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.
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.
On June 8th, in the early morning hours, I left something special around the beautiful town of Pensacola, FL, in the form of 100 sculptures.
I was inspired by the recent sale of a sculpture by artist Salvatore Garau. His sculpture auctioned off for $18K, but I wanted my sculptures to be displayed prominently around town for everyone to enjoy.
This particular project required days of planning and plotting to pull it off, after all, 100 sculptures are a lot of works of art. Luckily, I made them small enough to handle in one trip in my vehicle, and Klee helped me move them into place. I wanted them to be small enough for people to take home. I only ask that they do not take home multiples.
Because the sculptures are small, I estimate the value of each at about $500.
Salvatore Garau said of his sculpture, “It is a work that asks you to activate the power of the imagination.”
In February of this year, at the Piazza Della Scala in Milan, Salvatore Garau exhibited BUDDHA IN CONTEMPLATION. As seen in the picture, this sculpture is marked out by square tape on the cobble-stone.
I determined that the tape would eventually fade and fall apart, so it was unnecessary. In fact, I believe it is damaging to the sculptures, and thus, none of my sculptures are marked out by tape.
The 100 sculptures have been left in prominent areas around downtown Pensacola and displayed by some of my favorite businesses.
My sculpture series is called “No hay nada aquí,” and I hope they will bring much joy to the beautiful people of Pensacola. I also hope this inspires other artists around the world to share their art with their favorite places. I plan on expanding on this series and displaying them around New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. My ultimate plan is to eventually display the series in cities and towns around the world.
Salvatore Garau said, “The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight. Therefore, it has an energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.”
However, my sculptures are made up of the evaporated tears of a captured chupacabra who cries when tickled with a fiery Pheonix feather. Since the artist mentions the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in the wrong context, I would like to say that my pieces are explained by the theory of relativity. So there is your explanation with some physics thrown in.
I also have a painting that is part of this series for sale in my store. Please check it out by clicking on the image below. Once you see the listing make sure to click on the “find out how to purchase” button for some additional info.
To hear more about our thoughts on this particular art style, you can watch the video below.
Also if you happen to be in the Pensacola Beach area Rafi will be having a solo exhibition at Luna Fine Art Gallery at the Hilton On Pensacola Beach (12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561) from June 29th – September 9th. By the way, this show will have tangible paintings you can see and touch, although I may bring some of my invisible sculptures.
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.
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.
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
Artist Name: Melissa Peacock Best Way To Contact Artist: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Artist Name: Debbie Tlach Best Way To Contact Artist: email@example.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
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.
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
Artist Name: Annie Sylling Best Way To Contact Artist: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Artist Name: Zoe Noble Best Way To Contact Artist: email@example.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.
Artist Name: JulieAnn (TheRosemaryCat) Best Way To Contact Artist: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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”
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: email@example.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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
We’ve ALL had those moments where we are sitting in front of a blank canvas and wondering if our sense of creativity left town. We’ve also all had the moments where you are sitting in front of a work of art and suddenly you are overtaken by the idea that everything you touch turns into a steaming pile of crap.
Today Klee and I recorded a podcast where we were talking about the creative process and remembering your greatness as an artist and human.
I think a lot of artists are under the assumption that professional artists know exactly what they’re doing from beginning to end. I can tell you right now, that that is bullshit. None of us know what we are doing when it comes to the creative process.
One thing I could tell you as a bumbling artist, trying to make this creative life a thing, is that the creative process behind the artwork is not as mysterious as a lot of people would love to make it seem.
When you are blocked or you feel like the art you’ve worked on for the last few days should be set on fire, it’s easy to want to give up. In my opinion, the most important part is where I remind myself that no matter what, I am going to be able to figure something out. I remember that something is going to come to me, I am going to move forward, I’m not going to allow myself to quit.
Honestly, the only reason that I get any of the artwork done is because of that mentality, no matter how much the art feels like it sucks, that I suck, or that I’m a horrible artist, I just keep going.
When I feel like I’m never going to make this thing work… I just keep going, knowing that it’s little tweaks here and little tweaks there. Sometimes it’s changing direction.
I allow myself to keep going because I believe that in some way shape or form, I am going to eventually get to the end where I make it work.
It is ultimately a collaborative experience between you and the art. The process is allowing yourself to make changes on the fly to allow the art to take form as it does.
The creative process in of itself is kind of like life, you get thrown some ups and downs, twists and turns, and you have to improvise. You have to keep moving forward in order to get to where it is that you want to get to. Even when there are obstacles and especially when things are not going your way.
The secret to creating anything as an artist is understanding that whatever it is that you’re working on, is not going to work out, it’s going to look like crap, it’s going to look like a big piece of garbage… and that’s ok.
Before it starts to look like the masterpiece, it is going to resemble a crap-turd.
In the podcast, Klee outlines three creative processes:
You know what you’re going to create, or you have an idea of what you’re going to create, but you don’t have the steps to get there.
You know what you’re going to create, and you have all the steps to get there.
You have no idea what you’re going to create, and you have no steps to get there.
Each one of those has its value, but each and every single one of those still requires you to be flexible, and be really good to yourself in the creative process.
The fact of the matter is that when you are creating anything, whether you’re creating art, or you’re creating your life, you’re going to run into roadblocks.
You’re going to run into situations that are going to cause you to think that maybe you suck because the situation or the artwork that you’re creating sucks.
In those cases, the most important thing you can do is to remember your greatness.
Your greatness as an artist, your greatness as a human, your general compassion, your unique way of seeing the world, and your ability to pick yourself up after you fall.
Be good to yourself in those moments, because that is the only way that you’ll be able to take the next step and keep going.
I am happy to announce that The Rogue Artist’s Guide To Rogue Marketing And Money IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!!! It feels like only last month that I finished the prior book… well, technically we did finish the commentary last month, so maybe I can say that.
I am very excited about this book because there will be plenty of rambles, rants, and really awesome ideas for unique out of the box marketing. In the last few years of my art career, I have viewed marketing my art and myself as a fun experiment. I’m hoping to share that attitude with you. Like the last book, this book will be calling bullshit on the complex nature of marketing and simplifying it, while still showing how to navigate and blaze your own trail through the rhetoric.
When I originally wrote The Rogue Artist’s Survival Guide, I had intended it to be a much shorter book than it turned out to be. My goal was to write practical and real advice about becoming or being a full-time artist and creative. Most of the things that have allowed me to have a small degree of success, happened mostly in my head. Between the lingering brain farts, self-judgment, and insecurity when it came to being an artist, there were moments of learning. I have thousands of random pages of notes that I have taken over the years, documenting those moments.
I quickly realized that I was either going to have to write a 2000 page book, or write several books on specific topics. Knowing the brilliant short attention span that I pose as an artist, I decided I’d better break the topics up. Thus, I bring you The Rogue Artist’s Guide To Rogue Marketing and Money.
The reason I decided to write these books is, there are some amazing creatives out there with giant ideas but itty-bitty funds to back them up. We get contacted by them just about every day thanks to our “Rafi’s Tips For Artists” videos on YouTube. Since Klee and I started with nothing and somehow bumbled our way into a full-time art career, I decided to share what we had learned. When I first started my art career, I would go to the bookstore and sit in the aisle and read some of the artist help books (I didn’t have much money). I wanted to make sure that if I was going to invest in a book on building an art career, that it would be worth it.
There were a lot of great books out there by some very talented people, unfortunately, none of them were talking to me. There was a lot of advice on what I SHOULD do and for the most part, their ideas of an art career just didn’t seem appealing. Discouraged, yet determined, I decided I would proceed and figure out my own way of doing it. Almost a decade later and thousands of notes, here I am writing my second book.
This particular book is on marketing, and based on my unconventional mindset in attaining my goals. Marketing has changed a lot since the days of the gallery systems and gatekeepers of the art world, yet I feel a large number of creatives still feel they need to approach it from that outdated mindset.
This book is going to challenge the status quo of mainstream marketing and traditional marketing tactics. I am also going to challenge a lot of the techniques used by what I believe are predatory artist marketing courses that live on the internet. I am also going to lay out marketing in simple understandable terms that will demystify what marketing is… but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Market Your Art Like A Rogue Artist
As rogue artists, we don’t follow the cookie-cutter courses that most art marketing “mentors” love to pawn off on artists who are desperate to understand marketing. This book is going to go against the grain of most typical artists and creative marketing courses. I am going to defy the standards and go rogue, and hopefully show you that marketing is not this mysterious thing that is beyond your understanding. My hope is that by the end of reading this book you will find that the most powerful, one of a kind, and creative marketing can be fun and part of your unique creative journey.
Your books will be signed special release editions for our Indiegogo supporters, so there will be a little extra in your books from Klee and me that the general public will not be privy to when the book is officially launched in January (such as signed posters, bookmarks, and anything else we think is fun). The hardcover books are limited special edition color copies only available on IndieGoGo for this campaign (Only 60 available).
The Rogue Artist’s Marketing And Money Brainstorming Journal is a workbook for keeping track of and brainstorming your own rogue marketing and money techniques.
The Rogue Artist’s Marketing and Money Guide will be available as an AUDIOBOOK available for pre-order in IndieGoGo as well.
This month we are sharing a very special group art show from our amazing “Rogue Artists” from all around the world. With “SHINE A LIGHT” Collab Lab we had three parameters that were met in such amazingly creative ways!
When I first met Klee I would tell her on cloudy days “Bring the sunshine.” It was a testament to the fact that no matter what is going on around you, you can always bring your own light into any situation. So, let your light shine. Be the sun in the storm.
Right now, there seems to be more focus on the darkness. This show is a melding of shining a light on things that may be a little dark, controversial, empowering, beautiful, ugly, complicated, and need more discussion. This is a powerful show, and I am very excited to share this show with you for September 2020.
SCROLL DOWN TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ART. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ANY OF THE ART PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK AND CONTACT THE ARTIST.
Parameter 1 – Let the subject be something you care very deeply about. Something that you want to shine a light on in an empowering way.
Parameter 2 – Utilize light in the piece in some creative way.
Parameter 3 – Utilize a word or symbol (existing or made up) to represent what you’re wanting to say.
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: As a breast cancer survivor, I wanted to shine a light on my scars. Its something that I spend a great deal of my daily life trying to conceal or hide to try and look “normal”. But it’s something I am deeply proud of because it is a reminder of how hard I fought for my life and for a second chance. So I’m shining a light on my scar, instead of concealing it. 💖 Thank you.
Thomas Wofford – possibilities of achieving dreams
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: This piece is an actual door slab. Utilizing the 3 perimeters set by Rafi and Klee (a first for me to actually follow the rules). This door represents all the possibilities of achieving dreams, ambitions and the door slamming in your face because of gender, religious beliefs, skin color and etc, etc. The idea of the door is to create harmony, beauty, and curiosity. Opening the door allows a beautiful existence that we as humans are entitled as a sovereignty birthright. Not to be shut out by little-minded power hungry self-proclaimed entitled elitist. The door was made with maple, jewels glued 1 by 1, wire, and about 40 hours. The door is designed to be seen at a distance thru a window at night using a LED light attached at the top to create curiosity and to entice one to approach the window and gaze. This door will be displayed at Wileys Downtown Bistro in Spokane. Thanks for taking time to read this.
The Clover Artist – Garnet reflection Sticker Collection
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: This art really pushed my boundaries as an artist. I set out to make a 12-month sticker collection. I’ve made 4 but I’ve learned a lot, and this is the art I have to thank to really push me to my next level. I always loved how light reflected through gems and wanted to capture that light in my art for someone else to have. Garnet is my birthstone and so It’s the closest one to my own heart. Shipping will be ~$4-6 in the US
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: This piece is about self-discovery, more specifically about my own. Finding out that I’m on the spectrum has been so illuminating for me. I had no idea that ASD quite often shows differently in females and is much harder to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for. For my symbol, I replaced my signature with the pattern I use as a stim. It’s a stim I’ve used for 20+ years. All the chaos in the background represents the frenzy of my mind, and how, even though it might be jumbled and chaotic, it’s still beautiful. The reason she is hiding is because spectrum girls often learn to hide their autistic traits through masking to help them blend in more so their “otherness” isn’t as noticeable. This is why women are so under-diagnosed and are referred to as “the invisible side of the spectrum”. I also deliberately have her peeking out because I’m starting to learn how to unmask, and it’s a scary process that I’ve been doing a little at a time. I also made her blind, because for such a long time I was blind to who I really was. This piece has become so important to me in this stage of my life and I’m so glad I had this challenge to push me toward making it. I hope to shine a light on ASD and remove the stigma associated with it.
Karen Sizemore – Sonshine
Artist’s Name: Karen Sizemore Name Of Your Art: Sonshine Is The Art For Sale? Not For Sale Link back to your Website or Social Media: http://www.ksizemoreart.com
I’m submitting my first collab-lab called “Sonshine”. If you notice, the sunflower only has a few seeds left… Its utility is basically spent… But the beauty (and delight) of the flower still radiate in God’s light. Even though it’s purpose has been fulfilled, it’s still a beautiful sight to behold. As we watch the elderly fight for their lives during COVID-19, I wanted to paint their beauty… the beauty of a life lived; and full of glory. The worth of a flower isn’t just in its ability to produce, but also in the joy it brings while it is in the light.
Melissa Peacock – Invasive
Artist’s Name: Melissa Peacock Name Of Your Art: Invasive Is The Art For Sale? For Sale Price Of The Art? $150 Link back to your Website or Social Media: http://www.yellowmellearts.com
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: I was asked to create something to celebrate Canada Day, in the midst of BLM protests, pandemic-related xenophobia, and a long-running battle by our government to violently invade Indigenous land on behalf of oil tycoons. We Canadians like to use our country’s diversity whenever it is convenient and makes us look nice, so I painted some invasive species of blackberry (and rabbit) simultaneously choking out and decorating a patch of paintbrush flowers. Following the Collab Lab parameters on this, I used our maple leaf symbol on the rabbit’s gold regalia, which is a shiny metallic paint that catches the light when you move it!
Ellen Reiser – Semicolon
Artist’s Name: Ellen Reiser Name Of Your Art: Semicolon Is The Art For Sale? Not For Sale Link back to your Website or Social Media: http://www.starrynightdiner.com
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: This is my shine the Light submission. The subject is the semicolon. The ; has become a universal symbol for depression and suicide. On the Project Semicolon website they explain it like this: “A semicolon represents a time where you could finish a sentence, but you choose to just add a little more. It’s become not just a cliché, but an empowering battle cry for people dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide.” In my piece they are Reaching for the light but not quite getting there. The day and the night. The earth and the moon. All become overwhelming burdens prevent them from reaching the light which is speeding away; seemingly not to return.
Beth Hansen – Fire Mother
Artist’s Name: Beth Hansen Name Of Your Art: Fire Mother Is The Art For Sale? For Sale Price Of The Art? $495.00 Link back to your Website or Social Media: http://harmonygoddess.com
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: The theme of Shine a Light corresponds with the series I’ve been working on. I paint Goddesses in different aspects of Nature, and I’ve just finished a series based on the four elements called The Four Mothers. The final piece is called Fire Mother. To put it into context, I live in Minneapolis Minnesota, and began this watercolor painting at the end of June and finished it on August 1st. The piece is 11 x 14 inches. While I condemn the destruction of small businesses, I believe that we can move forward and rebuild our community. Fire is an element of transformation. It’s all about shining a light on our personal power to make a difference in the world. Because I am a cancer survivor and have type 2 diabetes, I am at high risk for Covid-19 and cannot physically join the protesters out there, so I am offering this instead. #blacklivesmatter
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: The light of a lantern in the night sky in remembrance of our children gone too soon. A mom’s way to honor them and carry on their legacy.
SARA – DAWN
Artist’s Name: SARA Name Of Your Art: DAWN Is The Art For Sale? For Sale Price Of The Art? $500 Link back to your Website or Social Media: http://Saraartist1508@yahoo.com
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: Hope. The light that shines on the dawn of a new day.
Marilyn Savage – Live and Let Live
Artist’s Name: Marilyn Savage Name Of Your Art: Live and Let Live Is The Art For Sale? For Sale Price Of The Art? $155.00 Link back to your Website or Social Media: https://www.gabrielleartsnv.com
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: This piece is called “Live and Let Live”. It’s etched glass surrounded by stained glass and it’s approximately 16″ x 12″. The brown streaky and white streaky glass has become my go-to glass choice for wildlife projects. There’s an ankh charm in the upper left corner for the required symbol, I believe it stands for life. I’ve always been an animal lover so this was a natural piece to create for the Shine A Light project.
LaSaundra – “striped dress with sunflower”
Artist’s Name: LaSaundra Name Of Your Art: “striped dress with sunflower” Is The Art For Sale? For Sale Price Of The Art? $300.00 Link back to your Website or Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/lasaundrapainting
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: This piece is about the strength and beauty of black women, letting their inner light come through.
Kyle Wood – Illuminated Forces Behind The Game Life
Artist’s Name: Kyle Wood Name Of Your Art: Illuminated Forces Behind The Game Life Is The Art For Sale? For Sale Price Of The Art? $900 Link back to your Website or Social Media: https://www.kylewoodcreations.com
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: A candle illuminates the scene with three emotionally driven forces. Life has lots of underlying emotions that compel people forward or backward in this game of life. I included the playing card symbols in this to remind the viewer that there is a game afoot. There always has been a game, in fact many connected and disconnected games. Behind all of them are strong forces and emotions. I enjoy the surreal view of life because it makes people try to figure out why. I don’t think I am answering anything with this painting, but it becomes obvious that the more you study it, there are almost endless possible outcomes of what is about to take place. Acrylic painting on Masonite at 18 inches by 24 inches.
Everett Stanton – Aztec Creation of the Moon
Artist’s Name: Everett Stanton Name Of Your Art: Aztec Creation of the Moon Is The Art For Sale? Not For Sale Link back to your Website or Social Media http://www.everettstantonstudio.com
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: Another moon this month… This image is a snapshot of the little trailer for my CollabLab inspired shadow puppet short film on the Aztec myth about the creation of the moon. In it we see the rabbit in the moon – that’s what the Aztecs saw in the moon rather than a “man in the moon.” The plan is for this to be the first puppet art film that I release from my studio in 2020. The music is in Nahuatl, the traditional language of the Mexica (pron. Meh-she-ka) people (that’s what they called themselves). The song is titled Canto a Tezcatlipoca. The words on the piece are the name of the Aztec boy, Huachinog-Vaneg, son of the man who created the sun, who is said to have teamed up with the rabbit to create the moon for his mother and their people. The light of the full moon has always been one of my favorite things. This project is very close to me, as I am telling the story through the eyes of my ancestors, in my favorite form of art (puppetry). The full trailer is at https://youtu.be/JOFUe9PGouA I will let everyone know when I am done with the short! ~ Ev
Lee Evans – Dark alleys of the mind
Artist’s Name: Lee Evans Name Of Your Art: Dark alleys of the mind Is The Art For Sale? For Sale Price Of The Art? $95 Link back to your Website or Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/levans_art/
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: When it comes to shining a light, I focused on the subject of mental health. This piece represents the opposition between the outer world and the mind and that sometimes these may contrast against each other. The message I would like to portray in this piece would be that not everyone’s day may be as bright as yours, so live with kindness in your heart and compassion for your fellow humans. 40cm x 30cm canvas. Mixed media. LED battery powered light.
Kelly Sterr – Make the Call
Artist’s Name Kelly Sterr Name Of Your Art Make the Call Is The Art For Sale? For Sale Price Of The Art? $35 Link back to your Website or Social Media: https://www.kellysterrgallery.com
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: This small 5×7 piece represents freedom from abuse. With one phone call, you can get away from an abuser forever but you must take that step first. The light In the piece is from the police car who came to the rescue.
Kassandra Alfaro – Justice
Artist’s Name: Kassandra Alfaro Name Of Your Art: Justice Is The Art For Sale? Not For Sale Link back to your Website or Social Media: https://www.kolorfulkas.com/
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: I made this painting in honor of soldier Vanessa Guillén, a young woman who went missing and whose remains were found in a nearby shallow grave. She went missing from her base in Fort Hood Texas, after speaking up on being sexually harassed by fellow soldiers. Vanessa Guillen’s family is still demanding justice and answers. They have started a national campaign called #JucticeForVanessaGuillen
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: I have always felt a deep connection to nature, but the ocean specifically. The stormy sea represents the chaos and uncertainty that this year has brought for many of us. The gold leafing on the horizon represents the coming year and the hope that it holds Peace and positive change for this world. 30×40 acrylic And gold leaf on canvas
Cruz Kai – “From Sadie, with Love”
Artist’s Name: Cruz Kai Name Of Your Art: “From Sadie, with Love” Is The Art For Sale? Not For Sale Link back to your Website or Social Media: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: I created this commission for a friend’s sister that is heartbroken over losing her family dog, Sadie. The bright colors and abstractness is my attempt to “shine a light” on this dog’s life of love. -Acrylic on canvas, 15” x 15 “ – titled “From Sadie, with Love”. (Sold)
Klee Angelie – Gargantuscopic
Artist’s Name: Klee Angelie Name Of Your Art: Gargantuscopic Is The Art For Sale? Not For Sale Link back to your Website or Social Media: https://rafiandklee.com/
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: Gargantuscopic is a word I came up with for seeing the big within the little. The piece is about a lot of things for me, but primarily shining a light on the questions and wonder we have about ourselves and our connection with the infinite (the universe, all of time, the connection between what we understand and what we have yet to understand). If I could sum up the piece in a single statement, I think it would say “My dear, you look at the stars and you wonder… never stop wondering… for you are wonder… and you are the stars.” The process was a beast to take on, but I’m glad I was up to the challenge. The original sculpting was done in wax, then electroformed in copper and mounted with lights in a wooden and fabric landscape. I love that it was difficult to capture and to create, and I love that I saw it through to the completed piece. It’s a difficult subject matter to take on in general, and one that I’m endlessly captivated with.
Arlene Whiteswan – Fireflies in the Long Grass
Artist’s Name: Arlene Whiteswan Name Of Your Art: Fireflies in the Long Grass Is The Art For Sale? For Sale Price Of The Art? $350.00 Link back to your Website or Social Media: http://www.themysteriousdomain.com
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: The hills are magical on hot summer nights when the crickets are singing and the fireflies are glowing. Anything can happen.
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: We can stand up, lifting each other up, and let our hearts shine brightly in love and kindness.
RAFI PEREZ – THE UNIVERSE WITHIN
Artist’s Name: Rafi Perez Name Of Your Art: The Universe Within Is The Art For Sale? Not For Sale Link back to your Website or Social Media: (You Are Here)
Your Artist Statement About This Piece: This piece represents my perception that we can grow and expand our love beyond perceived possibilities. Shining a light on the fact that all the power of the universe lives within us all. I believe that if we all really knew how amazing we actually are, we would not approach the world with doubt and insecurity. I believe doubt and insecurity is what causes some of us to do things that do not promote love.
Klee and I get asked a lot of questions by artists from all around the world. Just about every day we get a question in our inbox about the personal struggles that some of these amazing creatives are having. Most times we have some kind of insight or experience on the subject, sometimes we don’t.
Listen, no one is an expert at how to deal with your situation, the best any of us can do is give our two cents. We are all just figuring out our own way to make this thing happen. Recently, someone contacted me about marketing their art and having a website. They had signed up for a mentorship program for artists that cost about $2000. Part of me was like “I’m an idiot for talking about this stuff online for free, and the other part of me was like “What could they possibly be giving for that much?”
As it turns out, it’s the same cookie cutter bullshit marketing program that people have been promoting to artists all over the place. Facebook ads, niche marketing, find your audience, targeted marketing, blah blah blah.
An artist contacted me saying:
I am an artist and someone referred you to me. They said that you encourage artists to create their own way and screw what others might say. I just fired —— as an art mentor because he wants me to only market my wall art and nothing else. I can’t do that. I am having good success with selling my art and crafts. I just want to get more into marketing online because so many of my venues got canceled this year because of COVID19.
I responded with:
A lot of those programs have to do with the way a lot of people market products online, which works if you have a niche that you fall into. That way you can do targeted marketing. I think —- does great as a marketing guy and a writer because you can really target your market with books, especially if you are targeting marketing books to artists who want to learn marketing.
I have an issue with this type of marketing because it niches you, which I seriously doubt an artist can be niched for very long. Yet if you are putting yourself out there consistently as a creative you form a following of people who are interested in you and what YOU create. This takes a lot longer, but slowly you create a loyal following. It took me ten years to get where I am, and honestly, I’m not a big deal at all.
The trick is thinking long term and understanding that it will take time.
I don’t really have a mentorship program because I make my money from my art, the videos I share are simply because I wanted to give my perspective and share things I wish someone would have shared with me.
To be honest with you, I’m just figuring it out as I go and sharing whatever I learn. I have a community of people on Patreon that support the video side and support one another.
Please feel free to contact me when you have any specific questions and if I can I will most definitely answer in a video.
She wrote back and this made me a little pissed.
Rafi: Thank you so much for answering me back! I like the idea of watching your videos. That would work just fine. It is very generous of you to be willing to help other artists without charging money. Thanks!
—- wanted to put me into a very small niche that I didn’t feel I fit into. That may have been ok for me 30 years ago, but I’ve grown as a person and as an artist. I need more than that now. I read his book and it was helpful, but working with him in person is a big NO. He has this attitude that if I don’t do what he wants me to do that I will fail. Then he gets rude and instead of listening to me, he just says, “Suck it up!” Not cool at all. I like people with confidence, but I get the sense that he has TOO much confidence and maybe a bit egotistical.
Should I run more than one website if I want to do more than one thing as he suggests?
Honestly, it doesn’t sound like confidence to me. Truly confident people don’t behave that way, but arrogant people are usually riddled with insecurity underneath a layer of false confidence.
I can’t tell you if it is wrong or right, but I can tell you what I do… again, I don’t officially know what I am doing, but I like making things simple for myself. It would be a pain in the butt to run more than one website. On top of that, I don’t care about marketing a niche. I would much rather have a following that identifies me as a creative. It’s true that if your site is concise, it is easier for people to navigate because they are trained by most websites to just focus on one thing. Most people identify things they experience in the world by labeling someone or something a specific title, for example, “She does nature art.” So a lot of marketing people go in this direction because it is easier to market.
But most people know that if you go to Etsy or Amazon you are going to look for what you want, and most times you look through the various products to find what calls to you.
My website is a behemoth. It has Klee’s jewelry, my art, T-Shirts, Our Music, Stickers, Posters, Made to order artist prints, Short motivational MP3’s for artists, A section for our Patreon following and who knows what else.
We love our website, it is so much more than just a selling platform, it is a maze that contains our story and communicates what we’ve done, who we are, and what we believe in. Some people get lost, but most navigate it just fine.
I’ll be honest, for years I tried to make things as simple as possible on my site, and as it turns out you’ll never be able to make it simple enough for some… and most people know how to navigate a website and don’t get confused if you have more than one item type.
I could follow the status quo of marketing 101 if I wanted to. Honestly, it is super easy to get fast results if you just focus on one thing and that is ALL you are focused on, which is why these marketing courses usually go this route in order to prove themselves to the artist. They get fast but temporary results that are not sustainable for the artist. Artists are dynamic, but promoting yourself as a multifaceted artist takes time; it is for the long road.
I think as artists, it’s all about taking our awesome imagination and just going for it. Getting our work out there and thinking about ways to get it in front of new people and people who already follow you. There isn’t an art collector store, there are just people. You have to give people the opportunity to find you… have fun with it and quit thinking that these idiots that call themselves “marketing experts” because they are good at marketing a “marketing course” to people who desperately think they don’t know anything about marketing are right about anything… they’re just as confused as you are about selling art. That’s why they try to force everyone to fit the niche marketing route.
I, on the other hand, am not a good marketing person. I would rather be called an artist than simply identified as a niche artist. This statement makes a lot of artists who follow the marketing doctrine of “focus on one thing” very upset with me. But art is NOT a product and artists are NOT just salespeople selling a product.
I think artists that are truly successful pave their own way and don’t allow some jerk to pretend that they are better than them at marketing (because they are marketing to artists who are desperately seeking a way to market their art which is an easy target market).
Pave your own way, do your own thing, not the shit that EVERYONE is already doing.
For example, one of our awesome Rogue Artist Family On Patreon is doing a facebook live and showing her art! So Awesome! If you want to join us in supporting her putting herself out there during a pandemic go to:
Recently I designed a t-shirt that says “ARTROVERTS UNITE! We’re here! We’re uncomfortable! We want to go home and create something.”
If you had asked me a few years ago when I started selling art, what it takes to be a successful artist… my answer would have been simple: the ability to produce good art.
I imagined that my artistic life would consist solely of me working in my studio, producing strokes of genius.
Art collectors would magically appear (poof) to buy art and leave. I would rarely have to leave my studio, and I would never have to go out into the “real” world. I would never again have to go to any social gathering I didn’t want to go to. This belief was clearly absurd, but I had all kinds of silly ideas in my brain jar of what being an artist was.
Now, almost a decade into it, I realize the subject of what it takes to be successful as an artist is much more intricate. It’s not just about producing art, although that is a BIG part of it. It’s about putting yourself out there again and again. Falling on your face and accepting rejection as part of the process.
Had I known all these years, my fear would have either gotten the better of me, or I would have blazed my own trail long ago. I would have become an ARTROVERT.
I love making art. I love being in my studio. Creativity is what keeps me from losing my shit, makes my life meaningful, and encourages me to jump out of bed in the morning even when the world seems to be amid a crap-storm.
The thing I didn’t understand when I first started was how much being an artist would require me to stretch myself. Or maybe I knew, which is why for most of my life, I didn’t pursue an art career. I stayed comfortably in the shallow end.
I had a friend that used to tell me that even our dream jobs will have roles we don’t like but which we accept so we can do the parts we love.
To be an artist, we have to accept the discomfort of being perpetually vulnerable, having no financial security, and being rejected often.
This involves putting yourself out there in front of the world… Which can be terrifying.
So How did you do it Rafi? How did you get over your fear?
I decided to take it step by step and not try to eat the entire enchilada all at once. I realized it wasn’t all or nothing, I could do it in chunks. I knew those chunks were going to hit on some major comfort zones. I also stopped comparing myself to where other artists were at in their careers.
Being an ARTROVERT is all about accepting the fact that it is OK that you don’t want to be social, and not punishing yourself for it. It means that you trust in communicating with your art and don’t concern yourself so much with how people see you.
You’re an artist, you are weird, and awkward sometimes, and that is OK. Artroverts love their studio, they love creating, and they love their quiet time. An artrovert also understands that if you are not putting yourself out there, you are not communicating your art with the world… so you show up.
To be an artist, it is quite simple. Create art, put it out there, and persist through the bullshit of your own mind or other people. Keep creating, keep showing up, and through that experience, you will let your weird artistic personality shine into the world along with your art.
Be unapologetically awkward, be creative, be an ARTROVERT.
Listen to our podcast below, where Klee and I talk about being ARTROVERTS.
And Here is A Quick Message From Some Random Sponsor (sorry 🙂 not sorry)
I am now turning some age in February where I have been deemed an old fart. I’m not being elusive about my age, I simply can never remember how old I am. However, I do remember that it happens every year on February 5th and for the most part, I like to relax with Klee and do nothing that day. No fanfare, no parties, no big todo, just a relaxed day, doing everything I do on just about every other day. I celebrate “me” a lot whether it is my birthday or not. This has led to the disappointment of some very good friends who love to celebrate birthdays and me.
This year is going to be slightly different. I’m having a party.
Well, February 1st will be my birthday bash… February 5th, I’ll be relaxing and doing nothing, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
I decided that the birthday party would be a fun art-stravaganza thing where Klee and I could show our latest art and jewelry, and have some really cool art reveals. We also picked a location that is eclectic and just plain awesome! Dolce & Gelato is such an amazing place full of unique personality and fun.