Art student Alexander Taylor shares some of his stammering-related work.
My name is Alexander, I have just completed my foundation degree in art and I am about to start my first year at University in September. I have stammered my whole life and like many I have struggled with it. However, through the years I have been able to accept it as a part of me.
I have discovered that just like with illustration, I have to take risks with my stammer and accept it, which has helped me considerably.
Through a good support network of family, friends and a little therapy, my overall confidence with it has grown hugely, from seeing it as a burden to not seeing life without it, so to symbolise this I got a tattoo representing my stammer once I turned 18 (see the picture). The pause and play symbols represent my stammer – the pause being when I can't talk and the play being when I can. Mixing it with a heart meter line shows how the stammer is always part of my life and how I must accept it. It is part of me.
As an illustrator, my mindset is to create pieces which communicate effectively. This doesn't mean simple 2D drawings; it can involve techniques as obscure as sound mapping or creating a big 3D structure. One of my personal influences for choosing this creative path is having a stammer. Visual communication is perfect for me as it enables me to express myself in alternative ways which would normally be difficult. In doing so, I have also discovered that just like with illustration, I have to take risks with my stammer and accept it, which has helped me considerably.
The final project for my foundation work was based around stammering. I wanted my pieces to not only show people what a stammer is, but also to inform them about stammering. Using my own experiences and how I've be affected by them, I was able to create comics which visually showed how a stammer can affect a person but also how it feels. I further explored this by using the metaphor of a balloon being blown up, expressing the tension of stammering. In addition, I created a 3D anatomical model which highlights the areas where a stammer affects someone, creating a fun interactive element for my intended audience.
If you'd like to see more I post a range of my work on my Instagram channel: @taylor_design_
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