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Rafi Perez Solo Art Exhibition

On Sept 11th 2015, I launched the opening for my solo art show “You Are Here – The Strange Curiosity of Right Now.” The opening reception was a huge success and the show is running until October 1st 2015. The show features over 100 works of art, including installations, paintings and sculpture.

There was an acoustic performance by the amazing band Dinosaur Daze and fantastic food by Monica Gaskins. The show is hosted by Marty Campbell Gallery in Downtown Pensacola.

“I’ve always been very fascinated by the concept of right now. That fleeting moment that takes place inside your mind, it dictates how you feel and what you think about. The show will exhibit a body of work that is a study of the various emotions that can exist in a fleeting moment of right now.”

“Art is such a great representation of the relative nature of the concept of time because the experience takes place in the viewer mind. Things will sow down when you get absorbed by the colors, texture and the subject of a piece if it triggers an emotion response that is personal in nature. Yet, nothing will happen to the flow of time if the piece doesn’t speak to you in any way, you simply move on to the next.”

What: Rafi Solo Art Show – YOU ARE HERE: The Strange Curiosity of RIGHT NOW

Where: Marty Campbell Gallery  –  126 Palafox Pl, Pensacola, Florida 32502

Show Runs – Sept 11th – Oct 1, 2015

Rafi Perez is a self-taught artist who’s sense of adventure and constant experimentation in his studio has led him to develop a painting technique with unique characteristics.

His ambition with his paintings is to use symbolic shapes, figures, texture and colors to express his deepest emotions and passion for life. This leads him to apply paint to the canvas in unusual and interesting ways. His paintings also require layers upon layers of paint to create a sensuous and turbulent surface texture that is as vital and as complex as life itself. He uses color to allure an imaginative and emotional response from the viewer. His dynamic depictions of the human experience and expressions are the product of many days of working and reworking.

His Paintings represent the discovery of mysteries of the subconscious mind that are part of his own personal journey in life. The art holds the promise of dreams, visions, fears, intangibles, and will. It is a collaboration of the mind and spirit. It is designed to speak to the viewer in a confidential language. Once a piece of art grabs you, you cannot help but interact with it; it demands contemplation, study, feeling, and flights of fancy.

 

 

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Look For Article In Pensacola News Journal on Saturday Aug 29th

Rafi and Klee Interviewed By Pensacola News Journal Eye On Art Mike Roberts

Last Saturday if you happened to come by the market you may have noticed that we were engaged in an intense conversation with someone in our booth. You may have been wondering if we were figuring out the cure to world hunger, or how to bring about world peace. Although those are on my bucket list, it wasn’t anything like that.

Pnj Rafi and Klee
Pnj Rafi and Klee

 

We were actually talking about ourselves, Klee and I were being interviewed by Mike Roberts who writes for the Pensacola News Journal. “Mike Roberts Eye On Art” had his eye on us for next Saturday edition (Aug 29th).

So with much anticipation, I wait and hope I didn’t say anything ridiculous, which I tend to do when I get a little nervous. Honestly, I doubt that will be the case, Mike Roberts was really cool and easy going. Klee and I had a lot of fun answering some really thought provoking questions and showing him some of our more recent pieces.

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Gallery Night In Pensacola

This Friday (3-20-15) Klee and I will be doing Gallery Night in beautiful downtown Pensacola. If you ever find yourself in the Pensacola area on a Gallery Night, you are in for a treat.

Palafox Street is closed to traffic to allow for visitors to walk the streets enjoying music, food and entertainment. All the local businesses have their own form of entertainment that pours out into the street.

Government Street is also closed and that’s where you will find us, at “Artist Row”.

Time: 5:00 PM TO 10:00 PM

Where: 130 E. Government St.

Pensacola, FL 32502

Phone: 850-434-6211

 

Seville Quarter invites over 70 award winning Local Artists & Vendors to showcase their skills, crafts & artwork in the street in front of the historical complex.

The Seville Quarter’s “Gallery Night Artists Row” has that “Arts Festival Feel” that we love so much. It is seriously a fun time. 

One of the really cool things about Gallery Night is that every event is different. When Pensacon was doing their thing, we had all types of superheroes and storm troopers walking the streets.

 

During the running of the bulls, Seville Quarter had tough girls on roller skates previewing the run.

They recreate the “Running of the Bulls”.  This annual event, made famous by author Earnest Hemingway, has participants chased by angry horned bulls. The Pensacola Roller Gurlz oblige all of us as the “Bulls”.

Klee and I also use the event as an opportunity to debut some of our creations. Mostly we get excited about the opportunity to hang out and have a good time. So if you find yourself in Pensacola this Friday or any other Gallery Night, come out and have some fun with us.

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Being a Professional Local Artist

Being a professional artist can be a discouraging road to take when you are attempting to make a career of it. In fact trying to make a career of anything creative is usually met with a struggle between having what is considered a “Real Job” or being able to live the rest of your life on Ramen soup.

That’s how I used to feel. The truth is that although the concept of a starving artist is popular and somewhat romantic, having that perspective won’t do anything to pay bills. Some people may feel that they need to have hardship in order to be creative… This won’t do anything for your bills either.

The truth is that my discouragement came from viewing myself as some kind of socially awkward creative genius who was misunderstood by society. Although this made sense of why I wasn’t openly sharing my art with the world, it was a lie to excuse myself from doing more as far as creating a career as an artist. The interesting thing is that the more I talked about how hard it was, the more people I found to agree with me on how impossible it was to do what you love.

Honestly, I had to get a few things straight in my mind before I was able to fully apply myself in making a living as an artist.

I needed to view myself as a business person and not a socially awkward misunderstood artist who was being kept down by the system. The only system that could keep me down is my own lack of willingness to expand my business and open myself and my art up for criticism.

Remember, starting a business of any type can be difficult at times, especially during the first year. Most businesses don’t start to turn a profit until the third year. As an artist you are your business, you are the brand so your ability to interact and mingle with all kinds of people is paramount. This doesn’t mean you have to be a social butterfly, just be yourself.

On a side note, my advice on “criticism” of any type is to remember that everyone has different taste and different expectations of what art is. That’s the beauty of art, it is unique to the perspective of the artist and some people will love it and some people will hate it. The trick is to not care either way and appreciate and love whatever it is that you create. I’ve made it a point to say “thank you” to everyone that comments on my art because they are going out of their way to share their opinion, even if it’s negative.

Although running your own business can be difficult, the payoff is immense. First off you make your own hours, you are your own boss, and you get to do something you love all day, every day. You also will share a part of yourself with the world and grow immensely from that experience in talent and confidence.

For a lot of artists, having galleries display and sell their art is a dream come true. Although this is a step forward, it takes time to build a reputation that will allow your art to sell for the kind of money that will allow you to live comfortably. The time it takes to build this reputation is up to you and consists of marketing yourself and your art.

The first and most important marketing strategy is word of mouth. Find events and festivals that you can go to or display your art, the most important element is not selling your art but talking about it and yourself with everyone you meet. Talk about it.

Find ways to market your business, then find some more ways to market your business, then find more. It’s fantastic that you are doing what you love and you are creating art, but remember that this is a business and not a hobby. Find ways to market your business through ads, marketing materials, or other creative ways to create a buzz about you and your work.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in running my art business is that as long as I don’t allow myself to get discouraged and continue striving to get my name out there it is impossible to fail unless I give up. So it’s quite simple for me… If I don’t give up, I could never fail.

http://www.youtube.com/user/RafiwashereUS https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rafi-Was-Here/178839118531 http://www.rafiwashere.com

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You Can Be Self Employed

It’s been about two and a half years since Klee and I packed up the Explorer and hit the road for what has been an adventure of a life time. In this adventure we’ve traveled around the country, started businesses in Pensacola Florida, and are still going strong. We wake up every morning looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.

The road we’ve been on hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. We’ve run into some struggles on the road, We’ve also run into plenty of problems while starting businesses from scratch with no money or real financial backing. There have been times where we had no idea if we could pay our bills or even afford a place to camp for the night… let alone if we could afford our next meal.

So why is the title of my blog “Being Self Employed is easy”? Because it is.

I look at the struggles that we’ve overcome and realize that we are still going strong and moving forward. Even when it looked like we might be down for the count we never allowed ourselves to give up.

It almost seems silly to me that I would worry about something that hadn’t happened yet or might happen back then. It always seemed to work out one way or another.

I think the only thing that could ever stand in your way of doing something that you love to do and making a living from it is you. To be honest, it was the negative and pessimistic thinking in my own mind that would cause stress and problems. Financial Stress is the biggest one to cope with and it is the most harmful to your motivation.

Yet, the only way you can ever really fail at making money in your new business is by quitting. I’m serious, you cannot fail if you don’t quit doing what you love. Even when people tell you that you are crazy, or you can’t do it… it doesn’t matter what they say, it’s your life and only you know what it is you truly want out of life.

What made it easier for us was the ability to be flexible and not stay on a dead horse once the race was over. Being flexible is adapting, growing, learning from what doesn’t work for you and shifting it little by little until you find a temporary formula that works for you and then tweaking it some more… That’s the fun part.

Too many people give up way too soon and most give up before they even start. Start talking yourself into it instead of out.

Klee and I are still on our adventure and still having fun… Ultimately, in my opinion that’s all that really matters.

Reach for the stars, do what you love and take a leap… Who knows, you may just have fun!

http://www.youtube.com/user/RafiwashereUS https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rafi-Was-Here/178839118531 http://www.rafiwashere.com

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You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To | Get Creative!

It’s interesting to me how doing something vs talking about it can make all the difference.

I am an Artist, Filmmaker and Graphic Designer… And that’s how I make my living. I’m not pulling in millions of dollars at the moment, but I do make enough to live comfortably, something I had always deemed impossible.

You see, a few years back I looked at myself through the eyes of a pessimist who believed that you had to be lucky in order to do what you love to do. When I look back I realize I just didn’t believe in myself and in my ability to make it through my own road blocks. There is one thing that all professional creative people have in common, they didn’t give up even when it seemed like they were going nowhere… Even when people added in their two cents and told them they should get a “real” job.

As far as I’m concerned working on a project (art, film or computer graphic design) finishing it and eventually selling it is the best job in the world.

The problem wasn’t what other people were telling me, it was what I was telling myself.

I had fantastic excuses on why I couldn’t start a career in a creative field. My resume showed 10 years of corporate management, I had no proper schooling, it was just a hobby, it’s hard to make it as an artist, There’s a reason why they call them starving artist, I don’t have enough time, I don’t know where to start, I need money to get this started, No one thinks I can do it, I’m not creative enough… Basically I would talk myself out of it before I even attempted to make it.

The fact is, you can do what ever you dream of. In fact I know that if anyone decides they want to do something, there is nothing that can stand in their way other than themselves.

I have free wristbands that I give out at my store that have my website on them, on the other side it reads “You Only Live Once” and on my business card it reads “If you knew you could not fail, what dream would you dare to dream.”

I know now, that failure is impossible unless you give up… If you don’t give up, no matter what the odds, there is no way you can fail… eventually, you would have to get it right.

I have met some amazing people who wish they could do what I’m doing… My answer to them and to you if you are reading this is “you can.” You can do anything!

http://www.youtube.com/user/RafiwashereUS

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rafi-Was-Here/178839118531

http://www.rafiwashere.com

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Working on Some New Amazing Artwork in Gulf Breeze This Weekend

Klee and I had a wonderful day having a photo shoot in which we took several great pictures for some of the new paintings I’ll be working on at in Gulf Breeze. Some of the designs will be for a secret unveiling at Gallery Night in Pensacola on May 18th.

The pictures themselves were amazing and we loved how they came out. You can find some more on my facebook page.

"In Prayer" New Design for Rafi Was Here Studios

https://www.facebook.com/Rafiwashere

http://www.rafiwashere.com