Jayson Lilley the Amazing Dyslexic and the Job He Does

Jayson Lilley is dyslexic and an artist. He is one of the people celebrated in a new book about amazing dyslexics. For years he has openly shared his experiences growing up with dyslexia. At the time not knowing that he even had it. His talent in art was very much an outlet for him during those school years. These were times when the assumption was that he just wasn’t clever enough.

The Bigger Picture Book of Amazing Dyslexics and the Jobs They Do‘ is the book. Jayson Lilley as well as a number of other notable dyslexic people across a variety of disciplines tell their story. It’s a story that Jayson himself shared with Inspiring City a few years ago. Taking part in Art Related Noise, the podcast of Enter Gallery in Brighton, he told us about his experiences.

Jayson Lilley in his studio. Photo by Matt Trott

Experiences at School

“Every morning off I went to see Mrs Munster, the lovely special needs teacher” he says of his time at school. “I thought my classmates thought I’d done something wrong. I hadn’t, I just couldn’t read very well. They’d all carry on with the lesson without me. I was missing out. I’d have learnt more in class than sitting in a little room reading a book. Listening to me read is not fun!”

Jayson Lilley is an artist known for this images of London. Photo by Kathy Forsyth

This of course was at a time when dyslexia just wasn’t that understood. “At school the only thing I was good at was art; I wanted to be an artist” he says on instagram. “The response from my form teacher was ‘that’s OK for a hobby but what do you want to do for a job?’ If I could go back in time I’d tell little Jayson Lilley that if you are determined enough you can do whatever you want”.

Jayson Lilley talks about his Dyslexia

Jayson Lilly talks to Inspiring City about his Dyslexia and his experiences growing up

Turning Point

The turning point for Jayson was really at university. The attitude changed he says. Moving from people telling him that he couldn’t do something into people congratulating him on his work. “I got a little lift off that, I liked people telling me I’d done alright”.

And this is what is really at the heart of ‘The Bigger Picture Book of Amazing Dyslexics and the Jobs They Do’. That is to show the diversity of options available to people with dyslexia. Jayson Lilley chose to be an artist but the books covers a variety of disciplines. “If I had this book when I was 16, it would give me so much confidence in just knowing that there were other people out there that thought like me”.

The Bigger Picture Book of Amazing Dyslexics and the Jobs They Do can be bought here. It was written by Kathy Iwanczk Forsyth and Kate Power with a foreword by Paul Smith. Jayson Lilley was interviewed about the book on 25 September 2020.

Jayson Lilley in the book. Photo courtesy of Kathy Forsyth

For more related Inspiring City articles, have a look at:

The Bigger Picture Book of Amazing Dyslexics. Photo by Kathy Forsyth

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