Dyspraxic and neurodivergent people are the pillars that hold the creative industries aloft
"When you really look into it, dyspraxic and neurodivergent people are the pillars that hold the creative industries aloft. If it wasn't for us the world would be really boring." Gary Clark, 31, is a Freelance writer from England who was diagnosed with Dyspraxia in 1998.
Gary is right, not only are neurodivergent people heavy influencers in the creative industry but in fact, many of the world's most famous and successful entrepreneurs of our century have been people who have one or more neurodivergence types.
Ingvar Kamprad was a Swedish business magnate and the founder of IKEA, whose first entrepreneurial endeavour was selling matches to neighbours from his bicycle as a young boy. Kamprad was both dyslexic and an ADHDer.
Virgin billionaire Richard Branson – quite possibly the most famously known Neurodivergent entrepreneur– created a multi-billion dollar empire across industries such as music, media, and travel and is both dyslexic and an ADHDer.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, recently announced his Autism diagnosis to the world. Elon is the wealthiest person in the world as of 2022 with a net worth of $219 billion. However, this does not go without heavy criticism on how legitimately he acquired his wealth (we aren't that kind of publication, we'll leave it there).
In the creative industry, we have many dyspraxics such as Daniel Radcliffe, Cara Delevingne, Florence Welch and many more.
Being creative is seen to be a common trait among those in the dyspraxia community. Gary shared with us that some of his hobbies include "Warhammer and cooking". Both hobbies have lots of room for creative freedom, however, they each come with their own challenges. For example, Gary mentioned that with Warhammer he can "Struggle to remember [the] rules and painting takes a lot longer"
Warhammer is a miniature tabletop wargame produced by Games Workshop which requires the player to build and paint their figurines. It is the most popular miniature wargame in the world and is particularly popular in the United Kingdom. Click here to visit the Warhammer website. Well-known English Actor Henry Cavill stars as Geralt Of Rivier in the Netflix series The Witcher as an avid Warhammer player. Click here to see an interview about him expressing his love for the game.
However when it comes to cooking, Gary does have some experience in a working kitchen "I used to be a chef so I have built up some workarounds for the knife skills but timing, measurements and fiddly work are still difficult"
Gary also took the time to share with us what some of his experiences were like at school as a dyspraxic student. "Secondary school was awful - my slowness to pick up on things, lack of ability in PE and other situations had me pegged as an outsider. University was difficult as the lecturers and support staff didn't understand the condition and I found organising around deadlines difficult and performed at a lower standard than many of my cohort."
A lack of understanding from educational institutes and professionals is unfortunately a common experience many dyspraxic students face.
Gary shared some great advice that he would like to share with other dyspraxics:
"Don't spend as much time trying to fit into other people's moulds. Be yourself, live your unconventional life and things will find a way of working out."