EP 02: Making the Impossible Happen with Multi Talented Artist Doddz

Doddz began as a street artist in the heart of England in his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent. After moving to Manchester he worked at Social Chain filming daily vlogs for the CEO Steve Bartlett. His work is all about making people feel good and realising that the limitations that we (and society) give ourselves should never stop us from realising our full potential.

His creations have been customised for the likes of: Drake, Billie Eilish, Skepta, Stormzy, AJ Tracey, Krept, Big Narstie, Charlie Sloth, Bugzy Malone, Lady Leshurr, Fat Jewish, Raheem Sterling, Demi Stokes, Jaykae, Steve Bartlett, Token.

 

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE ON SOUNDCLOUD

 

 

  • I want my life to be an example of my message, and my message to be that anybody can achieve anything they want to and we don’t have to live up to the labels that people put upon you.
  • For some people getting out of bed in the morning means defying the odds in their own right. Everybody in their own lane can push themselves to achieve those things they want. 
  • People are told that they are not good enough. I'm here to say that you can. That you are good enough. 
  • In an ideal world I’d get up and go to the gym in the morning, because I’d talk myself out of it if I go in the evening.
  • I would work for a couple of hours painting and then I take my dog for a walk. Having time away, fresh air, helps me move things forward.
  • If I get up at 6:30 and then try and do some work, just straight from bed, I’m not on it really for a couple of hours. Compared with if I throw myself into the gym, get a workout, I come out of that gym, the endorphins or whatever it is, I come out ready for the day. I challenge myself in the gym to do stuff, like going the extra mile. In the space of an hour, I get out of bed, which I didn’t want to do but I did. I went to the gym and I did stuff that I didn’t want to do, I didn’t thought was possible but I did it. And then I am set up for the day. I already made a couple of good decisions and I am feeling great about myself.
  • Every time I do a piece of work I feel like I am getting better because I’m practising more. I’m proud of these pieces.
  • I never thought that my surroundings defined who I am or my situation defines who I am. Just because I am not good at reading or writing doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t do anything that nobody else can do.
  • I feel and I hope that my journey is going to be like a really long one. And hopefully a successful one. So everything in the past that has happened, positive or negative, I never thought that I’m gonna be stuck with no money, or stuck in certain situations that I didn’t want to be.
  • I think that there are people who don’t live in supportive environments or are told that they are not good enough. Living in difficult situations obviously has an impact on you feel l like you don’t deserve these things because nobody else in your environment gets these things either. And that’s your life and you are just gonna stay there for the rest of your life.
  • The reality is that you can, given enough time and the right amount of energy, you can do anything.
  • I almost feel responsible because I had the supportive role models so now I can be the supportive role model and say that you are good enough.
  • It may take longer because of who you are, how you were brought up and where you are, in a society that might not accept certain types of people. It might take longer but you will get there. You doing it will help people who are in your similar environment as well. 
  • Being fearless for me is the attitude of asking yourself the question: what’s the worst that can happen? Whether it is putting yourself out there and any scenario were you are in and you say what’s the worst thing that can happen? The worst thing that can happen if I put myself out there and it doesn’t get well received and I’m back exactly to were I am. Even if it is let’s say asking for help if you are struggling. What’s the worst thing that can happen? If they say and I’m exactly where I am. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t put yourself out there.
  • I wouldn’t say that I am confident, I would just say that I am willing to do whatever it is, try as many things as possible to help get to where I want to be.

Fearless to me is just a combination of being driven enough, because the worst case scenario is often nothing and you are exactly where you are. 

 

  • There is nothing to be fearful off. Everybody appreciates that it is something positive. I’m trying to do some good and the only way that I can do it is through the skills that i’ve got and that’s being creative. If I was good with numbers I’m sure I would be putting the defy the odds message through accounting, if it was singing I would be a rapper of sorts with the same message. In terms of being fearful I’m not really scared because every time I putting stuff out there I’m getting closer to what I want to achieve.
  • At the moment the mission is getting the message as far as wide as possible. The way to do that is through the artwork that I am producing and equally as important who am I producing them for. The message behind the jackets is about how that individual has inspired people and defied the odds in their own careers. They are the top people in their game in music, acting, modelling, whatever it is. These custom jackets are a testament to their personal journey, how they defied the odds, and that jacket is spreading the message to their audience.
  • In terms of goals is just carry on and get that message out before my career is over.
  • When I wanted to go full time as an artist I realised although I was creatively driven I wasn’t necessarily business driven. I spent the last three years with a business mentor following him day to day learning as much as I can about business and applying that to myself. In doing that I’ve learned so much more than just business, I talk differently, I walk differently, I dress differently. I’ve grown as an individual.
  • During the last 3 to 4 years I’ve tried and experimented with street art, magic, oil paintings, canvases, sculpture, and picking up and learning things as much as I can. And then they help me form the decisions that I make today with the way that I produce.
  • Recently I’ve added AI elements to these jackets, inspired by magic, secret messages with augmented reality. Something that no-one has done before.
  • Getting yourself out there is the tricky one. As an artist there is value in having your personal brand. Who you are defines how much money are you gonna make. If you are very well known you get 10x.
  • There is always a money side, something I’ve always struggled with has been how, as a creative, how you price yourself. How you say my work is worth x amount.
  • It’s understanding what your worth is and your value.
  • The biggest one the last two years has been patience, I am a very impatient person. That means I want success now. It’s probably a very relatable thing that you just wanna do this, and I do it for a little bit and I’m like ‘ where’s the payoff?’ I’ve learned a couple of years ago,  it won’t take forever, but it will take like a long time, and having patience, actually sticking to getting diverted away from doing these jackets, sticking with the jackets, doubling down on them and having some success with them. The payoff will come. A lot of what happens a lot of the time is people who are aspirational they get a year, two years, five years into it and then they give up, but if they stick with…just in the last sort of six months really seeing the payoffs of the last nearly 8 years.
  • The ladder is really long so you have to have a long term patience as well.
  • ‘Surround yourself with people who are better than you and try and best the hardest working person in the room’. Even since I heard that I’ve always tried to hang out seniors in uni, with artists who were better than me and I can ask them questions and I can learn from them. Hanging out with Steve Bartlett, he obviously added to me. Going to the gym with people who are stronger, better looking than I am. Trying to get there half an hour before them so I can try to outwork them and trying to catch up with them.
  • Across my life I’ve always tried to surround myself with people who were better than me and the hardest working person in the room. It makes me be a better person. I don’t want negativity in my life, people who are going to tell me that I can’t do something, because it’s not gonna enable me to get anywhere that I want to get, it’s only keep me stationary.

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