"Think outside the box and put your personality out there.”
Andy Evans, BA (Hons) Graphic Design
A graduate who discovered he was dyslexic while studying at University has used his creativity and drive to land a dream job - and pay off his parents' mortgage.
Andy Evans, originally from Birmingham, studied BA (Hons) Graphic Design and was told he was 'very dyslexic with unique qualities' after being tested in his first year at Staffordshire University.
He said: “I like to focus on the 'unique qualities'. Don't think about it as a negative thing, you have to work harder to do certain things but lots of people have things they can't do.”
Last month Andy revealed he was graffiti artist Professor Pigment at the premiere of Trail and Error, a movie based on his work.
As 'Pro Pig', Andy made Stoke-on-Trent his canvas, creating artworks inspired by people and places in the city. He said: “Part of Pro Pig's message was about being proud of where we are, Stoke-on-Trent, and part was that you can achieve anything you want.”
Andy followed this mantra throughout his studies and actively sought career advice from industry professional Greg Quinton after attending a design conference in his first year. Quinton responded and signed off his message with the advice 'Work hard. But think hard too.'
Andy took this counsel to heart and when looking for work experience created a book to showcase his personality and demonstrate what he'd learned.
He explained: “If you send something physical that's on someone's desk then they have to read it and you can get inside their heads. They'll get loads of emails so think outside the box and put your personality out there.”
His ingenuity paid off and Andy secured a placement with a design agency in Manchester, working one day a week throughout the final year of studies, which has led to a full time position. He also plans to carry on his graffiti artwork under the name Doddz - which stands for defy the odds.
Andy continues to live up to his new name and the 22-year-old made his graduation a double celebration when he revealed to his parents that he'd paid off their mortgage. The story of his generosity has spread across the country, featuring in national newspapers, and a video of the revelation has been viewed on Facebook more than 32k times.
“Since I was a little kid, Mum and Dad have taught me the power of hard work. From Mum working three jobs to make sure we can do things together as a family, to Dad working flat out to ensure food is on the table and the bills are paid.”
“At graduation, I was able to finally do something I have spent the last five years trying to achieve - paying off the rest of their mortgage.”
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