In this post, we have the privilege to introduce to you Elaine Asplind Russell, a professional artist who overcame her disability and has carved a niche for herself in the art industry. Below is her words of wisdom on how she used art as a platform to showcase her skills and to empower art students all over the world that no obstacle will be difficult as long as you have the will and desire to succeed.
Note: The article sent over by Ms. Russell has been edited for readability purposes. For the original article in PDF format, click here.
I am a professional, working, artist who happens to have been diagnosed with Bipolar illness years ago.
I am writing this to show you that it is possible to overcome the odds and not let your diagnosis rule you or ruin your dreams of success. It’s not to say it didn’t take hard work and in some instances, some failures or “growth spurts” in order to continue following my dream.
Yes,I have had some disappointing exhibits, and my share of disappointing sales, but it was all part of trying to climb the ladder into the art world. It’s not always easy, particularly when the chips where against my success.
In order to be a professional, working artist, I needed to put in long hours, poor pay, and sometimes not the most optimal working conditions. It was not something that came overnight. However, my belief in myself and, most importantly, MY ART was the driving force for what I feel were some successes.
Some of these successes only came to me after putting in YEARS at my drawing table, sometimes in conjunction with working a full-time job and occasionally during some hospitalizations. In spite of these life events, my art was what helped to give me some shelter from the storms that life sometimes gave me. I really did believe in my ART and used my innate drawing abilities to help with my self expression.
At this point I must say that I was not an overnight success. It took me years of participating in various art exhibits through the years .Eventually, one of my Dip Quill pen and ink drawings was selected for the Sam Sargent Award at Newburyport Art Association (USA) for Best Drawing in 2006. That was a turning point for me. A few years after that, I was selected to have a Featured Artist Exhibit at the NAA from a large field of applicants. From there, it’s been history, although I can’t just say that I’m a complete success since I feel that when my art meets the public’s eye, is sometimes not what I had hoped for its journey.
Throughout all this, I have stayed true to myself and my particular style which is just now beginning to have some followers. My hope is that you may leave this blog by at least taking some time to peruse my website for more information and samples of my work. May you have good luck on your journey in the art world .I wish you success, inner peace and creativity. Exercise your creative muscles and be true to your own individuality!