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The Power Of A Child

“When you dream, you are free…to be the things you want to be. When you dream, you are free…to see the things you want to see. Sometimes in my dreams I fly, through the starry, starry sky. When I see the moon I laugh, it’s a great big bed for the tall giraffe.” -Anonymous

The Power Of A Child By Rafi Perez
The Power Of A Child – Acrylic On Canvas  24X30

We know that kids have big imaginations. But sometimes we forget just how powerful they can be. We forget just how much joy and creative fire they can fuel within all of us. To let go of our imagination is to let go of our power to create wonder in the world.

The Power Of A Child By Rafi Perez

So I created this piece to symbolize what I believe is the power that we can easily misuse as adults. As a kid, I was constantly told to get my head out of the clouds and grow up. Yet the most powerful moments in my life came as a result of allowing myself to dream bigger than what seems to be possible.

The Power Of A Child By Rafi Perez

I think we all use our imagination… I mean, when you are stressing out about something that hasn’t happened yet, you are using your imagination.

I try to imagine several impossible, amazing things every day. Things that are full of possibility and wonder… Things that make me feel like I can achieve anything.

This little girl symbolizes the power of our imagination and returning to that magical time of being in control of what you picture in your mind. Molding your thoughts into impossible dreams of awesomeness.

The Power Of A Child By Rafi Perez

I am stoked to announce that she made it into the Cinco Banderas Exhibition at Artel Gallery. If you are in Pensacola, stop by the gallery and see her. Reception for the show is November 4th 2016 from 6pm-8pm at Artel Gallery on Palafox.

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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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It’s a zoo in here – Artel Gallery

Opening reception for “It’s a zoo in here” at Artel Gallery was last night. In preparation for the show, I changed my clothes about a hundred times. I finally settled for the first thing I had picked out, and headed out to mingle with the art crowd of Pensacola. Last night I had the opportunity to face another fear. Fear of recognition for winning best of show.

Artel It's a Zoo In Here Show. Photo by James Gaskins
Artel It’s a Zoo In Here Show. Photo by James Gaskins

I know what you’re thinking, “Really dude, fear of being recognized for winning best of show?” 

Yup… It seems pretty interesting to me that I have these hidden fears, that really don’t make much sense, but I can feel them just the same.

I walked in with Klee, and my good friends, Monica and James, they were all my backup in case I started hyperventilating or something.

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

When we arrived we were given raffle tickets and welcomed to the show.

Immediately, I was pulled into a conversation with someone who had seen my videos about facing my fear of entering the competition. It was an intriguing conversation about facing fears, and about the caveman instincts that bring those fears up to the surface.

Then, I was asked if I wanted to take a picture with my piece, and I did. Then, I was surrounded by a mob of people, asking about the piece, asking about my history, or simply catching up. People that I adore, that I haven’t seen in a while, and new people that I was meeting for the first time. It pretty much went like that for most of the evening… It was awesome.

Artel It's a Zoo In Here Show. Photo by Margret Hildreth
Artel It’s a Zoo In Here Show. Photo by Margret Hildreth

At least, until they announced the winners. I had won best of show, so I was announced last. There was a thunderous applause, and I wanted to hide, which I successfully did… until Susanne, who was making the announcements said “Where is he, is he here?”

All eyes landed on me, I half waved and probably turned beet red.

Then, it was over. On to the next thing.

They called out the numbers to the raffle, and my friend Monica won chocolate… to which I exclaimed “I never win anything.”

Fellow artist, Marty Campbell replied “Sure you don’t, just best of show.”

All in all, it was an awesome experience, and one that I hope to have again and again.

If you are in Pensacola, and you want to check out the show, it will be running at The Artel Gallery  October 4 – October 28, 2016.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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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Believe it or not… You are an Artist

I use the word artist a lot when I’m talking to people about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. That’s because I think we are all artists, even if you’ve never picked up a paint brush.

When I look at my life, I see life as a giant blank canvas that I am constantly adding and subtracting meaning to. Essentially, the world around me is perceived by my beliefs about it.

Watch this video to see what I mean :)

Enjoy all you awesome artists.