We had the good fortune of connecting with Doug Boyd and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Doug, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Freedom. I wanted the freedom from the 9 to 5 world. I wanted the freedom to not work if I felt that I wanted to go hiking or simply take a day to sit around and read a book. I was ready to work just as hard for myself as I had been for someone else. That being said, I’ve never really worked a “normal” job except for the couple jobs in fast food that I had back in high school. I spent the better part of 30 years working and often travelling in the entertainment industry. In the entertainment industry, its not uncommon to work long hours and often wear many different hats. Every show I worked and every position I held prepared me for this moment in time. I can say with ease, that every decision I made is what got me where I am today.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
How did I get to where I am today? That’s a good question. I would say, that when I was younger, I believe that I was full of creativity. It flowed through me fairly easy. Being a clown in the circus and surrounded by other creative individuals made for a very creatively fulfilling life. I spent 13 years travelling with the circus and of that I was only a clown for three of those years. I transitioned from a clown to a teacher of clowns then to an area of management known as an Assistant Performance Director (stage manager) that focused maintaining the creative production as a whole. But then I took a position as General Manager for the entire travelling show. Without really realizing it, I had transitioned away from my passion as a clown in the circus into management of the circus. For my last five years, I dealt with budgets, logistics, and contracts. While I loved the circus life. The travel, the people, that fantastical world that lived on and travelled by train. I lost a part of who I was that brought me there in the first place. I decided to leave the road and work a “regular” job. By this time, I had a wife and two young kids and we moved to Las Vegas where I worked a production that was produced my the owner of Ringling. However, I was still in management and I was even less happy then being on the road. Then 9/11 happened, and work in Vegas came to a stand still. I decided a week later to leave Las Vegas. I had no real plan, but I sold my house, bought a motorhome and hit the road. In a very short time, I found myself in Sedona Arizona and a little RV park called Hawkeye Rv Park on the north end of Uptown Sedona. I was looking for a place to shed this crusty management shell that had taken over my mind and body and Hawkeye seemed perfect. With my family, we basically “stepped out” of society and took up residence at Hawkeye. We lived for free, as I did a work trade and fixed up the RV park as needed in exchange for an RV spot. It was at Hawkeye, that I started getting into welding. And my very first paid sculpture was a metal spaceship that was displayed in front of the Red Planet Diner in West Sedona. It had lights and sat on top of a fountain so it looked like it was lifting up into space. This is also where I also started work on my first metal sculpture that wasn’t a paid commission. Just an idea that I had to build. It was a life size metal dragon. Before I could finish it, the itch to travel was growing stronger and an opportunity came up back in Vegas. Sadly, the Hawkeye RV Park had been sold and was destined to be closed, so moving back to Vegas seemed like the right thing to do. I began working with Cirque du Soleil on their new show called LOVE at the Mirage. Fast forward a few years, and now separated from my wife, I decided to move to Phoenix Arizona in 2009. Because Phoenix doesn’t have the level of entertainment that Vegas does, I found my self working for a local rigging company that sets up concerts. After about 6 months of that I realized, I’m not as young and flexible as I once was and I decided to just be a handyman in town. Over the years I had gathered a vast array of knowledge and could fix anything. After about a year of driving all over the valley, I was getting seriously burnt out and had slowly starting doing my custom woodwork for clients. It allowed me to be more creative and still pay my bills. Then, in 2015 and close friend asked if I could come out to New York to help sort out her fathers photography studio since he had passed. I was looking for a diversion and flew out. During my time in New York, my friend kept pressing me on what I wanted to do with my life. I kept thinking to myself that I had already had a passion and took it further than I could have ever imagined. What did I want to be? I told her that I really enjoyed creating art. Working with metal. Breathing life into an idea and seeing it materialize into reality. Before I left New York, my friend gave me a check and told me to find a studio and create. I came back to Phoenix and found a space. At first, I was just making whatever I needed to make just to pay bills. I made a couple of metal sliding doors for a client in downtown phoenix and before I knew it, I was making artist metal doors and shipping them all over America. I was excited that I was actually making a living creating art. They were metal doors but according to my clients, they considered it art. I had a very difficult time calling myself an artist. I was just a guy that made stuff. And for some reason I can’t fully remember, I started waking up every morning and would tell myself, “You are a professional metal artist and by the end of the year you will have $100,000 in your bank”. I said that everyday without fail and by the end of the year I had started doing actual paid metal art projects for clients. I didn’t actually hit my goal with the bank side it but it didn’t matter. When someone would ask, what I did, I could say with confidence, I am a metal artist. In 2019, I was giving the opportunity to create a large scale public art piece which now resides on the corner of Monroe and 1st. Ave., locals in the area affectionately call it the “Monrobot” as it is a large robot that sits on a bench reading a book. Shortly after the robot was completed, I was commissioned to create to large pieces for ASU’s SkySong complex. I still make the artistic metal doors and pretty much anything people want that you can’t buy off the shelf. It has been a 30+ year journey that began with the creative mind 0f a young circus clown to a more mature a bit more weathered old guy that’s still creating whatever comes to mind. My proudest metal sculpture is one that no one really sees. It’s a large scale pair of metal wings that hang in my shop that remind me everyday to embrace my freedom to create.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would pick up my friend and we would head south to Bisbee and Tombstone. Take in some OK Corral history and maybe even attempt the BIsbee 1000 The great stair climb and take in a local brewery like Beast Brewery. Next day, we’d head back north through Phoenix and straight up to Flagstaff where we would enjoy a nice walk around downtown Flagstaff checking out all the little shops. We’d also have to hit the Flagstaff breweries like Mother Road Brewery. The next morning we’d get up and hike to the summit of Humphreys Peak at 12,600ft. At the end of the hike we’d head back south to Sedona, where we would probably stay with any number of friends I have that still live there. The next day, I would take them around to some of the secret hikes in Sedona that aren’t inundated with tourist. By the end of the day we’d head to Jerome and check out all the cool artsy shops and grab a cold one at the Spirit Room. And of course, we’d have to grab a bite to eat at the Haunted Hamburger and stay at the Grand Hotel which is said to be haunted. The next day we’d drive up and over Mingus Mountain and head down into Prescott. Depending on the day of the week, we might check out an arts and crafts fair in the town square. We’d check out the Prescott Brewing Company and maybe take in some live bands. The next morning we would head south back to Phoenix where we would do a driving tour of all the cool murals in the downtown area and probably end up staying at the Clarendon because it’s always interesting.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom. More than any book, organization or education, I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for my mom. I was not by any means an easy child. In the sense that I was always getting into mischief. My mom had her hands full with me right up until I left the house at 18 years old. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t mean or a trouble maker. I was an adventurer. I was a daredevil. I had to try everything. I actually had my stomached pumped three times before I was three years old simply because I thought I could eat whatever I could pick up. Unlike most kids, I knew at a very young age exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. Ok, get ready for it. I wanted to be a clown in the circus. It was a passion. About the time I turned 13 yrs old, I began teaching myself how to juggle, walk stilts, ride a unicycle. My mom always encouraged me to follow my dreams. Not once did she ever try to change my mind or push me in other directions. She simply said, if this is what your heart is telling you to do then go after it with everything you got. I learned magic, I taught myself to put on make-up and make my own costume. By 15 yrs old, I had my own business doing birthday parties. My mom worked in the non-profit world, so I often did fundraising events for her. By the time I hit high school and into 11th grade, I had discovered that Ringling Bros. circus had a clown college. And this was the only way to get a contract travelling with the circus. In my senior year, when all of my friends were figuring our which college they were going to attend, my sights were on clown college. During the entire journey my mom was by my side, providing encouragement. I would get laughed at by friends and family when I would talk about being a clown. My mom would stand by my side and defend my choices and my passion. In 1985, I was one of 60 people out of 2000 applicants that got excepted to the Ringling Bros. Clown College. By the end of the 10.5 weeks period, we had a very unusual graduation/audition for the owner of Ringling. My mom drove from Dallas TX to Venice Fl to attend the graduation. My mom was the only family member that showed. Out of the 58 graduating students, 20 of us receive one year contracts to travel with “The Greatest Show On Earth”. My mom never ever gave up on me. She was my rock, my one solid through the entire journey. And to this day, she continues to support me in whatever crazy idea I have. She motivates me to be the best version of myself. She has taught me so many wonderful things throughout my life about compassion, love, empathy, and the power of believing in dreams. She is truly an amazing woman.

Website: www.artfullyrogue.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artfully_rogue/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/doug-boyd-42677442/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtfullyRogue
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/artfully-rogue-phoenix
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL5zTKvTCM_Cj-j-HOhv_xA

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