David Read was born with multiple problems due to his mother having been prescribed the drug Thalidomide during pregnancy. His family moved around the country extensively when David was young with the result that many different doctors with varying opinions saw him as a patient. David attended Chailey Heritage School from the age of 11 until 14 but the family moved again, finally settling in Hull. Here David went to Technical College to study for his 'O' levels but his education was interrupted by five years of operations where his thigh was broken and lengthened, and his hips replaced. Eventually, at the age of 28, David walked for the first time.
In 1995 David married Tracey and the couple have a son, Callum. David started painting after being encouraged by MFPA artist Katrina Gardiner, who knew him through the Thalidomide Society. He began painting by foot, following Katrina's lead, but finds mouth painting a more suitable technique.
David is influenced by his surroundings in his choice of painting subjects, with much of his work having Hull related themes, such as the Hull built HMS Iron Duke, the Royal Navy ship on which Prince Wiliam served for a time.