Thomas is a visual artist and photographer based out of Atlanta, Georgia who has developed a style that he calls “painterly photo montage” – a method he employs in editing software in which he crafts elaborately textured pieces that have a very organic, non-digital look to them. Although his artwork resembles paintings, his pieces are entirely photographic in nature, fusing many images into a cohesive whole.
In this episode, Thomas discusses:
-How he got his start in Mod Clubs, learning techniques to make pictures look “painterly.”
-How artists should always be looking to learn, and spend free time learning from masters.
-How combining your artistic journey with making money can sometimes be soul-crushing, leaving you not enjoying the art anymore.
-The importance of setting aside time to do your art, if you are getting burnt out from your full-time job, even if it is just 15 minutes a day.
-How he originally got into punk music and then as a harpist in Trio Nocturna
-That there is an unlimited, universal wellspring that you can tap into.
-If he doesn’t feel like creating, he doesn’t try to force it, but instead works on the promotion aspect of the arts.
-To go along with the ebb and the flow of creativity.
-How everyone goes through the struggle of not feeling good enough artistically, and how this is an important thing to go through — the ones who don’t think this way usually are bad.
-If you are new, you have to face the reality that you probably aren’t good, but you have to be willing to improve.
-How important it is to seek out critiques from people who are better than you — someone who can point out your good points but also gently tell you where you need to improve.
-When he is feeling particularly good about his work, he looks at other particular artist’s works to humble himself a bit.
-Entering the flow state in Photoshop as well as playing music.
-How quitting drinking led to an immersion in video games and then into his art, from negative to neutral to positive.
-How the best art can succeed across all people and cultures.
-How to realize the conversation you have with your art is actually a conversation with yourself.
-How the best art shows us that we are all separate, but we all share the same emotions and struggles.
-Why music is incredibly powerful, especially in younger people in their formative years.
-The importance of being receptive to new forms of art or music.
-If you follow your own uniqueness and put the time in, eventually people will notice you and want you to be YOU.
-Communication coupled with social intelligence is incredibly important in dealing with other people, especially those who are not as creative as you.
Thomas’s Final Push inspires you to have that space where you go to be creative, even if it is only 15 minutes a day.
“Live, breathe, and eat it.”
“The process is a lifelong journey.”
“The most important thing we do as artists is that we communicate emotion to people.”
“I’m not thinking as I’m creating. I’m just letting it happen and letting my tastes dictate as I go along.”
“It’s the intuition that guides you, and the intuition is always right.”
“You should have a job that supports what you do, that hopefully doesn’t drain you.”
“Enjoy what you do. It’s not a race. It’s just being who you are and enjoying what you do.”
Thomas Dodd on Creativity, Art, Music and “Flow” [YouTube]
Connect with Thomas:
Website / Facebook / Workshops