Douglas Hale

Arts & CultureNovember 1, 2015
Douglas Hale

Artist Douglas Hale is taking us on a journey into the world of assemblage and mixed media; his works are at once calm and striking; each piece is a window into a world that is eerily familiar. Hale and I had a conversation about his creative process, and how he interprets the relationship between art, music, and the influences of culture.

I would like to introduce you your work to our readers. Tell us about your background. What was the defining moment in deciding to become an artist?

I am an artist from Dallas, Texas. I have no formal training. I’m actually first and foremost a musician and have been most of my life. I sing in a band called “Air Review” and when we started we couldn’t afford to hire someone for posters and Album art. So I picked up a copy of Photoshop CSS and started creating all of our Visual material. Now a few years later it has become a career for me.

How would you define collage as an art form?

For me, collage art is the collision of disparate images and ideas to create a greater whole.

There is a strong ethnic, almost mythological tone to your work, where does this point of view stem from?

I have a mixed race family and it has always been important to me to reflect my family in my work.

“For me, collage art is the collision of disparate images and ideas to create a greater whole.”

How would you describe the Douglas Hale aesthetic?

I have no idea. Perhaps it is because I am self-taught and always learning, I like to tell myself that it’s evolution but sometimes I wonder if it’s merely boredom.

Tell us about your process, do you have any particular met- hods or rituals that you follow as you create your pieces?

My process is totally informed by the project – be it a commissioned piece or personal. But one constant, regardless of the job, is music. Creating music is a must for me.

Aside from art and illustration, you also work in apparel and accessories. Are you interested in blurring the lines between art and design?

I’d love to explore apparel more. It’s hard to find the time to fully dive into new ventures but I have a couple of projects going and I can see myself doing more in the coming years.

What excites you, and what stops your creative process?

Sometimes as I’m scouring public archives for images I’ll come across an image that stops me, and I can’t help but drop everything and create something with it.
When I take advantage of those moments I usually create my best work. The flip side of that is clicking through thousands of images can also be a black hole for inspiration. After two or three hours the initial idea and excitement for the project is dead and gone. It’s a fine line.

Your work has spread through social media like wildfire. How would you describe the relationship between social media and contemporary art?

The world has become so small and art is more accessible than ever. It’s a beautiful thing when you can connect with someone from the other side of the globe and be inspired by them and perhaps even collaborate with them. For me, social media and more specifically Instagram has been instrumental to my success in design. Nearly every job I get is from someone who found my work on Instagram. Also, getting instant validation of my work from a community of peers has helped keep me motivated and inspired.

You recently worked on some album packaging. Does music play a strong role in helping you form ideas?

Music is a vital part of my process. If I’m creating, I’m listening. Album covers are my favorite pieces to work on. They can be incredibly difficult because you are working for an artist that usually has strong opinions about their brand. But when the stars align and you can create that piece that perfectly represents the artist and their music it’s magic.

What is next for Douglas Hale? Tell us more about your new projects.

I’ve got a few album covers in the works. One being an artist from Ghana. I’m also working on some apparel with Dawn Richard to accompany.

Author: Based Istanbul