Wilmington artist with autism uses art to inspire others

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you’ve watched The Good Doctor on ABC, you are familiar with the work of a savant.

The show’s main character, Dr. Shaun Murphy, has autism and savant syndrome.

That sort of talent and ability are not just fictional storylines.

In Wilmington there is a man with an amazing talent of drawing portraits, not with shapes, but with words.

Rachard McIntyre uses his art to express himself and inspire others with a disability.

“It’s my reason for being creative,” Rachard McIntyre said. “When I was little I used to draw a lot.”

Rachard McIntyre has been drawing since he was 4 years old, and now at the age of 38 it has become much more than a hobby.

“I think it’s extraordinary, and I do it,” Rachard McIntyre said. “I think it’s a great talent that God gave me.”

A talent that does not go unnoticed.

Rachard said he faces everyday challenges because he has autism.

But he does not think of his disorder as a disability.

Instead he focuses on the positives and uses it in a way to connect with others through art.

“It’s a reason to be an inspiration to others and be unique with my talent,” Rachard McIntyre said.

Through drawing, painting and creative artwork, Rachard can express himself and use this tool as an outlet to escape reality, but more than anything he hopes to use his gift to inspire.

“Most people, but especially people with autism that could be other people with autism who have the same talent like I do,” Rachard McIntyre said.

As he works to inspire others, he shares who inspires him.

“When I look through his portfolio I am truly, truly amazed, and it’s real funny at the same time you know it’s humor because he never says it. He just does it,” Rachard’s mom, Carrie McIntyre said.

Some of Rachard’s latest pieces are noteworthy around Wilmington — located in the Cameron Art Museum, the district attorney’s office, a fire station and all around the home of his mother and biggest fan.

“I see so much in him you know that it needs to be shared with others as well, and especially, like he said, to inspire others with autism and other things, even though we don’t look at autism as a real disability,” Carrie McIntyre said.

With the help of the ABC show The Good Doctor it is easier to highlight amazing gifts people with autism have.

The show focuses on a surgeon with autism, Dr. Shaun Murphy, who had a troubled childhood and is using his medical skills to help save lives and put an end to skepticism from his colleagues.

“Autism can be a way to express yourself and help you do better in life. Maybe people with autism can go to school and become maybe a doctor or a lawyer and achieve in life and be good in life with their jobs,” Rachard McIntyre said.

Rachard’s mom said they love watching the show because Shaun has similar body language like her son, making the TV drama relatable to his life.

“It’s been very hard for me being a person with autism, been hard for me. It’s been a real challenge for me,” Rachard McIntyre said.

Despite any challenges Rachard faces, he overcomes them, using pen and paper to create masterpieces, drawing people and places out of words.

“I can look at a picture to create it,” Rachard McIntyre said.

Not just any words, but the biography of the person he is drawing.

As he continues to perfect his craft, Rachard has one piece of advice his lives by.

“Just follow your dreams, don’t give up, trust in God and he will help you,” Rachard McIntyre said.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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