Before Dodo Newman achieved her life long dream to be an artist and the Inspirationalist she spent more than 15 years in various other fields.
Being also a business owner, she learned how to overcome difficulties and excuses and how to achieve actual results.
In February 2013 she amazed the International University of Monaco with a presentation about Out of the Box Innovation. Her session included life changing topics such as: The reality of Success, Excuses versus Performance, Aim and its Realization, Obstacles and Challenging them, Fear, Motivating others, Joint forces, Breakthrough. A main conclusion of her presentation was to make the International University of Monaco students realize that they are able to realize their dreams in any circumstances.
When I saw the paintings of Dodo Newman the first time, I immediately felt involved in a mystical experience, full of light and love. I was not only contemplating the mix of colours and forms, I was seeing her soul as if she was a magical nymph transmuting my life. And she did! Immersed in this new world, I began to follow her to discover why she had the power to change lives.
Dodo what is your secret?
I believe everything, starting from the nonphysical world is in a constant change. It is the basic and natural law of everything inside and outside of us to undergo transformation, renewal in order to find meaning and purpose for the energy of life itself. This is the cycle of the universe.
As an artist, with a gift to be sensible to these transformations I aim to remind others of the beauty and wonder of this transformation in our lives. Art is a tool through which people can remember this deep set truth, reminding them of what truly matters in life.
I have seen a lot of paintings good or not so good, but yours made me feel something different in my heart. How can you develop your art to provoke this kind of feelings?
Art is a reflection of who I am. You see in my art my soul, my thoughts, my energies. It is like a mirror because while you see my inner world you are reminded of yours, of your dreams, your desires, your memories and your emotions.
Art is one of those things that gives you a pause from the chain of thoughts, that touches the heart and the part of us that is our own inner worlds, from where beauty, love, joy, peace and creation is born. It is wordless, thoughtless, formless and yet fully able to touch our depth.
When art is true to itself, when it has no other purpose than to tell the truth then it touches the right elements, it communicates wisdom and opens up doors in each and every one of us.
From what I read about your life, I think there is a past that has not been easy and that has marked you. Is it perhaps what is reflected in your works? Is it the transmutation that fills everything you do with light?
I was indeed born into a non average life circumstance and had lots of challenges as I grew up. I grew up as a child without a mother figure and living in always different countries, having to get accustomed at an early age to ever changing circumstances, environments, people, insecurities. It was always about the move, and as a child I lived it through lots of fears and uncertainties.
However I am who I am now because of these early and difficult circumstances, while they taught me to always find my own way back, to the right and true path. A lot of these limitations have left their signs on me and I continuously seek to unbind, unlearn them, especially when I had my turning points later in life. I have learned during the years that even if I have sometimes gone off my path, I always had a choice to come back to the real and true one, that there is always an opportunity, a possibility, a door opening to find our way to the right one. Perhaps this is the light reflected in my artworks.
I always say that it is only in darkness that we truly find the light, meaning that when we truly accept the darkness then we have found the light.
In my artworks I reflect a lot of movement, energies and a breakthrough to freedom, which I attain through contrasts, the interplay of dark and light. Freedom, joy, creation is the purpose of everything in our universe, in our lives. We all strive to attain a sense of feeling free, unlimited sense in a joyful way, to live our dreams in this short and mysterious time frame, we call physical life.
It is impossible to show and depict light by itself. If you think about it, there needs to be a contrast in order to give back the essence, the reflection of light.
Light is energy that we feel and realize because of their usage. Just as we do not see cells, atoms and protons, neither do we see actual electricity we know they exist. Who knows what other forms of energies exist that we could harness for not just improvements in our physical world but for our spiritual growth, bringing more and more ‘light’ to more and more people’s lives.
Light is also pertaining in my sight to enlightenment, awakening, finding real and true meaning in our lives. This is an individual purpose and yet a collective one too – one’s enlightenment effects and reaches those around them – in order to create a world where there is more light than darkness.
You said “I learned art through living the ups and down of the waves of life”. These words are really inspirational! Can you share your thoughts about this with us?
I learned art not in the school or university, I learned it through my own paths and by finding it in myself.
I found art always through various rejections, negative impacts and obstacles in the different milestones of my life. Despite these I have always fought and persisted to find my path back, to keep my dreams and my calling alive, which is art, even in seemingly impossible situations.
Many women give up their dreams after they become mothers, this is especially true for women artists. Art is not an exact, straightforward path and One needs a very strong belief, a calling that burns almost in an obsessive way, in order to keep it alive.
When I became a mother it was a very difficult, painful situation I went through. Not only was I rejected as a woman but I also stayed alone with my daughter without any type of support.
I could have easily given up everything for the comfort, the seemingly constant stability that many think bring peace of mind and fulfilment. However I chose again not to give up and to rise up, to find renewal and to find back to that light that has always been inside of me, to continue towards my passion, my calling despite all the external things that were pushing against me.
It is perhaps the hardest path I have chosen but the most fulfilling one because I find light every day within myself, no matter what external situation I am in, and seek to give it back to as many people as it is possible. I know that this is the one thing that matters and as long as I create, realise artworks I will always receive more than I could ever imagine.
During this journey I realise every day that art is Me, I am the art I put out, I create, I realise, no matter what waves I am riding at the moment.
Most people are scared of the waves of life, which are there however to teach us, to show us new ways of life, to break free from our old skin, to bring renewal in our lives.
Art is my tool by which I seek to spread this message and bring light to others.
Art is difficult to value. What makes a work good or not?
There is a big difference between the world of art seen as value in terms of money, investment and art, seen as art for its own sake, l’art pour l’art.
The first world has its own rules, is a closed and very biased world, whereby every artwork is judged and valued by rigid rules.
The second is about appreciation for art for its own sake, for it being a vehicle for the betterment of our world, to bring beauty, awareness in this fast paced and material based life. It is like a light beam breaking through the dense and hard forms. In this world every artwork has value that is true for itself, that has as intention to bring about something positive, something to reflect upon, something to change for the better, something beautiful to open up to.
I would not call anything bad or good, just artworks that touch our depth or just pass by, like caffeine.
I believe everything is about intention, what the artist’s intention is, whether it is purely about creating ‘noise’ about themselves or about aiming to give something to humanity.
Just think about it, how many artists who are not living anymore have created artworks during their lifetimes, that no official – the first type of world – considered of value, to then later have millions of worth in the art market once the artists were not living anymore. Those artworks were still just as valuable and meaningful even when they were undiscovered by the art market for whatever reasons later.
As an artist I feel my artworks have their purpose and have ‘value’ when they touch others, when I read or hear their thoughts, dreams, visions around it, when they tell me what it has touched in them. And for sure when they decide that no matter what they want to live with them, to keep them for the future, to show them to others.
I also feel that through my artworks I somehow get in touch with others’ worlds and I can open up some of their closed doors, for them to realise new things within themselves. So it closes into a sort of magical circle of giving and receiving.
The Universe of artists is very wide, which one is the most important for you that maybe has changed your life?
There are many well or less well known universe of artists that I admire or that have inspired me. All life paths of artists is different from the other, is unique in its own way.
I would rather say that my life has crossed various other artists’, whether living or not, who have made a difference in my life path. All of these encounters have come about by coincidence, which made it even more meaningful.
I would definitely mention my master, Jozsef Burkus who opened my eyes to my true artist essence, who saw in me the potential and who gave me the right tools to then find my own way. I have also learned from him that finding your way to express yourself through art is a journey in itself, a privilege to be living in this life.
I would say there are two particular artists whose art world is close to mine. One is Noriyoshi Ishigooka and the other is Paul Jenkins. Both their worlds stem from Eastern philosophy, the interest toward our deep inner worlds and reflecting upon the unseen.
What I admire and that has always inspired me is the simplicity despite the burst of colours and movement. Simplicity is beauty: what mostly talks to me is when an artist achieves beauty through simplicity.
Dodo, you are a fresh, exciting and delicate woman, but also a strong person that helps others. Our society has changed a lot in the last ten years and now people and artists have other values. What do you think about this and how do you see the future of new artists?
I believe humanity overall faces a very challenging period in terms of universal consciousness, which defines the future of itself as well as that of our Earth.
Artists and creative people in particular, having the sensibility to contribute to the betterment, face equally strong challenges.
Humanity will be as sane, peaceful, wealthy as much as it will support and appreciate arts, culture and the source of where all this comes from. It is interlaced and one needs the other especially for this period of transition.
The main challenge is to bring about change, renewal, beauty and betterment in a society that is still very much controlled, structured, based on biases, discriminations and uniformity. It is a reality of our material driven society to judge and live in the brain. Despite this world wide struggle there is however a huge desire to break free from the old and to create something new, to give birth to new ways of living with each other, with our Planet, with ourselves and also giving new meaning to art.
If you just imagine what one can achieve today with cameras, let alone with our mobiles or with computers and designer, graphical applications, then you can understand the reason for art in general to evolve into something new. It is and will evolve in terms of form, with new materials, techniques as well in terms of messages, meanings, aims.
I believe the role of artists is changing as well. I believe the artist is becoming to signify those individuals who contribute to the transformation of our world, through various channels. No longer can we limit an artist to being just a painter, exhibiting in a gallery or a writer, writing only books: that is history. Not only there are new forms of art for example installations, performance, etc. but also the artist is more independent, self confident and eclectic.
The future artist is someone who reflects, questions and realises messages, gives back beauty through writing, painting, creating installations, taking active part in teachings, in the formation of the future etc. all at once.
And also someone who does this in various, exciting platforms, not limiting themselves to a niche but reaching to more people as possible.
And personally, how do you see yourself in the future?
Personally I seek always to live in the present moment, to feel alive in the now, to know that every such moment forms part of the future.
My aim is to live fully aligned with what I was born to do in this life and with my talents, gifts to contribute to the betterment of our world.
During all the phases of my life I have not only opened up people’s inner worlds to their inner selves but also have brought people from different parts of the world together for the purpose of realising that there are no borders, no limits when it comes to art, which is in all of us.
My wish is to create more of such messages, to spread and give more to an ever wider audience.
Your book “Out of the Box Innovation” was published in 2013. Can you share with us some of its content?
I wrote this book as a summary of my presentation that I held for young students at the International University of Monaco. It uplifts me to not only create art but also to write and talk to people about things that I have learned from, gone through to give them also from my own wisdom.
The basic element that I wanted to give back is that change, transformation is a basic element of life and challenges are part of it. I believe when One starts to question things around them, what they hear, read about is a good starting point to think outside the box.
Another element that I wanted to give back is to dare to think differently and to imagine them, to create them in our minds.
No road is straight, there is no point A and point B, it is a continuously unfolding journey during which we always learn to be better than before. We ourselves make the choices during this journey, so it is essential to take responsibility of them, to learn from them and to know that there is always a possibility to change, to take another road and to find new ways of growing. Actually this is the freedom that we have within, that however many people seek to reach from external events or other people.
We are all the same in our core human souls but with unique and very different manifestations, life paths. This way writing and talking to people, who are not artists is even more uplifting because it gives them a realisation and appreciation exactly of this Oneness and yet colourful variety.
What would you advise to new generations of artists?
Always be true to yourself and aim to be authentic. Being an artist is in itself a privilege, a gift that requires courage because you will often stand out from the crowd and will often take side ways to find your true and core Being.
Enjoy being on the journey without wanting to getting somewhere, and take your time for that truth, light to develop.
Be the light for who you are and create from this source of light for others to experience it as well.