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Art & Life with Brian Dodd

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Dodd.

Brian, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was diagnosed with PDD-NOS shortly before my fourth birthday. I now just describe myself as Autistic. I see things differently and I process my surroundings differently due to sensory differences. At the age of 4, I attended a special preschool named the Westview School, followed by Cliffwood School until I finally entered HISD school system. As an aside, because I learn differently, I could not read at age 10 despite special education and tutors. I used a program called Fast Forward over the summer with a speech therapist and I learned to read in 5 weeks. It was truly life changing.

I always like drawing creatures of my imagination that I name. In Middle School, my art teacher allowed me an entire wall of the classroom for my drawings. They used one of my drawings for the cover of the graduation program at Pin Oak Middle School. After graduating Lamar High School in 2008, I attended the VAST program at Houston Community College where I studied computer applications, and other standard courses. I looked at the Art Institute but realized it was not a good fit for me. A friend, who used to own the Copper Cactus Gallery in Ingram, looked at my drawings and told me just to forget art school and paint.

I sold my first painting in 2009 and I continue to paint. I hired a website designer and a folio photographer and added my website in 2010. Except for one painting, I only paint individual portraits from my imagination. I used to exhibit at the Copper Cactus Gallery in Ingram, but presently I have a few paintings at Sage Studio in Austin. I have exhibited in other venues which you can see on my website, doddmangallery.com.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
When I start a painting, I draw it in pencil on the canvas, then I paint it. Finally, I name it when I see the finished product. I get my inspirations from my dreams and music. ‘Kitty Ra” reflects my love of science fiction. Another one of my paintings, ” Stewart, the Living Amalgamation of Project Reentry,” reflects my experience at the program. You can see a Subway sandwich I ate, a pencil I used to draw and the puzzle body representing Autism with the light bulb representing “understanding.” I hope my art inspires their emotions and love of art. I always love it when my paintings make the viewer smile.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Paint what inspires you and do not let others keep you from pursuing your art. I started drawing some of my current paintings when I was in elementary school. I refined the drawings and finally started painting acrylic on canvas in 2009. I wish I had converted my drawings to paint earlier.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Presently, my paintings are available on my website or through Sage Studio, 828 Airport Blvd Austin Texas 87702
Our next big event is September 21 from 7 to 9 pm, but you can contact the owners through their website
sagestudioatx.com for other times. I will be at the NRG Center August 3 to 5 at the Abilities Expo.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images are copyrighted by Doddman Gallery.

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