Born in New York City, Douglas Smith began drawing early. To Douglas, the most appealing aspect of making art was storytelling, and with this in mind, he chose to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, earning his BFA in Illustration in 1974, also studying sculpture, painting, and printmaking.
Smith moved to Boston shortly after graduation, and started to build a freelance career, working for local magazines and newspapers such as the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Inc. Magazine, New England Monthly, and others. His work was frequently selected for inclusion in the Society of Illustrators exhibition, Communication Arts Illustration Annual, American Illustration, Print’s Regional Design Annual, Graphis Annual, and ‘Outstanding American Illustrators Today’ from Japan. His national reputation building, Smith received many advertising, book, and corporate assignments, and was profiled in 1986 by Communication Arts. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Richard Solomon group and is now its senior member.
Additional honors awarded Smith over the years include a Silver Award from the Society of Newspaper Design, an Award of Merit from the Society of Publication Design, Gold and Merit Awards from the Art Directors Club, and an Achievement Award from the Society of Technical Communication. He is also a frequent exhibitor at the Society of Illustrators in New York. In 1992, Douglas was invited to participate in the United Nations/Society of Illustrators show – ‘The Illustrator and the Environment,’ a subject of deep interest to him. During his Boston years he designed and drew numerous projects for Greenpeace, including an anti-whaling children’s book, and an internationally famous t-shirt design opposing the annual ‘harvest’ of harp seal pups.
Smith has lectured at Rhode Island School of Design, Massachusetts College of Art, Art Institute of Boston, Parsons, New England School of Art, and Maine College of Art.
Smith realized a long-held dream when he moved from the Boston area to Peaks Island, off the coast of Maine, in 2004. Now, aside from his illustration work, he also participates in the vibrant island arts community, becoming a member of the cooperative art gallery, displaying ‘found object’ sculpture, as well as drawings and paintings in various media.
He lives a short walk from the ocean, in a house full of art, odd stuff, and three cats.