Doug Giles began his foray into the art world when his parents bought him his first box of crayons and he went to work cranking out drawings of birds and fish when he was just four-years-old. Giles says of these nascent years that, “I couldn’t write my name but, dammit … I could draw a mean chicken! And that explains most of my life.”
Moving from bass and birds, Doug dove into Mad Magazine and fell in love with Mort Drucker’s caricatures. He spent most of his adolescent years filling sketchbooks with copies of Mort’s cartoons, which he parlayed into being a cartoonist for his High School paper.
Speaking of High School and art, Giles says, “My art classes in high school were a joke. Most of the instructors could not draw and they had no sense of art or art history. I think my gym teacher doubled as our ‘art instructor.’ Our ‘art teachers’ were essentially baby-sitters who let us doodle whatever for an hour a day.’ Matter fact, Doug flunked art his senior year of high school but he says, ‘that was for hilarious disciplinary reasons. Not for lack of talent.’
From High School to college, Giles focused on fine art during his undergrad studies, which he also labels as another ‘great waste of time.’ Doug says, “The painting classes focused on the inane. Very few focused on enhancing one’s actual skills and composition. It was more of an extension of a High Schoolish, ‘paint what you feel and don’t judge my actual talent’ goofy art schlock.” Thankfully, Giles befriended a serious artist and sculptor who helped him hone his skills and introduced him to other artists, both living and dead, who would influence him greatly.
Giles has never been a, ‘professional artist’, per se. He’s made his living in various other enterprises, and from 1989-1997, he never painted a painting. That all changed after his first trip to Africa. The flora and fauna from the Cradle Of Civilization made Doug pick his paint brush back up again and he hasn’t put it down since.
Doug’s chosen mediums are oil and charcoal. And regarding his ‘style’, he prefers for you to define it.