Dyslexia & Creativity

In grade school there were two things I feared in class. Reading out loud and spelling tests, both of which were a source of frustration and ridicule.

Then as I got older I would get sent off to the “special” class, or as classmates would say the stupid class. I knew I was neither slow or stupid, things just did not come easy for me. Then in the eighth grade I learned that I was dyslexic.

My mother found the The Gow School, the nations oldest school for dyslexics. I went for testing and I witnessed the Headmaster pick up two pieces of chalk stretch his arms out and start writing from opposite ends of the sentence and meeting in the middle. I knew that I belonged at this school.

Through the four years I spent at the Gow School I acquired the study habits and life skills I would use for the rest of my life. It was during my senior year that I was able to take an Art class taught by Mr. William Parsons (nationally renowned for his scientific illustrations and paleontology work). It was during this class where I really started to learn patience and persistence.

During my first two years of college I did a lot of searching for what I wanted to do with my life. It was during this time that I realized that the common denominators in my life was a 35mm camera and art. I thought that  I should seriously study photography as it was becoming my calling in life.

After doing a lot of research I decided to transfer to Brooks Institute of Photography to study Industrial Scientific Photography because that program dealt with high speed, infrared, and other interesting techniques.

During my time at Brooks they kept telling us how important it was to pre-visualize the photo before making the exposure. The training we went through required long hours of hard work, something that as a dyslexic is accustomed to.

Another aspect of being dyslexic and creative is the ability to think outside the box. I will see the outcome in my mind and when I verbalize my thoughts to my wife or friends I get this look of what are you talking about? It may be that my idea has broken so many rules of normal that it is just not comprehensible to any one else. The success rate of these ideas vary sometimes, they are a lead balloon, and other times they become an instant success.