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.
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.
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.
It shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone that my favorite concept and mystical beast is the phoenix. The symbolic meaning of the phoenix is about renewal. The phoenix is about overcoming darkness and rising to the challenge to become powerful and succeed over adversity.
It’s a symbolism that I have used a few times, but never like this piece that beautifully displays the body language of both anguish and freedom.
I wanted to create a piece that showed the transitional moment of someone taking a leap of faith into the unknown. This leap is taken with complete abandon and freedom.
Several years ago I took a leap of faith that was terrifying. I remember thinking that I had to forget everything I thought I knew, because all those thoughts were telling me I was crazy. I was essentially burning the bridge to my old life, a life that was all I knew for 30 years. It wasn’t the most happy life I could live, which is why I decided to change it. This required me to hop in my car and leave all security and certainty behind… which was absolutely terrifying, yet was such a pattern interrupt in my monotonous life that I needed.
Essentially, from the ashes of my old life which had completely self destructed, I rose and felt stronger than I ever had.
The thing is, I could have stayed in my old life… there is always a way to keep things going, but I had made a decision that I wanted things to change.
I feel like the Phoenix is a powerful reminder that no matter what, you can always be reborn from the ashes of your old life.
I have always been fascinated by portraiture, and what I think of as an artistic snapshot of the personality of a human being in motion through life. Although I admire and have an appreciation for portraits, they’ve never really been my favorite thing to work on.
I am currently working on some studies, where I take images of real people and apply them to the life concepts that I put in my collections.
I am always looking for inspiring pictures, and would love an opportunity to paint you or someone you know into a piece of “Rafi Art” and as my friend said, be immortalized.
All you have to do is email me an image and some info to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Follow These Rules Of Thumb:
Images must be sharp and not blurry.
Please have good lighting in the photo.
I will accept- close up of the face (preferably no smiling for the camera poses), artistic poses, tasteful nudes, something that tells a story, or just an awesome photo.
It would be helpful if you gave me a little insight on the person in the image.
Things like, favorite color, strengths and what you would like say with the painting are helpful.
Please keep in mind that if you are chosen for one of the works, I will take the image and info and create something inspired by the information, but ultimately I retain full control of the creative process. This is not a commission. If you would like to commission me, contact me with details for consideration.
If your image is chosen and created, you are in no way obligated to buy the original piece, these are studies that will be done on 11X14 paper. I will send you a printable copy via email that you can print out (FREE) as a thank you.
I will contact you if I intend to use your image. This is a side project so please be patient.
By sending me an image you are giving me permission to use it in this project.
One of my favorite things to do as an Artist is to help my collectors plan, display, and curate the space in their home. It is amazing how art will change the mood and feeling of a room, or the whole house for that matter. I have people email me all the time telling me about their morning empowerment routine with one of my bright pieces of art.
My only challenge has been bringing that sense of color and energy to a smaller space, or to a small work space.
Luckily, I have a solution. I am working on pieces that will allow you to curate any space. Small specialty pieces to bring that energy and power to a small bathroom or even a cubicle… or any place you can think of.
“Curate your space” is a new series of enhanced prints. This is a high quality print of my work on textured archival art paper. I enhance my prints using either ink, paint, pastel, or a combination of mediums. Each one is unique, the piece is mounted on wood and ready to hang out of the box. It is completely hand crafted by me, with unique texture patterns added by hand, no two are exactly the same. These pieces are signed and dated on the back.
I am adding several new pieces to my store daily, so check back often. I will be doing an official launch on November 15th of the series, but I’m just too excited about it… So, the cat’s out of the bag.
It’s not every day that I get to cross something off of my bucket list. As a kid, I remember being mesmerized by the the carousel horses at Six Flags Great America. This year, I was given a blank horse and asked to make it look beautiful.
“Do what you want with it, I trust you.” He said.
There is just something magical about them. When you are a kid, they can easily spark the imagination… Oh, who am I kidding, as an adult they spark my imagination. As an artist, I think it is such a great opportunity to tell a story using such familiar imagery.
Think about it, if you give a hundred artists the same blank horse, you will get a hundred different horses. Each one telling a unique story. A story that reflects the artists that created it.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the opportunity to design another carousel horse, but the fact that there is one out in the world, with my signature on it is so exciting to me.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Every once in a while I create a piece that causes me to step back and say “Holy crap… I did that?”
This is one of those pieces.
It is a depiction of the most beautiful woman I know, surrounded by white doves. The painting symbolizes silent power, peace, and love.
Usually, when I model, or ask Klee to model, I just use the image as a reference for shadows and perspective. This time, I was so taken by the photograph, and the beautiful expression on her face, that I did not deviate much.
Of course, no doves were harmed in the making of this painting. There were no doves in the actual photograph because… well, I didn’t have any, and that would have been messy.
White doves, are used in a variety of settings as symbols of love, peace or as messengers. Doves have appear in symbolism for hundreds of years, and by just about all religions. I wanted them to seem as though they were coming from within her, as if she was sending out, pure positive energy to the world.
Her eyes hold a silent confidence, and emit love… A very powerful look.
So there you have it, a beautiful painting of a beautiful girl.
Happy Sunday! This week has been an interesting one for us, full of website crashes, eye injuries, and a near-wet experience at the market. All that being said, the results are awesome. Our website is now a bazillion times better than it was, I took time to relax and gather my thoughts on what to create next, and we had more time to work on things in the studio. Plus, I decided that every Sunday I would post “Art Creations In Your Inbox” and show you what we’ve been working on.
The Patronus Charm By Rafi Perez
“Needless to say, I am a nerd. I love all things fantasy and sci-fi, so after Klee and I had a Harry Potter marathon, this piece is what came of it. It is called “The Patronus Charm” and is based on the concept that J.K Rowling had for the dementors and getting rid of them. Dementors are metaphors for depression, and the Patronus charm is what repells them by focusing on happy powerful thoughts. Yep, told you… nerd. Oh, and yeah… It glows in the dark. My plan is to create different patronus animals in the future, or by request.” -Rafi
Vertical Bar Pendants By Klee Angelie
“These are my new favorite thing to make and wear, featuring rustic hammered texture on one side and stamping on the other. They are reversible and personal.” -Klee
My Guardian Power By Rafi Perez
“The beautiful Klee Angelie modeled for this piece. It represents my belief in guardian angels. Yep, when I was a kid, I felt like there was something that protected me, but instead of fluffy, fat little angels, I felt it was a bad ass.” -Rafi
Swan Lake By Klee Angelie
“This moonstone was especially cool to work with, because it has a black tourmaline inclusion on the backside that looks just like a swan.” -Klee
Autumn Sky By Rafi Perez
“There is something magical about Autumn. The changing colors of leaves, The brisk cool air, and the feeling that anything is possible, is why I love the Fall so much. This piece captures that for me.” -Rafi
Pyrite Ring By Klee Angelie
“I’ve been experimenting with a style of raw and elegant looking ‘Claw Prong’ settings and I absolutely love how this Pyrite and Sterling ring turned out.” -Klee
On March 5th Klee and I attended an event called “Curated Compassion” in which several artist showcased art installations that would interact with the viewer. We set up a piece that would allow for several people to be involved in the creation of a beautiful work. We had over 30 people put their hands in the clay (or magnets) and helped create this amazing work of art. Thank you to everyone involved in making this project beautiful… Enjoy.
Klee and I were interviewed on Business Radio X and had an amazing time. Watch the video to see my tips on what not to do during a radio interview. Below you’ll find the link to the full interview, and a clip of Rafi and Klee’s part of the program. You’ll also find links to all the guests.