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Interview: Creator and Celebrity Photographer Doug Sims Talks Competing in ArtPrize and Veteran Assistance

Our next featured guest has experienced quite the journey. As a member of the US Army he served our country in Dessert Storm. From there he went on to become both a DJ and celebrity photographer, traveling the world before eventually bringing his talents to Grand Rapids, MI. Known as DJ Metro, he’s the host of radio show ‘Liquid Lounge’ on 97.3FM. While holding a camera his peers simply refer to him as “The Master”. And this year he’s competing in ArtPrize.

Please welcome the creator of…Doug Sims! Doug, you’re originally from Muskegon, but spent years of your life in Dallas, TX before settling in Grand Rapids. Tell us your opinion of the arts and entertainment community in Grand Rapids.


Doug Sims: Grand Rapids is the new mecca of arts and entertainment!  With Grand Rapids being the home of ArtPrize it brings people from across the globe to participate and display their artworks to the world. For entertainment, we are talking world class venues that are attracting major acts such as Kevin Hart, Janet Jackson, Jay Leno, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Red Hot Chili Peppers, WWE, Dave Chappelle, Katy Perry, Lil Wayne, Ariana Grande, Garth Brooks, Tyler Perry, and Shania Twain, just to name a few. How much have you enjoyed having your Sims Photography and Liquid Arts & Entertainment be part of that community?

Doug Sims: Grand Rapids have given me the opportunity to expand my brand and to grow with the community as well by getting to know different areas of the city. I can also provide an outlet to the artists in West Michigan to tell their stories and get some perspective on how they can provide what they do to the world. What can you see through a camera that no one else can see normally?


Doug Sims: Since I grew up as one who drew and painted, I take the approach as a visual artist. A lot of the times I will see an image in my head before I shoot the photo, therefore I may stop mid-stream and change directions. One thing that I really see is history for the next generation.  These days to have a printed photograph is rare. Everyone is so consumed on the digital format that they forget about the print process. History is on your grandparents’ and parents’ walls, or even on a table or dresser. I see history to be passed down and I enjoy being a part of history. What’s been the most rewarding aspect of being a designer?

Doug Sims: Just the process of creation. Somethings are quick and easy while others could take me weeks to complete. But in the end when I can sit back and look at what I created and know that I gave my best effort, then I feel good about whatever has been created or designed. How does it feel to have people entrust their image to you – be it in front of your camera lens or on your computer screen?

Doug Sims: I don’t take this lightly; people are looking for and want quality images they can be proud to show off.  I take pride in my work as well as in getting to know my clients. I don’t want to be the guy who just took a photo. I would want to be someone that you can trust with your images this year and in the years to come. Why did you want to be part of ArtPrize?

Doug Sims: Wow. Well… I was not going to participate until 2018 but was encouraged to do so this year. I did not have a theme when I first thought about it so I let it come to me. I took a part of my life experience and turned it into an art piece with a message. I wanted to really be a part of ArtPrize to get back to the self-creative process, meaning that most of the work I do is for others. I needed something for me, and ArtPrize puts me right in the fire with world class artists for all over. What better way to get you up to speed. What inspired your piece?

Art 1Doug Sims: My piece of art is called “Veteran Assistance”. Everyone needs help at some point in their life. For people transitioning from military to civilian life, it can be difficult. In my opinion a lot of people that ETS – End Term of Service – do not receive enough information about programs that they have access to.  Some veterans may have special needs, some may have been in war and need a longer period to deal with finding a job, a home or some place to regroup. Some veterans never make the transition and find themselves on the street looking for assistance due to lack of programs, lack of information and or lack of assistance. If you win ArtPrize how will your victory benefit more than just you?

Doug Sims: It would nice be able to sit with some veteran assistance organizations to see how the information about getting proper and current information could be better disseminated to the transitioning solider and the current vets.|

To vote for Sims’ ArtPrize piece “Veteran Assistance” CLICK HERE.

CREDITS Written by Mr. Joe Walker | Photos – Search Engine Exploration | Doug Sims – as Himself | Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment | Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee | Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Site Editor – Doug Sims | Webmaster – Doug Sims | Twitter – @LiquidAEMag | Instagram – @liquidmagazine

Liquid Arts & Entertainment is committed to presenting engaging conversations with top artists. We hope you enjoyed this interview with Doug Sims.

Thank you for visiting! Liquid Magazine is the entertainment of art.

“From Grand Rapids to the world.”

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