Doug Forrest

I was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. As a very young child, I was enthralled watching the Apollo astronauts walking on the Moon. That was the foundation of a life long fascination for those missions. I’ve always liked to be creative and drawing was my favorite medium. As a child, I always believed that creating artwork, or a model would somehow bring me closer to the subject.

As an adult, I moved to London and started working as a visual effects cameraman in the movie industry. In the mid 90’s, during the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11, I began collecting  books, photographs and models, relating to the early manned space flight programs. Since then, I have been fortunate to meet a lot of people who share my passion and I have built a fairly large collection, including some actual artifacts from the Apollo program.

In 1996, after the movie industry swapped optical cameras for computers, I moved to Los Angeles to work as a visual effects compositor. I currently live here with my partner, Yoshiko and our son, Mark.

As an artist, I’m interested in the human side of the early missions, and also, the geometry of the machines and equipment. I like the engineering of the launch towers, the spacesuits and the rocket engines. I’ve always been fascinated by the complexity of them and think that they can be looked at as pieces of art in themselves.

I’m a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) and the British Interplanetary Society (BIS). In 2001, I wrote an article: "A Bid To Save A Modern Day Santa Maria" for the BIS magazine, “Spaceflight”, about preserving the last Saturn V launch umbilical tower (LUT). Since the mobile base was needed for the Space Shuttle program, the tower was dismantled and sat, in pieces, in a restricted area of the Kennedy Space Center. After learning that it was to be scrapped, I decided to write an article that was intended to increase awareness for the tower. I wanted to see it preserved and rebuilt again, as a monument to the program and the people that made it happen. The idea was to pair it with a full scale mock-up of a Saturn V standing next to it. My article created interest in the tower and a new campaign called “Save The Lut” was started. I was involved in the campaign for several years with others from around the world, via the internet. We came very close to raising the required funds, but unfortunately, due to environmental reasons, the tower remains were scrapped in 2004.

Now I hope, through my art, to help preserve the most amazing chapter of human exploration, ingenuity and achievement. One of my lifelong regrets is that I wasn’t able to attend a Saturn V launch, but I feel lucky to have witnessed the missions as they happened, and I'm looking forward to the next generation of exploration.

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