Meet Dave, a 52-year-old autistic with a unique perspective on life. Dave has autism and surprisingly has an exceptional edge in the art world. He sees the world around him through an entirely different lens and uses that to create dazzling works of art. Dave’s art tells stories of his journey and life struggles, making them even more powerful and inspiring.

The importance of self-expression

As early as toddlerhood, He would obsessively draw whatever he saw, whether a tree, a building, or a person. But he struggled with speech for a long time and found solace in drawing, using it to express himself. Dave would later be diagnosed with autism in his 30’s, which made it easier for him to understand himself clearly.

It’s no surprise that Dave felt entirely different from his peers at school in Brome, Suffolk, where he grew up. He encountered bullying and torment from his classmates, which only made him retreat further into his art. In Classroom, Dave’s Teacher often gave out drawing assignments, which Dave would accomplish with astonishing detail.

Dave says his Teacher could never believe how good his drawings were, and he always finished them in record time.

Artistic Journey – A Reflection

According to Dave, his Mom, who recently passed away, was the one who always believed in him and said that his art was unique. His Mom would often hang up his drawings on the fridge and proudly show them off to visitors, which made Dave feel loved and appreciated.

Dave’s passion for drawing secured him a spot in art school, and he was accepted with high praise at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, then later at Brighton University, where he would graduate with a diploma in illustration. Because he wasn’t aware of his autism diagnosis at this moment, he struggled through the torment from his classmates at school and felt like he wouldn’t fit in. Yet, Dave continued to draw and eventually graduated &  secured a contract, a commission from the BBC for a series of illustrations including BBC’s most iconic buildings.

After his Autism Diagnosis at 32, His professional career took a different positive direction, as he now realized many of his struggles were due to his autism condition. He was commissioned by The Savoy Hotel  London to draw a series of picture illustrations depicting the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant; his drawing is still displayed in the hotel. Dave also became a keynote speaker for the National Autistic Society, sharing his experiences and inspiring others with autism.

And while he continued to excel, Dave struggled with relationships despite his success. He had a hard time finding a partner despite online dating, and eventually, he decided to check with a hypnotherapist who accepted his payment in the form of art. After 5 sessions, he finally found love and married his wife in a castle-like ceremony that was one of the most beautiful ceremonies anyone had ever witnessed.

Dave uses his autism as an advantage today and has even been named “The Amazing Autistic Artist” by The Times Magazine. He continues to make art every day, and his pieces are displayed in galleries all across the world. He has become an icon of hope and inspiration to many in the autistic community.

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