Artist or Autist? Both.

Dyspraxia Awareness Week

I’m celebrating my first Dyspraxia Awareness Week! If you’re new to Dyspraxia, then consider it a close cousin of Asperger’s and Dyslexia. Senior Editor of Bustle Jenny Hollander perfectly sums up the essence of what it’s about; when signals from your brain aren’t all making it through to your body.

Incidents and Accidents

This is me. Identified at 35 as being dyspraxic, everything good, bad and indifferent about me suddenly made sense. For me, some of the simple ways it presents include trying to walk through doors before I’ve opened them, routinely hitting my skull off over-head objects and frequently spilling ink because I’ve a) not threaded the lid on properly then b) knocked it over in an effort to pick it up.

Bringing My A-Game

Like their neurodiverse Aspie counterparts, dyspraxic folks like me can struggle massively with learning a sequence of information, turning thoughts into words, and functioning in any given social situation.

These aside, my own spikey cognitive profile fortunately lends itself to creative thinking and visual interpretation; must-haves for any designer. Like most people, I’m only at the start of understanding dyspraxia and its relationship with art and design, but it’s a significant link and one to be explored by anyone interested in design thinking.

Dyspraxia in the Wild

A couple of creative dyspraxic projects that caught my eye this week:

Art, Design and Neurodiversity by Luca M Damiani

Creative Mentors for Neurodiverse young people

Imagination Dyspraxia Creativity Cardboard Box
Happy accidents.


What have Poster Designers ever done for Sport?

If you asked my PE teachers at Selkirk High School in the ’90s the least likely thing I would ever be asked in the future, if ever interviewed about my professional career by a journalist, then, “How does it feel to have left your footprint on sporting history?” would have likely been top of their list.

But amidst the buzz of the 2014 Ryder Cup tournament taking our wee country by storm, standing in Gleneagles in my Lochcarron Ryder Cup tartan kilt, a putter’s length from golf legends Steven Gallacher and Rory McIlroy, I was asked that very question, and it was the moment I realised that the poster design I’d entered into the Quarriers’ competition a few months earlier would become a relic of a truly historic sporting event.

If only my PE teachers had collaborated with the art and design dept back in the day, I’d have found an appreciation of sport much earlier on in life. But what’s the role of a designer in a sports tournament anyway?

Design and Sport  – the perfect match

It’s a sports tournament poster designer’s job to create a visual to evoke the interest of even the non- sports fan in the event, and, should be a physical souvenir that entices the sports fanatic to recognise the value of clever design. Here are three, now cult, classic designs I think did that the best:

Yusaka Kamekura: 1964 Tokyo Olympics

Gaby De Abreu and Paul Dale: 2010 Football World Cup

Arroyo: 1981 Roland Garros Tennis Tournament

Katie artist designer of the 2014 Ryder Cup Official Poster