MY NEW HOME AND STUDIO in Puerto Vallarta!



When the building which had been my home in Puerto Vallarta’s Zona Romantica for nearly 7 years was sold, I had a sense that it signaled a major change in my life. I knew the new owner was going to renovate the entire building. But when, after several weeks of renovation, I saw the new and “improved” version of the apartment I’d loved, I knew it was time to go.


Above: My apartment before renovation–the way I liked it.


My apartment after renovation–with a look and feel that I found sterile and charm-free.

So yes, the universe decided to give me a big kick in the pants. It was time for the next adventure. Which made me nervous–but excited! Because I had a vision.


For more than a year, I had been picturing a big new house with a big new studio. I’ve loved my time at ArtVallarta, but I’d been yearning for a studio space of my own. I’d also been dreaming of having a studio assistant to take care of chores which were taking too much time away from creating art.


So that was the vision—a big new home and studio, and a studio assistant. And it was clear it was time to move forward on it. So I began putting into practice some of the things I know, from years of experience, work for me: meditation and visualization of the intended result. One of the first steps was to get very specific about what I wanted—what kind of studio space, what kind of neighborhood, my ideal studio assistant, everything. Then I started doing daily visualizations (recently I’ve been using the Silva method, and it makes my visualizations much more powerful) to make the vision clearer and clearer. I not only visualized exactly what I wanted, I visualized it happening effortlessly, and with perfect timing.

And that’s how it worked out.


About 6 weeks before I had to be out of my old apartment, I began turning my visualizations into action. I created a Facebook post which showed various photos of the type of home-studio space I was looking for.


These were photos I’d found online. Putting together this group of images not only gave people a better idea of what I was looking for, the act of finding and assembling them helped me get clearer on what I wanted.


Those photos got a lot of responses, but mostly from real estate and rental agents who didn’t have anything even close to what I was looking for. But I was patient, and finally heard from someone who had a place that sounded interesting. I went and looked at it, and it was great! Except that the location was so far from everything and in such a desolate neighborhood I knew I would not be happy living there. I almost took it anyway—then reminded myself that I knew what I wanted, that it did exist, and my job was to keep looking until I found it.

A few days later, I visited a second property, with a much better location. As soon as I walked in, I had a good feeling. It was a 3-bedroom house in the colonia of 5 de Diciembre, which was exactly the kind of neighborhood I was looking for—not touristy, a real Mexican neighborhood—yet not too far away from all the action in the Zona Romantica.

The house had a big room in the front with high ceilings—perfect for a studio. Plus extra rooms to use as an office for myself, and another for my assistant. It also had a covered back yard and a garden in front! The price was right. And crucially, I liked the landlord. So I said yes. This would be my new home and studio.

And this would be my new neighborhood, very different from the touristy environs of the Zona Romantica. Not much English spoken here–and that’s what I was looking for!


The next step: packing up my home and studio and preparing for the move. In the midst of tackling that several-day project, I set in motion the second part of my vision: I started advertising for a studio assistant.

That was quite a process. I used Facebook Jobs for the first time, and found that it worked very well. Almost too well—I got over 80 responses to my ad in 2 weeks. Fortunately it was pretty easy to sift through them, since most applicants had none of the experience or qualifications I was looking for. In the end I interviewed only 3 people, and ended up hiring the second one, an aspiring artist, printmaker and bookbinder named Roberto, who had just moved to town from Aguascalientes. I just had a good feeling about him.

My new assistant, Roberto



Then it was moving day: Saturday, August 14.


I asked my friends about moving companies, and got a great recommendation. I say great because that’s how it turned out: they showed up on time to the minute, and moved everything, from both my studio and my old apartment, into my new home, quickly, safely and efficiently. And charged me about U.S. $150, which included tips! It was an exhausting day, but all things considered, it could hardly have gone any better.

Everything’s moved in–finally!

When the movers drove away, I heaved a huge sigh of relief and, with the help of my new assistant, began unpacking and putting everything away. That took a couple of days—Saturday and Sunday. Then on Monday, Roberto reported for his first day of regular studio-assistant work.

Roberto is calm, focused, punctual and extremely polite. He’s also very bright. I never have to explain anything twice because he gets it the first time. I’ve been happily surprised at how quickly he’s been able to take over many of the chores that were taking away from my creative time. He’s already made a huge positive difference in my studio workflow. Plus he enjoys the work, and we work well together.

In summary—I’ve gotten everything I visualized, and more! It’s not a very dramatic story, but I do my best to lead a drama-free life, so that’s as it should be. After almost 3 weeks in my new house, I find I’m settling in and enjoying the new space more every day. I also like my new neighborhood more all the time, as I discover more little shops, stores and restaurants and get to know my neighbors. And my creative energy is expanding to fill up my new larger, more efficient environment—with great results so far.

If you’re planning to be in Puerto Vallarta and are interested in a studio visit, feel free to contact me. I love welcoming visitors to my new Mexican studio!

3 replies on “MY NEW HOME AND STUDIO in Puerto Vallarta!

  • Johnathan

    Douglas, this is so exciting! Loved your old place and Art Vallarta, but this takes you to a whole new world. I love your methodical process of stating your problems/objectives and ‘putting it out to the universe’ to make it happen… That has so much been the story of your entire life!
    Another chapter in your inspirational life.
    Continued success to you and can’t week to see what comes out of all these wonderful changes 🤗

  • Brent Hisel

    Hi Douglas, Great to see you again. You already feel older but always take care of your health all times. I understand you proudly are Art, Photographer and Adventure Keen. You finally decided to settle in your new home in Puerto Vallarta in 2021. I have been in PV once since I took Gay RSVP with NCL at the Port from 2009. Of course, I will be more happy to visit in PV and visit to see you and your Art Studio Tour someday. I will continue to surf your website anytime. Thank you so much.


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