The most common fact about dyslexia is that it is the most common reading disorder. It is often something that creatives suffer with however tend to use to their advantage. Peter Lovatt for example was an academic late starter and left school without any qualifications. He then went on to study theater and creative arts at the East Herts College, before training in dance and musical theater at the Guildford School Of Acting.
“I challenged myself to read a 140-page book. It took me two weeks, reading 12 hours a day to get through it. I didn’t understand all of it but I realized I didn’t need to know every word to get the meaning” – Peter Lovatt
Those with dyslexia tend to channel the disorder through creative expression. Peter Lovatt was one of those people, becoming a Professor at Hertfordshire University in September 2004 and setting up the Psychological Dance Lab in 2008.
I can tell you from my own personal experience as a dyslexic, that one of the main barriers was telling myself that I was a failure and putting myself down, because I struggled with the more academic subjects. I wasn’t told till I studied for my Masters in Curation that I was in fact dyslexic and could have had help earlier on in life.
“My struggle with dyslexia doesn’t define me, and I have never felt defined by it. It was just something that I dealt with and overcame to get where I am today. Art was the answer for me. Many people deal with dyslexia on a daily basis, but they don’t let it define them. Dyslexia isn’t some disability that makes you a struggling student for the rest of your life, it is simply a hurdle that some people must jump in order to succeed.” – Peter Lovatt
Like many other creatives such as Peter Lovatt , Nick Fagan and Gudrun Hasle, you learn how to work with dyslexia where it suddenly becomes part of your creative process. You’re no longer defined by it and start to use it as a tool that makes you and your work unique.
Here at NORCA and Sistema in Norwich we help transform lives by encouraging young people to participate and engage in the arts. We help to nurture and empower young people by responding to their needs.
By Jade-Marie Anderson
Melanie Anglesey, 2011, How a boy with dyslexia became an academic
La Johnson, 2017, Finding words in Paint: How Artists See Dyslexia