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Human Connection Is Everything

Last week was something of a blur. With everything going on lately, I frequently walk into rooms and forget where I am. I’m also guessing at what day of the week it is because I honestly don’t know. Our exhibition has been extended. We are working on commissions, trying to remodel the third floor (our bedroom), hosting guests, recording an audiobook, practicing for a concert, and figuring out how to create clones of ourselves. 

Have you ever had one of those days that felt like you were moving at the speed of light? This week (or month, I have no sense of time) has felt like that. 

However, some moments stand out—moments of connection where time slows down. As two “Artroverts,” Klee and I spend a lot of time hidden away in our studio, where we express ourselves through our creations. These creations will connect us with humans when we put them out there. Some may glance, listen, or read it and scoff. Some may ignore it, but some will connect. Some will even feel inspired to reach out to us; thus, the connection comes full circle.  

Robin came all the way from Kansas and hung out with us at the gallery. This was our first time meeting him in person. He is an amazing human and we were so happy for this opportunity!

Because we are very public on the internet, we get to connect with people from all over the world. This is something that still surprises me. I tend to forget that Klee and I are public personalities. This is because the reality is that we are total nerds. We are both socially awkward and weird. Yet, people from around the world have connected with who we are even though we may have never met in person. I think this is a beautiful thing.

Putting yourself out there and making human connections will always require being brave and taking chances. Engaging in conversation with someone new can be intimidating. Many creative folks are shy and would tweeze their nose hair out rather than start a conversation with a stranger. However, if you put yourself out there, you will have to step out of your comfort zone despite the nerves.

Something magical happens when you connect with someone in a conversation many miss because they are too scared to go for it. 

Darren drove in from Ohio and spent some time with us at the gallery and we had some really awesome conversation.

Listen, Klee, and I know what it feels like to be so painfully shy. Every time we put ourselves out there, we are pushing through a comfort zone. It’s gotten a little easier over the years, but the fear never really goes away. That being said, we keep certain things in mind when choosing to go public with our awkwardness.

Choose the things you like. It is easier to engage in a conversation when surrounded by people with similar interests. If you love reading, join a book club. If you create art, volunteer to teach an art class. Put yourself in an environment where YOU are comfortable. Talk about what you enjoy. Don’t jump on subjects because they are common or popular unless you are genuinely interested in them.

Embrace rejection for what it is. Everyone is not for everyone. You may click with some and not so much with others. Introverts tend to feel like they are on trial. You are not. You don’t need to gather friends, just people you connect with. If a conversation doesn’t jive, don’t blame yourself. It just means there was no connection. If someone rejects you, then it means they have no business being in your life anyhow.

Heather and Steve visited Oil City During their cross country trip and we spent a great time together. This was our first time meeting in person and it was awesome!

Be yourself. It is exhausting to try and be anything other than yourself. You don’t have to be anyone else to make a connection. Just be yourself and connect with your people. 

Have fun. I think we can quickly turn meeting people into a serious act for many of us. The truth is, if you make it no fun and are not having fun, then why do it? 

Be vulnerable. Don’t put up an act. Allow yourself to be more vulnerable. Don’t drop filters or boundaries, but don’t curate a version of yourself that is not you.

The Kirkman’s came in from Cayman Islands and spend a few days with us. This was our first time meeting and it was like hanging out with old friends.

These moments are magical. These moments only happen if you allow yourself to be who YOU are. Last week, we connected with some unique humans. Some traveled quite a distance to meet us. This is bravery, and we are so happy to have had the opportunity to share that time with them. This is what it is all about. This is the stuff of life.

Over the years, we have extended our Rogue family of creative humans across the globe only because we treasure our connection to them. In a world where everyone is chasing fame, likes, an algorithm, or money, I think it is important to remember that we are all human. We are all connected. We all cry, laugh, get stressed, jump for joy, and do our best in life. Our humanness and humanity are what can bring us together. It is also what has the most value.

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Audiobooks, Book Fairs, And Deadlines… Oh My!

I am currently recording audiobooks and wanted to reflect on something I think is important for the creative mind. I also want to update everyone that has supported my books and is waiting on the two audiobooks I’m working on. So if your jam is a dose of inspiration and an update, then read on!

It’s been quite the adventure to become a published author. Over the last few years, I have released three books, a workbook, and an audiobook. All this while juggling this crazy journey called life. Since September 26th, 2020 when I announced that I would be releasing my second book, you have been on a whirlwind adventure with me.

  • Since that time, we have experienced:
  • The emotional aspects of writing a marketing book during a pandemic.
  • Navigated supply shortages.
  • A hurricane.
  • Power outages for weeks.
  • A fungus gnat invasion.
  • A thumb drive and several hard drives crashing with essential notes.
  • Loss of internet for weeks.
  • Holiday art commission overwhelm.
  • The stress of several large solo art exhibitions.
  • Dealing with a leak that destroyed our studio.
  • An epic journey to find a house, and we did!
  • Moving across the country in a terrifying Uhaul.
  • Art studio shutdowns.
  • Losing money to a conman.
  • Plumbing issues.
  • Spending more money than we are comfortable with on repairs.
  • Getting used to cold winters and shoveling snow again.
  • More plumbing issues.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Fatigue from moving, repairs, and stress, while trying to juggle everything.
  • Burnout.
  • Scrapping 6 hours of audiobook recordings because I sound like a robot.
  • And acclimating to our new life.

I know most of this sounds like a terrible time, but honestly, I’m just listing the things that happen in life. In between and even during a lot of this craziness, there was a lot more good. A lot of laughter, overcoming, and persistence to remember that life doesn’t have to be all sunshine and roses to be remarkable. It is what you make it. The truth is, everyone is on their own odyssey and confronting the things that challenge them. However, not everyone gets to share it with fabulous people. And for that, I want to thank you. Thank you for sticking with me on this journey of ups and downs.

I think the most important thing to remember when having our ups and downs is that it is easy to remember things as the cause of unhappiness. This makes the less than great event stand out as an example of what your life is like. In reality, every moment is an opportunity to show yourself what you are capable of. You can either face a challenge with joy and determination, or let it eat you alive. Once you experience that, you show yourself that you are unstoppable. So, you continue moving forward on your journey instead of letting it come to a halt. We will be on the journey for the rest of our lives, so we might as well be the champions that we are.

I now ask that you continue the journey with me a little longer. Unfortunately, I will not be able to release the audiobooks for the marketing book or money book by September 5th as I hoped. As much as I wanted to meet that deadline, it will not work for me. To not experience burnout again (as I promised myself and many of you), I have decided to extend the deadline to the beginning of November 2022. I may get it done earlier, and if that happens, I will make an exciting announcement. However, I am taking my time with this project because I want it to sound conversational like my last audiobook and not like someone trying to rush through a book. Thank you for your continued patience.

This weekend, I will be doing my first book fair, and I am both nervous (silly brain jar) and excited. We also have an extensive art exhibition running right now that has been extended through September. If you happen to be in Oil City, the fair is called: The Annual Oil Region Festival of the Book and will be on Saturday, August 27, 2022 from 10am-2pm. The Festival will be held in the Central Avenue Plaza in Oil City, PA (right outside the Oil City Library!).

We will then be at Graffiti Gallery from 2pm – 6pm, showing our art and doing a giveaway of sorts.

Thank you all so much for your love and support. You have been so supportive. I have received so many comments from you about the books and how much they mean to you. Thank you. In those times when it feels like the shit is hitting the fan, it is inspiring to know that what I share has a place in your heart and mind.

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I Can’t Seem To Find Time For Art

Artists will contact us every once in a while telling us they have no time to create art. Between house chores, work, and taking care of someone else’s needs, they find themselves at odds with what they want. They explain how they feel guilty even thinking about taking creative time. That guilt is compounded when the people around them think that creating art doesn’t matter. This guilt and perception can add a lot of undue stress which will lead to less creating.

It’s funny to me that the perception exists in the world that says that artists don’t do anything important. Some people believe that our lives are stuffed with unicorn farts and rainbow ice cream. It’s been an insane couple of years for us. We’ve had a few large art exhibitions, commissions, power outages, bad weather, art studio closures, moving across the country, and don’t even get me started on water leaks or plumbing. We’ve also dealt with butt hurt friends, rejection, financial struggles, and all other manner of emotionally draining events. Things always felt worse when I didn’t give myself the space to create. 

I’ll be honest, as much as I hate to admit it, some of it has been stressful. Not because things go wrong. That’s just life. We all know that the shit will hit the fan at some point just to keep us on our toes. 

No, it’s not the events or circumstances that happen in life that bring me stress. In actuality, it is the crap that goes on in my brain that stresses me out. It’s the excuses I use to not create or do what I want. Klee and I do a lot of stuff that we consider fun. We make art, jewelry, film videos, play music, design t-shirts, manage an online community of awesome rogue artists, write books, and record podcasts. We do whatever we think will be fun. We also do all the things that people consider not as much fun. Things like managing our business, yard work, house repairs, and other domestic arts (as one of the Rogues called it). Add to that all the different components that come with life, relationship, home, and work, and it can all feel overwhelming. 

However, it’s just life. It’s every moment. And moments are precious. But, art is what allows me to process it all.

One thing I like to remind myself of is that overwhelm is not what is going on around you, but what you think your role is in what is happening. Honestly, it is reminding yourself that you can just walk away or say no. It’s easy to feel like things would fall apart without you, but trust me, things probably feel like they’re falling apart anyhow. 

On the flipside, it is also ok to say yes. It’s also ok to say you don’t want to do something any more… I mean, it’s your life, you get to choose how you want to live it. 

Now, if you do happen to do a million things, and can’t find time for what you want, here are some best practices for you that I have learned the hard way.

STAY POSITIVE AND CREATE

Don’t get wrapped up in the humble brag that you are the busiest person in the world. It is easy to exclaim to the world that you are the busiest human on the planet. I’m not saying you are not, but constantly repeating that mantra for yourself can have some bad results. Tell yourself that you have a choice on how you decide to spend your time. You may make a lot of excuses on why you can’t find time to create when you are wrapped up in your drama, but there is always time if you decide there is. Even 30 minutes of creating is better than no minutes.

HAVE SOME KIND OF PLAN

I hate planning things. I hate schedules. I hate when a past version of me writes something down telling me I need to do something. Why didn’t he do it? That being said, when you are juggling a lot, it is important to make a plan and space it out. Honestly, each day should have no more than four large tasks. If you have more than that, you will run yourself into the ground. However, plan the things you want to do and make it sacred. That means that NO ONE has the right to guilt you out of your plans. It is not selfish for you to want to create, it is selfish of others to monopolize your time and keep you from doing what you want in life.

DON’T JUST SAY YES

It’s ok to say no. You gotta take care of yourself. Also, if you can’t finish something in time, just get it done when you can. Don’t kill yourself to finish it. People might expect things and it might be time to introduce them to a word that they may have not heard from you yet. 

THE DISHES CAN WAIT

Honestly, when it comes to doing dishes or creating art, art will win every time. Also, if there are more than one of you in your household, it might be time for other people to pitch in and ease up time for you. 

COMPLETE AT LEAST 1 THING A DAY

You can be busy all day, from phone calls to finalizing a large project. However, forming the habit of working on art every day is important. Try to complete something, It doesn’t matter what it is, it can be a quick sketch, just give yourself a sense of completion. 

FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME

People out there love to say that they are great at multitasking. They are full of it. The brain isn’t designed for that. You can jump between projects when you are at a standstill, but even then, shift your thinking and focus on what is in front of you. This is why meditation is important, because it helps you build that focusing muscle. Also, have a space that will not be interrupted with other things. 

MAKE IT ALL FUN

Bring your creativity back. At the end of the day, It should all be fun. Why not? Sometimes, you won’t be able to work on art, and that is ok if you are used to giving yourself that creative time. This weekend we have a lot on our plate. I will be doing my first book fair at the Oil City Library from 10-2PM, then heading to Graffiti Gallery and sitting our show from 2-6PM. This is followed by a friend’s birthday party. Meanwhile, we have a million things that we are juggling at home. It is easy to forget that it is all delicious if you feel like a martyr. When you take control and give yourself time for what you want, you remember that you have a choice. It’s easy to use excuses for why you “HAVE” to do something, but at the end of the day, it is our choice. You will feel better making time for other people and stuff if you make time for yourself when you want it.

TELL SOME PEOPLE TO BACK OFF

People can get really used to you being the one who takes care of everything. Humans are habitual creatures and whenever something happens often, it is easy for it to become the norm. I’ve even experienced people feeling entitled and getting mad at me because I didn’t want to hang out due to my art. Either put people like that in their place or get rid of them.

I’m going to say something very grim sounding but it was important for me to hear when I was killing myself with overwhelm.

“The world will keep going if YOU are not around cleaning up messes and juggling a million things. The people who rely on you would figure it out one way or another.”

If you are stretching yourself too thin, it might be time to reevaluate. This might require you to tell someone you are no longer going to do something for them. It’s hard, but you have to take care of you before you take care of someone else’s needs, or else you are useless to them and yourself. 

So, take care of yourself.

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Sometimes You Just Have To Go For It

Many people assume that I am what you call an “extrovert” and that everything I do in public comes easily. They may think this because they watch me rambling in videos or go out in town wearing a sandwich board to promote our exhibition. The truth is, I am painfully shy and would rather crawl under a heavy rock than put myself out there. That said, I’ve gotten better at managing my anxiety about publicly engaging in embarrassment over the years. 

Look at that silly guy!

Klee has a saying, “The remedy for fear of doing the thing is to do the thing until you’re not afraid anymore.” 

Obviously, it’s not easy. Your mind can quickly spiral downward into worst-case scenarios, and your body will betray you in ways that can be embarrassing. Trust me. Gas bubbles are no joke. However, the choice is simple for me. Either you face the fear, or you run away from it. 

Today, I will face an irrational fear I have carried with me for years. Singing on stage is one of those things I have always wanted to do but could not bring myself to do it. Sure, I have played guitar in front of a group of people a few times and have even had my knees give out from anxiety, but singing is a whole other ball of wax. 

So, how do you face fear when it can be paralyzing? I don’t know, but I can tell you what I do.

Shift Your Focus. Whenever I am doing something that scares me, I try not to allow myself to overthink myself and my fear. That’s where your mind will go into fight or flight. I think about why I’m doing it or the combination of why. For example, with music, I want to challenge myself to do the thing so I can prove to myself I can. It doesn’t matter if I screw it up. What matters is that I did it. The other thing I focus on is bringing something of value and not running away from who I am.

Understand That Things Might Go Wrong. Back in the day, before I even attempted to do anything that was in public, I would ruminate on it going wrong. Our mind tends to want to protect us from embarrassing moments, so it will bombard you with things that will dissuade you from doing something that scares you. The truth is, things might go wrong. So what? Those moments, you either roll with it and laugh or fall apart. Tonight, I know I will screw up a few times, and how I deal with it is what matters.

Know That Self Doubt Is The Challenge. We all have insecurities. Honestly, things changed for me when I stopped focusing on what people thought about me and more on what I thought about myself. The truth is, no one cares if you screw up. We tend to worry that people will hate what we do or call us names, but ultimately it is YOU thinking the thoughts. When I play music tonight, I know the people are there to support me. If anyone is a hater, that says more about them than me, and they can eat a bag. 

It’s A Muscle Thing. Many of us will have a physical reaction to stress. Your body may get jittery, and you may experience shortness of breath. Fight or flight does exciting things to us, but it is only a physical response. It’s not reality. I know my body will freak out tonight, and that’s ok. Deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and a quick meditation may not make it go away, but at least I’ll have something else to focus on. 

Just Have Fun. Most importantly, I must constantly remind myself that the experience will be whatever I say it is. No matter how it goes tonight, I can walk away from this feeling empowered and better for it, or the opposite. It’s up to me.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what your experience will be, not your fear.

As for now, I am preparing my equipment and getting ready for our concert tonight. If you happen to be in Oil City and want to watch me screw up on stage, you are welcome to come to Graffiti Gallery on 8-12-2022 for our concert at 5 PM EDT. We will be there talking about our art from 3 PM – 7 PM.  Luckily for me, Klee shares the stage with me and she is AWESOME!

There will be delicious EMPANADAS prepared by our beautiful and talented friend Nessacraft (who you can follow because she is incredible). What are empanadas, you ask? Empanadas are a Puerto Rican pastry turnover filled with savory ingredients that are either baked or fried and DELICIOUS! This is the awesome human who is making them. 

I’ll also do a book reading the next day at 4 PM (we’ll be at the gallery from 12 PM – 6 PM). Surprisingly, I’m not scared of that at all. 

Have a fabulous weekend!

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What If Things Go Wrong At Your Art Event?

This weekend was our first significant art exhibition and reception in our new town in Oil City, Pennsylvania. The reception was a blast. We had so many people come out and support us that it almost made me want to break down into a pile of tears of appreciation. That being said, everything wasn’t bursts of sunshine and unicorn farts. 

Picture Taken By The Raw Image

Any artist you speak to will tell you that putting together a show is both a logistical and emotional challenge. Add in the efforts to promote and prep for a show, and it can feel like a nightmare. Now, to be clear, our show was a wonderful experience, but I would be lying if I said that everything went according to plan. If you are doing ANYTHING like this, there is one guarantee… No matter what you do, it is inevitable that some things will not work out the way you wish.

So what went wrong?

  • As incredible as we were received at the reception, the weather was hot outside, and that trickled into our very full gallery. This meant that it was hot in the gallery to the point that it was unbearable. 
  • People were there to meet us and check out the art. Ideally, at an art show, you have tags by your art describing the work and price. I left a stack of 30 tags on a table instead of on the wall. It was so hot that the 80 tags I did manage to put on the wall were curling and falling off. 
  • At an exhibition, you also want to put out a guest book to keep a record of the show. Ours was sitting at home and not being written in at all. 
  • Finally, I didn’t take any pictures at our reception, nor did I film much, so I didn’t document the incredible turnout. To add to the issues, we were missing a part needed for our cell booster and could not live stream the event as we promised. 

So what do you do in those situations that don’t go quite the way you wanted them to?

You roll with the punches. 

Klee and I have done over 600 shows in our decade-long career as artists, and the one thing that will always happen is something will go wrong. Conditions change in the blink of an eye, or you forget something. The key is not getting stuck there and changing your course of action quickly. Here’s what we keep in mind when things go wrong.

1. Focus on what you can control.

We couldn’t control the weather, but we could make the most of it. Yes, it was hot, but a cold drink and good conversation will always make it a little more interesting. There was no point in stressing about the heat or lack of internet. We were in the show. Our focus was to mingle and have a good time with the people who supported us. We set up fans as best we could and decided to cancel the live stream and fix the issue once we were done with reception weekend. It isn’t great, but you must carry on and make the most of it. 

2. Don’t get stuck in what is going wrong.

Listen, things will go wrong. It’s just the nature of things, but that is ok. Things going wrong don’t define who you are, but how you deal with it does. You get to choose who you want to be in those challenging moments and that is what ultimately matters.

3. Make decisions and follow through.

In situations like these, time isn’t going to stop and allow you to figure it out. Could you make a choice and go with it? Whether it is right or wrong is a moot point. At the moment, all you can do is make a choice, and hemming and hawing will not get you closer to a good decision when it feels like things are falling apart. Consult someone you trust if you are stuck, but don’t blame them when it goes wrong because ultimately, it was your choice and the best choice at the time.

4. If something is complicated or overwhelming, admit it.

Sometimes, the only way to move forward is to admit defeat. If it is too much, instead of blowing up or falling apart, just admit it. Open your mouth and say, “I’m getting overwhelmed? What can I do to make this simple?” and go from there. What matters most in this situation is that you are not a ball of stress. Also, let people help if they ask. Our friend Jim and his mom made finger foods for us, which were wonderful. It was also very much needed since Klee, and I just didn’t have enough time to focus on food.

5. Trust your gut and don’t overthink it. 

Pay attention to that feeling you get in your gut. We have it for a reason. When facing a challenge and you have a choice to make, evaluate how you feel about the situation. Is it a good feeling? Are you feeling wary? Don’t ignore how you feel.

6. When it all goes to crap, don’t shut down.

Don’t give up. Just keep going. Pivot, change directions, simplify, or salvage, but don’t stop moving.

Picture Taken By The Raw Image

7. Learn in hindsight.

Later on, when you are thinking about it, ask yourself, “how could I have done that better?” then make a plan for the future. The first event that Klee and I put together was trash compared to what it is now. Honestly, everything builds on prior experience, and we will never get it entirely right. That is ok. That is life. It is a waste of time feeling like you failed because it didn’t work out perfectly. Use your time and energy learning from experience and not berating yourself. 

8. Stay positive.

It’s easy to get pessimistic when it is all falling apart. Every opportunity is a chance to prove to yourself (not others) how much of a badass you are. This is especially true when things go wrong. So, when it goes to crap, remember, “well, this will be a learning experience,” and then give yourself a good laugh and allow yourself to get out of your head and have fun. 

Next time I’ll have some things on my list I may have overlooked, but this is the stuff of life, and I love it. Thank you so much to everyone that came out for the reception. The exhibition will run for the month of August and we have many things planned.

I may not have filmed much, but our friend over at The Raw Image did. Check out this awesomeness!

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Where Inspiration Comes From

People often ask me, “What inspires you and your art?” At that moment, people expect me to say something like “Picasso, Warhol, or Dali.”

Although the great masters of the past inspire me, their art doesn’t inspire me at all.

Oh, sure, I may grab some ideas from here or there because I find something fascinating in the art. However, when it comes to inspiration, the things that inspire me have more to do with life than the products of life.

Let me explain.

What we create always comes from inside of us. It comes from that place where we absorb the world around us. It’s the stuff of life. Although just about every creative endeavor you witness expresses the artist’s journey, it is their interpretation. In fact, when you resonate with a work of art, it is because you have written your own narrative for it. It’s a beautiful thing. At that moment, the art becomes a collaboration between you and the artist. Ultimately, the artist sees one thing, and you may see something totally different. You see an image that may symbolize a moment in time in your life, but you can never really put yourself in the artist’s shoes. The art then becomes something even more powerful and transcends into synergy.

Recently Klee and I took a long road trip to Illinois for my daughter’s wedding. It had been two years or even longer, since we had seen anyone in the family (due to the year that shall not be named, and pandemic).

We were excited. That being said, there was also a good amount of mental preparation. Obviously, anyone with a family knows that sometimes you will have to deal with some quirkiness that is unique to your family dynamic.

Those things, those conversations, those smiles, those interactions, those quiet conversations, those heated moments, that laughter, the sadness, and all of it, are part of the stuff of life. All of it is part of what inspires us. These are the things that can knock us down or pick us up. These are the things that show us the lessons of who we are or what we want to be. These things allow us to overcome or fall flat on our faces.

These are the things that inspire my art.

It’s not Picasso’s art. It’s Picasso’s life that I’m fascinated by. Art is simply an expression of how he looked at the world. How ANY artist sees the world. It is merely an expression of how they saw the things that we can all take for granted.

In this world of hustle and being busy, it’s easy to let life pass us by. It’s easy to forget the little moments. It’s easy to look at the destination and forget the journey altogether.

Inspiration surrounds us. It comes from those moments of overcoming. It comes from those moments of absolute joy, and it comes from those moments of heartache. This is what inspires innovation and creativity. Many of us believe that we have to think our way through things. That we have to figure this or that out. But in reality, thinking doesn’t really get us anywhere. Usually, we exhaust ourselves by overthinking and take a break from it, that’s when feelings finally get their say and the solution comes to us. This is inspiration.

Feelings are powerful. Most people try to suppress or hide their feelings, yet feelings express our ultimate truth. So, if you’ve ever been taught to hide your feelings, it means that you’ve been taught to hide who you are, your authentic self, and the way you process and see the world. We have been led to believe that our feelings make us vulnerable, yet only in that vulnerability can we find our strength. It takes vulnerability to truly fall in love with life, yourself, and other humans.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, the things that inspire me are the things that I get to experience. Only because I allowed myself to be there fully in my feelings and not question the moment with brain chatter.

Things like watching my beautiful daughter walk down the aisle. That is a lovely moment in time. That is something that will inspire my art. In fact, I’m planning on creating work specifically for them based on my interpretation of that beautiful day.

There are so many things in life that we can focus on. I feel like sometimes we’re trained to focus on the things that really, ultimately, at the end of the day, don’t matter. What really matters is the fact that right now, you are breathing.

You are experiencing life and feeling your way through it right now.

So if your focus is on something that ultimately doesn’t matter, that may mean you’re stuck in your head.

I suggest just being out of your mind. That is where I like to spend most of my time. There’s no better place to be for true inspiration.

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INNER DIALOGUE ART SHOW

View the amazing artwork of the Rogue Artists in this amazing show. Collab lab is an art show where amazing creative rogues take on the challenge of creating cohesive beautiful art following three parameters. The Parameters are different for every show and designed to challenge. Watch the video below to visit the gallery and do a virtual walk-through with Klee and me. Scroll to the bottom of this page to download a PDF of this show.

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2021 Collab Lab – INNER DIALOGUE

  • Parameter 1 – The subject matter, style, and medium can be anything you choose to depict the theme.
  • Parameter 2 – Represent the duality of the Stickman (negative internal voice) and the Champion (positive internal voice) in your mind.
  • Parameter 3 – Keep the observer in mind {Either by “zooming the lens out” and representing yourself as the observer or by creating a composition that pulls an observer in}.

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.


Christopher J. Rhoads

Artist Name:
Christopher J. Rhoads
Best Way To Contact Artist:
https://www.instagram.com/rhoads.j.christopher/
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
Within the Fields of My Mind
Artist Statement:
Within the fields of my mind stands a tree
A lone tree grown deep in what has been
And grown tall in what will be.
It is a young tree.
It is an old tree.
It holds me as a mother holds a child
And it holds me as a father scolds a son.
Upon it’s branches sits two owls that are not owls.
Two forms without form.
Two thoughts within my thoughts.
Together I am praised.
Together I am judged.
Together I am whole
Within the fields of my mind…


Ellen von Reiser

Artist Name:
Ellen von Reiser
Best Way To Contact Artist:
Commissions@starrynightdiner.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$150
Name Of Piece:
Conflicted
Artist Statement:
Good and evil are not so different. There is only a small gap. We live in that gap. We must see them both in order to make the choice. Being good is not about only being good. It is about seeing good and evil and making a choice. People are not good. People choose to be good.


Heather Sabian

Artist Name:
Heather Sabian
Best Way To Contact Artist:
Heathersabian43@gmail.com
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
One Of Three
Artist Statement:
Although we as humans have many complex emotions they can all be boiled down to three and all others branch off from these. Fear, anger, and happiness. Which one is whispering inside your head the most? Which one do you choose to listen to most?

Media- acrylic on goatskin, clay.

http://www.sculptedleatherart.com
Heather’s Sculpted Leather on you tube

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Jennifer Lynn Gorman

Artist Name:
Jennifer Lynn Gorman
Best Way To Contact Artist:
cannonfodderg@gmail.com
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
The Conflict In Creation
Artist Statement:
A violent vision of the creative process. An example of how the conflict between inspiration and doubt can inspire the threads through which art can be woven.


Jason Boushard

Artist Name:
Jason Boushard
Best Way To Contact Artist:
anartjourneyinfo@gmail.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$250
Name Of Piece:
JUST GO!!!
Artist Statement:
This represents the inner turmoil before any big event. With a focus on what bike touring travelers go through.


Cindy Diel

Artist Name:
Cindy Diel
Best Way To Contact Artist:
https://www.instagram.com/dielartful/
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
The Choice
Artist Statement:
Being an artist isn’t always about technical skills. Sometimes the hardest part is overcoming my own doubt and fear. The voice in my head that tells me I am not good enough, to quit. But if I create and step beyond the fear…the possibilities are beautiful and unlimited.

Acrylic painting done on 16×20 canvas.

You can see more of my work on Instagram; dielartful. I also have a store on RedBubble; Cindy Diel.


Kelly Sterr

Artist Name:
Kelly Sterr
Best Way To Contact Artist:
Kellysterr@kellysterrgallery.com
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
Don’t Let the Stickman Win
Artist Statement:
As soon as the parameter were given, a doodle on an envelope was created. Because of the struggle to get my art career going, I am in constant battle with the stickman telling me I suck and that people only tell me they like my art because they don’t want to hurt my feelings. This is a reminder to let my inner cheerleader be a dominant force. This is an acrylic I placed inside a shadow box. The stickman splat is painted on the inner side of the glass. So viewer is looking into my studio through the window. Although not for sale(since this is me), I would be open to do commissions for anyone battling stickman who needs one to hang in their studio as a reminder not to let the stickman win. My website is kellysterrgallery .com


Chris “Chumpy” Lyons

Artist Name:
Chris “Chumpy” Lyons
Best Way To Contact Artist:
www.chumpyssketchbook.com
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
“The Eyes We See Through”
Artist Statement:
We see and interact with the world through all kinds of lenses. When we look inside, we tend to see through and adopt the lenses of the inner critic but also our inner champion. Sometimes we adopt the critic. Sometimes we adopt the champion. The two seem to be locked in a cycle of trying to undo and destroy the work of the other.
Ink, gel pen, and alcohol marker on toned tan paper. 9″x9″
Original not currently for sale, but will be making prints available for sale soon.
www.chumpyssketchbook.com
https://allmylinks.com/chumpyssketchbook


cRuz kAi

Artist Name:
cRuz kAi
Best Way To Contact Artist:
cruzkaihawaii.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$290.00
Name Of Piece:
Manipura
Artist Statement:
This painting depicts the “lotus” sitting position of meditation, grounding to remove the negative energy, replacing it with positive energy. The Third Chakra, Manipura, also known as the Solar Plexus, is represented by the color yellow. It’s where we hold our will-power, our personal power, our confidence, and even our reliability, and so on. It’s located around the navel area up to the sternum.
Original artwork by cRuz kAi
Acrylic on Canvas 18” x 24”
cruzkahawaii.com


Hollyjcat

Artist Name:
Hollyjcat
Best Way To Contact Artist:
Email, Discord, or Instagram
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
The Inner Struggle
Artist Statement:
When I first saw this prompt, I wasn’t sure what to make. But then I thought if might be interesting if a drawing stylus was the weapon of choice to fight back against ‘the stickman.’


This piece represents my internal struggle with creating art, which I often picture as a battle. The right side of the pupil represents ‘the stickman,’ the negative side of my internal dialogue. The weapon of choice, the sword, represents how words can very easily pierce deeper than any blade.


On the left side, battling against ‘the stickman,’ is ‘the champion,’ the positive side of my internal dialogue. The weapon of choice, the drawing stylus, represents the art I create to battle against those negative notions that assail my creativity.


The eye encasing the them represents me as the observer, witnessing the conflict to create art going on inside my mind. The “I shouldn’t'” create something wages war with the “I should” create something, and thus this internal struggle of creating continues.


Marilyn Savage

Artist Name:
Marilyn Savage
Best Way To Contact Artist:
gabrielleartsnv@gmail.com
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
Duality
Artist Statement:
This piece was created for the Collab Lab. The eagles represent the competing voices in our heads, one telling us that we can do it and the other telling us that we can’t. The contrast between the two eagles further illustrates the theme. One eagle is perfectly groomed and the other one is a bedhead. The viewer can decide which eagle represents which voice.
The size is approximately 12” x 16” and the medium is soft pastels.


KYLE M WOOD

Artist Name:
KYLE M WOOD
Best Way To Contact Artist:
kyle@kylewoodcreations.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$1200.00
Name Of Piece:
All Those Conversations In My Head
Artist Statement:
Depicting the inner dialog that does on in my mind. We all have unique worlds that make up our thoughts and internal discord. Here is a glimpse into my brain jar. Acrylic on canvas, three feet by three feet. The original and prints of the original are available on my site http://www.kylewoodcreations.com


Sara

Artist Name:
Sara
Best Way To Contact Artist:
Saraartist1508@yahoocom
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$600.00
Name Of Piece:
Anxiety Illustrated
Artist Statement:
Seriously believing I was dying led me to create a treatise on the positive and negative mirrors of both my life and my artistic creativity thus, symbolically reflecting the truth, the actual distortion and decay of all existence. Reality stares back at us from within. … Set of two
11inX 14in oil on canvas paintings. $600 total


Thomas Wofford

Artist Name:
Thomas Wofford
Name Of Piece:
Composed
Artist Statement:
Title “Composed” 48×34 Acrylic on Masonite board. I had to really think about this one to imagine a image within the premises of this challenge. Negative internal thoughts (Slenderman) box to left with hand dangling eye is what we see thru our on filters. Face at bottom is nothing more than stepping back and realized the worries was for nothing.


Posted on 6 Comments

Pensacola Art Event – The Stuff Of Life

There comes a point in life as an artist where you reach a milestone. This is it for me. It is happening on Tuesday, June 29 from 6-8 pm. I have admired and loved what Luna Fine Art Gallery has been doing for the last couple of years and have wanted to feature my art there and be a part of that creative family. Anyone that knows me knows that the connections I make in life with other humans are meaningful beyond measure. I have loved the friendships I have cultivated with people who have supported and rooted for both Klee and me during our creative journey.

In working with Luna, I have become friends with two extremely creative and giving people that I am honored to share this milestone with.

The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.

I know that this show is a celebration of my creative career, but I wanted to make sure I celebrated Luna’s efforts and encouragement. My exhibition would not be what it is without their creative ability to see something that may not have been so clear to me. I am beyond excited to share my solo exhibition with you because of this. So a big shout out to the gallery directors, Lisa Puzon and Shaughnessy Johnson for being so absolutely amazing.

If you are reading this, chances are you have followed me throughout my creative journey, some of you have been there since the beginning. I adore you and I want to give you a shout-out as well. The thing that makes this show so special to me is that some of you have had a huge impact on my life and it is reflected in the art that I create. This is our show. An exhibition of the amazing moments I have shared with you in the last decade or so.

The Exhibition is called The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.

This exhibition is a testament to the human spirit. To the beauty and power, we all possess as humans. It is the culmination of a 10-year creative journey where I challenged myself to stand in my own skin and allow myself to see the beauty in the world. This is the sharing of the calling within each work that I create to explore and understand the human experience.

Over 30 Artworks By Rafi

There will be seating, some words will be spoken by some amazing humans (including Klee, she is nervous and would appreciate your support), and refreshments on opening day. I would love it if you joined us. We will also have a special unveiling and a lot of fun so prepare yourself for an epic time.

WHAT: Art Exhibition – The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 29 from 6-8pm – Ballroom A
WHERE: Luna Fine Art Gallery, Hilton Pensacola Beach,12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach FL 32561
WHY: Because this is going to be amazing. You are going to want to bring friends as well so you can show them how cool you are.

Find out more about the show and how awesome it is going to be by watching the video below:

For all of the amazing humans that follow us online and are from all parts of the world, we will be recording the event and sharing it with you next weekend.

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INSIDE OUTSIDE ART SHOW

View the amazing artwork of the Rogue Artists in this amazing show. The Challenge for inside out had three parameters:

  • Parameter 1 – Juxtaposition of Inside/Outside and whatever that means to you. Can be emotional, physical, topographical, etc.
  • Parameter 2 – Incorporate a tree that represents one side of this duality. The tree can be as literal or abstract as you like ie: made of mechanical parts, composed of sound, a combination of fantastical elements, etc.
  • Parameter 3 – Incorporate a landscape that represents the other side of this duality. The landscape can also be as literal or abstract as you like ie: a completely imaginary landscape, a soundscape, or an interpretation of a landscape memory, 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. You can watch the video below, enter the virtual gallery (on a different site), or scroll down this page.


Esther L Jones

Artist Name:
Esther L Jones
Best Way To Contact Artist:
https://www.estherljones.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$272.00
Name Of Piece:
These Rocks Are Thee
Artist Statement:
This piece exemplifies a poem I’ve loved for years: the title is my favorite line from the poem. The rocks can be seen as a hindrance or as protection. The lack of nutrients and harsh landscape can be perceived as a desert that deprives or a place that forces slow and difficult but very strong growth.


Ellen von Reiser

Artist Name:
Ellen von Reiser
Best Way To Contact Artist:
Commissions@starrynightdiner.com
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
Secret Garden
Artist Statement:
This piece is full of significance for me personally. Every object has a story. The garden is full of things I love or admire. The forest is full of my current life. The piece was drawn in Adobe Fresco with an Apple Pencil.


Angel Coleman

Artist Name:
Angel Coleman
Best Way To Contact Artist:

Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
Picnic With Mom But Without Her
Artist Statement:
This was a very emotional piece for me to sculpt. Mom is the center of the family though her illness is larger than life and hangs over the entire family. She is oblivious to her children and husband that play around her. Only the alcohol brings color to her life. Emaciated and haggard, she continues to drink until the poison spills out of her and will eventually spoil the family outing.


Sherry D Beckstead

Artist Name:
Sherry D Beckstead
Best Way To Contact Artist:
FB.com/sherrysoilpaintings.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$1,500.00
Name Of Piece:
Path to Consciousness
Artist Statement:
This piece represents the duality of life. The tree represents humanity standing in the reality of the now. While the landscape represents our ever-searching path for something more that can only be found within us. The higher consciousness of our beingness.


Jeanne GFellers

Artist Name:
Jeanne GFellers
Best Way To Contact Artist:
email
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
Growth Along the Road of Disability
Artist Statement:
5″x7″ This is a very personal collage piece. The desert landscape bears many but certainly not all the negative wordage I’ve heard over the decades as an author, artist, and disabled person. Defying these words is the full-of-life woodland being who is turning it all out and wears positive affirmations. This happy tree person is who I strive to be. Pushing the multi-layered negative BS aside and the resulting growth hasn’t been an easy process, that’s for certain, but it’s been my unique road to take and one I’m still on. You can find my writing and art at https://jeannegfellersauthor.com


Melissa Peacock

Artist Name:
Melissa Peacock
Best Way To Contact Artist:
melissa@yellowmellearts.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$200.00
Name Of Piece:
Be Productive
Artist Statement:
Visiting the peach orchard for the last time, I was shocked to see the trees had hollowed out until there was only bark left. My grandpa filled the trunks with wooden planks and wrapped them with ropes so that the trees could have one last productive year. Despite being half-dead, the orchard was ready with its harvest of peaches as usual. Relatable.

8×10″
Watercolor on paper
http://www.yellowmellearts.com


Debbie Tlach

Artist Name:
Debbie Tlach
Best Way To Contact Artist:
debra_tlach@yahoo.com
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
Feeling Human
Artist Statement:
The will to grow as a feeling human in the face of forces (relentless cogs) that can cause us to retract and shut down (emotionally or otherwise). We can consciously decide our reactions to these forces (hopefully to deeply feel & still flourish). artistgirlsmuse on Instagram


Corey Johnston

Artist Name:
Corey Johnston
Best Way To Contact Artist:
email
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
The Tree of Hopes and Dreams
Artist Statement:
Digital Art, Procreate App, 12.9″ iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

This piece is about stepping out of dark vast empty space, and toward an inner light that is brighter and laden with potential, but scary, too. For me, it is about a state of middle-ness. It is about the transitional state of not knowing whether something is sinister or safe and whether trust can be extended or not. Between being sure and being vulnerable. As Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be.” There is a moment before making the choice, before taking the step, before walking into something unknown from something sure (even if it’s dark and endless). It is about not knowing how to interpret the signs you feel are obviously there. It is about fear of the unknown, even if the known is eternal darkness of endless depth.

I think we learn how to deal with this state in different ways as we grow up. For me, as a young person, this fear was sometimes paralyzing at moments. And I see many young people in my life experiencing the same trepidation of the unknown in their own ways.

http://www.coreyartusimagery.com
Instagram: @coreyartus


Dana Ellis

Artist Name:
Dana Ellis
Best Way To Contact Artist:
https://www.danaellisart.com/
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$220.00
Name Of Piece:
Letting Go
Artist Statement:
She feels trapped by her thoughts, her life, her insecurities, and feeling judged. As she sets the bird free, maybe she will free herself.

18″ x 18″ oil painting on stretched canvas.
Free US shipping
Instagram: dana_ellis_art
Facebook: Dana Ellis Art


Annie Sylling

Artist Name:
Annie Sylling
Best Way To Contact Artist:
annies@anniesylling.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$500.00
Name Of Piece:
Inner Peace
Artist Statement:
I was contemplating this challenge while lying awake one night, happens a lot (the lying awake). This idea popped into my head. Use the challenge to portray keeping inner peace despite the state of the world around us. The painting depicts a girl in meditation surrounded by the chaos of the world. Inside the girl is a peaceful garden with a tree. This is her place of refuge. I believe we can find peace within ourselves while living in a chaotic world. I used a 22″x28″ canvas incorporating collage, acrylics and marker. You can view more of my work here: http://anniesylling.com


Zoe Noble

Artist Name:
Zoe Noble
Best Way To Contact Artist:
angrygirlembroidery@gmail.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$1,000.00
Name Of Piece:
2020
Artist Statement:
I designed this hoop as a reflection of the year. I wanted to show inside as a tranquil, safe space, so I made the scene outside the window barren and fiery in contrast to the thriving plants inside. I added a landscape painting to the wall to represent our memory of the outside compared to the actual scene out the window. Personally, I started missing school and trying to keep up with classwork at home in my teens when I became chronically ill and disabled, so to me this piece is also representative of my own experience with home being a refuge in comparison to the inaccessible outside world, and how that has become a common experience amid the pandemic. I wanted to make a scene that idealizes staying inside instead of portraying the inside as a prison and framing the outside as the place the viewer wants to be, not only because I think it’s important to protect ourselves and our communities in the midst of a pandemic as much as we can, but also because framing social distancing as a cage is, in my opinion, framing the experiences of disabled people like me that have been staying home and asking for digital access to things like work and school for years as a pitiful or miserable existence, and I don’t think that’s true. While it’s absolutely understandable to miss life before the pandemic, I think it’s important to remember that preferring in-person jobs or classes does not make the digital access we have created a bad thing for everyone.

Hand-stitched thread painting. Cotton and rayon thread on cotton fabric framed in a 6-inch bamboo hoop with felt backing. View more photos at http://www.angrygirlart.com/threadpaintings and contact me at angrygirlembroidery@gmail.com to purchase.


JulieAnn (TheRosemaryCat)

Artist Name:
JulieAnn (TheRosemaryCat)
Best Way To Contact Artist:
therosemarycat@gmail.com
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
Theories of Relativity
Artist Statement:
Graphite on 11×14 Bristol Paper

‘Theories of Relativity’ touches on perspective of both space and time.
We often give the concept of time much more power over us than it really has. Time is what we create it to be; it can be either fluid and expansive, or it can be rigid and confining.
Likewise, the way each of us sees the world around us makes space subjective, as in how we may perceive the trees outside the window, or the ‘tree’ in the room.
Our personal freedom depends on our perspective rather than our environment or circumstances.

TheRosemaryCat can be found on Redbubble.


Cruz Kai

Artist Name:
Cruz Kai
Best Way To Contact Artist:
cruzkaihawaii.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$200.00
Name Of Piece:
Interdependent
Artist Statement:
This painting represents climate change -in which animal, plant life and the humans are directly and indirectly affected.
Acrylics on canvas – 16” x 20”


Kelly Sterr

Artist Name:
Kelly Sterr
Best Way To Contact Artist:
Kellysterr@comcast.net
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$480.00
Name Of Piece:
Morning Sunrise
Artist Statement:
16 x20 Acrylic This piece reminded me of the journeys down the shore when I was younger to go fishing early in the morning with the sun rising up above the horizon.


The Clover Artist

Artist Name:
The Clover Artist
Best Way To Contact Artist:
thecloverartist@gmail.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$20.00
Name Of Piece:
Crystal Spire Growth
Artist Statement:
I just got the space in my life to figure myself out. Sometimes left feels like an alien planet i’m trying to travers. Sometimes I feel like a small sapling most thought was dead but just waiting for the right conditions to flourish. So I made this striking piece to symbolize how I feel in the alien landscape we all call life. Some problems seems monumental some seem so vast you’ll never reach the other side but if you just keep going, just keep growing it’ll all work out in the end. I create art to enlighten the soul and transport you to magical places thank you for coming along with me on this journey!


Klee Angelie

Artist Name:
Klee Angelie
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
Two Trees
Artist Statement:
This poem is about a being that is trying to understand itself and its relationship with its world, by observing others around it and questioning which ways of “being” are most valuable and fulfilling. In that way, it’s about making comparisons and never-ending questions that don’t provide any real answers. What is underlying the story, is the idea that the being isn’t looking at “others” at all. What it’s really observing is a partial reflection of itself in one direction (representing the past and memories), and a changing shadow silhouette of itself in another direction (representing future hopes and aspirations). Neither provides a full picture, and neither (past or future) allows the being to live in the present moment while it remains wrapped up in these observations and questions. It understands in a way, that it thrives and feels most whole in the present, just being what it is, but it’s unsure if this is a worthy and meaningful existence. I think deep down, it knows it is.

FULL POEM:

I saw two trees from a distant view,
In a distant light, as I focused sight,
As I pondered old and I pondered new,
As I wondered what’s real, and I wondered what’s life.

One stood by a river, in a valley below,
It’s roots appeared strong, but it seemed to quiver.
As if never too sure what form it would know,
As if never too sure it was there by the river.

But the sun shone upon it,
Just like it did me,
And even though it was faint and hazy,
It felt known, and on it,
Just like upon me,
There did seem a tangible quality.

As I reflected, a question asked,
If I felt uncertain, and what did that mean?
Does a strong foundation one can almost grasp,
Make for a full life, down by the stream?

One stood by a manor, on a hilltop high,
It’s branches immense, almost endless in reach,
But no roots to behold, just aloft like the sky,
As if never knowing the soils deep.

But the sun shone upon it,
Just like it did me,
And even though it was changing and vague,
It sprawled out, and on it,
Just like upon me,
There did seem a dynamic something at play.

As I projected, a question anew,
If I felt ungrounded, and what of it still?
Do dizzying heights one can barely view,
Make for a full life, up on the hill?

My companions would come with the light of each day,
And would go then each night, and would leave me to wonder.
Sometimes I would dream them and such they could stay,
But always would daunt me with theories asunder.

What tree would I be, which tree has the knowing?
If I only could choose to aspire to one…
Which of these two trees truly lives and is growing?
Which of these two trees can feel soil and sun?

As for me, I stand present, between these two.
As for me, I grow steady, both day and night.
From the deepest of depths which embrace my roots,
For impossible stars grace my branches alight.

But is it enough if I’m only this day?
If I only know now, and with simplest mirth,
If I reach ever deeper, but also I stay,
In the moment which, each moment, gives me new birth.
If I reach ever higher, but also I stay,
In the moment which, each moment, renews my worth.

From a singular vantage, endless worlds to unearth.


Marianne Hasseldal

Artist Name:
Marianne Hasseldal
Best Way To Contact Artist:
my instagram: marrys_gallery
Is It For Sale:
No
Name Of Piece:
If I were the last you would choose me
Artist Statement:
A contrast between life and death. Life symbolized by the tear and death symbolized by the barren landscape reflected in the eye. After many weeks of pondering what to paint for the collab challenge, this vision dropped into my mind very suddenly and I loved the disturbing thought of a tree growing and making an eye its home.
This is a digital painting.
You can find my work on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/marrys_gallery/
If you are interested in purchasing my art you can send me a message there.


Christopher Doll

Artist Name:
Christopher Doll
Best Way To Contact Artist:
email, Discord, or JOIN ME ON TWITCH.TV EVERY WEDNESDAY 6PM PST
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$250.00
Name Of Piece:
Pressure Inversion
Artist Statement:
Extreme weather and tornados were frequent dreams, having grown up in Michigan. The skies would turn quickly. It’s a scene I had witnessed several times. The wind picks up, bending the trees. Shredding them. I am outdoors, and there is little time to get underground. Where it’s safe. Often I witness the scene through a door with a window. But it offers no protection. I haven’t yet captured it properly in paint, but I try every few years.
9″ x 12″ Oils on canvas
Contact me via email or through my site at https://www.christopher-doll.com


KYLE M WOOD

Artist Name:
KYLE M WOOD
Best Way To Contact Artist:
http://www.kylewoodcreations.com
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$900.00
Name Of Piece:
Living Within Worlds Divided
Artist Statement:
Seeing the line between realities leads to the door of answers, but the door of answers is out of reach. The same tree is organic in one world and mechanical in the other. They are borrowed from each other’s reality to bring a magical light into life. Mixed media on two-foot by three-foot wood panel at three-quarters inch thick. Prints will be available on my site. A small printable version is free on my treasure section of my site.


Sara Vicky Neville

Artist Name:
Sara Vicky Neville
Best Way To Contact Artist:
Email address. Saraartist1508@yahoocom
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$600.00
Name Of Piece:
Princess of the moon and her pet cow contemplating whether to jump over cause she afraid of heights
Artist Statement:
I love the moon. Period. And all things moon-like
Saraartist1508@yahoo.com
2/8×10’s..1/11×14. Acrylic


Rafi Perez

Artist Name:
Rafi Perez
Best Way To Contact Artist:
https://rafiandklee.com/contact-us/
Is It For Sale:
Yes
Price:
$395.00
Name Of Piece:
Born Out Of The Cold
Artist Statement:
This piece symbolizes growth and rebirth. In 2020, especially in the dark winter days, it was easy to get wrapped up in the darkness of it all. The world felt like a dark place. Turmoil, death, and horror seemed to be the main topic of discussion. The piece is about the realization that even in that darkness, you can bring sunshine, you can bring color, and you can bring joy. No matter the circumstance of the world around you, the world you carry inside of you is impacted by you and only you. So even when inundated, you can be born out of the cold and into the warmth. Klee stated that the piece makes her think of spring being born out of winter, which felt very powerful to me and is in line with my feelings.
18X24 Mixed Medium, plaster face (my face)


Thomas Wofford

Artist Name:
Thomas Wofford
Name Of Piece:
Cerat Mirazur
Artist Statement:
This creation is an interpretation of the collab theme in an extremely abstract vision reflecting on a front view “Cerat” which is outside. The inside vision is a mental picture of “Cerat” and Mirazur which is the vision of blue. The tree representation is slender lines throughout the piece.


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The Most Wonderful (Thing About) Time

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we are bouncing around the art studio like crazy elves who have lost their minds.

Every year, I say “Next year I’m going to take it easy and not put too much on my plate.” By the time June arrives, my Jekyll and Hyde shambles out of hibernation and forgets what the plan was. That’s usually when I get REALLY excited about doing some project that I’ve wanted to do, which then leads to another and another. By the time the holiday season comes around, I’m writing two books and a workbook, recording audiobooks, designing a new series of paintings, revamping the website, designing playing and tarot cards, finalizing art calendars, expanding on video and music creations, and planning for art encased in resin for jewelry. Not to mention all the ongoing projects, commissions, orders, and normal business running type things. Then you get into the multitude of projects Klee is working on and it looks like a metal confetti bomb went off in the studio.

Rafi in a messy art studio

The thing is, I honestly don’t know that I would have it any other way. I remember the first three years that Klee and I really went for this creative lifestyle that we are living, and the studio was a snooze fest. I mean, we had music, fun, and the occasional projects going on, but I think I was a little timider back then when it came to time. I would hear myself say things like “I’ll work on that when I have time.”

The problem was that I never had enough time to do anything… so I never got started on things and they went in a journal.

The one thing you have to do as an artist is create. If you are not creating and you are always just thinking of creating, then I’m not sure you can call yourself an artist. I mean, you can call yourself whatever you want, but you won’t FEEL like an artist, which is what matters most in my line of work.

The irony is I am working on WAY more projects now and seem to have more time. A few years ago, I realized that it wasn’t the number of things I was doing, it was how I felt doing them. More importantly, what narrative was I repeating to myself about what I was doing?

Time seems to follow a universal, tick tock rhythm… but it doesn’t. In the Special Theory of Relativity, That guy with the crazy hair determined that time is relative. In other words, the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference.

Let me blow your mind with some strange and most likely incorrect “Rafi logic”. We know that the faster a clock moves, the slower time passes according to someone in a different frame of reference. That’s why GPS clocks on satellites have to adjust depending on their speed because the faster they move, the slower our clocks run down here on earth. Yeah, that shit is cray. The clocks on the satellite tick slightly faster, by about 45 microseconds per day.

To me, that means that if you are in movement, time slows down around you. So when you are just sitting there telling yourself you don’t have enough time or hemming and hawing about how to start, chances are, you’ll feel like there is not enough time. In my experience, whenever I get stuck in an indecisive rut, the day just flies by and next thing you know, I haven’t done anything.

On the other hand, when I just fa-chunk it and get started, I usually get more done than I anticipated. Klee likes to call it warping space and time.

That is the most wonderful time. The time I make for the things I love. This year as you run around trying to get all the things done, keep this in mind… Just do it.

Get started on that project. Give that hug. Say I love you. Take that walk. Take that phone call. Take a moment to appreciate the little things. Do that thing that scares you. Change that habit you don’t like. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Take time to relax. Read that book. All of those things that you have put off… Just do it.

No one said you have to get them done in a day, or do them ALL now, but if you don’t get at least one started, it will never happen.

Try not to repeat the words “I don’t have enough time.” and replace them with the words “I make time for the things that matter to me.”

So enjoy this Holiday and make time for ALL those special little things that you love.