Maranda Russell is a multi-award-winning artist, author, poet, and blogger who also happens to have high-functioning autism. She suffers from a few mental and chronic pain conditions which greatly affects her life and makes her want to advocate for others going through similar things. Maranda lives in Dayton, Ohio with her husband and three cats. For more information, please visit marandarussell.com.
What excites you?
A lot of things lol. Great art, poetry, manga, graphic novels, fiction, movies, and music are some of the top things that come to mind. Also, sweets, animals (especially cute ones), the toys and books I collect, getting good reviews or winning awards for my own art and writing, and pleasant surprises. Things that excite me in a negative way would mainly be politics lol. What matters to you? Kindness, respect, creativity, passion, being authentic and honest, intelligence, loyalty, fairness (inequality really gets to me). What drives you? The desire to be heard and understood. A desire to leave something behind that means something, especially since I have chosen to not have children of my own, so I can't rely on that for any kind of legacy. What do you stand for? Personal freedom, women's and disability rights, working together as a community or just as human-kind to better the world, acceptance and respect of differences, peace, freedom of expression. What causes are special to your heart? Helping adults on the high-functioning autistic spectrum, as it seems we get lots of help while growing up, but then are often abandoned when we need support most and are expected to be independent adults. Also, helping anyone dealing with chronic pain or chronic illness, whether it be mental illness or physical. What's the difference you want to make? I want to raise awareness of issues faced by disabled people of all kinds. If I had the money, I would love to start community settings for adults on the spectrum (sort of like independent living communities for seniors). These places would help adults on the spectrum adjust to independent living with plenty of help available for financial issues, social issues, physical and mental health issues, etc. They would offer community activities to help autistic adults build social networks, as that is extremely hard on our own, and no one would have to go far from home to go to any of these activities. How does your advocacy and art go hand in hand? I believe that anything I feel is important tends to bleed through into my visual art and writing, how could it not? After all, my art and writing is an expression of my inner world and viewpoint. It reflects my hopes, fears, worries, joy, sadness, anger, etc.
If there's one message you want to leave readers with, what would it be? Care about others. Care about yourself. Care about the world. Find Maranda here:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005NWQN9W
How much do you care: about others, yourself and the world?