MALAYSIAN illustrator and The One Academy graduate Vince Low does not let dyslexia stop him from living a normal life.
His “Vince Low: Dyslexia Couldn’t Stop Me” publicity campaign which featured his trademark scribble portraits won him many awards and shot him to international fame after it was featured in The Daily Mail UK and The Huffington Post.
His first portraits for the campaign highlighted famous icons John Lennon, Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein who were dyslexic to raise awareness about the disorder.
Today, he continues to perfect his unique scribble motif and was at The One Academy to talk about his experience in the industry.
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability, believed to be caused by both genetic and environmental factors, inflicting 3% to 7% of the population with difficulty in reading due to issues with the brain’s language processing.
Back then, awareness of dyslexia in Malaysia was discouraging.
Many dyslexic children were not given the support they needed, with their parents thinking they were mentally disabled.
It was only at the early stages of the campaign that Low himself discovered that he was dyslexic.
Low said during his schooling days, he was often ostracised by his peers.
“I was jealous of friends who could memorise their textbooks while I failed all my subjects,” he said.
“During that time, the good kids only wanted to hang out among themselves. So, I was rejected by them.”
As a child, Low faced extreme difficulty reading and writing, and was frequently punished by his teacher for not completing his homework.
He lost the motivation to study and eventually became truant.
“I did not know why I was going to school just to think of how to survive the day, so I just skipped classes,” Low said.
But in all his struggles, he found drawing helped him focus.
What he lacked in academic accomplishments, he made up for with artistic abilities.
In SPM, Low excelled only in art, which eventually paved his path towards The One Academy where he pursued a diploma course in illustration.
No just ordinary disposable doodles, Low’s scribble art requires immense effort and refined skills.
The unbreakable lines are meshed together in chaos to construct beautiful portraits – an ode to his bittersweet past which had shaped him into the successful artist he is today.
Low has a background in advertising. He started off as a designer and worked his way up to becoming creative group head and head of illustration.
Having experienced so many challenges in life and work helped him to excel in the advertising field, he said.
Low advised The One Academy students to “stick with what you believe and your interests”.
Many people told him that he would not be able to make a living by drawing. Today, he has proven them wrong.
“Just continue doing it. Don’t believe what others say.”
Low also offered some advice as an entrepreneur and a successful artist.
“Success is not just about how good you are at your work, but how well you deal with people.”
He also told students to branch out to obtain different skillsets instead of specialising in just one.
In addition to his sharing session, Low also exhibited his latest scribble portraits at The One Art Gallery for students and the public.
They feature characters from Star Wars, sports icons, Bruce Lee, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Adele and Johny Depp.
Although he is focusing on expanding his business by branching out into different creative fields, Low still hopes that his new artworks can be a silver lining for his fellow dyslexics.
“People with dyslexia are special, you just have to discover that talent within you and believe in yourself,” he said.
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