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.

 

 

Calendar-2019-button

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.

 

 

2019 Limited Edition Rafi Art Calendars Available

I am very excited to announce that this year will be the second year of limited edition calendars to be released by me. There was such an amazing response last year that I am even more excited about this project!

Each series calendar has art that was carefully chosen by me in order to convey the message that I would like you to carry with you throughout the year.

This year, the first 50 orders will receive a free gift with their calendar!

2019-Calendars

Same as last year, I will be taking pre-orders online from November 4th – December 5th. Please make sure to order before the December 5th deadline, I had a few people that missed the deadline last year and couldn’t order a calendar. Also, these are pre-orders only, I will not have calendars with me at the market. Contact me if you want a calendar but are unable to prepay online.

You Can Pre- Order The Calendars On My Web Store.

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All orders will ship by December 15th. Receive a 10% discount when you order 2 or more at a time. Use discount code at checkout: CALENDARS2019 and save!

Mock-Up-Birds-8
2019 Birds Art Calendar has a collection of happy bird images on branches. My idea with this calendar was to bring a pop of color and joy to any drab work space. This calendar has no suggested nudity.
Marine-Mockup-8
2019 Marine Creatures Art Calendar has a collection of my colorful and bold water animals that I work on when inspired. The idea with this calendar was to bring a little of that calm and beauty to any space. This calendar has no suggested nudity.
NOB-Mockup-8
2019 Nature Of Being Art Calendar is a collection of powerful and beautiful tree people. Due to some of the powerful images and nudity, this calendar is meant for a more personal setting.
Mockup-4
2019 Sunflowers Art Calendar is a collection of some of my most empowering and bright pieces. Each image is accompanied by a short quote that puts the piece in context. This calendar has no suggested nudity.

Because I designed these calendars for myself and Klee, I also added a few non official holidays:

Along with all U.S. Holidays,
-January 13 – Make your dreams come true day
-February 16th – Do a grouch a favor day
-February 17th – Random act of kindness day
-February 22nd – Single tasking day
-February 24th – Tortilla chip day
-March 16th – Everything you do is right day
-March 19th – Let’s laugh day
-March 22nd – International goof off day
-March 26th – Make up your own holiday day
-April 14th – Look up at the sky day
-April 17th – Haiku Poetry Day
-April 23rd – Take a chance day
-April 30th – Honesty day
-May 4th – Starwars day
-May 5th – No pants day
-May 14th – Dance like a chicken day
-May 21st – Talk like Yoda day
-June 1st – Say something nice day
-June 8th – Best friends day
-July 3rd – Compliment your mirror day
-August 8th – Happiness happens day
-August 16th – Tell a joke day
-August 31st – Eat outside day
-September 4th – Eat an extra dessert day
-September 13th – Positive thinking day
-September 28th – Ask a stupid question day
-October 28th – International Observe the Moon Night
-November 24th – Celebrate your unique talent day
-December 19th – Ugly Sweater Day
-December 24th – Eggnog Day

I am currently taking pre-orders for calendars.

Shop-Calendars-2019

The Happy Art Tour – Pensacola Nov 1st

As a lot of you know, Klee and I recently have been working on a large scale art installation project. This was a huge endeavor in which we created our own rooms to be an interactive full sensory experience.

The Happy Art Tour THAT

We were working for about 6 months in total secrecy and couldn’t share anything with you guys, which for me personally was a struggle. I apparently can’t keep a secret to save my life. I secretly told a bunch of people about the secret installation.

Luckily for me, now that the soft opening has happened, I get to reveal some of the exciting details.

The Happy Art Tour THAT

A few months ago we were approached by Gabrielle (she’s awesome), who wanted us to create large interactive art installations as a part of something that was going to be called The Happy Art Tour (THAT), and immediately Klee and I got excited. This was something that each one of us wanted to do in our own special way for a long time now.

The Happy Art Tour THAT

I’ve wanted to create a fantasy world installation where the viewer would become immersed into the art of the installation and become part of the experience.

The Dream Forest – Designed By Rafi Perez

The Dream Forest was conceptualized and designed to allow the observer to explore the nature of happiness itself, through an immersive interaction with whimsical ancient beings that come to life as you meander through their magical realms. Each one explores a different facet of the “gem” that is happiness, asking thought provoking questions and offering words of ancient wisdom.

I’m also pretty sure Klee has always wanted to create a Firefly experience.

The Happy Art Tour THAT

The Firefly Room – Designed By Klee Angelie

The Firefly Room was conceptualized and designed with one simple desire in mind – to capture and share the whimsy and magic of an early summer evening at dusk, when the day’s work is done, time seems to stand still, all seems right with the world, and all that needs to be done is to sit back and experience the childlike joy of watching hundreds of fireflies dance around you. The firefly room simply asks you to breathe deeply… take in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature, and revel in the experience.

A special thanks to Monica, James, and Gabby, whom helped us finish the rooms in time for the soft opening, we couldn’t have done it without them.

Here is more information on this awesome adventure that we hope you experience.

The Happy Art Tour (T.H.A.T.), is Pensacola’s first multi-sensory creative adventure. Using experiential mediums throughout the entire space, T.H.A.T. worked with local artists to build ways for visitors to view, hear, touch, smell, and taste some of its exhibits.

The Happy Art Tour THAT

The space is open to the public from November 1 to December 31, 2018.

Intended to be a short-term installation that will travel from city to city, T.H.A.T. occupies over 8,000 square feet of space at 401 N. Baylen St. in Pensacola, Florida.

The Happy Art Tour THAT

The downtown location has been revamped completely and features countless photo ops that will delight both the most social-media savvy visitor and those eager to try something new.

The Happy Art Tour THAT

Using tons of recycled material, T.H.A.T. created its space with over 1,000 plastic bags, hundreds of beach balls, gallons of colored paint, and thousands of square yards of fabric. It’s a sight that must be seen to be understood and appreciated.

The Happy Art Tour THAT

Local artists include:

Rafi And Klee Studios- Rafi and Klee Perez (Hey it’s us!)

Blue Collar Creative

The Alcohol Ink Lady- Rachel Eidson

And many others!

The Happy Art Tour THAT

Tickets to T.H.A.T. are on sale now and must be purchased in advance, online. Admission is $30, $28 for active military, and free for kids ages three and under. The space is available for private parties, school field trips, corporate events, and will host various theme days (to be announced). The grand opening of the space is aptly timed with the Foo Foo Fest, which is an active community outpouring of support for the arts.

The Happy Art Tour THAT

We are both extremely excited for the opening in November and look forward to every one experiencing not only our rooms but the entire experience. Yeah, this is one experience here in Pensacola you are definitely not going to want to miss, and we are so proud to be a part of it.

We will be going again and again while it runs, it was so much fun!

Buy-Tickets-Button-rafi

Mark Your Calendars, It’s Art Showing Time

I am excited to announce that I’m so busy that I have no idea what I’m actually doing, so this list is for me as much as it is for you.

Well, let’s jump right in, get your datebooks ready set and GO!

Artel Gallery Rafi Solo Exhibit Reception Sept 13th

Rafi-Artel-Show-Poster-2018-2

The show is called Sunflowers & The Nature Of Being. It is meant to ignite the spark within the imagination of the viewer as he or she explores the art, discovering a collection based on beauty, nature, and the human spirit.

Join me for the reception on Sept 13th from 6 -8pm.

What: Sunflowers & The Nature Of Being Solo Show Reception

When: September 13th, 2018 From 6pm-8pm

Where: Artel Gallery – 223 Palafox Pl, Pensacola, FL 32502

Why: Because it is AWESOME!

Show runs from Sept 4th – Oct 19th.

 

“LIVE” Rafi Solo Exhibit Reception Sept 15th

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I am very excited to announce that I will be having a solo show at Live Juice Bar & More in Downtown Pensacola. I have some super secret pieces that I am working on that will make their debut at the show. The show is called “Come See All My Crap” and you will be seeing over 80 works of art.

There will be good music, good food, good people, and a lot of fun.

Go To The Facebook Event Page

Join me for the reception on Sept 15th from 7 -9pm.

What: Come See All My Crap Solo Show Reception

When: September 15th, 2018 From 7pm-9pm

Where: Live Juice Bar and More – 532 GARDEN STREET, Pensacola

Why: Because it is AWESOMENESS!

Each month Jaco’s features a new artist whose work will hang on the walls of the restaurant for that month. The night of the reception they also have free wine tasting of that months featured wines.
So, we will have featured art, a featured artist (me), and featured wine (not me, but still awesome) at the same event, sitting right on the water… and YOU are invited!
Join me for the reception on October 3, 2018 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.What: Jaco’s Rafi Perez Solo Show Reception

When: October 3, 2018 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Where: Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille – 997 S Palafox St, Pensacola

Why: Because ART AND WINE!!! HELLO?!?!

And that’s it for now…

2018 Rafi CalendarsOh yeah!! – I’ll also be taking pre-orders for the 2019 Calendars in October so keep an eye out for that!!

Solo Show At Artel Sept 4th – Oct 19

I am excited to announce that I will be showing my art in the alcove at Artel Gallery in beautiful downtown Pensacola.

Rafi-Artel-Show-Poster-2018

The show is called Sunflowers & The Nature Of Being. It is meant to ignite the spark within the imagination of the viewer as he or she explores the art, discovering a collection based on beauty, nature, and the human spirit.

I’m hoping it will be a window for self discovery, dialogue and inspiration. Show runs from Sept 4th – Oct 19th.

Join me for the reception on Sept 13th from 6 -8pm.

What: Sunflowers & The Nature Of Being Solo Show Reception

When: September 13th, 2018 From 6pm-8pm

Where: Artel Gallery – 223 Palafox Pl, Pensacola, FL 32502

Why: Because it is AWESOME!

That’ll Do Pig, That’ll Do

I am honored to say that I have created some little piggies… well, they’re not really that little.

Urban Swinery Art By Rafi Perez

I was asked to come and take a look at a large wall in a place that will soon become a Pensacola icon. Global Grill’s new restaurant called Urban Swinery is scheduled to open sometime this year and have asked me to create some pieces of art for their wall.

Urban Swinery Art By Rafi Perez

After meeting with them and Studio Pica to discuss the look and feel of the new restaurant, I fell in love with the project.

Urban Swinery Art By Rafi Perez

It was on, I was going to create some giant pigs… something that I actually hadn’t done yet.

This was a fun project and I worked with some amazingly creative people to finish what I consider some amazing pieces that I am very proud of.

All I can really say is “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

Urban Swinery Art By Rafi Perez

Watch more about it:

One Shared Place For All Of US

The other day I caught the last episode of “One Strange Rock” narrated by Will Smith.

It’s a 10-part cinematic series exploring the fragility and wonder of planet Earth. Shown to be one of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe, it really delves into this beautiful planet. There are eight astronauts who provide unique perspectives and relate personal memoirs of the planet seen from a distance.

One Strange Rock (2)

By the way, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It left me feeling hopeful and optimistic about our planet and the human race, which is rare in our culture of “disaster” driven television.

The thing is, there was something powerful about the experience of the astronauts living out on the international space station. Looking down at our planet for the first time and flushed with a feeling that most of them said was so powerful that the words to describe the experience do not exist.

One Strange Rock (1)

They also left space with the deep realization that they were no longer just citizens of where they came from.

Most of us describe ourselves as being from a town, a state, school, religion, or country. Our identity is wrapped up in the experience we have had.

I’m a New Yorker.

I’m Texan.

I’m Agnostic.

I’m a Harvard Graduate.

I’m American.

I’m White.

I’m Black.

I’m Magenta.

The Many Face By Rafi Perez

Most of the time when we identify ourselves in this way we are setting ourselves apart. Separating ourselves from the rest of the world. We find other people with a similar identity and we can relate to them… we have something in common.

What is interesting about this phenomenon, is when someone travels and stays somewhere for a while, they may adopt a new identity. Someone who travels the world starts to identify themselves as a person of the world.

For the astronauts, they were literally out of this world. They experienced something that not many of us will be able to imagine, a sense of looking at the whole planet and saying “There is my home”.

One Shared Place Tee Shirt By Rafi
One Shared Place Tee Shirt By Rafi

No walls, no borders, no race, no color, no gender, and no real separate identity… Just human beings living on a rock hurdling through space.

I think that is beautiful, and the words “One Shared Place” hit me in the chest and almost brought me to tears. So I created a tee shirt that I’ll be able to look at and wear to remind me of what is reality.

One Shared Place Tee Shirt By Rafi
One Shared Place Tee Shirt By Rafi

There are so many excuses that we use to set ourselves apart from one another, sometimes it is to give us a sense of being better than someone else.

But, we all came from the same place, we share the same place, we will die in the same place… The Earth.

We are all human beings, anything else used to describe us is only based on walls that we built in our own heart.

One Shared Place Tee Shirt By Rafi
One Shared Place Tee Shirt By Rafi

 

Art By Rafi Perez At Southtowne Apartments

Where the Pensacola News Journal building once stood is now a series of luxury apartments built to add affordable living space to beautiful downtown Pensacola. Developers tore down the old News Journal building to make way for Southtowne Apartments, which is made up of rental units and retail shops designed to appeal to the downtown crowd.

Rafi Perez At Southtown Apartments
Rafi Perez At Southtowne Apartments

I was invited to live paint at a private event held for their new residents. Although the project is still under construction, I have to say, it is a beautiful location. I couldn’t help but look around and think to myself that I could easily live there.

Balconies, views, sidewalks, stores, amenities, parking, and downtown right out your front door… right up my alley. My only concern is that wherever we go, the studio comes with us and the need for room to create.

Rafi Perez At Southtown Apartments
Rafi Perez At Southtowne Apartments

Anyhow,  Klee and I mingled while I painted and showed off a few of my finished works. We had an amazing time, with some really beautiful and sweet people.

This project along with other things going on downtown gets me excited for the future of Pensacola and the direction it is heading in. This town has really embraced its creative community and moved forward with a lot of events and projects that support local art and artists.

Rafi Perez At Southtown Apartments
Rafi Perez At Southtowne Apartments

In my opinion, we can use a few more commercial art galleries downtown, but I’m sure that will happen eventually and for the time being I love the relationship I have with the businesses that show my art.

My only criticism of the Southtowne project and big projects like it is the lack of local art on their walls. I could be wrong about this, but walking around I saw beautifully decorated spaces with all kinds of art, but no one I recognized locally… Still, beautiful stuff, but I would be highly disappointed if it came from Kirkland’s.

Either way, we had a blast Saturday night and met some amazing folks. We look forward to seeing it in all its glory when completed.

Rafi Perez At Southtown Apartments
Rafi Perez At Southtowne Apartments

 

 

Make Way For Silly T Shirts And Naked Bananas

You guys know how much I love my silly and witty t-shirts, but did you know that I actually have a difficult time finding them? Luckily, I have great friends who know how to shop for the obscure. I have to thank them and Klee for most of the fun shirts I own.

Even still, there are some shirts that I want, that simply don’t exist… so, I’m going to create them, and offer them to the world because… why not.

Silly T shirts By Rafi Perez
I know Kung fu movies

Along with my beautiful artistic designs that I showed you last week, I have also been building a fun T-shirt collection that will be releasing within my catalog.

These are all fun t-shirts that I want for myself. Some of the t-shirts will be geared towards art and artists, some will be based on our YouTube channel, some will be just plain silly, and others will be mind puzzles.

Silly T shirts By Rafi Perez (1)
Inked Octopus

This collection will be in addition to the art clothing I am designing. The catalog for all of it will be released in early October if everything stays on track.

I’m really excited about this, especially because I love the idea of wearing my own fun.

Silly T shirts By Rafi Perez
Art Rhymes With Fart… Just Sayin’

Some of it will not be every person’s taste, but I’m alright with that.

Stay tuned, and please let me know if you have ANY ideas for a fun t-shirt you would like to see.

Silly T shirts By Rafi Perez
Naked Banana