Douglas Koepsel was born in Brookfield, Wisconsin in 1975 on the 100th day of the year.  From a very young age he loved playing with Lego’s, Bristle blocks, and Lincoln Logs.  While recovering from debilitating migraines and pneumonia in seventh grade, he started drawing cartoons and began making things in his father’s workshop to pass the time.  He found he thought better while drawing, and took as many art classes as his schedule would allow while in school at Marquette High. With help from teachers he studied perspective, line and how to look at forms in space, eventually experimenting with different mediums including woodcarving and clay sculpture.

            In the summer of 1993 he moved to Omaha, Nebraska and spent four years at Creighton University studying philosophy.  While focusing on a philosophy degree and a life headed towards teaching, he continued to make artwork on a constant basis.  After graduating he took a job as assistant preparator and guard at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha and learned how to handle art safely and install art exhibitions.  The museum had a great library and collection and he studied art and art history on the side while working and beginning his adult life. He rented his first art studio with friends and the modest sum was split four ways.  His focus turned to painting and sculpting non-stop.

            It was a great time to be in Omaha.  Bands like Bright Eyes, Cursive, and The Faint were breaking out.  Simon Joyner was beginning to experiment with new ways of writing songs employing his incredible vocabulary and wise perspective.  Kent Bellows was making mind numbingly precise paintings and drawings that seem more real than reality.  Master potter Jun Kuniko put Omaha on the international stage with his ceramic dangos which were sometimes as big as a truck, but hollow and fired whole.  The Bemis foundation was bringing artists from all over the globe for residencies.  Alexander Paine was making his great movie’s Citizen Ruth, Election, and About Schmidt.  Warren Buffet was living humbly as he still is and there was a lot of money going to make the community better.  Marc and Vera Mercer were continuing the fight to keep the old market section of town a unique island in the sea of the ever more homogenous Midwest.  It was a supportive environment and he began to have art shows.  Being met with some success it made sense to keep pushing forward.  He had three solo shows and was in many group shows while in Omaha. 

In August 2001 he resigned his now full-time preparator job, rented a truck and put a deposit down on an apartment in Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY.  Planning to move in mid September, he was still in Omaha on 9/11 2001.  Finally moving in October 2001, for months there were mostly people leaving.  It was a strange time, but he embraced the city with all of its people, art, music and energy.

            Working as an art handler for Phillips Auction House he worked with some brilliant artists including Lui Shtini, Kevin Ford, and Austin Texas punk-rocker Steve Marsh.  Later working for other museums and galleries including Yeshiva University, El Museo del Barrio, and eventually with MoMA on their move from Queens to the beautiful new Taniguchi Museum seen today on 53rd street in Manhattan.  It was a unique opportunity to get paid to handle some of the most revered works in Western Art including pieces rarely seen by the public, and learn a lot in the process. He worked there off and on for three and a half years.

            Receiving a phone call from friend Conor Oberst with an opportunity to sell merch on Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake tour, he began a run of seven tours including Digital Ash, and Cassadaga, that took him all over the United States and Canada.  While traveling on the tour bus he perfected his silverware insects, and acquired forks and spoons from different cities along the way.  He met all kinds of people from famous musicians to the kids buying t-shirts at the shows, had a great time, heard a lot of great music, and walked around the cities in the early morning.  Usually finding some time to check out museums and galleries, and with the money from the merch jobs, had time to focus on his work when he was home.  His connections to the music industry led to his making the artwork for multiple album covers including Oh Holy Fools, by Son Ambulance and Bright Eyes, Simple Love by David Dondero, and Let it Rest by Sorry about Dresden.  He also forged relationships and acquired loyal patrons in the music world including Conor Oberst and Norah Jones.

Back in New York, after his silverware insect piece “Specimen Box 1” was seen in a MoMA staff art show, he was invited to participate in a group show and later a solo show at a gallery on Crosby Street in Soho.  Eventually being seen by an art director, his silverware insects were used in multiple photo shoots including the cover feature for Vogue Korea October 2009, photographed by Tony Kim with cover model Coco Rocha.

            After meeting his wife Judy in New York, they invested in a beautiful cabin with land in the western Catskills in upstate New York.  Now time spent outside of the city was to work on furniture and design larger outdoor building and landscaping projects.  Visiting upstate was like a second childhood every time.  Each of them was inspired by the natural beauty and lifestyle of the country.  They were married near their cabin in August 2010.  With an eye toward the future and each with ten years of living in New York City behind them, they moved back to Brookfield Wisconsin in 2011.