Jim Rokos (Creative director & founder) Dyslexia
Name: Jim Rokos
ND Type/s: Dyslexic
What do you do: Glassware Design
Where do you live: London
How do you think your neurodiversity makes you different to others around you?
I find everybody is different, and often surprising. As an individual, I don’t have neurodiversity. A population is diverse, rather than a person.
What is your favourite time of the day and why?
I like walking the dog after work. She has an obsession with tennis balls and in the park will magic them out of nowhere.
Do you find it difficult to sleep or to get going in the mornings? Do you have a morning routine to set you up for the day ahead?
Good sleep comes in phases. I won’t sleep easily for a few weeks, and then I will fall asleep right away for a similar period. The day starts with coffee and breakfast.
Have you ever felt isolated by your Neurodivergence?
I was very shy for a few years after leaving school, our education system being so unsuitable for dyslexics. I spoke so little at college that my peers thought that no one was in.
Have you read a book or seen a film or a play that has made an impact on your life or your view on the world?
I didn’t read much of it, but Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono was interesting. Dyslexics are natural lateral thinkers and I leant it to a classmate who pointed out that it tells us how to do what we already do.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who was it from?
On my foundation year in art and design I was struggling on the graphic design course, which I felt I should be on because I had thrived at graphic design as part of my A level in art and design. The foundation’s 3D tutor, Simon Young suggested ‘Why not switch to 3D where everyone has fun?’, which turned out to be useful.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you were a grown-up? And what was your first Job?
I didn’t have a particular job in mind as a child. I started work as a modelmaker. I forget which company was the very first – I must find my old invoice book – it might have been at Crawley Creatures, making a model cornfield for an advertisement.
What do you do now and how did you get into it?
I design unusual glassware for my brand of home décor. Wine decanters, flower vases, candleholders and that sort of thing. Creating a brand seemed the best way to produce my ideas. I had pitched an object to the buyer at the Conran shop who advised to offer more than one object, so I started a range.
Creativity and thinking differently are often credited to neurodiversity. Would you say that is true? And if yes, could you give an example?
People think in different ways, which can be very helpful in a group or population. Dyslexics are naturally good at visual, 3D and creative thinking, and problem solving.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus, what do you do to get back on track? Do you have any hacks, tips or do you use any apps to keep you on track during the day?
It is good to change activity. Especially good if activities vary. After some time at the computer it can be helpful to reboot by unloading the dishwasher. A change is as good as a rest. However, a rest can be good too.
How does your Neurodiversity affect new relationships? This can be professionally, socially or romantically.
I often feel an easy connection when I meet people who have a more unusual brain structure, especially dyslexics.
What makes you truly happy?
The dog dancing when she greets me.
Do you have an interesting, or unusual, fact about yourself – that you can share with us?
As a child I cheated on my first dyslexia assessment to ensure that I would not have to attend French lessons.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
The Dyslexic Design exhibition of 2016.
Do you have a Positive ND message to the world? Imagine you have a £5 million advertising campaign to spend on billboards all over the world, what would you say?
I’d have to give much thought and carry out a lot of research before spending a budget like that.
And finally – where can people find out more about you? Do you have a website and/or social media pages?