Who I am
Derek R. Douglas is the owner of Right Side Studios, a freelance illustration company based in Dundas, Ontario, Canada. Derek has been working in the creative industry since the turn of the millennium. He is inspired by watching people doing mundane tasks, his kids playing, new ideas, bookstores, nature… there’s not a lot that doesn’t inspire.
What I do
Derek's work is unmistakably character focused. When you see one of his illustrations, you feel his passion for the project as you follow each pen or brush stroke, and every flick of ink. He pulls you into his imaginative collaged worlds by utilizing his keen attention to detail in the expressions, emotions, and engaged movements of the characters he creates. 
Where I do it
Based in Dundas, Ontario, Canada, Derek creates from his home studio, which is flooded with daylight as it overlooks the immensely beautiful Dundas Valley. At his house which sits on top of a very steep hill, Derek shares the studio space with his wife, Char ( a Professional Shopper & Wardrobe Consultant ) where they collaboratively create and strategize, overlapping their strengths into each other’s businesses as they run a happy home, full with 3 young kids and a fuzzy four-legged companion.
Videos
Video 1 - Derek R. Douglas: Interview with an Illustrator (the interviewers steal the show):
Video 2 - Check out this fun-filled short film, which highlights Derek's 3-D diorama illustration technique:
> Examples of the final 3-D diorama artwork can be found here. <
METHODS OF ILLUSTRATION
Method 1 - Painted Ink Collage Technique:
This is Derek's primary technique of which he uses to create his artwork. Derek doesn't mind getting messy, in fact, he loves it! At the end of the day, his hands are often stained with different coloured inks. On one layer, he uses acrylic inks to paint the background for the illustration scene, and then on a separate piece of watercolour paper he paints the characters, cuts them out, and then uses a "splattered shadowing effect" on the background where the characters will stand before he finally glues the characters down into their place. To achieve this "splatter effect," Derek dips an old, stiff paint brush into a darker coloured ink, and then uses his hands to flick the acrylic ink onto the surface of the background painting. Frequently, Derek will only partially glue the characters down, leaving them slightly hovering over the background surface, so that when finally photographed, shadows under the characters will be captured, achieving a raised paper 3-D effect. See an example here.
Method 2 - 3-D Diorama Technique:
Intentionally using cardboard and other easily found household materials, Derek creates dioramas which are intended to appeal to children and serve as inspiration for them to build their own little worlds and their own artwork. He completes the 3-D diorama with 2-D, cut-out paper characters which are placed in perspective and photographed for the final image. See an example here.
Method 3 - 2.5-D Illustration Technique*
2.5-D = A 3-D image created by using multiple layered flat illustrations.
Through a process of illustration experimentation, Derek has developed a unique illustration style by building a planar registration system, or "2.5-D Box" which serves as a framework to separate multiple levels of his hand painted two-dimensional artwork. The registration system holds the separated artwork in place allowing for spacial distance between the layers; which creates focal blurs, shadows and the illusion of perspective depth, when photographed for the final image. See an example here.
Awards / Achievements:
Derek's two most recently published books for Humber Press are educational books about Canadian heritage, politics, and democracy.  They have been endorsed by the former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Canadian Governor General: The Honourable David Johnston, Chief Correspondent for CBC News: Peter Mansbridge, and Rick Hansen, amongst others.
For further professional experience, download his resume here.  Tear sheets are available here.

Examples of 2.5-D Planar Registration System ( left ) -- AND -- Diorama Illustration set being photographed ( right ).

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