Alexander Rhys Boardman
Before finding The Prince’s Trust, Alexander describes his life as lacking direction. Despite having a degree in Fine Art, he felt unsure of his place in society and that all his friends were on set career paths – leaving him behind, lost and alone. He is supporting The Great Create with Goodwill Ambassador Fearne Cotton.
Alexander suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety which means he can find it difficult to cope with everyday life. He had a really bad stutter at school – he struggled to even answer the register – and got bullied for that.
After finishing school, he took some courses at a local college for people with mental health issues. During a photography course, the teacher told him he had an eye for composition – he began experimenting and a journalist even used one of his photos for the cover of their novel.
“Because of my OCD, I see things in a very linear, structured way which actually helps me to create really strong visual images. I found an outlet where my OCD could actually be turned into a positive. Interestingly, my painting is very organic – the process makes me go into a trance and I’m barely aware of what I’m creating. It feels so free and it’s been an amazing way to express myself.”
Alex knew he wanted to make a living out of his art but didn’t know where to begin. So he joined theEnterprise programme, still unsure whether The Trust was for people like him.
Alexander's favourite part of the programme was meeting people from different backgrounds. Everyone had their own passion and their own dreams. He has now been running his business Alexander Rhys for more than two years, selling his art worldwide.
The future looks bright for Alexander. His work is currently on show at the Saatchi Gallery in London, he has exhibitions coming up in the UK and Portugal and his work is to be published in a book at the British Museum.
“It’s quite scary to think where I’d be without The Trust. Before I found them, I was depressed and had no sense of purpose. They taught me that it’s ok to be who you are.”