Rubyetc: It's all absolutely fine.
Digital team's blog
At the Rethink Mental Illness x CAMHS: Meet The Author club, people with lived experience, bloggers and authors come together to discuss a book focused on mental illness.
Below, Jummy, one of our members, has written a review on It's All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot. Ruby, who is known as Rubyetc online, is an amazing illustrator who uses her art to portray the way most of us living with mental illness feel.
This is a book that is all about Ruby Elliot (‘Rubyetc’) and it’s clear how authentic Ruby is with what she posts and writes about.
The book starts with a 16-year-old Ruby in her bedroom discovering mental illness. Ruby's personality really shines through, as she is able to use humour and therapeutic methods to articulate and illustrate her mental illness. Ruby questions if life can really be ‘absolutely fine’.
The message of this book is conveyed best By Ruby Elliot in the following, “I don’t want to shy away from the realities and extremities of my illness, but at the same time I want to make it clear that I am also a person who has a lot of the everyday experiences. Just because we are ill doesn’t mean we don’t have personalities and opinions and capacity to be something other than a diagnosis or set of symptoms.” I believe in this quote strongly as this what Ruby puts into all of her illustrations, showing that she can express herself artistically, which is a challenge itself to activate change.
Moreover, this book is unique to other books based on mental health, as before Rubyetc, no one had attempted to illustrate mental health, feelings and emotions in these kind of witty, sharp illustrations. Ruby does this so successfully, as it's so much easier to understand how someone feels when it's drawn in this way.
The book takes the reader on a journey through Ruby's life and if you're looking to find out how a young school girl went on to become a succesful innovator without completing college due to her mental illness, this is the book for you!
As you might be able to tell, I absolutely loved it. It made me feel that I am not online. I can really relate to wanting to say "it's all absolutely fine', when deep down I know it's clearly very 'complicated'. I am in totaly admiration of her courage to draw it all out, as I still hate my drawing in my therpay sessions! As the cover of the book is a bright yellow, it would have been nice to have a splash of colour inside.
So what did I take away from this book? Learn to apply humour to everyday situations and turn negatives into positives with the 'It's All Absolutely Fine' method!
If you would like to see moreof Rubyetc, you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.