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Getting My Morning Started Off Right.

So, I have a confession… The last few days I have been in a confusing place when it comes to my own sense of happiness.

Honestly, it’s something that I think about a lot, and feel like I am constantly reevaluating where I’m at, and what I can do better to feel more fulfilled and whole.

rafi happy sketches

This morning, I had somewhat of a revelation.

My mornings, for the most part can be pretty routine:

  1. Drag myself out of bed.
  2. Think about how I feel and determine what I can do to feel better.
  3. Listen to an uplifting podcast or audio-book.
  4. Drink coffee and read positive quotes.
  5. Clear my mind for 5 or 10 minutes or meditate as you hipsters like to call it.
  6. Think about the here and now, and what I’m grateful for.
  7. Plan my day, look at my calendar.
  8. Get a little workout in, I prefer to just go for walks, mostly I just lift heavy things.
  9. Shower, and get started with what ever I’m doing at the moment.

That’s how an ideal start to my day would look. Lately, its been looking more like this:

  1. Drag myself out of bed.
  2. Think about how I feel and wonder why I feel that way… usually blaming someone or something.
  3. Drink coffee and begrudgingly look at my calendar.
  4. think about how I really should meditate or something.
  5. Feel overwhelmed and like there’s not enough hours in the day.
  6. Rush to get started, try to do everything… and I mean EVERYTHING.

So, needless to say that my days are a little less focused on well being, and more focused on the task at hand. Whether the task is in front of me or inside my head, makes no difference, it’s just all reactive.

I prefer to be in a powerful state of mind in order to create my art. The underlying message is meant to be one of self empowerment and happiness, and if I’m not feeling those things, the art is going to reflect that. So, although I have all these things to do, I do none of them, because I’m not willing to sacrifice my message for the sake of being productive… which can make me feel like a failure… it’s so stupid when you think about it.

rafi happy sketches

Ok, back to my revelation.

So, this morning I was thinking about how I felt, and wondered why I felt that way… when it hit me like a ton of bricks… on the forehead… while falling off a mountain.

I wasn’t choosing my thoughts, I was reacting to my feelings right from the beginning. Instead of determining what I wanted to think about, I was evaluating myself emotionally without setting a solid set point for my day. which meant that my day could go either way.

Being deliberate about what you are going to think about is key. Choosing a subject that you want to think about and just thinking about that, and training your mind to focus on what you decide to focus on.

The subject should be empowering, make you feel alive, bold, bright, powerful, exciting. It can be a question that is framed in a way that causes the answer to be a positive one, such as “What are all the things that make me feel awesome today?”

rafi happy sketches

So my days would start off like this:

  1. Drag myself out of bed… Still working on this one.
  2. Think about what I want to think about and determine the most powerful thought.
  3. Listen to an uplifting podcast or audio-book, maybe about the same subject.
  4. Drink coffee and read positive quotes.
  5. Clear my mind for 5 or 10 minutes or meditate.
  6. Think about the here and now, and what I’m grateful for.
  7. Plan my day, look at my calendar.
  8. Get a little workout in..
  9. Shower, and get started with what ever I’m doing at the moment.

I’m not one for routines, but I am one for forming deliberate habits, so this should be fun. I’ll let you know how it goes, but so far, so great!

 

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You’re Invited To Our Happy Holiday Shindig 2016

Friends of Rafi and Klee Studios and LunaStella Naturals are invited! We are happy to present our 2016 holly jolly Christmas Open Studio/House Shindig on Sunday December 11th From 11am – 5pm.

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We invite you to visit the place where the splashing of paint, the hammering of precious metals and the mixing of natural ingredients happens! In celebration of the spirit of Christmas shopping we are opening our doors and saying “Hello, come on in and enjoy some cookies… and snacks… and beverages… and art… and jewelry… and natural skin and body care… and did I mention cookies.”

Rafi and Klee wish you Happy Holidays
Rafi and Klee wish you a Happy Holidays!

We will open our doors from 11am – 5pm and will be giving tours of the studio of Rafi & Klee, and LunaStella Naturals upon request. That way you can see for yourself where some of your favorite works of art, jewelry, and skin and body care come from.

It wouldn’t be Christmas shopping without gifts for you!! So, we will be giving away a free gift to everyone that comes by and says “Hola!” (While supplies last)

Monica and James wish you a Happy Holidays
Monica and James wish you a Happy Holidays!

Holiday appetizers will be served throughout the day along with good cheer towards everyone! :)

Where: 3403 W Jackson St, Pensacola, FL 32505

When: Sunday, December 11th from 11am – 5pm

What: Christmas Shindig and Shopping

Who: You! Who are invited (although walk ins are welcome, please respond to this email to RSVP) or sign up on facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/149889972154317/

Why: Because it’s awesome, you get a gift, you get to play with us, eat some snacks, and can shop for some amazing things.

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Don’t Forget That Life Is Amazing

Today, a good friend of mine, shared a blog post with me. I had to share the information with you because it is just that good. It came at a perfect time too.

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Usually, this time of year, Klee and I are busy with commissions and orders for the holiday season. It can get a little crazy. We sometimes find ourselves spending full days in the studio, for weeks at a time, without venturing out into the world. Leaving the house only to buy groceries, like vampires leaving their den in search for food.

Don’t get me wrong, we love what we do, but just like anything, you need to remember to stop and smell the roses every once in a while, or you’ll find yourself caught up in deadlines and an overwhelming sense of duty to the next task. You find that there is more to life, when you are willing to look at the bigger picture.

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Remembering how amazing it is that we are alive, at this very moment, on this planet, is necessary for quality of life. It only takes a few minutes a day, to remind yourself.

STOP, GO OUTSIDE AND LOOK UP

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Rafi Looking Up

Look up to the sky or out to the horizon. Let your awareness expand to fill the vast distances that you see. Focus on the sounds, the feelings on your skin, the smells, the colors, and Breathe deep. Just do this for a few minutes, until you feel a physical change, then go back to what you were doing.

FEEL HAPPINESS

A smile, a happy song, laughter, a silly dance, these are just some of the things we can do to create a feel good moment. We can also become aware of more amazing moments around us that bring us joy, and milk them for as long as you can throughout the day.our-journey-46

STOP AND SMELL, INSPECT, AND STARE AT THE ROSES

Just pause for a moment and see if you can look at something deeply. Really give yourself time. See if you could make it a priority. Your mind might scream at you and tell you that you have better things to do… But you don’t. Take some time to just appreciate the world you live in, and experience it fully for a few minutes. This will get easier and easier, eventually your mind will just shut up and let you do your thing.

If you want to read the original blog post on MIND FUEL DAILY click here.

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A Beautiful Painting Of A Beautiful Girl

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.

Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee
Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee

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.

Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee
Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee

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.

Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee
Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee

So there you have it, a beautiful painting of a beautiful girl.

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My Art Teacher Was Wrong

Have you ever had someone tell you that you are not good enough? Did you believe them?

Rafi Perez in Studio
Rafi Perez in his art studio

This picture is of me working in my art studio, creating art for a solo exhibition, because I am a full-time artist, who makes a living from his art. This is not what my teacher predicted… Guess he’s not a psychic.

If I had believed my art teacher in school, when he was telling me that I wasn’t good enough, and that “You will never make it as an artist” I probably wouldn’t be writing any of this right now.

But, I didn’t believe him… Well, eventually.

It’s interesting how such an insignificant event, had such an impact on my career as an artist. I’m sure he doesn’t even remember saying it, but his words stayed with me longer than I’d like to admit.

Watch this video to hear the full story:

Now, I wouldn’t change a thing, because eventually my journey lead me to finding my own confidence, and there is no point in wishing that things had gone differently.

It would be a lie, if I didn’t admit, that every once in a while, I wonder where I would be, had I started my art career sooner… But, it is what it is, and I’m enjoying the ride thus far.

Rafi Was Here Studios
Klee didn’t listen to the naysayers when she started her jewelry business and her work is amazing. She also didn’t listen to the naysayers when it comes to her music. She’s an awesome role model for me.

Why am I sharing this story?

I wanted to reach out to anyone out there that may be experiencing the same thing. Whether it be a creative field, a life goal, or a dream, Don’t ever believe anybody that tells you that you can’t do something.

It took me a few years to learn this for myself, but now that I have, I am unstoppable. I’ve learned that the only way you can ever truly fail at anything, is to give up. With my art career, I had given up, before I even started.

Being Childish Is Fun
My friends Monica and James didn’t listen to the naysayers when starting LunaStella Naturals. Their company is rocking the natural skin and body care market.

Because I lacked confidence in my ability to persevere, I took to heart the comments of naysayers in my family, and eventually my teacher.

Luckily, I put all that crap behind me and I know that the only thing that matters, is whether or not I believe I can do it.

So, if you believe you can do it, (no matter what it is) then you can… plain and simple.

Thank you for reading my rambles! Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life.

-Rafi

 

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Childish? The Best People Are.

It’s no secret that Klee and I are all about embracing your inner child, and living a life full of adventure… Also being weird, and all those other things that people think artists are.

 

Being Childish Is Fun
Rafi The Clown Being Childish Is Fun

I am pretty much convinced that kids have life all figured out. I mean, think about it, chances are you were once a kid. Chances are you were even fun and spontaneous, with a great sense of humor.

Being Childish Is Fun
Klee and I photobombing our friends booth at the market

Then, at some point, you were welcomed into the ritualistic daily grind of adulthood, gradually eradicating your inner child. Let’s be honest, most adults suck, they feel frustration instead of hope, and care too much about what others think of them.

Being Childish Is Fun
My favorite thing to do when we go shopping is color in the kids area.

But, if you are reading this, chances are, you are not much of an adult. You are that magical creature that keeps the inner child alive… Like Peter Pan.

The more of these traits you have, the more childish you are:

*They are curiously looking at the world.

*They make it a point to learn something new every day.

*They make small things enjoyable.

*They persevere.

*They stay active.

*They are more optimistic.

*They see the beauty in nature.

*They don’t hold grudges.

*They are adaptable.

*They don’t care about what other people think about them.

*They dream big.

*They are kind to others.

*They aren’t rushed.

*They have more fun.

Being Childish Is Fun
She makes a very pretty clown.

Living a life full of wonder, appreciation for the small things, humor, kindness, resilience, and big dreams is exactly what your inner child would want you to do. So, embracing it, just might be the most awesome thing you can do for your life.

Watch This Video On More Of My Thoughts On The Traits Of Being Awesomely Childish:

Leave a comment in the section below of how you embrace your inner child.

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My Saturday Night Art Party

I was asked yesterday if I was going to an event that we were invited to, called “Art Party is Dead.”

My answer was “no, I already have plans.”

Now, I’m sure “Art Party Is Dead” was a blast for everyone that went. I’m also sure that among the body painted performers and neon lighting, people were wondering where Klee and I were.img_8278

For the record, we are hermits, don’t drink all that much, and are socially awkward… But that doesn’t usually stop us from uncomfortably socializing and pretending to be normal.

Like I said before, we had plans…

We were having our own awesome art party with some very special guests to our studio.

There was music, art, imagination, wonder, good friends, pretty girls, good lookin’ dudes, and even some body paint… Lots of body paint… But probably not the kind of body paint you are thinking.

If you ever want to watch something great, give a paintbrush and some paint to a 1 year old and let them take over… It’s amazing, and scary all at the same time.

Also, watching a child paint seems to bring magic back into the world… Just sayin.

So if you are ever wondering what an awesome time looks like for an artists like me… It looks like this:

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So, thank you for the invite, and I do apologize for not going (maybe next time), but as you can see… Awesomeness was to be had in my art studio.

Also, thank you to my special guests… Hope you enjoyed the visit 🙂

-Rafi

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This Art Will Make You Smile – Compassion Project

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.

 

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Christmas Open Studio Shindig 2015

Rafi Was Here Studios and LunaStella Naturals presents a holly jolly Christmas Open Studio Shindig on Sunday December 20th From 11am – 4:30pm.

 

We are excited to invite you to visit the place where the splashing of paint, the hammering of precious metals and the mixing of natural ingredients happens! In celebration of the spirit of Christmas shopping we are opening our doors and saying “Hello, come on in and enjoy some cookies… and art… and jewelry… and natural skin and body care… and did I mention cookies.”

We will open our doors from 11am – 4:30pm and will be giving tours of the studio so you can see for yourself where some of your favorite works of art and jewelry come from.

It wouldn’t be Christmas shopping without gifts for you!! So Rafi will be giving away a free gift to everyone that comes by and says “Hola!” (While supplies last)

LunaStella Naturals will have stocking stuffers and gift kits in addition to the regular product line.

 

Holiday appetizers will be served throughout the day along with good cheer towards everyone :)

where: 3403 W Jackson St, Pensacola FL 32505

When: Sunday, December 20th from 11am – 4:30pm

What: Christmas Shindig and Shopping

Who: Every Awesome person in Pensacola and surrounding areas

Why: Because it’s awesome, you get a gift and can shop some amazing things.

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Rafi Live Painting At Empowerment Sat 11-5-15

“Empowerment” is a Food drive for Manna Food pantries. I will be doing a live painting along with some other very talented artist. The painting will be auctioned off to raise funds for MANNA.

Along with amazing live art creations by awesome artists (Mikaela Schelt and Nate Lyle), there will be art, live music and food. There will be a juried art show with the theme of Empowerment and how each unique artist perceives it.

Music starts at 2:30 and will continue until 10pm.

The last “Empowerment” show collected 680lbs of foods for families during the holidays. The goal this year is to raise 1000 lb of food.

This is an awesome show for a very good cause.

When:  Saturday at 2:00pm – 10:00pm 67°F / 49°F Clear

Where: First City Art Center – 1060 N Guillemard St, Pensacola, Florida 32501

What: “Empowerment” For MANNA food pantries

How Much: $5 + a non-perishable food item

Why: Because it’s an awesome event for a good cause

 

For more info joint the Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/1671374866408276/