I am more specifically, “ a
mixed media artist” but I often find myself around this time
of year, making ethnic folk dolls which for me, offers a
simplistic display of what most certainly is a painful
chapter in America’s History. Though, like my dolls and me,
the journey for the African American is an ever evolving
one, filled with glorious victory, hope, and promise.
When I first began making dolls,
I used water bottles as the foundation. This was the
inspiration of another doll maker by the name of Angela
Briggs who was a guest on the Carol Duvall Show; a very
popular nationally syndicated show, currently airing on the
HGTV network. After viewing the segment, I went on t try my
hand at one of her dolls. Mine, of course, had a slightly
unique twist using felt instead of the traditional yarn
wrapping technique. Upon completion, I sent in a picture of
what I considered to be my best effort. To my surprise, I
was personally requested by Ms. Duvall, herself, to send in
some of the dolls which she eventually aired on her show in
honor of Black History Month. She called them,
“Inspirational Wrap Dolls”. Subsequently, my dolls were
placed on her website and that was my debut as an artist to
the world and it was also my affirmation for me as to the
viability of my creativity.
My journey as an artist hasn’t
been an easy one. Fear was a constant companion on the road
with me. In the Charles Dickens Novel, Oliver Twist, there
is a character called “The Artful Dodger”. Well, I like to
put a twist, (pun intended) on that character by calling
myself, “The Dodger of Art” because for many years, that’s
exactly what I did, dodge my pursuit of the Arts. If an
artist or anyone else for that matter, doesn’t have a
determined sense of whom they are. Then they can be easily
swayed to become whom others think they should be.
I don’t know what’s ahead for me
as I continue this journey but I do know that ultimately
I’ll probably experience more joy, peace, and success
utilizing my gifts and talents than I have in the past.
Native of Gary, Indiana. Moved
to Toledo, Ohio in 1994
Wife of Rodell Fullilove Sr.
Married 24 years. Three Children, Three Grandchildren.
Favorite Style of Art: Art Deco
Interest: The will of God,
People and Culture, History, Science, Foreign Languages,
Literature, and Music