Name: Keara Douglas
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Bio: Keara Douglas is a visual artist and the founder of Delux Designs (DE), LLC. Born in North Carolina, yet raised in South Carolina, Keara began her service with just a Macbook, Photoshop Elements and Corel Paint Pro software along with a dream and determination to work for herself. She started off creating graphic design work for family and friends around her school and hometown, which soon led to the creation of Delux Designs (DE), LLC soon after during her freshman year of college back in 2010. Miss Douglas has been apart of numerous exhibition shows, vendor showcases and apart of public installations projects around South and North Carolina, along with other states in the Southeast.
Describe your experience as a current artist.
I am creating art full time. I have been pursuing art since the first grade, so between 15 - 20 years now. My pursuit began from me creating two paintings that were entered in an elementary school based juried art show competition back during the first grade. What really got me started in art though was freelance graphic design work. I would say my purpose as an artist right now is to communicate without words.
What was your occupation/education prior to becoming an artist?
Prior to becoming an artist, I worked a lot of retail positions. I am currently not in that particular occupational field anymore. What prompted me to pursue art was when I realized that art is literally everything that we use on a daily basis. This was not a moment where I woke up one day and decided to quit my job. Instead, I just found a job that tied into my career in some way, shape, or form to make it more enjoyable to go to work daily.
What was your biggest challenge/obstacle in pursuing art and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge in art so far has been finding my own style. In the beginning my art subjects and topics were all over the place and I often confused myself. Since then, I have begun creating artwork into series so they'll be collections instead of just one painting here and then another painting there.
Describe your biggest milestone achieved since pursuing your art.
My biggest milestone achieved has been creating my #DEMusicBlock painting series, a collection of 4x6 and 8x8 inch mixed media illustrations of various music artists from a variety of different genres. I created them with an illustration board, gouache watercolor paint, acrylic paint, colored pencils and pens. Since finding my own style was my biggest challenge, once I created the #DEMusicBlocks, I felt that I had faced and conquered that challenge. My #DEMusicBlocks shows my own personal style, especially through my choices of colors, and helps me maintain my mental health and inspiration, as well. The painting series is used sort of like an art therapy session for me through painting and listening to music.
What is your favorite art technique and why?
My favorite art technique is digital illustration. I participate in graphic design and love creating illustrations and then going in and creating as much detail as possible for each illustration to look like a real hand painting. I began using this technique after an assignment in illustration class during college.
What is some advice or tips you would give to a fellow BGWP interested in furthering their art goals/business?
One piece of advice would be to not look at having a 9-5 jobs as a burden for your own business. Use it as a way to fund your dreams when grants, scholarships, fellowships, and other sources of income that may not be available.
What is next for you?
I'm currently in the middle of #The100DayProject for 2018 which you can check out through my Instagram page, and I have begun the DE Directory to give business and service owners a way to promote and showcase their businesses through my freelance service. You can check it out here: https://deluxds.com/dedirectory.
What does being a "black girl who paints" means to you?
Being a black girl who paints means that there are other women out there who resemble myself whom have the same ambitions and dreams as me. I am not alone.