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PROJECT 11 Participant: Ruth Rachel

  • By Olivia Samuel
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Inspirational true-life stories can be a very powerful form of motivation in taking action or making a positive change in your life. And when it comes to business success stories, nothing motivates us more than seeing talented people achieve their goals while pursuing their God-given passion.

So today we introduce you to a young woman who is making a full time living as an artist, doing what she loves to do. Her given name is Ruth-Rachel Joeroeja but she goes by the name Rachel Nijman.

THE BIRTH OF AN ARTIST
Rachel was raised by her mother, a loving single parent who worked very hard to pay the bills while still being able to give her two daughters the love and attention they needed. Rachel thinks of her mother as her hero and role model.

Her mother who was very passionate about art and loved to write and draw in her notebooks. Little did she know that her drawings would nurture her toddler's curiosity and that she would have to share her notebooks since Rachel started drawing circles, squares and lines in them. Her creative expression flourished with age.

In school, she was always selected and stimulated by teachers and classmates to participate in school drawing competitions and when she participated she always won the first prize.
Even though it was very clear that she was a creative artist by birth, her creative expression atrophied because of some personal issues she was dealing with.

AWAKENING AFTER A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE
Rachel her mother was doing an amazing job raising her but she was still dealing with a father-hunger which led to depression at a very young age. She was often bitter, had suicidal thoughts and hung out with the wrong people.

At the age of sixteen, Rachel almost lost her life due to a bowel perforation which was in such a critical stage that it caused a widespread infection in her blood. After her recovery, she had a sudden moment of awakening! She reflected on her life and came to the realization that she was being selfish. That is when she decided to stop thinking about herself only because she had a loving mother and little sister who looked up to her. They were very dear to her and she realized how painful it would be for them if they lost her because of her irresponsible acts. From that moment on, she started to change her life. Slowly but surely her focus shifted from all the negative stuff to doing what she loved again. She spent time drawing, reading, writing and listening to music and she turned in to a positive and responsible person who took responsibility for her life.

DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL
“It was only natural that she choose to study art after her high school graduation. She was very good in school and was even asked to showcase her works during expositions. Because of her experience and talent with art, she was always a step ahead. She wanted more and started seeking other ways to improve her talent.
In the end, Rachel refused to go about her art career in a traditional way and dropped out of school at the age of 22. Though previous generations were taught that finishing school is the guaranteed gateway to having a successful career, she believes that a world-class education can equally be found outside the classroom.

THE RISE OF THE FULLTIME ARTIST
This incredibly positive, talented, and strong woman started to spent hours drawing and painting in her bedroom that she turned into a creative workspace. Drawing helps her understand people and she especially draws hand and eyes since she believes that those two tell a lot about someone's aura. People can communicate with their eyes and hand without saying a word.

Today at the age of 24, painting is as essential as breathing. Her art is her life, her story, her journey, and sharing it with others makes it even more important to her. Working long hours, constantly changing things and obsessing over the smallest details paid off because today she is able to make a living off selling her artworks.

She is very excited about exhibiting her artwork at the Urban POP-UP gallery. She praises the initiative of DRESSCODE and is open to learning from them and the other participants. Later this month she will also exhibit on her own for the first time.





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