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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lim

MF 050.3 : Academy Award™ and Two Time Emmy Award™ Winning Artist, Doug Drexler

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

Moving Forward is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Doug Drexler is one of the most influential, pioneering artists in Hollywood today. Doug has won the Academy Award™ and the British Academy Award for his make-up work on Dick Tracy (1991) and two Emmy Awards™ for his FX work on Battlestar Galactica. Doug tells his extraordinary journey, beginning as a kid who looked to the stars at the World’s Fair and became inspired by the 1960s cult classic, Star Trek.

Successes at a glance:

  1. Winner of the Academy Award™ for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Dick Tracy (1991).

  2. Winner of the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Dick Tracy (1991).

  3. Two Emmy Award™ nominations for makeup effects work on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

  4. Primetime Emmy Award™ for Outstanding Visual Effects on a Series for Battlestar Galactica.

  5. Primetime Emmy Award™ for Outstanding Visual Effects on a Series for Battlestar Galactica.

  6. Digital and Visual Effects Artist on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager.

  7. Senior Illustrated and CGI Designer on Star Trek: Enterprise.

  8. Doug’s IMDB Page (which is incomplete!):

  9. Visual Effects

  10. Makeup

  11. Production

  12. Writer

  13. Actor

  14. Books by or Co-Authored by Doug Drexler.

How Doug gets inspired to conquer the day:

Doug wakes up every morning at 4:30 am and is at the gym by 5.  Simple as that.  As Doug notes, “after that everything else is easy.”  For Doug, starting his day with physical activity is key because without it, “your mind drifts away from your body.”   Doug acknowledges that this isn’t easy and takes focus and discipline.  To combat our tendencies to give up, Doug recommends self-hypnosis (as covered in Joseph Murphy’s The Power of Subconscious Mind (book) | Kindle); to train your mind to overcome any mental blockages that may inhibit your ability to commit to a rigorous routine.

Setback or failure that led to pivot and shift:

When Doug was 19 years old, he had been drawing on his own with aspirations to become an illustrator or comic book artist.  Doug took his portfolio to DC Comics and met legendary DC Comics editor, Joe Orlando; someone who Doug had long admired growing up.  After seeing his work, Joe Orlando assigned Doug to do 4 pages of a Superman comic.  Following this surreal encounter, Doug went home and “failed miserably” because he was so scared that panic set in; inhibiting his ability to be creative.  Doug candidly shares this failure for the first time ever and recalls that he was “too young.”  However, that turned out to be one of the most pivotal moments in his life as he decided that he could never allow himself to be a victim of fear again, since it would ruin his dreams.  Doug sagely notes that life is full of “billions of mistakes” that you are fated to make which are unavoidable.  Thus, Doug made the fateful decision at that young age, to make failure his best friend rather than his worst enemy.  Today, Doug’s philosophy with failure is to “look forward to it,” “bring it on,” exclaiming, “come on fail me!”  To learn this has been enormously empowering for Doug; enabling him to reach stratospheric success and is a lesson for all of us to move forward.

Knowledge Bursts:

  1. Resource or cultural experience that inspired Doug to move forward:

  2. The Making of Star Trek.

  3. Star Trek: These Are the Voyages.

  4. Cultural experience: The New York World’s Fair.

  5. How Doug stays organized and manages his time:

  6. For Doug, being organized and staying on task is about starting your day early.  Doug advises us to make the most of our days and “don’t sleep your life away!”

  7. Doug also uses priority lists that mark where he expects to be at the end of the day.

  8. Most of all, Doug maintains a positive attitude.

  9. Favorite app / website / resource:

  10. Doug shares several great tools (which he calls modern day “paint brushes”) that are essential if you want to become an illustrator or visual effects artist in Hollywood or pursue a career in the arts.

  11. Photoshop

  12. Illustrator

  13. Lightwave

  14. Doug is also intrigued by the newest tools that are on the horizon for artists, including: 3D printing and computer-based machine sculpting.

Support the Podcast:

  1. The Corporate Cliches Adult Coloring Book: makes the perfect stocking stuffer or white elephant gift.

  2. Try out Audible (affiliate link).

  3. Try out Amazon Prime (affiliate link).

Doug’s Advice for you to Move Forward:

As Doug advises, “You have got to learn to eliminate all negative thoughts.”  For Doug, it all starts and end there because, “thoughts become action and actions realize thought.”  Once you realize this and apply “general outlook management … it can totally change your life.”  Doug recommends Joseph Murphy’s The Power of Subconscious Mind (book) | Kindle as a great primer for retraining your mind.  Once you change your outlook to a positive one, “success will follow you.”  This is the secret that has allowed Doug to achieve great success throughout his entire life and will enable you to move forward.

Connect with Doug:

  1. Facebook (a great place to view some of Doug’s amazing work).

  2. Note: due to hitting max capacity, Doug cannot accept any additional friend requests at this time.

  3. Star Trek The Drex Files – Ships of the Line: Active Duty


#BritishAcademyAward #Makeup #Hollywood #BAFTA #Film #DCComics #VisualEffects #CGI #Television #StarTrek #AcademyAward #BattlestarGalactica #EmmyAward #DougDrexler

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