A Love Connection With Self

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Time to sacrifice a goat in a cave, slap people on the street with its bloody hide to help with fertility and purity, and then party all night! Well, maybe not any more. Luckily, the origins of this very loving Hallmark holiday is way in the past, so today we celebrate each other and our loved ones in a less sacrificial blood and chanting way.

I’m sure everyone who is in a relationship is planning dinners, gifts, and private moments, so I’ll get right to the point. I would like to add a little something else to this day, to be your own Valentine. I’m saying, let’s take the opportunity to watch how we talk to ourselves, trust me it’ll help your relationship.

Much of our self talk has a huge impact on our relationships. This stems from low self esteem and negative self worth. Many people find themselves not good enough to do or be something, and they make sure to remind themselves of this often.

In the area of love, this is one of the things that complicates our relationships. We sometimes get into a relationship with someone and convince ourselves that happiness lies in the other person. This is because we feel we are not worthy to make ourselves happy, and that we are incomplete.

Incompleteness is a silly concept, although it may sound romantic to tell someone that they complete you, really when you think about it, it’s stupid.

It is a concept full of expectations and assumptions. You expect the person to always complete you, and that will lead to resentment and judgment because ain’t nobody got time for that.

We tell ourselves that we are incomplete without this other person because we think they fill the void we feel in our being. They do not fill this void, they remind us how to fill it ourselves because they love us and we temporarily see ourselves through their eyes. This wears off eventually, and oh boy can things get complicated.

Rafi and Klee Silly In Love

Hey, all I’m saying is if you love someone, you better love yourself and be nice to yourself, or you’ll be making yourself miserable no matter who you have around. You’ll also be making the person you love miserable. Food for thought.

Love you valentine! From both of us!

Being Happy Is A Creative Job

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the beginning of a new year, maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling under the weather the last couple weeks, or maybe it is because its been gloomy all day, but I’ve been thinking about happiness.

Rafi and Klee Nerds

I figured that happiness is all about creativity. What I mean is you create your own happiness. You can’t really find it in your pocket or in the glove box. So, here are the Three things I came up with today that allow me to be happy. I figured I would share, and see if you can enjoy them as well.

Define Happiness.

Come up with your own definition of what it means to be happy. Make sure it is your definition. I like this one, I borrow it from time to time.

Rafi Talking About Philosophy and Art

Happiness is being the creator of your experience, choosing to take pleasure in what you have, right now, regardless of the circumstances, while being the best you that you can be.

~Alex Shalman

Appreciate Now.

Whenever I’m in the moment, and I’m really present to what I’m feeling, seeing, hearing, or doing, I allow myself to experience a sense of euphoria. It isn’t often that in our fast paced society we are able to stop ourselves from thinking about the future, or dwelling over the past, so a nice dose of now is a refreshing change.

Rafi With Klee Art

Don’t Become, Just Be.

If you’re constantly thinking into some future where you can be happy, you’ll be in the habit of trying to be happy. If you are trying to do happy, you aren’t doing it, you’re just trying. Instead, if you just become happy with your current situation, you can be happy any time and place.

Rafi and Klee Art

When you’re working on being happy, you are the type of person that created the possibility that you are not currently happy.

~Roger Smith

And that’s it… I know that hardly covers what it takes to be happy, but it is definitely a start… Besides, I have art to create. 🙂

Being Quiet Makes Me Creative

I know what you’re thinking, but I can be quiet… kinda… sometimes.

To be fair to myself I’m not really talking about keeping your mouth shut, or not speaking your mind, I think you should always speak your mind.

On a side note, speaking your mind with love and being non-judgmental is what I actually mean when I use that term. Too many people spew garbage and call it speaking their mind. In my opinion when people spew hatefulness they’re just barfing up their reasons for blaming someone else for how they feel.

Meditation In The Art Studio

I guess I’m talking about meditation. Yep, I said it, meditation… It’s cool. You can believe that from someone who still occasionally uses the word “cool” and thinks its… well… cool.

So, let’s get right into it. What are the benefits to an artist of quieting your mind for at least 5 minutes a day?

Deep Intuition

When you allow the myriad of thoughts and emotions to settle, you might just find that you open up the way for valuable creative insights and “a-ha!” moments. Especially when it comes to that project that keeps looking like a turd no matter what you do.

“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes things worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things — that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.”

Steve Jobs
Meditation In The Kitchen

Staying focused on your work.

It’s incredibly difficult to sit down and complete any sort of creative project when your attention is constantly being pulled away by phone notifications, social media updates, and zombie attacks.

Perhaps the single most valuable use of meditation for the creative person is in warding off unwanted distractions. A number of studies have shown meditation to improve focus, attention, and self-control. Distractions keep us stuck on the shallow surface of the mind. If we want to come up with truly creative ideas, we must have the focus to “go deep.”

“If you want to catch a little fish, you can stay in the shallow water, but if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.”

David Lynch
Meditation In The Office

Overcome fear and self-criticism.

Fear is the most powerful creativity-killer there is. Meditation helps overcome fear of failure and harsh self-judgments. By turning down the volume on the voice of our inner critic, meditation helps us move into a place of pure self-expression and enjoyment.

You’re essentially training your thinking muscle. Most of us have thoughts come in and take control over how we feel, yet they’re our thoughts, we think them. Meditation helps you flex and work out a process of understanding that you don’t have to believe and feel every thought you have… you can observe it and pick and choose what to think about. You think your thoughts, your thoughts don’t think you.

Being present to what’s around you.

Great artists are great observers — of life, the human condition, nature, their environment, and social norms. Creating art requires being deeply attuned to life in the myriad of ways it presents itself.

Meditation In The Bathroom

Relaxed and at ease.

We’re more creative when we’re relaxed and at ease. It’s as simple as that. Meditation has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels, lessen feelings of anxiety and depression, and reduce negative self-talk while also boosting mood and overall well-being, thereby putting you in your most energized, creative mindset.

Enjoy your quiet time 🙂

Welcome To 2019 Earthlings

This time of year I always seem to find myself more contemplative than ever. It’s almost like I can’t help but evaluate my experiences of last year and come up with a fuzzy idea of a plan that is not really a plan for the new year.

Rafi Perez Painting Explorer

I think everyone does this to one extent or another. I remember back in my less optimistic days, this time of year was only a reminder that time was running out. I would spend most of my time thinking about lost opportunities, and how terrible my year went. Yeah, I was not a ray of sunshine back then, and to be honest, my life was a reflection of my attitude.

Luckily for me, I stopped being a dumb-ass and started to appreciate this thing we call life.

My new year resolutions are not the typical “I want my butt to look better in jeans” type of resolutions (my butt looks great in jeans, btw), they have more to do with realizations I had throughout the year.

The one that is really on my mind is based on our recent trips and around 60 hours worth of conversations on said trips with Klee.

  • Appreciating every single individual moment that I spend being alive, and really taking advantage of the fact that I am breathing and able to make decisions that impact my life now. Essentially, not waiting around for things to happen, but just living now. Our experience last year was a solid realization that life is extremely short… So EVERY moment is precious.
  • Remembering that I am unique, but so is everyone else and there really isn’t such a thing as normal. Everyone is weird, but there are those who embrace it, and there are those who hide it. Embrace it always.

Well, that’s all I have so far, it’s still a work in progress and Klee and I will probably have some long conversations about feelings, goals, life, and other fun stuff. Have fun figuring out your awesome resolutions for 2019.

Oh yeah, play more guitar, write more blogs, film more videos, create more amazing art, and try to ween myself off of Snyder’s buffalo pretzel bits, those are on the list as well, so we’ll see how those go for 2019. Just kidding on the pretzel bits, I’m never gonna give those up.

Rafi Perez Playing Guitar

Today Is The Last Day For Calendars

Ho Ho Ho and such! I’ve got some important news about ordering, Holiday shipping times, and all the craziness involved.

I also wanted to make sure you guys are aware that today is the last day to order Calendars. That is December 5th, 2018 until 11:59PM Central Time. At midnight I will be pulling the listings down. Thank you so much to everyone that ordered a Calendar! I appreciate you guys so much.

Calendars

Last year some people missed the deadline, and wanted to know if I can “help a brotha out” but alas I could not, and I felt really bad about it, but it would have messed up the orders that were already placed.

Also, in the last blog I put information about holiday ordering and shipping times, it’s important, so I’m going to share it again.

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HOLIDAY ORDERING AND SHIPPING FROM RAFI AND KLEE

Order cutoff dates are as follows, to ensure timely delivery for Christmas. Domestic orders (continental US), for bespoke (made to order) items: December 11th. Limited collection (ready to ship) items: Dec 17th. All international orders: December 3rd.

Order-Deadline-Rafi-and-Klee

Shipping time

Usually, it takes 2-7 business days, but most shipping companies do not work during weekends. Strikes, severe weather conditions, flight delays, increased volumes, and other unforeseeable issues may cause an increase in shipping time. So keep that in mind.

The Happy Art Tour THAT
The Happy Art Tour THAT

Oh, btw… You’re awesome and we love you. I know it’s been all business with deadlines and ordering for the Holidays, so I want to take the time out to say, I really appreciate you and thank you for being so supportive.

-Rafi

 

4 Special Stocking Stuffers To Give From Rafi And Klee

That time of year is upon us where we desperately try to remember what the people who are near and dear to us would like in their stocking. In the spirit of the holidays I have compiled a list of our most popular stuff to stuff a stocking with.

These are gifts that are both affordable and meaningful from our collections of fine jewelry and fine art.

Rafi and Klee Christmas 2015

PLEASE NOTE: While people are generally overflowing with joy and uncontainable excitement, this season can also cause a bit of stress for us with increased orders and workload or winter storms that can drastically impact delivery times. It is important to us that you get your gifts.

Order-Deadline-Rafi-and-Klee
Order cutoff dates are as follows, to ensure timely delivery for Christmas. Domestic orders (continental US), for bespoke (made to order) items: December 11th. Limited collection (ready to ship) items: Dec 17th. All international orders: December 3rd.

Ok, now that’s out of the way, on to the fun:

Tiny Hammered Disk Earrings – Sterling Silver and 14k Solid Gold “Mini Gong” Earrings $59.00

Mini Gong Earrings
These elegant little sterling silver concave disk earrings feature subtle hammered texture, beautiful light play, minimalist design, and mixed metal versatility with 14k solid gold hexagonal beads nested in each disk. They wear perfectly for dress up or dress down and look amazing with just about anything. These just might be your new favorite wear everyday earrings.

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Three Little Birds Wall Art by artist Rafi Perez Original Artist Enhanced Print On Wood $25.00

Curate Your Space
This is a high quality print of my work on textured archival art paper. I enhance my prints using either ink, paint, pastel, or a combination of mediums. Each one is unique, this Piece is mounted on wood and ready to hang out of the box. It is completely hand crafted by me, with unique texture patterns added by hand, no two are exactly the same. These pieces are signed and dated on the back. Check Out rest of my CURATE YOUR SPACE pieces.

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Green Fluorite Crystal Necklace – Solid Sterling Silver – Raw Fluorite Octahedron Crystal – Long Layering Necklace $60.00 (Was $75.00)

Green Fluorite Crystal Necklace
A luminous raw pale green fluorite octahedron sits serene in it’s solid sterling silver woven bezel. The design is reminiscent of cathedral windows and old world lanterns, centering on the beauty of the light that passes through the crystal. A modern interpretation of a beautiful relic from times gone by. This fluorite crystal is raw and translucent with some beautiful crystal inclusions. Worn alone or layered with shorter necklaces, it makes a contemporary but organic statement.

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Four Seasons – 4 Piece – Tree Paintings on Reclaimed Wood By Artist Rafi Perez $131.75 (was $155.00)

Seasons of change
Original Abstract Textured Tree Mixed Medium Paintings on Re-purposed wood Part of “The Seasons of Change Series” This series came together over a period of time in which I experimented with the feeling of the season. Eventually the Seasons of Change evolved to what you see now.

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Also! Don’t forget! Calendar Order deadline is tomorrow, December 5th. Please order yours before they are gone.

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Calendar Ship Date And Updates

I am so appreciative and grateful of the response I’ve been getting to the Calendars. I’ll be honest, I was a bit surprised at how many of you showed excitement over the new designs. Truly, from my heart, I thank you.NOB-Mockup-8

My plan is to have all the calendars ready to ship no later than December 15th, which will put the calendar in your hands before Christmas. My goal is to ship them the same day I get them from the printer, so it may ship earlier, either way I will keep you updated.

Once the deadline passes in 4 days, its go time. That’s when the craziness begins and the process truly gets started. Speaking of deadlines, I noticed that there are several calendars sitting in carts, I really hope whoever you are, you don’t miss the deadline, because once I have my final order number, that’s it, these are coming down.

Rafi-Calendar-in-carts

If you haven’t gotten one yet, please order online, by following the link below. I have it set up this way so that I can keep track of the orders. I will not be selling calendars in person at the market, sorry.

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20% Off And Free Shipping! All Rafi Art And Klee Jewelry

It’s that time of year again! When big companies have sales and everyone loses their mind shopping. Usually this time of year is not a big deal for us since we don’t have the advertising budget to promote ball buster deals… which, I’m not even sure I know what that is, or if I got the term right.

Cyber week sale! Nov 20th-25th Enjoy 20% off all items in our shops, no coupon code necessary. Take advantage of free shipping (domestic only) on all orders!

Art and Jewelry sale (1)

We do, however, have a beautiful and amazing small dedicated few that would rather get hand crafted art and jewelry from us than the mass produced big box store merchandise.

Because of this, Klee and I decided it would be awesome to have a sale for our awesome following and collectors!

Art and Jewelry sale (3)

Cyber week sale! Nov 20th-25th Enjoy 20% off all items in our shops, no coupon code necessary. Take advantage of free shipping (domestic only) on all orders!

Also my Calendars are now available for order until the December 5th deadline.

I would appreciate early ordering so I can have them all shipped out by the shipping date!

Art and Jewelry sale (2)

So visit our online stores:

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Visit Rafi’s Art – https://rafiperezart.com/

Visit Klee’s Jewelry – https://kleeangelie.com/

Buy Calendars – https://rafiperezart.com/shop/25052164/2019-calendars

Oh, wait… it’s Door Buster Deals… that makes a little more sense.

Life Is Happening Right Now

As some of you know, the last few days Klee and I have been putting some mileage on our little yellow Jeep. We scheduled a trip up north to visit my youngest kids for a couple days and watch my daughter perform in her fall play.

On-The-Road

I’ll be honest, the idea of scheduling any kind of trip during the holiday season is not something that is easy for me because of the potential loss of income for our business while traveling. Not to mention, there is technically no one there to run the business while we are on the road. Throw in the ever looming uncertainty of being career artists and you can imagine my struggle.

But, you know, I realized something… Life is happening right now. I’m not saying that my art career is not a part of my life, because it is, it’s a great part of my life… but it is not all there is to life. My life is a complex series of moments that involve all the different facets of the ever changing human that I am.

Rafi-and-Klee-Cold

Don’t worry, I’m not quitting my art career, that would be ridiculous. I love creating art, it is definitely a large part of who I am. I’m not sure I would even know what to do if I wasn’t creating something.

What I am saying is, I think I have to put myself in check. So not much will change except the way I see things on the inside, so don’t freak out… I’m not going anywhere.

Alex-Driving

My trip was amazing, Klee and I froze our butts off in the wintry weather, we hung out with two little amazing humans, got to teach my daughter a little something about driving, and got to see an awesome performance by my superstar… Life is good.

Alex-On-Stage

There are so many things to be appreciated in life. So many little things that can leave such a beautiful impact. These little things in of themselves can seem unimportant when you are thinking about your career or making money, but it is those small moments that are so powerful.

Zach-and-Coffee

A hot chocolate in a cute cafe, on the main street, in a small town, in the mountains, that is decorated for Christmas, with my son complaining, is a memory that I will always cherish.

I guess what I am saying, is to be aware that you are not turning something that you love into a serious thing that keeps you from experiencing the things that you want to experience in life. It’s easy to say “I don’t have the time or money to do that”, and honestly sometimes you don’t, but will it be something you’ll regret not doing?

Rafi and Klee Photography

I guess I’m thinking about this because we just got back and will be leaving again tonight and going down south to a funeral. Life and death, it’s the one thing we all share, we live and we die.

I hope I’m not getting you down, that’s not my intention. I just think it’s important to stop and think about these things every once in a while.

Because life is precious… and it’s happening right now… Enjoy it now, while you can… every beautiful moment.

 

 

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It’s Been A Fantastic Ride So Far

This month is always fun for me, because it marks the anniversary of Klee and I taking a chance on the unknown. It will be about 9 years since we jumped into the Explorer and decided to go on an adventure to push our limits beyond what we had experienced.

Randk trip (22)

I’ll never forget the day that Klee looked at me seriously (it was a very dramatic tele-novella look) and said “I’m going with you”. See, I had decided that I was going to travel around the country and experience a new perspective on life. Despite the fact that my family kept saying I would probably die from eating poison berries, my mind was set.

In fact, even finally meeting the love of my life and developing a beautiful new relationship wasn’t going to deter me from taking this journey.

Randk trip (46)

I had spent my life the same way that many people do, being someone who I wasn’t. I mean, I didn’t really know who I was. I knew I liked certain things, didn’t like other things, got mad about things, and laughed at others… but I wasn’t sure if it was just who I thought I should be, or who I really was.

Randk trip (15)

I had never really taken a look at myself from the outside, or challenged my own thoughts. I just reacted to situations and circumstances in life, but never really asked the question “Why am I reacting this way?”. I think I was under the impression that I didn’t have a choice, that I was “just that way”.

As a result, my life sucked, or at least that’s how I felt. I think back then I was so far down the rabbit hole that no matter what the circumstances of my life could have been, I would have made it suck in my head.

Then I hit rock bottom… and it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

Randk trip (76)

It was as if someone had reset the computer in my head, and for the first time in my life, I was questioning why I was settling for beliefs that worked against me, and actually caused me to hate myself.

Cut to 2 years of self examination and I was ready to challenge the world.

Randk trip (53)

Yup, that’s who Klee decided to get in a car and travel around the country with. Some hairy bandanna wearing guy that freaked out her mother.

A guy that she would spend weeks in the middle of the everglades with.

Randk trip (143)

A guy that she hiked shark valley with, even though we underestimated what 14 miles would take out of us.

A guy that she took turns with hugging a four and a half foot alligator named Leroy.

A guy she wrote music with and performed live while his knees gave out because he was so nervous.

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A guy that she lived in Key West with for several months while they worked out some of their baggage.

A guy that she went kayaking with for their first time and got lost in the sun for six hours and still had a blast even though they were sunburned.

Randk trip (8)

A guy that encouraged her to interview David Sheely who is the top investigator of the Florida Skunk Ape.

A guy she encouraged to show his art for the first time… and who is forever grateful.

A guy that loves her more and more every day and can’t possibly write down all the amazing things we have done so far.

Randk trip (116)

I’m so happy she did.

So, here we are still on this adventure. We may not be driving around the country but we are most definitely staying true to who we are as best we can every day. What I didn’t know back then, when I planned this adventure was that I would be sharing it with Klee… And that I am ever changing, and so is she… So no matter what, every day is a new adventure.