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Where Does Inspiration Come From?

Rafi And Klee Studios

I’m writing this because sometimes I don’t feel as creative as usual. There are days where I’m just staring at a blank canvas, or the cursor blinking on a blank screen as I attempt to write my book.

With my book in particular, I’ve been stuck. I’ve been in a middle-earth of wanting to write, but can’t.

I am writing this right now to Be Raw. To Be Real. To Be Honest.

To Be Present.

For me, inspiration starts the moment that I just focus on this moment right now. The joy of writing this line. The idea that one of you may read this. It’s inspiring. As long as I allow myself to go there.

Inspiration does not magically show up when I snap my fingers. Although, there are days that I wish it worked that way.

Sometimes I’m on fire… other times it’s more of a tiny flame

Inspiration for me is like a small buzzing of a bumble bee that is skipping from flower to flower. Fuzzy concepts and ideas that don’t have any solid foundation.

And then, just like that — Poof. It’s gone. The tiny bumble bee turns into a grouchy old man yelling words of self-doubt, self-apprehension, and indecision into my brain hole.

“Shit, I had it!”

The crumpled piece of paper.

Sometime I just have to be Patient, Open, and Honest.

And Present.

Because, inspiration comes from inside of us. It comes when you least expect it, or when you most expect it. It is your best friend, or a bitter ex girlfriend. It could be an inspiring memory, or a new experience. It comes from moments of frustration, fire and passion. It comes usually when you are ready to give up.

Ultimately, your inspiration is you. It’s how you see the world. So no matter how stuck you may feel.

Don’t give up yet… and keep smiling.

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Yay! I Won Best Of Show!

I recently created a piece out of recycled plastic bags and it was giant. Two things that have been on my to do list for quite some time was to create a life size sculpture, and create something awesome using garbage.

Nature Of Being Sculpture By Rafi Perez
Nature Of Being Sculpture By Rafi Perez

Crossing both of those off my list with this awesome Nature Of Being Sculpture that I created for the Artel Gallery show called “RECYCLE, REUSE, REPURPOSE… REPEAT.”

And guess what??!? I WON BEST IN SHOW!!! How awesome is that?!

Opening reception will be Thursday May 3rd, 6pm-8pm at Artel Gallery in Downtown Pensacola.

Nature Of Being Sculpture By Rafi Perez
Nature Of Being Sculpture By Rafi Perez

This sculpture is modeled after a series of mine called the nature of being. This series combines human beings with trees to create a beautiful symbol of being rooted yet consistently expanding towards the heavens. Connected, growing, evolving, expanding, and beautiful is the message that I want to convey.

In this piece I wanted to expand on that message, by using old plastic bags to create the form and pose. I wanted the piece to be dynamic, to show some distress, yet be fluid and organic in its movement.

The message is open for interpretation, but in my mind, it is nature reclaiming the world, and bouncing back from the brink.

Nature Of Being Sculpture By Rafi Perez
Nature Of Being Sculpture By Rafi Perez

  • What: Art Exhibition – RECYCLE, REUSE, REPURPOSE… REPEAT.
  • Where: Artel Gallery – 223 Palafox Place, Old Escambia County Courthouse, Pensacola, FL 32502
  • When: April 24-June 1st, Opening Reception May 3rd, 6pm-8pm
  • Why: Because it’s awesome! Come hang out with me during the opening reception!

 

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Do What You Can With What You Have

There was once a boy who wanted to be an artist. This boy spent all his time planning and thinking about a way to be able to accomplish this. He knew that everything needed to be perfect. He would need all the best equipment, all the best education, and most of all, enough pieces to justify showing and being taken seriously.

Do What You Can Rafi Perez

In case you are wondering, this boy was me, and that plan was crap.

I couldn’t ever seem to create enough work to justify showing my art. As far as getting the best, anytime I purchased some equipment, something better would come along that I now needed to get. Not to mention, I was stuck working the family business and didn’t have time for school… not that I could afford it.

So, I spent most of my life wishing and eventually giving up on an art career.

Do What You Can Rafi Perez

It was only a few years ago that I just jumped in and did it. I pretty much had nothing to get started, but I had enough.

I had a bit of crappy old paint, some poster board someone donated to me, and some old pieces of wood. Most of all, I had people around me that didn’t discourage me, well… mostly… kinda.

I realized I had it all wrong back in the day. It wasn’t about waiting until everything was perfect, because that is an unattainable goal. It was about getting started with what you had. I also learned that it’s OK to start small… as long as you start.

Do What You Can Rafi Perez

Listen, I feel like the worst thing we can do in life is regret not doing something. That means being willing to fall on your face, pick yourself up and keep trying, at least until you make it, or you just don’t care anymore.

It came down to one question:

Are you willing to fall on your face, look like an idiot and put yourself through hell to accomplish what you want? Sure.

…and, just keep moving, even if you fall down… just keep moving.

Do What You Can Rafi Perez

So, if you have something that you’ve been wanting to do, go ahead and start… start small, it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture… just a bunch of micro gestures.

Those small steps add up over time, and take you further than waiting around for the perfect moment.

Besides, why not just do it? You don’t have to quit anything, you don’t have to leap over a tall building… just take a step.

 

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Live Art Event You Wont Want To Miss Nov 17, 2017

This next Gallery Night I’m going to be a part of something that is both nerve-racking and exciting. Get ready for:

drawing rally

Art at the Annex: Drawing Rally

On Friday, November 17 from 6 PM – 9 PM, During Gallery Night, at The Cowork Annex (13 Palafox Pl.) is going to be an event that I have rarely experienced here in Pensacola.

Part live art-making performance, part arts community awareness. Watch as local artists create artworks from start-to-finish while under a three hour time limit in front of a live audience – who can silently bid on the works as they are made.

Are you kidding me?? That sounds amazing!!!

Glow In The Dark Live Painting At Vinyl 2016
Glow In The Dark Live Painting At Vinyl 2016

Join us for this exciting live event – including fire dancing performances, music by AnyDayDJ.Com, an interactive creation station, photo booth, and tours of downtown’s new cowork @nnex facilities! @rt at the @nnex is free and open to the public on 11.17 from 6-9pm – during downtown Pensacola Gallery Night.

Participating artists:
Josh Green, Jarrod Goldman, Famous Gabe, Loren Miller, Kenneth Jordan, Carter J. Gaston, Marina C. Quirk, Brennah St. Ores, Rafi Perez (hey that’s me!), Elizabeth Matthews, Wolfy Howell, Tina Ogden, Nate Lyle, Anne Gray, Angelenia Edwards and Lindsey Gray.

This is such an amazing group of artists, I am truly honored.

Rafi Perez Live Painting Empowerment
Rafi Perez Live Painting Empowerment

WHAT: Art at the Annex: Drawing Rally

WHERE: The Cowork Annex (13 Palafox Pl.)

WHEN: Friday, November 17 from 6 PM – 9 PM, During Gallery Night

WHY: Because it’s awesome!

To all my awesome artists friends, updated artist participation list online. Deadline for artist participation is Nov. 14th. Details and application online at leaderfineart.com/call-for-artists.

 

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The Origin Of Passion

Recently I entered an international art competition. Well, first let me say, I entered an art competition, which was nerve racking for me. Yeah… Nerve racking… Weird, right?

As part of my 2017 growth as a person, and artist goal, I’ve decided to enter as many international art competitions as I can. Some of you that watch my videos, or have read past blogs, know I have an unreasonable fear of art competitions.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my fear was getting in the way of my achievements as an artist. How am I supposed to win an international art competition, if I’m paralyzed by fear of being judged inadequate? Or worse, what if I win?

Yup, the closer I looked, the more I started to realize that I was also afraid of winning.

The Origin Of Passion By Rafi Perez

Now, let’s get something straight, I really don’t care much about winning or losing. I also am not very concerned about opinions or criticisms about my art. I rather enjoy them, I love hearing the unique perspectives that the viewer brings to the work. Even when it’s negative, I learn something about people.

I mean, c’mon, one of my best friends sees something lewd or sexual in just about every piece I create – sometimes he can’t help it. If I got offended or hurt , I wouldn’t be able to enjoy his genuine reaction to the art. Come to think of it, my father is pretty much a perverted twelve year old when it comes to my art too, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t phase me.

I painted a beautiful painting of a bald eagle for a benefit event, for the Northwest Florida Wildlife Sanctuary. My dad showed up and told everyone it reminded him of a retarded parrot. I didn’t care, he’s genuine… and a little like a retarded parrot himself.

I would rather have genuine reactions, no matter how childish, than polite smiles and scripted responses because people are afraid to hurt my feelings.

That being said, I feel like competitions can be a bit cold. The human interaction between the work can easily be mechanical, because you are comparing pieces to one another and not allowing your relationship with the art to fully form.

The Origin Of Passion By Rafi Perez

But, either way, what was I talking about? Art competitions, I’m doing them this year… Why not?

So my first piece that I’ve created is based on a competition with a tag line of “Passion To Perform.”

I struggled a little with this because the word perform has such a corporate connotation to me. Your performance is evaluated at the end of the year, and the over all performance of the company, and blah blah blah.

You can imagine how the word passion just didn’t seem to fit in my mind.

Luckily, I’m married to an extremely brilliant woman, who also happened to be a vocalist for over a decade, and has a different spin on the word perform.

“It’s like, when you get up on stage and sing, or you dance at the ballet, or act on Broadway… If you are passionate, it shines through.”

Oh… Duh…

So I created this piece called the Origin Of Passion. It is the representation of how I believe the seed of passion can bloom. That contemplative moment, where you are thinking about giving up, and realize that you must move forward. Despite the roadblocks, naysayers, and dark days, you are determined.

The golden words in her hair are the reminder of the power that this passion brings you. Courage, strength, growth, determination, perseverance, inspiration, boldness, vision, and creativity.

The Origin Of Passion By Rafi Perez

I remember back when I quit my corporate job and was reevaluating my life, and wanting to be more creative, a lot of my friends and family were not supportive. In fact, not supportive is an understatement, I’m sure there were a lot of concerned conversations, judgement, and name calling.

But I didn’t care, because I was, and am passionate about my life, creativity, and spreading a positive message into the world. I think if you are passionate about something and you practice courage, strength, growth, determination, perseverance, inspiration, boldness, vision, and creativity… You become unstoppable… Even when your aunt thinks you’re crazy.