries including Australia, Canada, Taiwan, and Costa Rica. Doug has also illustrated for ad campaigns, music packaging, consumer packaging, and is always looking for new venues for his work.
Doug shows his work in galleries and has been collected in the US, UK, Australia, and Taiwan.
How would you describe your style?
My style is a mixture of several influences. I've been influenced by Surrealism, German Expressionism, and Folk Art. My style is flexible. I can communicate in a humorous way or cover serious subject matter. I like to balance organic form with flat graphic areas to create an eclectic composition.
Describe your process?
My process is pretty simple. It starts with reading the editorial article or creative brief. I then do research on the subject matter. I like to pull images from my visual file, the library, or online. Narrowing the focus helps conceptualize the assignment. I usually present 3-5 different concepts. The art director picks a direction and I proceed to final art. My final art is typically acrylic on a collaged surface. From time to time I might enhance the art digitally. I also have a secondary style that is about 50 percent digital. All of my work is delivered via email.
What was your best experience while working in the field of illustration?
There was one particular week that affirmed my decision to become an illustrator. I had three assignments that were so different but completely called for my style. One of them was about retail sales for a business magazine, the second was for a whiskey magazine, and the third was for a story about drag queen roller bingo. You can't get that kind of diversity in many professions.
Describe your personal work?
My personal work looks very similar to my illustration. I tend to test new ideas and techniques on my personal work but it usually finds it's way back to my illustration. My personal work is typically looser and a bit darker in subject matter. It's less about problem solving and more about story telling. I'm at the beginning of my fine art career so I have a lot to learn. It's more self-indulging than illustration but I still love a good assignment.
What advice do you give to illustrators fresh out of art school?
Illustration can be rewarding but it's much like any other form of artistic expression. You have to be very passionate about the work. Do not pursue illustration if you're not a motivated person. It takes time to build a portfolio and a client list. Don't get discouraged.
You just need to keep moving forward and continue to grow as an artist. Don't compare yourself to others. Everyone's path is different. You might have to make some sacrifices. Anything worthwhile is worth some sacrifice.
What is your dream assignment?
I would love to take on a larger assignment at some point. Possibly a book project that features a traveling exhibition / book signing tour. I'd love to have creative freedom on a product line of toys. Or, design characters for a kids television show. A New Yorker cover would be pretty dreamy too.
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