CBS artist Doug Halliday’s rekindled love of art has made him a growing international favourite, leaping off the page with mesmerizing colours and a fun, retro feel
Conception Bay South’s own Doug Halliday doesn’t live life through shades of grey. Far from it.
Big, vibrant and bombastic colours are something of a trademark for the thriving artist, one whose love of all things retro and nostalgia permeate in and out of his work.
Bright & colourful guy
“Anyone who knows me outside of art and sports knows I like bright colours. My mother in law makes jokes about my wardrobe all the time,” Halliday jokes in a one-on-one with The Herald.
“I’m not joking around when I say I probably have too many bright shirts for work that I probably shouldn’t be wearing to work, but everyone kind of gets a kick out of it every day.”
A sports enthusiast who has carved out a career with SportNL, Halliday discovered his passion for creating at a young age.
“I spent a lot of time drawing as a child with my aunt,” Halliday recalls. “She was pretty artistic and I spent a lot of time with her. We’d sit at the kitchen table drawing for hours, whether it was goalie mask designs or cartoons, or sports stars for different projects or what have you. I kind of just always drew.”
Halliday would distance himself from all things art in school, rekindling the spark some ten years ago while pursuing a human kinetics degree in university.
“In high school I kind of wanted to pursue graphic design or architecture or something along those lines, but I had a pretty negative experience with an adult in my life. And actually I quit drawing cold turkey for almost 15 years and just gave it up,” Halliday shared.
‘Down the rabbit hole’
“It wasn’t until probably 2010 or 2011 when I went back to university to finish my human kinetics degree. We had to do a project for human anatomy. I’m a visual guy, so I thought the best way to kind of remember everything was to draw it out in my notes. So I got back into it through that, started sketching and then had some encouragement from a few people that saw my artwork. I kind of dove down the rabbit hole then started out a lot with pencil sketches.”
Things have snowballed from there for the gifted artist. Beginning with sketches that mirrored his love of his home province – mummers, local athletes – with sports stars and heroes of his youth – think hockey and pro-wrestling – and Halliday began to find his niche.
It was a connection with rising pro-wrestling podcast godfather Conrad Thompson that would see Halliday’s profile truly begin to rise both at home and internationally.
“I grew up on wrestling. Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, all those guys growing up,” Halliday recalls. “I think anyone who was a child of the 80s or 90s had some sort of attachment to WWE or formerly WWF, going down to the old Memorial Stadium to see them when they came. It was kind of a surreal experience when you see those guys on TV.”
Attending the annual Wrestlemania some years back, Halliday would attract the attention of Thompson through his art piece Legends of the Squared Circle, which he had presented and had signed by numerous icons of the business.
Eye popping visuals
What followed was the start of a friendship turned business partnership that has Halliday producing art on a weekly basis for Thompson’s AdFreeShows Network of podcasts, which includes wrestling greats Kurt Angle, Jim Ross, Bruce Prichard, Arn Anderson and Tony Schiavone. “I’ve got a ton of people that I do a lot of artwork for that I met from wrestling Twitter,” Halliday shares. “We have a daily group chat that we kind of carry on and make jokes about the show and what have you. So, yeah, it was kind of happenstance. It was really a shock just kind of how things have unfolded. I never in a million years would think I’d be doing artwork for the guys that we grew up on.”
From caricatures to sneaker designs and sketches, Halliday’s eye popping visuals have made him a fast favourite, with new and innovative ideas – like a local nod to Dr. John Haggie, or pop-off-the-page tribute to food truck wizards Johnny and Mae’s – are just some of his many highlights.
“I always try to draw things that resonates with me,” he says. “My head never shuts off and my wife doesn’t always like that (laughs). I try to put a light, humorous touch on things. I mean, especially these days. I think we need a little bit of humour … just some little subtle nods, nothing that’s offensive or anything, but it kind of gets that element of comedy in there. It pops off the page, that’s what I usually go for,” he said.
“I’m very fortunate to have a really good support network around me,” Halliday added, tipping his hat to his loving family. “My wife’s been really supportive of a lot of these endeavors I do. I do work full time and we’ve got two young boys, five and six. So they keep us busy as well. I always make the joke that I do my artwork when she kicks me downstairs, which is apparently a lot.
“I really enjoy just trying to put something fun out there that the people enjoy and that they want to see. I feel very fortunate to be able to do that.”
To purchase artwork or for more information on the artwork of Doug Halliday visit doughallidayartwork.com