Posted on Leave a comment

The Critic Doesn’t Count, THE MAN IN THE ARENA

It was about nine years ago, when I ran across this excerpt from a speech by Teddy Roosevelt. This speech changed my life and my point of view of people who criticized my ability to succeed.

pa-hay-okee2
Klee and Rafi traveled the country and challenged their old way of living, despite the naysayers and critics saying it wasn’t possible.

 

I am working on a video that is about taking negative criticism, so I’ve been inspired to share it with you:

” It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ”

— Theodore Roosevelt

UPDATE:

Here is the video I recently did about some of the negative critics I have had, and how I deal with them.

When you hold on to your vision, no one can ever stop you.

Vision In My Mind By Rafi Perez
Vision In My Mind By Rafi Perez

Stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life. Love you. –Rafi

Posted on Leave a comment

Stephanie’s Mermaid By Rafi Perez

I had the honor of meeting with a wonderful person who wanted a statement piece for her new digs. Her story was inspiring, and right up my alley for the kind of commission I love to work on. I love it when people jump out of their comfort zone… It’s awesome.

She had reached out to me after a good friend recommended that she should own a “Rafi” piece in her new abode.

Stephanie's Mermaid By Rafi Perez
The Reveal With Stephanie

After a fantastic phone conversation where we talked about everything from having a positive mindset, to pushing past comfort zones, and I scheduled an appointment to meet in person.

I like meeting with someone, whenever possible, to get a feel for who they are. I have a series of questions that give me a little insight to who they are, and what they want.

Stephanie's Mermaid By Rafi Perez After a great conversation, taking measurements, and staring at the space (I’m sure it looks weird as I attempt to visualize the piece and how it will interact with the other objects and colors in the room) I had what I needed to get started.

Stephanie's Mermaid By Rafi Perez

My notes are usually very simple, I use single words to evoke the conversation we had, the colors that mean something to the person, and my own intuition.

This is what I wrote:

  • Mermaid
  • Bright Light
  • Turquoise
  • Positive Energy
  • Inspire Others
  • Blue
  • Purple (Different Shades)
  • In tune with touch (Massage)
  • Fierce
  • Empowered
  • Create a piece that will be a magical and constant reminder of self development and self empowerment.

The end result was amazing, and the mermaid just came to life in the space, and in the energy of its new home.

Stephanie's Mermaid By Rafi Perez

I am very proud of this piece, and honored that I was given the opportunity to create her.

-Rafi

 

 

 

Posted on 8 Comments

The Origin Of Passion

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

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

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

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

The Origin Of Passion By Rafi Perez

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

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

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

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

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

The Origin Of Passion By Rafi Perez

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh… Duh…

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

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

The Origin Of Passion By Rafi Perez

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

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

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Who Judged An Artshow? This Guy.

So, recently I’ve made it a point to enter a few more art competitions and juried art shows. In the past I would tell myself that I was too busy to do such things, truth was, I was just a chicken.

rafi-perez-judge-art-show-4

In fact, I was surprised to see just how many thousands of miles outside of my comfort zone it was to enter anything that involved someone judging my art. This was especially surprising, because this is what I do for a living… I create art. Anywhere I display my art, people are judging it, some hate it, some love it, some buy it, and others make disgusted faces at the sheer thought of buying it. It happens every day, and it doesn’t bother me one bit.

So why is entering my art to be judged any different? I think it’s the academic nature of it all. Like failing a test. I have this image in my mind of some art curmudgeon, scoffing and turning up their nose at anything that would indicate that I had more talent than a three year old with a broken crayon.

rafi-perez-judge-art-show-3

When I was asked to judge an art show, I almost froze from the idea of being one of those art snob curmudgeons.

As it turns out, there is nothing scary about entering or judging an art competition. Most of the time, people who are judging a show are artists, or art lovers themselves. 

Art is diverse and almost formless. There is no one thing that can describe the blanket term for art and what it is supposed to be. Sure, we all have opinions about it, but at the end of the day, it’s just an opinion, and we all know what those are like.

rafi-perez-judge-art-show-1

When I judged the art at this show, I looked at technique, style, beauty, skill, inherent meaning, uniqueness, and fulfilled intent. When you think about it, it’s all relative to my taste, my ideas of beauty, my knowledge of skill, and my interpretation of the world. That’s really all I can do as a judge of art, is share my opinion.

When I look at beauty, I am looking at repeating shapes, patterns, and symmetry. I also look at colors, texture, crops, composition, where my eye goes, movement, flow, proportions, and the appeal of the subjects or objects in the piece. It’s how I look at the world.

The art that appeals to me personally, is art that was skillfully made with a hint of rawness. It has meaning beyond just an image. It makes me feel, bring me to tears, make me laugh, or remind me of something powerful and empowering. It also stands out in a crowd, and dares to be different.

rafi-perez-judge-art-show-2

I did have a somewhat difficult time judging this show, because I wanted everyone to win. But alas, I picked the ones I connected the most with.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience for me, and one that allowed me to stand on the other side of the table. In the end, I realized that it’s just people judging art according to their taste, likes, and dislikes. Now, I was one of them.

If you are interested in viewing the “Who Am I” show, opening reception is November 10th, 2016 6:00-8:00pm at Pensacola State College building 15 room 1590.

Posted on Leave a comment

What Is Even Going On?

So, you might think that I’m having a bad week after reading the title of this article. Nothing could be further from the truth, I’m actually having a pretty awesome week.

So good in fact, that I found myself pausing for a moment, staring blankly into the studio and asking myself “What is even going on?”

Rafi Perez Best In Show Artel Gallery
Rafi Perez Best In Show Artel Gallery

Sunday, after a facing my unlikely fear, of people relentlessly pointing and laughing at my art, I entered my art into a juried art show. Later that evening I received a phone call that would determine my fate.

It was Artel Gallery, telling me that two of my art pieces got into the show… and that one of them, won best in show.

I was like “Whaaaaaaaaaat??” Needless to say, I was excited.

Rafi Perez Best In Show Artel Gallery
Rafi Perez Best In Show Artel Gallery

Then, earlier this week I was able to finalize some art clothing designs. I’ve been working on these for a while and didn’t think I’d be able to pull it off. I wanted something new to offer before the end of the year. They look so awesome, and the response has been great so far. Let me know what you think, I’ll be releasing new designs in November.

Clothing By Rafi Perez
Clothing By Rafi Perez

Then, today I found out that I was voted “Best Of The Coast 2016 Artist” by inweekly. Which is so awesome to me, and I am so grateful to all the people that voted for me. I literally froze in disbelief, so amazing.

inweekly Best of The Coast 2016
inweekly Best of The Coast 2016

Then, I got an email telling me that my book has been approved for national distribution. It is now carried by Barnes & Noble, Amazon Books, and other national book retailers. Check it out!

The Art Of Rafi First Edition
The Art Of Rafi First Edition

So, basically it’s been a pretty awesome week. Thank you so much for your continued support, I appreciate you so much!

I’ll write a little more about these exciting things in detail at some point. For now, we are getting ready for a two day festival, and the studio is electrified with energy.

But, I just couldn’t help myself, I had to share with you.

Posted on Leave a comment

I Won Best Of Show?

So, yesterday I submitted some pieces that I created for a juried art show that takes place at Artel Gallery, in downtown Pensacola.

I’m sure most of you will find it hard to believe, that it was a terrifying act for me. Yeah, only my closest friends (and now you) know that I have an childlike fear of having my art judged by art competition judges.

Let’s make something clear, I don’t mind having my art judged. People judge my art all the time, some love it, some hate it, either way, it doesn’t bother me. Put the art in a competitive setting and I become a nervous third grader.

Artel Gellery Submissions By Rafi Perez
Artel Gallery Submissions By Rafi Perez

Now, I’m fully aware this is ridiculous. I’m an established artist, I have collectors of my work, and I am well known… yet, just because it doesn’t make sense, doesn’t mean I didn’t almost piss myself yesterday.

This video will let you live my experience yesterday: 

The theme of the show is about animal life. The show is called “It’s A Zoo In Here” and runs for the month of October.

Cazebraca By Rafi Perez
Cazebraca By Rafi Perez

I decided to enter the show, face my fears, and submit my art… For the past few years, I’ve been working on getting rid of silly fears that stand in the way. Sometimes, I have to push outside of my comfort zones, which seems to be an ongoing thing, so I better get used to it.

Rehabilitation Of Beauty By Rafi Perez
Rehabilitation Of Beauty By Rafi Perez

I created two pieces for the show called “Rags to Fishes” and “Rehabilitation Of Beauty.” My friend and art collector, Monica Gaskins owns a Zebra sculpture I created recently, and she allowed me to submit it as my third piece.

Rags To Fishes By Rafi Perez
Rags To Fishes By Rafi Perez

“Rags to Fishes” is a sculpture I created using old pieces of canvas that I collected from the stretching process. They typically get thrown away, but it seemed like such a waste to throw perfectly good canvas away…  that stuff is expensive, and I couldn’t bring myself to just throw it away.

Watch the video above to hear which piece won best of show… That’s right! I won best of show… How awesome is that!

The show reception is Wednesday, October 12, 6pm-8pm. Klee and I will be there, which is also outside of my comfort zone because I got best of show, and there is a part of me that doesn’t know how to handle that… Like I said ridiculous, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. 🙂

The show runs October 4th – Oct 28th, 2016.

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Rafi & Klee Interview on Business Radio X

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.

Listen to The Full Interview by Clicking This Link 

Guest on the show:

Cliff and Carol (Big Rhino) http://www.bigrhino.com/
David Speakman (Gulf Coast Business Consulting) http://www.gulfcoast-business.com/

Pensacola Business Radio X http://pensacola.businessradiox.com/

Listen to Rafi and Klee’s Interview below


http://rafiwashere.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/radio-x-rafi-and-klee.mp3