Vincent Fantauzzo, known worldwide for his portrait work, claims he didn’t pick up a paintbrush until he was 21. Now the four time winning artist of the Archibald Prize People’s Choice, Fantauzzo has gained worldwide recognition for his artwork. His drive to succeed in the criticizing world of artists didn’t grow out of some academic drive fostered during his school years though. In fact, Fantauzzo didn’t regard school highly until his college years. His undiagnosed dyslexia made reading and writing difficult for the young student. The seemingly never-ending struggle to keep up in school and the constant negative criticism he received ultimately led Fantauzzo to resent the primary education he was supposed to be receiving. He dropped out of school at age 14 to escape the system that didn’t seem to teach him anything.

After some years of getting into trouble with the law, Fantauzzo discovered art and the expression it allowed him to have. When he decided to go to college for a degree in Fine Arts and Painting, he still didn’t know how to read. By this time in his life, Fantauzzo, having realized that traditional academia would never reflect his strengths, had developed strong communication skills in order to present the creative and unique visual ideas in his head.

Now, as an adult and well aware of his dyslexia, Fantauzzo looks back at his dyslexia as a blessing more than a disability. His dyslexia helped foster his creativity, not impair it.