David Downes & Sally Vaughan

David Downes & Sally Vaughan David Downes & Sally Vaughan


In their session, both David and Sally will share their experience of working together as a team over the last 12 years. David has high functioning autism and Sally, who is dyslexic and has ADHD, has been his agent throughout that time. They have built a strong working relationship that has evolved over the years, built on trust, understanding and support. Together they have worked on high profile projects for, including the Savoy, ITV, the US National Institute of Mental Health Autism Awareness Conference, The National Autistic Society and Ambitious About Autism.

They hope the takeaway from the session is that strong working relationships with autistic people are not only possible but powerful and can lead to extraordinary outcomes.

David Downes, 51, is an English landscape painter known for his vast skies, beautiful seascapes, and complex architectural drawings.

He has a photographic memory, which he puts down to his neurodivergent brain. He can recall the places he has visited in brilliant detail and paint them from his recollections.

"I'm lucky to have this capacity to visualise and also to get obsessive about stuff. As a child I started drawing churches, trees, flocks of birds, and road junctions because they were the things I was fascinated by."

After graduating from the Royal College of Art, David has been awarded several high-profile commemorative commissions. At the start of the millennium, David was commissioned by the BBC to paint the corporations most important buildings. To mark the Queen's 60th year on the throne, David was commissioned by the Savoy to paint the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pagaent from the roof of the Savoy. David was in-residence at the world-famous hotel for six weeks and painted the 3-meter-wide painting, which now hands in the hotel's Front Hall, largerly painted from memory.

To view more of David's art and to find out more, visit his website: 


Sally Vaughan is a talent agent and qualified coach with special areas of interest including giftedness, hidden difference (neurodiversity including ADHD, ASD, and Dyslexia), hidden difficulties (such as imposter syndrome, problems at home), creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, and returning to work. 

Starting her career in the media in the early 90s, Sally rose to senior reginonal marketing roles at CNN and ESPM. She established the first online platform for figurative artists in 200, attracting over 1,000 artists and became art consultant to the Savoy.

It was at the Savoy that she started working with David, and Zoom Rockman, a gifted prodigy, and she remains their agents.

As a coach, she draws on her career, her lived experience and professional training to facilitate change for individuals and organisations.


To find out more, visit: