Spotlight On: Art, Design & Learning Differences

Did you know scientists have suggested that Pablo Picasso and Leonardo Da Vinci may have had dyslexia?

It's true and it is always worth remembering that the LD mind has been instrumental in shaping art and culture for centuries. With that in mind, we at FOQ feel your creativity is one of your greatest resources for building self-worth and self-awareness. It also helps us to understand more about the evolving world around us. We often hear a lot about dyslexia and LDs when it comes to learning, but what about creation?

In this roundup, we take a look at some articles and videos that highlight how artists with LDs are currently shaping the world of art and design, in the hopes of empowering you to start creating today.

  • IN 2017, six artists were asked by NPR to create works that illustrated what their dyslexia felt like to them. The article that resulted from this assignment highlighted the bold and dynamic pieces of art that were created by these extremely talented artists. In the words of Gudrun Hasle whose work is shown in the article,

"I use my dyslexia in everything I do. It's my technique." This visual representation of dyslexia is a stunning example of what is possible when we embrace who we are and give form to something that can feel overwhelming at times.

Ash Casper, Oriented, acrylic paint and encaustic wax, 8 inches by 8 inches; 2016. Ash Casper for NPR
  • HOW THE DYSLEXIC MIND sees and takes in letters inspired graphic designer Daniel Britton to create a typeface that would, "recreate the feeling of reading with Dyslexia for a non dyslexic person, therefore, creating empathy and understanding for the problem." The resulting work is a dynamic series of images that were highlighted in this Washington Post article from 2015. Check out Britton's work which not only illustrates how those with dyslexia see, it becomes a work of art in its own right as you can see in the video below of his typeface:

  • Finally...THE DYSLEXIE FONT by Christian Boer is another example of how art and graphic design can collide to address the needs of those with LDs in a profound and practical way. You can find this font now everywhere. You can learn more in this interview by Quinn did with Christian for us.

These are just a few examples of creatives with LDs who are making a difference. In this time of pandemic and needing to stay distant, we encourage you to keep your creative spirit close and alive.

Stay safe. Stay creative. The world needs your art.

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Friends of Quinn is a program of the National Center for Learning Disabilities and is dedicated to providing resources for young people with learning differences

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