About The House of Flow
Transformation for Artists and Creatives Worldwide
Douglas Paul Smith is the founder of The House of Flow, and The Artist Coach, which empowers artists and ‘hidden artists’ — people with dormant creative urges — to find their true potential and authenticity, and to achieve their creative goals. He also teaches courses on how to drop into your Flow, and how to transform depression, anxiety, and fears via the creative process.
Douglas’ passion for creativity coaching was born from a decade of teaching ‘Art As Meditation’ classes — his own version of the millennia-old Eastern principles of creativity as taught by the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in the 70s and 80s. As well as being a professional visual artist and designer for over 25 years, Douglas also studied Yogic philosophy and Meditation extensively in the traditions of Tibetan Gelugpa, Shambhala, and Zen Buddhism, and is formally trained as a Contemplative Arts Instructor at Shambhala Art International, in Los Angeles, California.
Douglas in Portugal, 2021
You can now buy Douglas’ book, The Infinite Artist: Wisdom and Practical Advice for Living Your Creative Calling, on Amazon.
On Painting and Drawing…
“The flavor of most of my work stems from my attraction to and appreciation of children’s art and folk art. I am enchanted by the freshness and innocence that characterizes work from the unlearned hand. In general, it seems that children and untrained people have a different intention when they create that comes from a place of wanting to discover something rather than a desire to project something that they have or know into the world. So it has been my life’s work to exist and to create from a space of unknowing, where I am not really doing anything—just waiting to see what will reveal itself next.
In college while studying product design we had to make these incredibly realistic drawings of tools, and cars, and bottles. After having realized the design industry wasn’t for me, I left the college and went in the opposite direction. I started studying life-drawing and then eventually I just dropped the whole idea that there was something I didn’t know that someone could teach me—that creating visual things was something other than a process of self-discovery.
While living in Seattle, Washington, I started experimenting in media I was unfamiliar with and developed a kind of ‘Grandma Moses’ style. I did not stick to any one medium, but switched on and off, constantly trying new things and combining media, going in directions that were unknown to me. The Stranger weekly magazine accepted me as an editorial illustrator and I started to gain some confidence with my approach to drawing and painting. Local galleries then started accepting my work on a regular basis. The next few years were characterized by a lot of travel, and I took my sketchbook everywhere I went, drawing people in train stations, airports, and cafés in eastern Europe, South Asia, and Mexico.
Eventually I started doing sitting meditation, which helped with the process of creating as it forced me to be more open and focused in the moment. Everything started to fit together when I discovered the teachings of meditation master and Tibetan icon, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who founded Naropa University with Allan Ginsberg in the late 60’s. He taught about how we create, not what we create. Through his and other similar teachings I learned the process of removing the self we think we are, to be able to witness what is actually there, and to see what is true. So then I moved to Arizona and studied meditation exclusively, and then began working with a zen calligraphy master there while continuing to produce my signature folk style of work, which developed in a direction I had not foreseen.
Since then, I moved to New York City to continue learning and teaching for five years, and eventually landed back in California, coming back to my work again and again, while practicing and teaching the meditation and flow aspects of the work, which has been a continuous theme in my life. I 2018 I began doing creative coaching / art coaching, and continued holding more and more creativity workshops designed for working artists and creative people.
Since 1992, I’ve been fortunate to show my work in museums and galleries in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Cincinnati, and Louisville, Kentucky; In 2008 my prints were selected for a touring exhibition in France; I’ve directed a feature documentary and have performed in public performance art groups and theatre groups in Brooklyn, New York, Tucson, Arizona, and Cincinnati, Ohio; For over a decade I have done visual artwork for Motion Picture sets in Los Angeles, CA.”
Douglas Paul Smith
Film and Video Commissions and Sales
2010 Abduction. Universal Pictures (Los Angeles)
2009 Couples Retreat, Eden Resort Inc, Universal Pictures (Los Angeles)
2007 I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Happy Madison Productions, Universal Pictures ;
2007 The Number 23, New Line Cinema (Los Angeles)
2006 Über Content Productions (Los Angeles)
2004 Proctor and Gamble, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH)
2002-2003 Lightborne Communications, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH)
2002 Steam Films (Toronto, Canada)
2000-2002 Roswell (2000-2002) Television Series , 20th Century Fox Television (Los Angeles);
2001 The Others (2000) TV series, Creators: John D. Brancato, Michael Ferris (Los Angeles)
2000 Proctor and Gamble, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH)
1993-1994 Proctor and Gamble, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH)
My Darling Comrade, Director, Producer, and Cinematographer. A feature-length Documentary, in post-production stage. Completion scheduled for Spring, 2019 mydarlingcomradefilm.com
The Meditation Video, short film, 2008
Honey the Dog, short film, 2009
Cakewalk Magazine (Chicago, IL)
The Stranger A&E Weekly (Seattle, WA);
Pandemonium Music Magazine (Tacoma, WA)
Everybody’s News A&E Weekly (Cincinnati, OH)
Selected Group Exhibitions
2014 Art From the Heart. Vanderbilt Republic/Gowanis Loft, Brooklyn, NY
2008 Kitsch Catch. Traveling Museum Exhibition: MIAM Museum, Sette, France; Maison Folie de Wazemmes, Lille, France; Musée de L’Objet, Blois, France; 2008 Citizens Studio Exhibition. Dinnerware Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2006 Love. Vain Gallery Group Exhibition, Seattle WA
2004 There is Nothing Wrong With Winning: Illo Exhibition. David Shoe Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2003 To The Moon. 12X12′ Painting Exhibition by 12 Artists. SSNOVA Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2003 People Paintings: Performance Piece, SSNOVA Gallery, Cinci., OH;
2003 S.O.S. Art: Political Art Forum. SSNOVA Gallery, Cinci., OH
2002 Crewcruxcrayons: Political Performance Piece, downtown Cincinnati, OH ; rm-r/. SSNOVA Gallery, Cinci., OH
2000 Pigs. Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Convington , KY ;
2000 New York International Independent Film & Video Fest. Madison Square Garden, NYC
1997 A Day Without Art. Auction for Chicken Soup Brigade, Oculus Gallery, Seattle, WA
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2011 International Girl Aerogrammes, Singapore Galleries, Singapore.
2010 Zen Calligraphies. Melrose Light Space, Los Angeles, CA
2007 Paintings by Douglas Paul Smith. Cafe Zope, Tucson, AZ
2004 Ghettopia. 70×30’ Exterior Mural Project,1402 Main St., Cincinnati, OH ; Community Mugs. 1235 Main Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2003 Le Bois Sacré. 60×26’ Mural Project, Brighton Studios Building, Cincinnati, OH
2003 Airport. DesignSmith Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2003 New Print Works. ISI Main Street Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2001 Hipsters, Part 2. Bergen Street Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2000 Fairmount, Ohio, The Crocodile Gallery, Seattle, WA
1999 ¡Lucha Libre! Portraits of the Mexican Wrestler. Speakeasy Gallery, Seattle, WA
1998 Hipsters. Oculus Gallery, Seattle, WA
1993 Recent Works by DPS. Louisville Art Center, Louisville, KY
1992 Drag Queens. Kaldi’s Coffee House, Cincinnati, OH
1991 Vomitors. Kaldi’s Coffee House, Cincinnati, OH
2007-2009 Providence Institute, Tucson, Arizona: Zen calligraphy studies with Yoshi Nakano.
2006-2009 Shambhala Art International , Los Angeles, CA / Barnet, Vermont : Studies in contemplative arts practice and psychology
2004-2009 Asian Classics Institute, Bowie, AZ / Los Angeles, CA : Studies in Meditation, Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, and comparative religion
2006 Maryland Institute College of Art : Screen-printing classes
2005 Sera Mey Tibetan Monastic College, Bylakuppe, India : Tibetan language studies, buddhist history and philosophy
1998 School of Visual Concepts, Seattle, WA : Illustration concepts classes
2006 BA, Liberal Arts, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
1989-1993 University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning: majors in Industrial Design, Animation, and English Literature
In 2011, After painting and drawing for many years, Douglas’ creative passions gave way to teaching and becoming an artist coach. For more information on Douglas’ artist coach work or to be coached by him, go here. You can also find more information on the benefits of working with an artist coach here. And here is an article about working specifically with a visual artist coach.