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Happy Thanksgiving – Let The Craziness Begin

Happy Thanksgiving!!!! This is the day where Klee and I contemplate our year and appreciate where we are and who we are. This year has had a bunch of stupid challenges for us all, but there is so much to be grateful for. We are grateful for you reading this right now and so I give you a big turkey hug… or tofurkey hug, depending on your preference. Other than gratitude, I have had something else on my mind.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the holidays coming up and holiday sales. Things are actually changing a little due to the pandemic. Thanksgiving is two days away and the holiday shopping season officially starts the day after. Every year the sale has started earlier and earlier, I have some friends that pull an all-nighter on Thanksgiving every year for the Black Friday craziness. This is usually followed by Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and finally, the Holiday Shopping weeks leading up to Christmas.

Every year, Klee and I gear up for this season and prepare for the madness. Usually, we have a local face to face presentation at the market and put together an open holiday studio day where people can visit the studio and peruse the art and jewelry available. That is not going to happen this year. We pulled out of the market (which was canceled for most of the year due to the pandemic) and have to be careful about who we invite into our space. Luckily, some artists will be able to take advantage of little markets that are popping up now for the holidays, we however will not. Klee and I have been very careful this year since my father has all the conditions that the “RONA” loves.

Admittedly, the holidays are not big for art. Art is very personal and honestly what if you get someone a nice work of art and they don’t connect with it? So I usually focus on my calendars, special commissions, and my textured prints. Every year I try to focus on something new that I’ve never tried before to see if it meets the needs of the holiday shopping hoard, which makes it a fun social experiment. Klee on the other hand creates something that is personal, beautiful, unique, and much easier to gift. She’s usually the breadwinner during the holidays while I bring in little scraps of roadkill here and there, but we get by pretty well.

In 2020, however, we are completely reliant on the internet (which was out and spotty for 2 months after the hurricane) so that has changed everything. To say that it has been a year of challenges and having “make it work” moments is an understatement. So this year in lieu of an open holiday studio we are having a Virtual Open Studio live stream event on December 4th (More details soon). Our plan is to make it laid back, fun, and full of gifts for people who will actually take time out of their day to watch us.

We are also running various sales on things like the limited edition calendars and special items only created for the holidays. In the meantime, Klee and I are working on commissions, special art and jewelry for the live sale, and a book that will release early next year. One thing that I have learned from being a full-time artist for over a decade (Our Studio Anniversary is tomorrow November 25th, 2009) is that no matter what things look like financially, you have to keep moving forward and create your own opportunities. Sometimes those harebrained ideas pay off, sometimes it takes years, and sometimes they wither and die… but no matter what, you gotta keep creating.

No matter what, this holiday season is going to be different than pre-2020 with less in-store shopping. Looking back, I’ll be honest, Black Friday got a little ridiculous.

It started with opening 8 am Friday morning.

The next year being 5 am…

To the next year being 2 am…

To the next year being midnight…

Finally to last year when stores opened just after Thanksgiving dinner between 5 pm – 8 pm on Thursday evening.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of employees having to go to work on Thanksgiving and deal with an extra day of Black Friday madness. If you have never worked retail, I can tell you that it is a nightmare scenario.

Because of the pandemic, store openings will look noticeably different this year. Stores, such as Walmart, BestBuy, and Target, that have been known to open on Thanksgiving day to begin their Black Friday sales early, are in fact closed on Thanksgiving day this year. The earliest opening I’ve come across for this year is 5 am on Friday, November 27th.

Honestly, Black Friday has begun much earlier this year online, with many companies doing either “Pre-Black Friday” online sales, or even simply starting their Black Friday promotions early. Although I’m sure you are disappointed that you will not have the bloodshot bleary eyes from staying up all night watching people rip apart dolls and fight over parking spots, you can find most sales online.

Cyber Monday sales will also probably continue the sales over a week past Thanksgiving.

For small business Saturday, I know small businesses could really use some love, so could the artists and vendors who are setting up for shows and markets… So support local, whether you do it online or in person, support those badasses.

We will most likely be doing a Small Business Saturday Sale as a thank you to our awesome collectors and friends out there who have helped us get through some tough times this year.

Either way, whatever you do, whether you are a shopper, a business, or an alien, be safe and smile. If you can support local businesses please do so. This year has been extremely challenging for a lot of us, and I want to just send you my love. My final thought is this, it is all just stuff, what REALLY matters here is the human connection we have with each other… that is why I am a big fan of these shops staying closed until it is ACTUALLY Black Friday… Families could take a day to eat good food and feel grateful without having to run out after dinner… Just my opinion.

We’d love to hear your thoughts! How will you be approaching holiday sales this year? Let us know in the comments.

Stay safe, and happy shopping!

Rafi and Klee wish you Happy Holidays
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Are You Too Emotional?

This month has been personally challenging for us… well, this year has been a challenging cluster of fudge. No matter how much we try to avoid negative crap in our lives, crap happens sometimes… or a lot of times. 

For the most part, Klee and I focus on the positive and look on the bright side of things. Even then, there are times that can get overwhelmingly craptastic. It should come as no big surprise that when stuff goes wrong, things tend to stack one on top of the other. 

This is where the last proverbial straw can easily break the camel’s back. 

“That’s the last straw!!! I can’t take this anymore!!” may come out of your mouth or other less PG statements which all mean the same thing… I have had enough.

No matter how much we focus on the positive and look on the bright side of things, there is always a chance of being overwhelmed by negative emotions and dark thoughts. In other words, when it feels like it is just too much, it is easy to lose your shit.

Some people build a wall around this because they see it as a weakness to get angry or emotional. Usually, these people are more concerned about what other people may think of them, so behind closed doors they struggle in solitude while the world around them only sees what they want them to see. Honestly, this is the culture we all live in. It is normal to put up a strong front for other people when you are literally falling apart inside.

On the flip side to this, you have people that easily lose their shit and become volatile. They are so consumed by their own drama that they completely overlook what the people around them are going through. They become absorbed by what is happening to them and want others to feel empathy without feeling empathy themselves.

I grew up with examples of both.

With one person, I had no idea what they were actually feeling so I would overcompensate to try and get an emotional response. I always felt like I couldn’t get anywhere with them, and when I broached on a subject that was buried, they would lash out and get defensive… that’s usually where the conversation ended and I would walk away feeling like I had done something wrong. Most times this person would tell me I was doing it wrong and it was my fault that they didn’t open up.

With the other person, I was constantly walking on eggshells to make sure I didn’t say, do or have something random go wrong because it would set them off. This is where you try and control circumstances in the environment because you want the other person not to encounter a trigger. I was perpetually trying to predict and prevent anything that would make them upset. Again, I would overcompensate and usually cause a situation to become worse. When this person had a meltdown, they usually got upset with whoever was there and lashed out.

The interesting thing is that everyone has these moments, moments where shit gets to you. Some of us have an explosive moment and reflect and realize that is not who they are or who they want to be… many don’t. 

It’s like the social norm is to be either a person who doesn’t allow feelings to break their social appearance, or you are just an emotional wreck.

The thing is, WE ALL HAVE EMOTIONS… AND WE ALL HAVE A CHOICE ON HOW WE DEAL WITH OUR EMOTIONS. We all lose our shit sometimes, even if you bury feelings or use them as a weapon. The problem is not knowing that there is a big difference between reacting or choosing to respond. I think growing up being called too emotional or that we don’t have feelings is the reason people are not educated in dealing with their emotions.  

Reacting: Something triggers an emotion and you react with a knee-jerk response that is typical of the way you usually react. You tell people things like “Whenever YOU do that it causes me to do this, so stop doing it that way.” Some of these reactions have been repeated thousands of times over your lifetime and are usually learned habits. When this happens, there are usually conditions in place that need to be met in order to trigger it or make it go away.

Responding: Something triggers an emotion and you react with a knee-jerk response that is typical of the way you usually react. At some point (either right away or when you are in the midst of the reaction fog) you stop and take your focus off of the trigger and ask yourself “Is this who I want to be?” Understanding that you are dealing with your own habits and you can chip away at those little by little. You also understand that you have to face the feelings to actually make some headway. This means being brutally honest with yourself. It will require you to say things you don’t want to hear about your behavior and insecurities that you feel control you. This is the hardest part and why it’s easier to lash out and bury the dark feelings. Unless you confront those deep dark recesses of yourself, you may never release whatever is causing the emotional reaction.

Yesterday I shared a motivational artist mp3 with our rogue artists on Patreon. Motivational MP3’s are something I’ve created for myself over the last ten years. Basically, it’s me talking to myself, reminding myself of something that is easy to forget when a particular shit hits a particular fan in my life.

Listen To Rafi’s Motivational MP3’s

I have some recordings on staying motivated as an artist, continuing on despite the obstacles, and remembering that I get to choose my life no matter what the naysayers or I might think. They are my way at chipping away at the habits of insecurity that I may have. 

When you go down a downward spiral of reacting to anything in a negative way (person place or thing) things can easily stack on top of each other and next thing you know, you feel like you are drowning in molasses. 

As an artist, it is easy to feel discouraged, unmotivated, or even stupid and frivolous. We tend to feel lost in a wilderness of solitude surrounded by a world that doesn’t respect or understand what we do or why we do it. It’s easy to feel like you are losing. 

We are constantly just waiting for things to get easier.

I’m sorry, but I am going to be brutally honest with you now… Things never get easier, we just grow, evolve, and find better ways in overcoming obstacles. We form new habits and learn to smile more. We learn to not dwell on the past, or let our negative thoughts (or someone else’s) shape our world. 

It is the struggles, hardships, and moments where we feel we can’t keep going that make us stronger. These are the moments where you have an opportunity to show yourself once and for all who you really are.

So if you have what I like to call “A Momentary Lapse Of Brilliance” that’s fine. Just respond to it. It doesn’t define you. There is no such thing as TOO emotional, or NOT emotional enough… they are both ways of not confronting our own emotional shit.

So get mad and lash out and refuse to let it control you. You fight. You cry. You curse. You punch. You wave your fists at the heavens. Don’t blame the person, place, or thing… look at your own insecurities.

Tell your insecurity,  your bad day, your crappy situation, or whatever else “NOT TODAY!”

I GET TO CHOOSE

I GET TO DECIDE HOW I FEEL TODAY.

I’M IN CONTROL OF WHO I CHOOSE TO BE EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY. 

AND TODAY, I AM FOCUSED ON THE FACT THAT I AM A BADASS.

Then you live your damn life like the badass that you are. 

Remember, chip away… You may only be a teeny bit more badass than yesterday and THAT IS BADASS 🙂

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Surreally Complementary Group Art Show

This is surreally happening! It is that time again for some amazing art in your inbox from artists all over this blue dot. Below you will find pieces created for the Surreally Complimentary Collab Lab Challenge.

  • Parameter 1 – Incorporate at least one surrealistic element in your piece (you can go full-on surreal or just have one element).
  • Parameter 2 – Utilize only red and yellow (and any colors you can make with those, as well as values) as your color palette.
  • Parameter 3 – Include two contrasting/complementary elements in your piece (these can be imagery, textures, finishes, subjects, materials, etc).

I am excited to share these with you because they really push some boundaries. If you are interested in any of the pieces below that are for sale, please contact the artist. Enjoy this awesome show.


Ellen Reiser

Ellen Reiser

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$150.00
Artist Statement:
Title: Fried Chicken and Waffles with Maple Syrup

A surrealist study in yellow, red, black and white. In this day of social unrest, sharing a common meal seems to be a good way to bring people together. There are many recipes on the web for this delicious meal. Medium: Digital Drawing with Adobe Fresco. Find me at www.starrynightdiner.com

Chicken and Waffles on Wikipedia:
The exact origins of this dish are unknown, although several theories about its origin exist. Waffles entered American cuisine in the 1600s with European colonists. The food’s popularity saw a notable boost after 1789 with Thomas Jefferson’s purchase of four waffle irons in Amsterdam.

In the early 1800s, hotels and resorts outside Philadelphia served waffles with fried catfish. Such establishments also served other dishes like fried chicken, which gradually became the meat of choice due to catfish’s limited, seasonal availability. Waffles served with chicken and gravy were noted as a common Sunday dish among the Pennsylvania Dutch by the 1860s. A 1901 memoir recalled a tavern in East Liberty, Pennsylvania, well known for “suppers of spring chickens and waffles.” By the end of the 19th century, the dish was a symbol of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, brought on in part by its association with tourism.


Michel Belisle

Michel Belisle

Is It For Sale
No
Artist Statement:
In the spirit of the “Cadavre exquis.” This piece is devoid of any meaning or raison-d’être. It simply virtually “is.”
(digital collage)

Other unrelated elements can be found at https://belisssle.com


Everett Stanton

Everett Stanton

Is It For Sale
No
Artist Statement:
This Collab Lab is actually a performance that can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/3WJJLmOxTSw

Paper Straws Puppets and Studio is the dream project of artist, Everett Stanton. Ev deeply loves making, playing with, and filming puppets for all sorts of media and art projects. He hopes that his work truly brings pleasure to anyone who sees it. It is his main goal in life to build a group of like-minded artists who can live their dream though the creation of new, exciting and thoughtful work in the world. Thanks for taking the time to enjoy the video!

~Ev


Christopher Doll

Christopher Doll

Is It For Sale
SOLD
Artist Statement
They come from miles away, together, unquestioning their purpose. Compelled by anger, shame, and expectation. The visage can be seen for miles but they don’t recognize its form until it’s too late to turn back. Gazes lowered, lest they see the true horror, their last walk to the steps guided by the others who also hear the call. A masked sentinel is the last they see before they enter. None ever leave. christopher-doll.com


Lee Edward Evans

Lee Edward Evans

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$70.00
Artist Statement
Mirage

(16 X12) mixed Media (acrylic and oil pastels)

This piece was inspired by Egyptian heritage and the optical illusion know as a mirage. I wanted to capture the essence and Embodiment of the desert in the form of a goddess. The surrealism landscape complements this notion adds an over exaggerated form of a mirage.
For more information or more artwork please check out the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/Levansarts


Dana Ellis

Dana Ellis

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$150.00
Artist Statement
“Revealed”
11″X 14″ Acrylic and Oil
Women exude real beauty, but with a stroke of a brush what lies beneath is where her true beauty emerges.
www.danaellisart.com


Lee Suzanne Jordan

Lee Suzanne Jordan

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$275.00
Artist Statement
Youth vs. Wisdom uses a limited color palette and symbolic images to explore the concepts of secrets, growth, imagination and transformation. This is a surreal self-portrait. I included many creatures and objects that have personal meaning for me. Octopuses are one of my favorite creatures. They are smart, curious, caring, and creative. Pythons are dangerous but can also represent knowledge, healing and growth. One of the random elements I chose as part of the challenge was a bark texture, which I used on the face to represent time and contrast with the youthful side. On her left side, the figure is youthful and her hair transforms into flowering branches. On her right, she ages and her hair transforms into bare winter branches. I have mixed feelings about aging, and this Collab gave me different ways to explore the power and fragility of it. Medium: Acrylic on Birchwood, 11x14x1. website: www.lsjart.com


Rudi Bloes

Rudi Bloes

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$15.00
Artist Statement
This is not a burning forest.

4.3 x 4.3 inches
aquarel and white ink.

website: https://www.rudibloes.be on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rudibloesart/


Kyle Wood

Kyle Wood

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$750.00
Artist Statement
Title: To Observe And yet Disregard. Contrasting: “to observe” and “to disregard”. Some realities do not make sense here, so you have to disregard them to observe what is going on in this painting. Using only red and yellow with black and white as values, I created this image with chalk, colored pencil and acrylics on wood 24″ X 24″. This is apart of my dreamscape series that I am developing. The human forms are brought in to help you enter into this unreal world and navigating through various conflicting perspectives. I created the frame to allow the elements freedom to go where ever they please. Prints are available on my site: https://www.kylewoodcreations.com


cRuz kAi

cRuz kAi
Email
cruzkaihawaii@gmail.com
Is It For Sale
No
Artist Statement
Surreally Complementary Collab-lab October 2020
Rogue Artist – cRuz kAi
Title “Mellow Day 0.1”
Canvas 9” x 12”
Fluid & Soft Body Acrylics
Perimeter Colors – Yellow & Red / Values – Black & White


Megan McFadden

Megan McFadden

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$85.00
Artist Statement
I called this piece Toxic to me it means sometimes toxicity can go both ways. The mediums I used were ink and colored pencils on 9×12 Vellum Bristol Board.
The rest of my art is at www.instagram/azurasmallpaws


Heather Graye

Heather Graye

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$250.00
Artist Statement
“The Messenger”
24×30″ Oil over acrylic on museum-wrapped canvas
This piece was created to explore the nature of vision- both physical and spiritual.
Connect with the artist on Instagram @grayefineart or via email GrayeRN@gmail.com


Marilyn Savage

Marilyn Savage

Is It For Sale
No
Artist Statement
I created this stained glass piece for the Collab Lab but it does double duty for Halloween. It meets the color parameter for yellow and red. And it meets the parameter for two contrasting textures. It’s hard to see in this photo but the yellow glass is textured with tiny lines and the black glass is smooth. I went rogue and didn’t meet the third parameter which was to add a surreal element. This is the first piece I’ve made with decorative solder and I really like the look. The moon is a 9” diameter and the bat wings spread 13” from tip to tip. My website is gabrielleartsnv.com


Arzhela F

Arzhela F
Email
arzhelaf@gmail.com


Is It For Sale
No
Artist Statement
This art challenge included many firsts for me as a beginning painter. Not only was it my first challenge, but also a lot of time was spent planning the painting, including using thumbnails to test color palette decisions, and test painting different parts. There were some hard lessons learned, specifically about the limits of overworking the paper (which can be seen most clearly on the chameleon). The entire painting was about 60 hours of work, and has shown me possibilities beyond what I thought I was capable of producing.

One parameter of the challenge was the limited palette. A particular shade of yellow on my palette (Da Vinci Hansa Yellow Deep) glows like sunlight. It inspired me to create a painting based around a very bright planet/star/space object.

We are in a stark landscape with only a few trees. A weathered frame outlines a portal where a space traveler is reaching through. We see in the visor of the space traveler that their view is of a bright space object, but on our side of the portal, we see that it’s a ball of light to which a chameleon is calmly clinging.

My hope is to invite the viewer to ponder that both realities exist from different viewpoints. It’s worth considering the perspectives of others, to attempt to “walk in another’s shoes.” The chameleon illustrates the patient mindset needed to observe the other’s intentions. The space traveler is reaching through the portal, illustrating how we are always seeking a deeper understanding of what is in front of us.

Painted with Da Vinci professional watercolors on 9×12” Fluid 100 paper.


D. Mark

D. Mark
Email
fern7220@gmail.com


Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$75.00
Artist Statement
This challenge has been great fun! I painted a large old tree that still has some life in it and the egg as major components. The symbolic courageous old tree provides many things including food, fuel, and shelter. The egg stands for new growth, rebirth, and new life. The meaning here implies hope for the future.
The surrealist elements include a suspended spatula with a fried egg, egg fruit, and egg flowers hanging on the tree.
Why did I create this art? Simple-I love nature and I wanted to participate.
In this painting, I applied a very thick matte acrylic medium on the under the painted tree trunk, as I wanted it very textured. The old tree contrasts with the new eggs and egg flowers growing on the tree.
The creation of my art includes experimentation with different methods and materials in watercolor, mixed media, and acrylics. My style changes as I enjoy painting landscapes, whimsical art, and abstracts.

Title: Egg Tree
Painted with acrylics on 11×14″ stretched canvas.


Kelly Sterr

Kelly Sterr

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$400.00
Artist Statement
I haven’t yet given it a name but this painting signifies that in a heated situation those with the warmest heart, no matter what they shield themselves with, will always lose against someone who is cold hearted.


Sara Vicky Neville

Sara Vicky Neville
Email
Saraartist1508@yahoo.com
Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$600.00
Artist Statement
Hindu warrior goddess. That she is all women. connected to reality the element of fire. .real and unreal at the same time as all in this universe. ..40″X 34″ acrylic on canvas
No website currently. contact. For other available images: Saraartist1508@yahoo.com
Peace and Love


Jason Boushard

Jason Boushard

Is It For Sale
No
Artist Statement
I have always been a bit of a joker but having served 22 years in the military I have to be able to turn it off at a moment’s notice. The mouth moved to the eye and the eye moved to the mouth represents the shock my sailors would have the first time they saw the change. I think feeling like you can have fun at work is a huge factor in having a good work experience. My key things that would set off the change are being unsafe or disrespecting your shipmates regardless of rank. There is a place and time for everything.


Klee Angelie

Klee Angelie

Is It For Sale
No
Artist Statement
The Unwearable Ring. Objects like the one I’ve created here are highly upsetting to me. You know the ones, they’re often referred to as “mock objects”. Things that don’t function as they appear to. Things with which you cannot do the very action that the object beckons you to do. Pockets that are sewn shut, zippers that don’t zip, tables that look like a trunk but don’t open, musical instruments that are decorative and don’t play. Room recreations in museums that you aren’t allowed to enter. The fact that the bizarro opposite world in the mirror is entirely inaccessible… So I created a ring, carefully sized it and made sure it was comfortable to wear, meticulously set the center stone, and then made it completely unwearable. I can’t hold this ring in my hand without feeling that anxiety of wanting to slide it on my finger, and it cannot sit properly on a chain as a pendant. So the contrast for me here, is the pleasure of creating a piece of jewelry using materials and techniques I love, juxtaposed with the end result being something that I find very displeasing.


Melissa Peacock

Melissa Peacock

Is It For Sale
No
Artist Statement
This is actually an art journal page. Rude cats bottle up their prey, on display, where other rude cats can watch and harshly judge from their usual safe and comfortable impunity.

find me on youtube/twitter/instagram: @yellowmelle


Bonnie Friedline

Bonnie Friedline

Is It For Sale
Yes
Price
$275.00
Artist Statement
“Confession” 18×24 mixed media on canvas. I left home (Virginia) when I was 18 and have lived all over the east coast from South Carolina to Vermont. Currently I am 35 and living in Pennsylvania. I don’t necessarily love it and maybe it’s the pandemic, but I am incredibly homesick. Not only do I miss my family and friends, I miss knowing people for real. I have found in my career (Radiologic Technologist) that we are so busy it’s hard to get a good conversation in to really get to know my coworkers. Beyond the “mask” you wear to the public. Further, I am so exhausted after work that I just want to go home to my husband and kids and hopefully get to create something. I am tired of the casual “hi, how are you?” conversations that I have 50 times a day with complete strangers.
The contrasting element of my painting is the concept that what you see on the outside is not always what is in the inside. I wish we could so easily peel our layers away and reveal the hard crap/trauma of our lives instead of just “I’m good! How are you?” I’m not good. We are not good. We have pain, and holding it, hiding it makes it hurt so much more.


If you are interested in any of these amazing pieces and you can’t get a hold of the amazing artist who created it, contact us and we will try to get you in touch with them.

Posted on 4 Comments

Showing Up For Life And Being A Bad-Ass

Life happens so fast, and opportunities often come our way at lightning speed. I don’t care if we’re talking about a creative opportunity, a personal goals opportunity, a career advancement, the chance to see or do something new, a moment to look at the stars, or the opportunity to visit with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.

I’ve really learned something this year, and I intend to own it. That is, to try my best not to be so wrapped up in what I’ve got going on, so absorbed in my very important things, or so embedded in my daily schedule (or how I think my schedule should be) that I don’t, can’t, or won’t seize those opportunities, big or small, when they come.

In light of the current state of things and our “new normal”, seizing the will to simply get through a day can seem downright daunting. To paraphrase a rogue artist friend, “These days things seem to take twice as long, are twice as hard, and can leave you feeling twice as tired and burned out.” Wherever your seize the moment barometer is at present, it’s okay… believe me, it’s more than okay.

I’m not saying you’ve gotta do everything, be on point at all times, be a superhero, or anything like that… but I am saying, be aware of the excuses that you know are bull-garbage and start taking the time for the things you do want, for the things you don’t even know you want. Embrace being flexible and adaptable. Start saying “Yes. I’m here.” for the moments you’d regret to miss, for the moments you don’t even realize you’d regret to miss until you regret you missed them.

It’s never the right time, you’re never dressed appropriately, you never prepared as much as you’d hoped, there will never be enough hours in the day, something in the house always needs your attention, things never happen the way you think they’re going to, and you’re never going to be 100% ready or comfortable.

Your heart will always be racing, your shirt will always have that wrinkle, your lizard brain will always be searching for an “out” an “exit strategy” or a “rock to crawl under”. Show up anyway.

None of that stuff matters when you’re in the moment and the life stuff is happening, and you’re fully present, and for better or worse, you’re like “Wow, none of that stuff matters!”

I know, that last bit was redundant. Let me say it again. “None of that stuff matters.” Sorry, not sorry.

It’s just, those unexpected things are often the best experiences and the most cherished memories. I’ve practically built my art career on them. My most favorite times spent are almost exclusively them. Relationships are sometimes made, strengthened, weakened, or broken on them. Pivotal life goal moments are born from them. Last moments spent with a loved one sometimes hinge on them.

I’m hella guilty of avoiding, excusing myself, offering great reasons why I couldn’t. Hella. Guilty. But then, I’ve also had so many moments of absolute bravery, total adaptability, fearless seizing, utter appreciation, full presence, total awesomeness.

I’m a self proclaimed “Recovering People Pleaser”, so I have to be careful not to do things that really aren’t me, just to please others. But conversely, I also have to be careful not to use that to excuse myself from life as it’s happening, just because I don’t think I’m prepared in that moment for whatever is going on.

I say this as someone who is also a recovering “Grade-A Worrywort and Victim” once highly prone to lengthy bouts of self-pity, anxiety, regimented micro-management, stubbornness, and self-sabotaging obsessive-compulsive behavior. I no longer identify with that person, but I can’t pretend like those tendencies don’t exist within me. So I keep an eye on myself, a compassionate eye (because I’m not trying to punish myself when I have less than good moments), and a willingness to call “bullshit” on my own behaviors and thoughts.

We only get so many days. I intend to spend less of them worrying, prepping, planning, avoiding, and making excuses… more time being present. More of that life stuff. Why? Because for me, the alternative is sameness… stagnation… numbness… coasting through the days waiting for some indeterminate future scenario in which I stop that and start living. For me, just coasting on auto-pilot equals “why even bother” and I personally don’t find that state to be very good for my health, emotional well-being, or getting up in the morning.

Show up. Be flexible. Pivot. Adapt. Run outside in your jammies because someone needs you. Answer the phone. Take the interview. Bring your portfolio to the client. Have the hard conversation. Pursue that hair-brained idea. Call your mother. Kiss your person. Grab their ass. Grab your own ass and tell yourself you’re gorgeous. Watch a storm, even if emails need correspondence. Wear that outfit. Take a breath and look at the sky, even if laundry needs folding. Step outside and sing the harmonies to Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of your lungs, because your neighbor happens to be caterwauling the lead melody at the top of his lungs from his porch. Make coffee with a blowtorch because your power is out. Stand up for what you believe in, however you can. Vote. For pete’s sake, vote. Question your motives. Question your excuses. Ask the questions you’re afraid to ask. Ask them of yourself and others. Sit and listen. Listen to ambient sounds. Listen to a friend. Listen to an adversary. Listen to your thoughts. Listen to your own heartbeat. Don’t listen to your lizard brain when it tells you “I don’t have time. I can’t help there. I’m not that person. I don’t have answers. I don’t matter.”

Just show up. Life shows up everyday, and it’s not always golden opportunities, unicorn farts and rainbows. Sometimes it’s some messed up shit, and that’s still an opportunity to decide and show who you are. Your bravery, your bad-assery, your inconceivable, unconditional love, your ability to laugh, your ability to cry, your ability to speak, your ability to hear, your blowtorch coffee making skills, your now huge collection of cloth face masks, your compassion, your “Make It Work” moments, your fucked up clothes you only wear when no one’s going to see you, your adaptability, your resourcefulness, your passion, your weirdness, your light that shines so bright it could melt the faces of onlookers (in the best way possible, of course).

Life will continue to show up every day. Decide now, and every “now” going forward, who it is on the other side of the door when life comes knocking. I don’t know what that personally means for you, but I strongly suspect that you do.

So take your now, and live the crap out of it. Take care of yourself, and one another. The world needs you, and you deserve nothing less.

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This Is The Crap We Use To Make Our Videos

Some of you may not know that we have a semi successful YouTube channel where we post artist tips videos. We also have a vlog channel where we post random videos about stuff, and a podcast where we talk about even more artist tips.

Some of you do, and you have asked me how I do it, so in this blog I am going to list the programs and equipment I use to make videos. To be clear, any of you that have watched our videos know that we do not record the highest quality artistic stuff. In fact we spend most of our time talking into the camera, answering questions from artists all over the world.

So Let’s get into it… Just a warning, if you are not interested in doing videos, this post may be a snooze fest for you. I will add some inspiring tidbits here and there so don’t get discouraged, I got you. By the way, we have collected this stuff over the last ten years, but as I said, we started with the camera phone and a discontinued app for editing that sucked.

1. Program I Use To Edit Is – Vegas Pro. (not sponsored)

The program I use and have used for years is Vegas Pro, which used to be made by Sony back in the day when I started making fun horror films with my kids. It is an EXPENSIVE program, but I have always found good deals online. The outdated version of Vegas Pro that I use now and refuse to get rid of I got for $60 from HumbleBundle.com The regular price is more like $600… look for deals.

Now, I am sure that there is other editing software out there that is way cheaper, but Vegas is so easy to use that it is worth the investment to me. Obviously, everything has a learning curve where you dick around with a program and create crap, but it is so easy to use that I tend to always come back to Vegas. Keep in mind, I do not have a Mac, or I would probably be using Final Cut Pro… I feel like Vegas is the Final Cut for windows.

Someone I know was trying to use Adobe… Adobe is great for special effects, but a pain in the ass for simple video editing, it’s just less drag and drop… So I recommend Vegas. BTW, I am not sponsored or making any money from them, I just really dig the program.

https://www.vegascreativesoftware.com/us/sem/vegas-pro/

2. Cameras I Use Are Sony, Canon, And GoPro (also not sponsored)

Rafi and Klee On YouTube

Before I get started here I just want to make it clear that the first 6 years of filming YouTube videos, I used our iPhone. I think anything you want to do with video, you can probably do with a camera phone. That being said, transferring files was a giant pain in my ass. So, I got cameras with SD cards to make my life easier. Just to be clear, I don’t know jack about cameras, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera

I got this camera with a vlogging kit that came with a microphone. By the time I decided to get a camera, the idea of having a microphone input was super important. The video quality on this camera is amazing and it has a touch screen LED which makes focusing on my face super easy. I still don’t really know how to use it, but this is the camera that we use around the studio when Klee and I talk about whatever silly things we are talking about.

This camera is about $649 so it’s not cheap, but it is not as expensive as most cameras of this quality.

Sony Alpha A6100 Mirrorless Camera

Years later we got this camera because the LED screen is on top of the camera so we can look at ourselves while talking and not look awkwardly away to check how we look. This camera also connects to the microphone. This is a more expensive camera and I’ll be honest, I’m still getting the hang of learning the settings. We look weirdly yellow whenever I film us with this one, but chances are it’s my fault.

This camera is about $796, which is not terrible, but it is not cheap.

GOPRO Hero 8

So I had this little cheap “made in china” camera that was supposed to be like a GOPRO that I spent $70 on. I’ll be honest, just get the GOPRO. Although the sound and video quality are not as good as the cameras listed above, they’re not meant to be. It is an action camera that is really easy to use. I use this camera for time lapse and for out and about filming where I can just throw the camera around. Honestly, I would probably be fine with just this camera if I could figure out better sound. It’s also small and easy to take around with you and control from your phone.

This camera is about $295, but SO worth it for easy use.

3. Microphone I Use For In Studio Cameras (again, not sponsored)

So for the longest time our sound was so shitty that no one even noticed all that much how shitty it was… probably because it was fine, but for some reason we decided we needed microphones which we still are not sure how to use.

Rode VideoMic GO Light Weight On-Camera Microphone

This shotgun condenser mic is so awesome because all you do is plug it into the camera and it works beautifully. The only issue is that if you have ALL the wireless things like laptops, printers, and phones, it might pick up the signal and do this weird vibrating sound while you are talking. When we use this mic, we have a sweet spot in the studio where it doesn’t make weird sound. That being said, this mic is awesome for recording directional, which means it records in the direction it is facing so you don’t get too much of the other sounds in the area… which is great.

This mic isn’t too bad at $97.

There are some different Rode mics out there and we own a few, but they are all different and do different things, so I’m not going to list the other ones that we own. I will say the more expensive ones do not pick up interference.

4. Sound Editing (and finally, not sponsored)

I use Audacity, which is an open source and free download for sound editing. It has noise reduction and all the bells and whistles. Even though Klee owns a bunch of expensive software for music editing, I find that audacity is pretty awesome… and I know how to use it. (Secretly, Klee uses Audacity the most too.) There is a learning curve, but once you get it you can play around and learn pretty easily.

Rafi and Klee On YouTube

So that’s it, as far as what I use for video production. There are other things like cheap diffuser socks that you can put on your lights and stuff and obviously our podcast microphones. We have all the equipment we use in the studio for our music, video and art listed on our Affiliates page (CLICK HERE) where we can make that mulla (more like chulla-change) if you purchase it from amazon.

To be honest with you, a camera phone, some free app that you know how to use for editing video, and a wifi connection is all you need to post to YouTube and make it look awesome, but eventually you may want to get the stuffs.

Hope my list helps as far as what we use. Let me know what you use, or what you know of that is way easier than the crap I’m doing.

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The Creative Process Is All About You

We’ve ALL had those moments where we are sitting in front of a blank canvas and wondering if our sense of creativity left town. We’ve also all had the moments where you are sitting in front of a work of art and suddenly you are overtaken by the idea that everything you touch turns into a steaming pile of crap.

Today Klee and I recorded a podcast where we were talking about the creative process and remembering your greatness as an artist and human.

I think a lot of artists are under the assumption that professional artists know exactly what they’re doing from beginning to end. I can tell you right now, that that is bullshit. None of us know what we are doing when it comes to the creative process.

One thing I could tell you as a bumbling artist, trying to make this creative life a thing, is that the creative process behind the artwork is not as mysterious as a lot of people would love to make it seem.

When you are blocked or you feel like the art you’ve worked on for the last few days should be set on fire, it’s easy to want to give up. In my opinion, the most important part is where I remind myself that no matter what, I am going to be able to figure something out. I remember that something is going to come to me, I am going to move forward, I’m not going to allow myself to quit.

Honestly, the only reason that I get any of the artwork done is because of that mentality, no matter how much the art feels like it sucks, that I suck, or that I’m a horrible artist, I just keep going.

When I feel like I’m never going to make this thing work… I just keep going, knowing that it’s little tweaks here and little tweaks there. Sometimes it’s changing direction.

I allow myself to keep going because I believe that in some way shape or form, I am going to eventually get to the end where I make it work.

It is ultimately a collaborative experience between you and the art. The process is allowing yourself to make changes on the fly to allow the art to take form as it does.

The creative process in of itself is kind of like life, you get thrown some ups and downs, twists and turns, and you have to improvise. You have to keep moving forward in order to get to where it is that you want to get to. Even when there are obstacles and especially when things are not going your way.

The secret to creating anything as an artist is understanding that whatever it is that you’re working on, is not going to work out, it’s going to look like crap, it’s going to look like a big piece of garbage… and that’s ok.

Before it starts to look like the masterpiece, it is going to resemble a crap-turd.

In the podcast, Klee outlines three creative processes:

  • You know what you’re going to create, or you have an idea of what you’re going to create, but you don’t have the steps to get there.
  • You know what you’re going to create, and you have all the steps to get there.
  • You have no idea what you’re going to create, and you have no steps to get there.

Each one of those has its value, but each and every single one of those still requires you to be flexible, and be really good to yourself in the creative process.

The fact of the matter is that when you are creating anything, whether you’re creating art, or you’re creating your life, you’re going to run into roadblocks.

You’re going to run into situations that are going to cause you to think that maybe you suck because the situation or the artwork that you’re creating sucks.

In those cases, the most important thing you can do is to remember your greatness.

Your greatness as an artist, your greatness as a human, your general compassion, your unique way of seeing the world, and your ability to pick yourself up after you fall.

Be good to yourself in those moments, because that is the only way that you’ll be able to take the next step and keep going.

I adore you!

You can listen to the full podcast here if you are interested.

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Scale It Back If You Have To – How Not To Burn Out

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about time. 

As some of you guys know, I’m in the midst of writing a new book, the Rogue Artist Guide To Rogue Marketing. I’m very excited about putting this book together and out there in the hands of other creatives. One reason is that I want to help artists market their artwork out into the world, but also to be able to write down the marketing methods of my madness. 

Now, the interesting thing about writing a book is that it is very, very time-consuming. The other interesting thing is that being an artist, and creating artwork is also very, very time-consuming.

Throw in the fact that we have commissions, a YouTube channel, podcasts, blogs, music, motivational MP3s, a Patreon following, and zoom meetings and it could feel downright impossible. 

I’ve had people ask “Rafi, how do you even find the time to be able to do any of the things that you do?”

Here’s the interesting thing, you’re not going to find extra time to do anything. Time doesn’t change. Our perception of time on the other hand, does. 

In this modern world where everything feels like it is moving at a thousand miles a second, it is easy to feel like you are not doing enough. Unfortunately, that can cause you to do too much.

There are times where I have to reevaluate all the projects that I’m working on. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, you cannot manage time. 

You can however, manage the tasks that you take on for yourself. At this point, I am a little overwhelmed by the number of projects that I have going on. Between the art creation, the book, the YouTube videos, the podcasts, the music, and everything else that’s going on, I find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed by my own creative process. 

I get contacted all the time by artists who tell me that they feel a little bit overwhelmed in their art career. I can understand where they’re coming from. The one thing that I could suggest is to reevaluate constantly, and take a look at all the things that you have going on. 

The fact is that “more” and “faster” doesn’t equal better. At this point, I am putting out so much content that even some of our most loyal peeps are having a hard time keeping up. I know that’s contrary to what a lot of people will tell you, they will tell you to do more social media, do more marketing, do more art. They will tell you to do more this or more that in order to get known. 

I think that there comes a time where you do need to step back. 

Because if you’re not taking time for yourself, then you have no time to give. No matter what you do, the ability to give is your biggest and most unique marketing advantage.

This week, I am sitting back and re-evaluating and deciding to pull back a little bit from the internet world. 

Immediately my insecurities flare-up. I think to myself “If I don’t reach out to people, if I don’t let them know what’s going on, if I don’t post the newest video, if we don’t post the new podcasts, people are gonna forget about us. 

Everybody’s gonna think that I let them down. 

My people-pleaser flares up and starts itching and causing me to get overwhelmed. The thing is that the more you get out there, the more people you think are expecting stuff from you. Unfortunately, this means that the people-pleaser within you starts telling you that you are constantly doing a bad job.

I’ve actually been to this place before. I almost burned out last year because I had taken on way too much, so I scaled it back. I still released new art, videos, podcasts, and fun things, but I allowed myself to have more me time and produce a little less content.

I don’t know if it was 2020, but so far, it’s easy to blame 2020 for just about everything, so why not this too. 

If you find yourself verging on burnout, the best thing you could do for everybody involved is to take a step back, reevaluate what you’re doing, and just scale it back a little. When you scale things back, you allow yourself the time and the energy for yourself, for the projects that you’re working on, and for everyone else. 

So don’t be afraid to scale it back. No one’s going to forget you. No one’s going to be disappointed. No one’s going to think that you’re letting them down. 

And if they do… F them.

Just scale back and take that time for you.

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Rogue Marketing And Money Guide – NEW BOOK!

Hello you amazing creatives!

I am happy to announce that The Rogue Artist’s Guide To Rogue Marketing And Money IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!!! It feels like only last month that I finished the prior book… well, technically we did finish the commentary last month, so maybe I can say that.

I am very excited about this book because there will be plenty of rambles, rants, and really awesome ideas for unique out of the box marketing. In the last few years of my art career, I have viewed marketing my art and myself as a fun experiment. I’m hoping to share that attitude with you. Like the last book, this book will be calling bullshit on the complex nature of marketing and simplifying it, while still showing how to navigate and blaze your own trail through the rhetoric.

When I originally wrote The Rogue Artist’s Survival Guide, I had intended it to be a much shorter book than it turned out to be. My goal was to write practical and real advice about becoming or being a full-time artist and creative. Most of the things that have allowed me to have a small degree of success, happened mostly in my head. Between the lingering brain farts, self-judgment, and insecurity when it came to being an artist, there were moments of learning. I have thousands of random pages of notes that I have taken over the years, documenting those moments.

I quickly realized that I was either going to have to write a 2000 page book, or write several books on specific topics. Knowing the brilliant short attention span that I pose as an artist, I decided I’d better break the topics up. Thus, I bring you The Rogue Artist’s Guide To Rogue Marketing and Money. 

The reason I decided to write these books is, there are some amazing creatives out there with giant ideas but itty-bitty funds to back them up. We get contacted by them just about every day thanks to our “Rafi’s Tips For Artists” videos on YouTube. Since Klee and I started with nothing and somehow bumbled our way into a full-time art career, I decided to share what we had learned. When I first started my art career, I would go to the bookstore and sit in the aisle and read some of the artist help books (I didn’t have much money). I wanted to make sure that if I was going to invest in a book on building an art career, that it would be worth it.

There were a lot of great books out there by some very talented people, unfortunately, none of them were talking to me. There was a lot of advice on what I SHOULD do and for the most part, their ideas of an art career just didn’t seem appealing. Discouraged, yet determined, I decided I would proceed and figure out my own way of doing it. Almost a decade later and thousands of notes, here I am writing my second book.

This particular book is on marketing, and based on my unconventional mindset in attaining my goals. Marketing has changed a lot since the days of the gallery systems and gatekeepers of the art world, yet I feel a large number of creatives still feel they need to approach it from that outdated mindset.

This book is going to challenge the status quo of mainstream marketing and traditional marketing tactics. I am also going to challenge a lot of the techniques used by what I believe are predatory artist marketing courses that live on the internet. I am also going to lay out marketing in simple understandable terms that will demystify what marketing is… but I’m getting ahead of myself here.  

Market Your Art Like A Rogue Artist

As rogue artists, we don’t follow the cookie-cutter courses that most art marketing “mentors” love to pawn off on artists who are desperate to understand marketing. This book is going to go against the grain of most typical artists and creative marketing courses. I am going to defy the standards and go rogue, and hopefully show you that marketing is not this mysterious thing that is beyond your understanding. My hope is that by the end of reading this book you will find that the most powerful, one of a kind, and creative marketing can be fun and part of your unique creative journey.

This Book is available for pre-order on IndieGoGo Now! Go There!

Special Creative Editions For Indiegogo


Your books will be signed special release editions for our Indiegogo supporters, so there will be a little extra in your books from Klee and me that the general public will not be privy to when the book is officially launched in January (such as signed posters, bookmarks, and anything else we think is fun). The hardcover books are limited special edition color copies only available on IndieGoGo for this campaign (Only 60 available).

The Rogue Artist’s Marketing And Money Brainstorming Journal is a workbook for keeping track of and brainstorming your own rogue marketing and money techniques.

The Rogue Artist’s Marketing and Money Guide will be available as an AUDIOBOOK available for pre-order in IndieGoGo as well.

Thank you so much for your continued support!

-Rafi

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Klee’s Music Journey And Bad Assery

Some of you may already know that Klee and I have a secret band called “Better On The Drums” and although neither one of us plays drums, we thought the name would remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. Something you may not know is that Klee has been a musician for a long time and has an impressive resume, playing venues like The Double Door in Chicago or The Key Club in Los Angeles.

Klee first got on stage with her band when she was 19 years old and it was the first time she had ever put herself out there like that.

It was terrifying… I remember before going on stage the very first time, hoping some force of nature or unforeseen event would cause the show to be canceled so I wouldn’t have to face my fears. The terror and exhilaration of getting on stage though, the lights, the huge sound, the energy of the crowd… letting go and giving it everything you’ve got… there’s nothing like it.

Klee

My favorite story of Klee putting herself out there with music despite the odds, goes back to her school years. She was a painfully shy person… in fact, she is still a painfully shy person. As a child, her favorite pass-time was standing on her bed singing into a hairbrush to the music blaring out of her pink boombox. Years later in choir class, she was told that she was a weak singer by her teacher. Because she was shy, some of the other girls in the class would use it as ammo to pick on her.

Luckily, she kept singing. A few years later, she tried out for a band as a vocalist. This band in particular was looking for a male backup and lead, so they said no. A short time later one of the band members heard Klee singing harmonies to a song playing on the radio and they added her to the band. This was the beginning of Klee’s public journey into music. She went on to play a few hundred live shows, work with several bands, and collaborate on music projects.

She also traveled to Los Angeles and stood on the same stage as some of music’s icons. The Key Club in Los Angeles has hosted Prince, Axl Rose and Tracii Guns, Mos Def, Van Halen, The Go-Go’s, Tina Turner, Motley Crue, Sonny And Cher, and The Doors.

“We sat and ate lunch at the famous Rainbow Room before the show. We were meeting with a record exec from Rockefeller Records and were about to play the biggest show of our lives to date. I was picking at my sandwich (the sandwich was just ok, and honestly I had too many nerves to eat), and listening to the exec explain that he would see how we looked on-stage, consider our most recent album, take a look at our marketability and be in touch. I remember thinking, is this really happening?”

Klee

Klee continued her amazing career in music, eventually leaving the band and joining another band. They embarked on a tour to the west coast and played music at the Oregon Country Fair and other venues on the west coast.

This is around the time that yours truly came into the picture. My music career up to that point was strumming a guitar badly for a few months. I had always wanted to write music and play an instrument, and while we traveled the country we did just that. To say that Klee is the guiding force of our band is an understatement. She has inspired, challenged, and provoked musical things from me that I never thought would be possible.

For a little while there, as we were navigating the art world and being able to make a living from what we do, regrettably music took a back seat. If there was ANYTHING I could change about how I got my art career started, I would have definitely made music as much of a priority as my art.

I am happy to announce that we are currently re-recording some old songs, recording some new songs, and writing music again. Klee is also working on some special and fun customizable music projects that will allow for our followers to have something custom. We will announce more when ready.

If you want to listen to our old recordings of our music just click here.

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SHINE A LIGHT – GROUP ART SHOW

This month we are sharing a very special group art show from our amazing “Rogue Artists” from all around the world. With “SHINE A LIGHT” Collab Lab we had three parameters that were met in such amazingly creative ways!

When I first met Klee I would tell her on cloudy days “Bring the sunshine.” It was a testament to the fact that no matter what is going on around you, you can always bring your own light into any situation. So, let your light shine. Be the sun in the storm.

Right now, there seems to be more focus on the darkness. This show is a melding of shining a light on things that may be a little dark, controversial, empowering, beautiful, ugly, complicated, and need more discussion. This is a powerful show, and I am very excited to share this show with you for September 2020.

SCROLL DOWN TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ART. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ANY OF THE ART PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK AND CONTACT THE ARTIST.

  • Parameter 1 – Let the subject be something you care very deeply about. Something that you want to shine a light on in an empowering way.
  • Parameter 2 – Utilize light in the piece in some creative way.
  • Parameter 3 – Utilize a word or symbol (existing or made up) to represent what you’re wanting to say.

SHINE A LIGHT 2020 – Gallery Of Works

Tina Colbourne – Tina Colbourne


Artist’s Name:
Tina Colbourne
Name Of Your Art:
Tina Colbourne
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://facebook.com/tinacolbourneart


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
As a breast cancer survivor, I wanted to shine a light on my scars. Its something that I spend a great deal of my daily life trying to conceal or hide to try and look “normal”. But it’s something I am deeply proud of because it is a reminder of how hard I fought for my life and for a second chance. So I’m shining a light on my scar, instead of concealing it. 💖 Thank you.

Thomas Wofford – possibilities of achieving dreams

Artist’s Name:
Thomas Wofford
Name Of Your Art:
possibilities of achieving dreams
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale
Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.instagram.com/thomaswoffordart/

Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
This piece is an actual door slab. Utilizing the 3 perimeters set by Rafi and Klee (a first for me to actually follow the rules). This door represents all the possibilities of achieving dreams, ambitions and the door slamming in your face because of gender, religious beliefs, skin color and etc, etc. The idea of the door is to create harmony, beauty, and curiosity. Opening the door allows a beautiful existence that we as humans are entitled as a sovereignty birthright. Not to be shut out by little-minded power hungry self-proclaimed entitled elitist. The door was made with maple, jewels glued 1 by 1, wire, and about 40 hours. The door is designed to be seen at a distance thru a window at night using a LED light attached at the top to create curiosity and to entice one to approach the window and gaze. This door will be displayed at Wileys Downtown Bistro in Spokane. Thanks for taking time to read this.

The Clover Artist – Garnet reflection Sticker Collection

Artist’s Name:
The Clover Artist
Name Of Your Art:
Garnet reflection Sticker Collection
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
3.11

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.thecloverartist.com/product-page/garnet-january-birthstone-crystal-gem-kiss-cut-stickers

Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
This art really pushed my boundaries as an artist. I set out to make a 12-month sticker collection. I’ve made 4 but I’ve learned a lot, and this is the art I have to thank to really push me to my next level. I always loved how light reflected through gems and wanted to capture that light in my art for someone else to have. Garnet is my birthstone and so It’s the closest one to my own heart.
Shipping will be ~$4-6 in the US

Jo Clark – Growing Into Yourself

Artist’s Name
Jo Clark
Name Of Your Art
Growing Into Yourself
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
504.00

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/tishjohannoncreations


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
This piece is about self-discovery, more specifically about my own. Finding out that I’m on the spectrum has been so illuminating for me. I had no idea that ASD quite often shows differently in females and is much harder to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for. For my symbol, I replaced my signature with the pattern I use as a stim. It’s a stim I’ve used for 20+ years. All the chaos in the background represents the frenzy of my mind, and how, even though it might be jumbled and chaotic, it’s still beautiful. The reason she is hiding is because spectrum girls often learn to hide their autistic traits through masking to help them blend in more so their “otherness” isn’t as noticeable. This is why women are so under-diagnosed and are referred to as “the invisible side of the spectrum”. I also deliberately have her peeking out because I’m starting to learn how to unmask, and it’s a scary process that I’ve been doing a little at a time. I also made her blind, because for such a long time I was blind to who I really was. This piece has become so important to me in this stage of my life and I’m so glad I had this challenge to push me toward making it. I hope to shine a light on ASD and remove the stigma associated with it.

Karen Sizemore – Sonshine

Artist’s Name:
Karen Sizemore
Name Of Your Art:
Sonshine
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
http://www.ksizemoreart.com

I’m submitting my first collab-lab called “Sonshine”.
If you notice, the sunflower only has a few seeds left… Its utility is basically spent… But the beauty (and delight) of the flower still radiate in God’s light. Even though it’s purpose has been fulfilled, it’s still a beautiful sight to behold.
As we watch the elderly fight for their lives during COVID-19, I wanted to paint their beauty… the beauty of a life lived; and full of glory. The worth of a flower isn’t just in its ability to produce, but also in the joy it brings while it is in the light.

Melissa Peacock – Invasive

Artist’s Name:
Melissa Peacock
Name Of Your Art:
Invasive
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$150

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
http://www.yellowmellearts.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
I was asked to create something to celebrate Canada Day, in the midst of BLM protests, pandemic-related xenophobia, and a long-running battle by our government to violently invade Indigenous land on behalf of oil tycoons. We Canadians like to use our country’s diversity whenever it is convenient and makes us look nice, so I painted some invasive species of blackberry (and rabbit) simultaneously choking out and decorating a patch of paintbrush flowers. Following the Collab Lab parameters on this, I used our maple leaf symbol on the rabbit’s gold regalia, which is a shiny metallic paint that catches the light when you move it!

Ellen Reiser – Semicolon

Artist’s Name:
Ellen Reiser
Name Of Your Art:
Semicolon
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
http://www.starrynightdiner.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
This is my shine the Light submission. The subject is the semicolon. The ; has become a universal symbol for depression and suicide. On the Project Semicolon website they explain it like this: “A semicolon represents a time where you could finish a sentence, but you choose to just add a little more. It’s become not just a cliché, but an empowering battle cry for people dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide.” In my piece they are Reaching for the light but not quite getting there. The day and the night. The earth and the moon. All become overwhelming burdens prevent them from reaching the light which is speeding away; seemingly not to return.

Beth Hansen – Fire Mother

Artist’s Name:
Beth Hansen
Name Of Your Art:
Fire Mother
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$495.00

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
http://harmonygoddess.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
The theme of Shine a Light corresponds with the series I’ve been working on. I paint Goddesses in different aspects of Nature, and I’ve just finished a series based on the four elements called The Four Mothers. The final piece is called Fire Mother. To put it into context, I live in Minneapolis Minnesota, and began this watercolor painting at the end of June and finished it on August 1st. The piece is 11 x 14 inches.
While I condemn the destruction of small businesses, I believe that we can move forward and rebuild our community. Fire is an element of transformation. It’s all about shining a light on our personal power to make a difference in the world. Because I am a cancer survivor and have type 2 diabetes, I am at high risk for Covid-19 and cannot physically join the protesters out there, so I am offering this instead. #blacklivesmatter

Dana Ellis – “Remembrance”

Artist’s Name:
Dana Ellis
Name Of Your Art:
“Remembrance”
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://danaellisarts.wixsite.com/website


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
The light of a lantern in the night sky in remembrance of our children gone too soon.
A mom’s way to honor them and carry on their legacy.

SARA – DAWN

Artist’s Name:
SARA
Name Of Your Art:
DAWN
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$500

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
http://Saraartist1508@yahoo.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
Hope. The light that shines on the dawn of a new day.

Marilyn Savage – Live and Let Live

Artist’s Name:
Marilyn Savage
Name Of Your Art:
Live and Let Live
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$155.00

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.gabrielleartsnv.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
This piece is called “Live and Let Live”. It’s etched glass surrounded by stained glass and it’s approximately 16″ x 12″. The brown streaky and white streaky glass has become my go-to glass choice for wildlife projects. There’s an ankh charm in the upper left corner for the required symbol, I believe it stands for life. I’ve always been an animal lover so this was a natural piece to create for the Shine A Light project.

LaSaundra – “striped dress with sunflower”

Artist’s Name:
LaSaundra
Name Of Your Art:
“striped dress with sunflower”
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$300.00

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.instagram.com/lasaundrapainting


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
This piece is about the strength and beauty of black women, letting their inner light come through.

Kyle Wood – Illuminated Forces Behind The Game Life

Artist’s Name:
Kyle Wood
Name Of Your Art:
Illuminated Forces Behind The Game Life
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$900

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.kylewoodcreations.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
A candle illuminates the scene with three emotionally driven forces. Life has lots of underlying emotions that compel people forward or backward in this game of life. I included the playing card symbols in this to remind the viewer that there is a game afoot. There always has been a game, in fact many connected and disconnected games. Behind all of them are strong forces and emotions. I enjoy the surreal view of life because it makes people try to figure out why. I don’t think I am answering anything with this painting, but it becomes obvious that the more you study it, there are almost endless possible outcomes of what is about to take place. Acrylic painting on Masonite at 18 inches by 24 inches.

Everett Stanton – Aztec Creation of the Moon

Artist’s Name:
Everett Stanton
Name Of Your Art:
Aztec Creation of the Moon
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media
http://www.everettstantonstudio.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
Another moon this month… This image is a snapshot of the little trailer for my CollabLab inspired shadow puppet short film on the Aztec myth about the creation of the moon. In it we see the rabbit in the moon – that’s what the Aztecs saw in the moon rather than a “man in the moon.” The plan is for this to be the first puppet art film that I release from my studio in 2020. The music is in Nahuatl, the traditional language of the Mexica (pron. Meh-she-ka) people (that’s what they called themselves). The song is titled Canto a Tezcatlipoca. The words on the piece are the name of the Aztec boy, Huachinog-Vaneg, son of the man who created the sun, who is said to have teamed up with the rabbit to create the moon for his mother and their people. The light of the full moon has always been one of my favorite things. This project is very close to me, as I am telling the story through the eyes of my ancestors, in my favorite form of art (puppetry). The full trailer is at https://youtu.be/JOFUe9PGouA I will let everyone know when I am done with the short! ~ Ev

Lee Evans – Dark alleys of the mind

Artist’s Name:
Lee Evans
Name Of Your Art:
Dark alleys of the mind
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$95

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.instagram.com/levans_art/


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
When it comes to shining a light, I focused on the subject of mental health. This piece represents the opposition between the outer world and the mind and that sometimes these may contrast against each other. The message I would like to portray in this piece would be that not everyone’s day may be as bright as yours, so live with kindness in your heart and compassion for your fellow humans.
40cm x 30cm canvas.
Mixed media.
LED battery powered light.

Kelly Sterr – Make the Call

Artist’s Name
Kelly Sterr
Name Of Your Art
Make the Call
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$35

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.kellysterrgallery.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
This small 5×7 piece represents freedom from abuse. With one phone call, you can get away from an abuser forever but you must take that step first. The light In the piece is from the police car who came to the rescue.

Kassandra Alfaro – Justice

Artist’s Name:
Kassandra Alfaro
Name Of Your Art:
Justice
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.kolorfulkas.com/


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
I made this painting in honor of soldier Vanessa Guillén, a young woman who went missing and whose remains were found in a nearby shallow grave. She went missing from her base in Fort Hood Texas, after speaking up on being sexually harassed by fellow soldiers. Vanessa Guillen’s family is still demanding justice and answers. They have started a national campaign called #JucticeForVanessaGuillen

Charise Gonzalez – Storm Before the Calm

Artist’s Name:
Charise Gonzalez
Name Of Your Art:
Storm Before the Calm
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/IndigoLuxStudio/


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
I have always felt a deep connection to nature, but the ocean specifically. The stormy sea represents the chaos and uncertainty that this year has brought for many of us. The gold leafing on the horizon represents the coming year and the hope that it holds Peace and positive change for this world.
30×40 acrylic And gold leaf on canvas

Cruz Kai – “From Sadie, with Love”

Artist’s Name:
Cruz Kai
Name Of Your Art:
“From Sadie, with Love”
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
http://cruzkaihawaii@gmail.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
I created this commission for a friend’s sister that is heartbroken over losing her family dog, Sadie. The bright colors and abstractness is my attempt to “shine a light” on this dog’s life of love.
-Acrylic on canvas, 15” x 15 “ – titled “From Sadie, with Love”. (Sold)

Klee Angelie – Gargantuscopic

Artist’s Name:
Klee Angelie
Name Of Your Art:
Gargantuscopic
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://rafiandklee.com/


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
Gargantuscopic is a word I came up with for seeing the big within the little. The piece is about a lot of things for me, but primarily shining a light on the questions and wonder we have about ourselves and our connection with the infinite (the universe, all of time, the connection between what we understand and what we have yet to understand). If I could sum up the piece in a single statement, I think it would say “My dear, you look at the stars and you wonder… never stop wondering… for you are wonder… and you are the stars.” The process was a beast to take on, but I’m glad I was up to the challenge. The original sculpting was done in wax, then electroformed in copper and mounted with lights in a wooden and fabric landscape. I love that it was difficult to capture and to create, and I love that I saw it through to the completed piece. It’s a difficult subject matter to take on in general, and one that I’m endlessly captivated with.

Arlene Whiteswan – Fireflies in the Long Grass

Artist’s Name:
Arlene Whiteswan
Name Of Your Art:
Fireflies in the Long Grass
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$350.00

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
http://www.themysteriousdomain.com


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
The hills are magical on hot summer nights when the crickets are singing and the fireflies are glowing. Anything can happen.

Tara Lea Keener – Let Your Heart Shine

Artist’s Name:
Tara Lea Keener
Name Of Your Art:
Let Your Heart Shine
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
https://www.instagram.com/cottinpickincreations/


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
We can stand up, lifting each other up, and let our hearts shine brightly in love and kindness.

RAFI PEREZ – THE UNIVERSE WITHIN

Artist’s Name:
Rafi Perez
Name Of Your Art:
The Universe Within
Is The Art For Sale?
Not For Sale
Link back to your Website or Social Media: (You Are Here)

Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
This piece represents my perception that we can grow and expand our love beyond perceived possibilities. Shining a light on the fact that all the power of the universe lives within us all. I believe that if we all really knew how amazing we actually are, we would not approach the world with doubt and insecurity. I believe doubt and insecurity is what causes some of us to do things that do not promote love.

Jonny Alden – sailboat

Artist’s Name:
Jonny Alden
Name Of Your Art:
sailboat
Is The Art For Sale?
For Sale
Price Of The Art?
$88

Link back to your Website or Social Media:
http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/sunnySUFFOLKart


Your Artist Statement About This Piece:
Sailboat riding along on a wild sea in a wild mirror frame.