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Man with learning disabilities inspires others through art

Keen artist, Louis, a learning disabled man from Oswestry, Shropshire, is channelling his passions for art and helping people by mentoring other adults with learning disabilities.

Louis' art - Louis at work

Louis has enjoyed art and performance for as long as he can remember, having studied the subjects at school and college. The now 29-year old has since developed an impressive portfolio containing colourful drawings, textured paintings and unique ‘dotty pictures’.

He has used his home-based workshop to host two exhibitions, the first featuring his staple ‘dotty pictures’ and the second featuring his graffiti artwork, that Louis created using his own abstract letterforms, and a large-scale mural with life-size drawings of himself and his girlfriend, Jess.

He has also had his work displayed in a number of other exhibitions, including at his college and the Methodist Homes Association in Chester, which was his first solo display.

Louis enjoys sharing his creations with others through these exhibitions, including with friends that he has made through local friendship group Luv2meetU, run by learning disability charity Hft, which he joined after a period of loneliness in 2020.

Louis said:

“I am inspired by Banksy and other graffiti artists, like those in Berlin where my sister lives. Mostly though, my ideas come to me in my head and not by looking at other artists’ work.

“I love colour and use it in an intuitive way, building on what feels right until I feel the picture is finished. When I am doing my art, I picture what I want it to look like in my mind before I put pen to paper.”

Louis' art - artcarr 1

Louis’ favourite creation to date is the ArtCarr (above) – an up-cycled Ford Focus that he transformed alongside friend and fellow artist, Geri Wilkins.

Louis added:

“I love cars and it was brilliant to be able to paint my design directly onto an actual car that was no longer used. I really enjoyed using spray paint, which made me feel like a graffiti artist, and enjoyed getting my design for the seats printed onto fabric and learning how to make a pattern so we could cover the seats and headrests.

“When you see how bright the ArtCarr is, both outside and inside, it makes you realise how boring car colour schemes normally are.”

Wanting to share his passion for art further and allow others to experience the sense of achievement he gets from creating art, Louis is now pursuing mentoring, using his knowledge of Makaton (sign language with speech) to help communicate and make art more accessible.

For more information about Louis and to follow his journey, visit his website.

Images: Louis Carr Art