Times of Youth: It’s an honour to finally be getting to know you. Yet, for those of our readers who may still be unaware of your works, how would you briefly describe it?
Thomas Dodd: Thank you – it’s nice to meet you as well! I call my style of imagery “Painterly Photo Montage”. What this means is that I take a series of photographs and layer them and manipulate them in editing software (Photoshop) so that the end result looks much like a painting, but it is in fact a photograph.
Times of Youth: What does ‘art’ mean to you?
Thomas Dodd: It is an expression of that which can not expressed in language. Art to me transcends cultural boundaries and elicits emotion from it’s viewers regardless of the intended context.
Times of Youth: We have seen your works and most of them are more of mystical. What makes your imagination psychologically intriguing?
Thomas Dodd: I have always found a connection between the realm of the “spiritual”/mythic and psychological states of consciousness. I think that the best art (and certainly the art that I am influenced by) draws upon these archetypes and invokes them in the psyche of the viewer.
Times of Youth: Most of your muses are nude women. Any specific reason for this choice?
Thomas Dodd: I consider the female form to be the most beautiful thing in creation (and of course, females are quite literally the creators of life as well). If you look at the history of Art, you will see that I am not alone in this assessment!
Times of Youth: What/who has been your ideal all along your colorful yet ‘Gothic’ journey?
Thomas Dodd: I think there have been many “ideals” along the way. I think really all of the artists, musicians and photographers who have influenced me have all set ideals for me to follow. There is a famous quote by Isaac Newton that sums it up perfectly- “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.
Times of Youth: How does your family react to your works, considering they are so offbeat?
Thomas Dodd: Well, I was actually influenced by all of the art books that my mom and dad used to have in the house when I was a child, so my family sees the link between them and my work. My father unfortunately did not live long enough to see my success as an artist but my mother, who is a very healthy 94 years old absolutely loves my art and is proud of me. In fact, she has attended several of my art openings, proudly displays my book on her coffee table and thinks my nudes are very tasteful and elegant.
Times of Youth: What has been your proudest achievement so far?
Thomas Dodd: My first show in New York City (in October of 2014) was one of them. Having my work acquired by the New Britain museum of American Art was another high point as well!
Times of Youth: We hear you were a harpist and have composed for many albums, too. And now that you are an internationally acclaimed visual artist, which one of these two careers has been more satisfying to you comparatively?
Thomas Dodd: John Cale once said that “the problem with music is that you have to play it with other people” and although it was a humorous comment, I concur that being in a musical group can be a frustrating experience because if one person is not as into it as the others, then everyone’s career suffers. What I like about photography is that I get to collaborate with other people, but we don’t really have to depend on each other in the long run. I work with a model and then we both move on to working with other people. I have a show at one gallery and then I move to another, and they have another artist the next month. So art fulfils both my solitary nature and my collaborative nature and ultimately there is really no need to be competitive with anyone else, because there are more than enough opportunities for many, many people to experience.
Times of Youth: Since the start of your career so far, have you encountered any particular incident that literally changed your entire life/perspective?
Thomas Dodd: My life perspective was profoundly changed by a job I had (before I became a full time artist) where I worked with people with disabilities and traumatic brain injuries. From them I learned the importance of living in the present moment and of the indomitable nature of the human spirit. I never heard any of them complain about their situations or anything else for that matter. That attitude was infectious and made me realize that life doesn’t really give us anything that we can’t handle, no matter how difficult we may perceive it to be from the outside.
Times of Youth: Since nowadays everything is more and more digitalized, including paintings, what do you think are future prospects for old style artistry?
Thomas Dodd: I think it will never go away. There is a huge contingent of representational painters that I am aligned with and they are all very much keeping the ancient art of painting alive. There are also many photographers who use film or even older methods (such as tintype) in their work. Technology will always inspire a reaction for some people to return to traditional methods (or reinvent them in the process) and I think that is a necessary and healthy cycle of creation/innovation!
Times of Youth: You have travelled to numerous places to showcase your art. Which one has been the most memorable of all and why?
Thomas Dodd: Probably my first show in New York City because of what it represents for an artist like myself, and the fact that I was reunited with my 92 year old Godmother who I hadn’t seen in nearly 30 years!
Times of Youth: What professional advice would you want to give to all the new and aspiring artists of the younger generation?
Thomas Dodd: Always follow your heart and your passion. Don’t try and guess what people want or what you think will be commercial. Do what you love and you will create your own market of people who love what you do.
Times of Youth: In life, is there any dream that you’d love to achieve before the end of your time?
Thomas Dodd: I would like to have more shows all over the world – especially Europe and Asia.
Times of Youth: Any message that you’d like to give for the youth of today via Times Of Youth?
Thomas Dodd: Never grow up- always have a sense of wonder and joy and always learn!
Times of Youth: Do tell us how your admirers can contact you to share their appreciation and suggestions.
Thomas Dodd: Best place to find me and message me is at my website- http://www.thomasdodd.com or my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ThomasDoddPhotography