Dyslexia and Creative Future

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According to the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), 10% of the population are dyslexic, 4% severely so.

This lifelong condition affects the ability to read and write. It can mean that words “swim” on the page, making them difficult or impossible to read.

While Steve was fortunate to be diagnosed dyslexic at a very early age, and found his creative passions at a similar time, many people still don’t fully understand dyslexia. This means we as a society can’t provide adequate support to people – especially children – who are dyslexic. The BDA states that dyslexics often have strengths in areas such as design, problem solving, and creative skills – and Steve is just one such example of this.

While we’ve previously covered Steve’s belief that dyslexia is a gift, for World Dyslexia Awareness Day 2018 we wanted to profile one organisation that does excellent work widening access to the arts for people with dyslexia and other barriers.

Creating opportunities with Creative Future

Creative Future is a Brighton-based charity whose mission statement is to “provide training, mentoring and the chance to publish or exhibit to talented people who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, health, identity or other social circumstance.” They offer a range of events, competitions, workshops and opportunities spanning the visual arts and the written word. Creative Future is a “bridge from the margins to the mainstream”, and champions inclusivity and opportunity in the arts.

The Creative Future Literary Awards, founded in 2013, are the UK’s only high-profile writing awards focused on underrepresented writers. In previous years, Creative Future have also developed writing workshops specifically for dyslexic writers. They also run Tight Modern, a small temporary pop-up gallery. This 8ftx5ft replica of the Tate Modern travels around the UK showcasing the work of talented, underrepresented artists.

Freedom and support

Mik, one of Creative Future’s digital artists, has exhibited at Tight Modern and the OFFF Festival in Barcelona. He spoke to us about what Creative Future means to him.

“Occasionally I am asked to say a few words about Creative Future and I always say that I don’t know where I would be right now if it wasn’t for them. I enjoy being in the company of other artists and the creative writers that Creative Future help. And I enjoy the freedom to attend various courses, always in a non-judgemental environment, with the ability to progress at my own speed. I feel reborn and embrace my disability. Without it, and Claire, my caseworker, I wouldn’t have taken this new path in my life.”

Steve recently visited Brighton to speak to a group of Creative Future artists about his own career trajectory. He relayed how his dyslexia had informed and shaped his branding expertise. He also sent all the artists he met a signed limited edition print from the Steve Edge Shop.

“Being in the company of so many talented artists and individuals is always incredibly inspiring for me. It’s an honour to tell my story and share my experiences in a room full of people just like me. It really is when I’m at my happiest.”

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