John Douglas decided he wanted to be an artist and immediately began painting at the age of 8, and has never had any misgivings about his decision to follow the artistic path. He studied at the Queensland College of Art until his expulsion in 1984 for being a “disruptive and disturbing influence”.
He has had many group and solo exhibitions in Australia and around the world. His international solo exhibitions include shows in France, USA, Thailand, Malaysia and China. His drawings were exhibited as part of the 2010 Outsiders Art Festival in Adelaide.
Douglas worked as the Visual Arts Director for the QAF Arts Festival in 1999. He has campaigned and advocated for people with HIV as well as disadvantaged children.
He has been a teaching consultant in art therapy at a psychiatric hospital, and occasionally conducts specialty self-expression art workshops. In 2004 he was invited as Artist in Residence to conduct painting workshops at Lockhart River Aboriginal Community, Cape York, Australia.
John Douglas was one of twelve artists internationally to be given an Inspiration Award in 2010 for his photograph 'Imagine' for World Peace Day in the USA. This photo took part in a touring exhibition throughout the USA and has since inspired Peace murals in Los Angeles and Sierra Leone.
His films have featured in international film festivals. In 2010 Douglas won the International Outrate Short Film Festival for his film 'Ward 9'. The film ‘Twelve Black Horses’ was screened on one hundred screens worldwide as part of the Digital Fringe Festival, 2010. Three of the paintings featured in the film ‘Twelve Black Horses’ will be displaying in the 2011 Outsiders Art Festival.