I’m going to just dive into the interview with my next guest. After exploring her work, I was so inspired by her journey that I had to share with the world. This is just a portion of the pathway she endured, but once you read this I know you will be impacted.
Meet Ruth Poniarski – Artist + Author of “Journey of the Self-Memoir of an Artist”
It started as a college prank; a friend offered Ruth Poniarski a brownie that, unbeknownst to her, was laced with angel dust. What resulted was a debilitating accident, and the first of many mental breakdowns that spiraled into diagnoses of psychosis, schizophrenia, severe anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Long Island native Ruth Poniarski has released her first book, “Journey of the Self-Memoir of an Artist”, published by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Warren Publishing. Poniarski’s unflinchingly honest memoir shares her coming-of-age story through the lenses of mental illness, disability, and steadfast determination.
Thank you so much Ruth for being apart of my community and various platforms.
Please help me welcome my next guest🎙💛✨ 🎨✍🏽
Author + Artist
Featured Entrepreneur: Meet Ruth Poniarski – Artist + Author of “Journey of the Self-Memoir of an Artist”
Interviewed by: Anna Svetlik De La Rosa
Episode: # 96
MY INTERVIEW WITH RUTH PONIARSKI
Q1. What did you want to be growing up?
When I was very young I wanted to be a nurse. That changed into wanting to be a lawyer during high school. However, in the back of my mind, I knew I was talented in fine arts but I was discouraged from following that pursuit.
Q2. Tell us about you:
I grew up in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. I attended the public schools and when I was seven years old my mother took me to a life drawing class where I sketched a drawing of a female nude model. From that moment on, art was ingrained in my soul, although as I mentioned before, my mother discouraged me from pursuing fine art as a career. So instead, I enrolled in a five year architecture program, a male dominated field in the 1970’s-1980’s. In my fourth year at college, I unknowingly ingested a brownie cake laced with angel dust ( pcp ), given to me by a male friend at an intimate college party. From that moment on, my life became a living hell. Every six months to a year, I experienced nervous breakdowns, several life threatening. In spite of these gigantic obstacles, I earned a degree in architecture, traveled abroad alone, was employed in the field of construction and architecture, dated ( always looking for Mr. Right ) believing that marriage would cure my psychological impairments and stresses ( beyond belief ). In 1984, my worsening mental condition resulted in a horrific accident, after having severe insomnia for seven days, spurred on by participating in a confrontational psychological workshop. Escaping my neighbors, who I imagined were going to murder me, I climbed out of my apartment window, with a rope, believing I can rappel down the wall. I fell thirty feet, was hospitalized and in rehab for two months, in a wheel chair for six months, and finally found the right doctor, when my life took a turn for the better. I eventually found my husband, started a family, and through my doctor’s optimistic guidance, commenced a career in fine art. I have been painting since 1988.
Q3. What is one of your most treasured accomplishments?
My most treasured accomplishments include: I have been married for thirty five years to a wonderful ‘down to earth’ man. My two children are independent, self sufficient adults whom I passed down my wisdom through profound adversity. I wrote my memoir, “Journey of the Self-Memoir of an Artist”, depicting my life of hell, but always moving forward with hope, never giving up, which as a model, I believe could help many people.
Q4. Tell how you process work load stress or personal stress or just to much coming at you at one time? What is your Personal Process?
I handle stresses through expressive painting and writing and talking with family and friends ( a support group developed over the years ). My process for creating paintings is extensive by using art supplies , involving day dreaming, free association, photography, research, and spontaneous development of narrative. This process is similar in my writing as well.
Q5. What advice would you give to someone looking to just start their career as an artist, a creator and author?
A career as an artist: It takes time to develop a style, a visual language. Don’t rush to exhibit in a gallery, until you have accomplished a portfolio of work that you feel is cohesive and represents your uniqueness as an artist.
A career as a writer: Write if you can everyday. Develop a process for compiling a story, memoir, essay, etc. Remember, you may write passages several times before you reach the final manuscript.
Q6. Do you have any artist that you look up to or admire their work?
I cherish Magritte, Rembrandt, Frida Kahlo, Rousseau, and Rodin.
Q7. If you could speak to one woman from history, who would it be?
I would love to speak with Frida Kahlo
Q8. What lights you up on the inside?
What lights me up inside is seeing my kids succeed in their lives and helping people through my memoir.
Q9. What’s your favorite quote?
Favorite quote from my doctor:
‘The best therapy is outside of therapy’
Q10. What are you currently working on that you would like to share more about?
I am writing a historical fiction titled “Beginnings”. It is based on my great grandfather, who played the flute in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was hired to be a member of John Philip Sousa’s band in America, 1894.
Q11. Where can we find you?
More About Ruth: https://battlingmentalillnessalone.com
Ruth’s PR: Garis Media Group:
Poem By Ruth Poniarski:
I must evaluate myself
the world within
Hence I derive pleasure
from the state
I am in
Shall I stay here
to the forest’s silence
I can see
emotions and organs
that the planet’s creatures
captivate each other
my skin will shed (recede)
and the stranger before me
The choice of communications
will determine my direction
and link my travels
in search of truth
and with the passages of history
As I struggle to speak
often trapped by my expression
To err (foible) is human
For I am like the stranger (fox)
in a melding world
I set myself free.