Phoenix Designer Doug Bell: 100 Creatives

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Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 96. Doug Bell.

2014 has been a good year for Doug Bell. And it's not even half over.

The Kitchen Sink Studios creative director took home two Phoenix ADDY Awards in February: creative director and copywriter of the year. That's two of the five awards that the creative agency, which works on branding, logo design, web development, film, animation, and photography, took home that evening -- including best of show for its film Vermillion.

See also: 100 Phoenix Creatives - Beth May

Of course, there's more to the designer than his most recent accolades. That's why we recently caught up with him.

I came to Phoenix with not much! I was born in Maryland, raised here in the Valley and then moved out to Sarasota, Florida, for school before moving back out here. At the time, all I came with was a degree from the Ringling College of Art and Design, a 1951 VW Karman Ghia, about $1,300 and a very generic plan of attack. My wife and dog remained in Sarasota for six months until I could get settled and comfortable with a job in design. Eventually I found my home at Kitchen Sink Studios where I've been creative director for the past decade.

I make art because it's all I've ever done. My earliest memory of creating something artistic dates back to kindergarten when my grandfather, who was a very successful and powerful business man in Chicago, contracted me to design, illustrate, write, and build a book about fishing (another passion I still haven't outgrown).

He drew up a contract (a really legit and over-the-top legal contract) and had me read and discuss it with my parents (commonly known as my agents).

After reading and discussing the legal ramifications I was about to take on, I signed the contract and got busy. Upon completion of the book, titled Hooked, I was compensated with a $100 check signed by my grandfather and handed another contract for a second book. . . this why I love to make art in whatever form it comes out to be.

I'm most productive when my back's up against the wall with a nearly impossible deadline and unlimited amounts of coffee. Bam, shit gets done.

My inspiration wall is full of my oldest boy's illustrations! My 9-year-old son, Bishop, is 10 times more talented than I am.

He's super smart and has a photographic memory complemented by a really creative mind. He's got skills at 9 that I wish I had right now. I'm very proud of him and happy to share his killer artwork to anyone that will look at it. Will you have a look?

I've learned most from my mom! While I don't always do what my mom would have done, which is generally a huge mistake, there's no denying that I want to be just like her. She'd had six kids, yeah...nothing phases her. She's so tough, well put-together and ever loving no matter how much you F up.

Good work should always follow good preparation!

The Phoenix creative scene could use more collaboration. The creative scene here needs a well-rounded batch of not just designers, but also filmmakers, photographers, advertisers, architects, artists, and others who collaborate well, often and with the motivation to create a true arts district and creative culture in our city.

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova

99. Niki Blaker

98. Jeff Slim

97. Beth May

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