Artist Bio

Paula Elaine Fullilove


I was in the kindergarten when I first discovered the POWER of art. The teacher on this particular day had given us all some clay (maybe you are old enough to remember clay when it looked like a green stick of butter). My teacher, Mrs. Churchill had given but one instruction: “Play with it.” However you choose to look at it, there’s power in both the creator and the observer of art.


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


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