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Personal Power Art

They say that your surroundings are a reflection of what is going on in your mind. I believe that, and often find myself saying the words “cluttered house, cluttered mind.” Although, admittedly I say that mostly to the pack rats that are in my family who have a collection of printers from the 1980’s.

I think there is a value to being selective of what you allow into your space, making sure that it makes you feel one of three things, beautiful, empowered, and optimistic.

Internal universe By Rafi Perez

Now, I know that my personal brand of art is not for everyone, and because of the nature of art, it is open to all types of interpretation. But the following pieces are meant to empower your surroundings, thus empowering yourself.

I Am Fierce By Rafi Perez I AM FIERCE – The fierceness of someone who stands confident in their own determination of what the world is supposed to be, surrounds themselves by things that make them feel empowered. When someone makes it their priority to change their environment by getting rid of the things that cause them to question themselves… They are truly fierce.

 

Expressions By Rafi Perez

EXPRESSIONS SERIES – The Expressions Series represents a snapshot of time where the blinders are shattering. It is based on a experience that I had that completely changed my life. My life literally fell apart right before my eyes, and for the first time I saw the construct for what it was, blinders composed of my beliefs that I had picked up from other people that held me back.

 

Made Of Light By Rafi Perez

MADE OF LIGHT – The other day, I looked in the mirror and saw myself coming apart.
I exploded into a vortex of light and color.
Suddenly, I couldn’t remember my story.
I saw light,
I was light,
I am light.
How could I ever judge my beauty?

This piece is a representation of the power I believe we all have within us. I hope it will be a constant reminder of your awesomeness and ability to overcome any adversity.

 

Wrapped In Gold By Rafi Perez

WRAPPED IN GOLD – We forget that we are star stuff. Gold is star stuff, and so are we. We wrap ourselves in something precious, and should always remember that we are precious… That, begins in the mind.

This work of art is a reminder and representation of the power we have to create circumstances in our mind… and whether or not we have taken control of that power.

To view the rest of my personal power collection Click Here.

Stay awesome! Take a good look around, it’s always a good time to reevaluate your surroundings.

-Rafi

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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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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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6 Things That Are Awesome About Your Life That You May Overlook

They say that finding appreciation for things will bring you more happiness. So there you are, doing this life thing as best as you can, wondering if things will ever get better. You keep hearing people say “Be grateful for what you have” and you wish you could tell them to shove it up their happy little butts. I mean, if you could actually find SOMETHING to be grateful for, maybe you would be in more of a state of appreciation.

The truth is, we are always surrounded by things to be grateful for. The misconception is that it needs to be this huge profound thing, but it doesn’t… Just simple little things that often get overlooked are huge when you think about it. Here are six to get you started.

Pants

Imagine for a moment, a world where you are wearing a smelly fur diaper to cover your privates, that’s what it was like several years back. Or your junk was just out in the open flopping freely in the wind and attracting all manner of biting or stinging insects. Pants, they’re awesome, I can fall and bust my ass without having severe scrapes. Can you imagine how many times I would have to tell people “ahem, my eyes are up here.” Thank you pants!

sunlight

Daylight

Imagine for a moment if there was no sun in our solar system… Oh yeah, you can’t because there would be no life on this planet. Thank you sun!

Toilets and Running Water

I know, you stop at a gas station and your bladder is ready to burst. You walk in, it is dirty and smells. “Oh, that toilet was disgusting… I had to hover.” Just be grateful that you didn’t have to dig a hole, or hover over a hole in a wooden shack that had a hefty collection of poo. People are not throwing buckets of poo out their windows and causing another black plague. Thank You Toilets! Thank You Running Water!

rafi

Internet

It used to take over a year to get information from one continent to another. Then it took a few weeks to send heartfelt telegraph messages like “John. Come soon. Stop.” You are reading this right now, on a platform that allows you to have all knowledge at your fingertips. You can communicate with several people all around the world in seconds. You can also enjoy hours upon hours of mindless fun. Thank You Internet.

Breathing

Yeah… This should be a no brainer.  THANK YOU BREATHING, YOU ROCK!

Go on an appreciate with you badass self :)

 

 

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16 Easy Ways To Enjoy Life Right Now

Have you ever begrudgingly wondered how some people manage to make being happy look easy? You think, it’s probably genetic, luck, or they’re just too ignorant about life to worry incessantly like a real adult. Honestly, the reason it looks easy, is because it is much easier to be happy than most of us think. A lot of us have the tendency to think that happiness requires a giant shift in our lives. We either think we need a big fat bank account or to find ourselves on a mountaintop somewhere. We tend to make happiness this complicated unattainable thing that requires habits, routines, and balance. Honestly, it is so simple that it’s almost embarrassing. Here are 16 simple ways you can enjoy your life more, starting today!

1. Focus on you, yourself and I

You, take care of you and follow your bliss. People will have their opinions, demands and suggestions. They will share these demands, opinions and suggestions. They may argue their demands, opinions and suggestions. They will lovingly express their demands, opinions and suggestions. Ultimately, however, it’s you, and you alone, that will have to live with the decisions you make in your life. Focus on what makes you happy.

2. Create time to relax

Relax, take time to just hang out with yourself and clear your mind.

 

3. Avoid the news

It’s easy to get sucked into public drama, gossip, or world catastrophes = online and offline. Trust that if something important happens, you’ll know about it. Otherwise, save yourself energy and spend your time on something more worthwhile… Like watching butterflies flutter.

4. Nurture your positive relationships

Hang out with people who are positive, inspiring and wonderful. Avoid people who are full of drama and constantly complaining about their lives.

5. Meet new people

Making a consistent effort to meet new people helps us fulfill and introduce new ideas and perspectives. It keeps things fresh and exciting.

6. Explore new places

New places and cultures offer a different perspective on the world and add a healthy dose of inspiration and possibility to our lives.

7. Spend money on experiences, not possessions

It’s experiences, not possessions, that create memories and meaning.

8. Cut down your junk

Physical clutter equals mental clutter; reducing the amount of stuff around us fosters a calmer mental state, too.

 

9. Make time for gratitude and appreciation

Creating a routine of writing down three things we feel grateful for each day helps us focus more on what we’re grateful for in life.

10. Be deliberate in your choices

We’ve never had so many opportunities to create a lifestyle that we truly love, yet many of us still live life on autopilot. Be deliberate in your life choices: remember that it’s your life and no-one else’s.

11. Invest in yourself

The more self-aware and self-accepting we are, the happier we are. Make time to read personal development books, journal, and focus on being compassionate towards yourself.

12. Allow yourself to feel happy

Many of us find it challenging to enjoy a calm, “normal” life. Give yourself permission to enjoy a drama-free existence and focus on finding pleasure in your daily experiences.

13. Practice mindfulness

Noticing how we feel and what’s around us right now is an effective way of getting out of our heads, detaching from our worries, and returning to the experience of what it’s truly like to be alive.

14. Get outside

Feel the wind on your face, the sun on your skin, and enjoy a good dose of Vitamin D and fresh air.

 

15. Speak your mind

When we hold back our thoughts, opinions, and desires out of fear of displeasing others, we’re not being true to ourselves. Speak up and feel uncomfortable in the short-term and you’ll enjoy life more in the long-term.

16. Record happy moments

Take photos, journal, draw—whatever you need to do to record happy moments and memories. Every time you remember an experience, you relive it, make the memories good. Enjoy.

Love you guys – Rafi

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Let Inspiration Take You

If you could ask me six years ago “Hey Rafi, do you think you could ever make a living from your art?” I would have responded “I wish.”

I look at the old version of me, that guy was pretty cynical and pessimistic, it is no wonder I was stuck where I was. I was pretty comfortable in my corporate job following someone else’s agenda and thinking that life was all about sacrifice and quiet desperation. Obviously, I’m not living that life anymore, which is awesome.

inspiration-3

I created a piece that is symbolic of the two versions of my life. In the past I was always waiting before making the move towards something I wanted. It was “When I have more money” or “When I have more time” or “When I retire” which never seemed to come. The bottom figure is sitting on his hands and hiding his face with his hat, which means he can’t see outside his small reality.

“Hey Rafi, do you think you could

ever make a living from your art?”

I would have responded “I wish.”

Later in life. I allowed inspiration to guide me like a mad man. I realized that life is too short to not live it fully now. I’ve always wanted to work for myself and create art for a living and decided to take the leap. The top figure is upside down with a balloon lifting him in the air. The balloon symbolizes inspiration, he is upside down because it was completely outside of my comfort zone. I had to become my biggest cheerleader in order to push myself forward through the minefield of doubt, and that was my biggest challenge. The figure is also looking up, it symbolizes the glimpse of the expanse of possibility and potentiality that we sometimes have blinders to.

inspiration-2

I now know that it is possible for EVERYONE to succeed at anything that they put their mind to. The only thing you have to overcome is the challenge of doubt, it is the only thing that could ever truly stand in your way. I realized that I was with my own mind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and I could either be self motivating or self deprecating. Had it been someone other than my own mind saying some of the crap that I said to myself I would have told them to suck an egg a long time ago.

Life IS too short to spend ANY time being mean, sarcastic, pessimistic, critical, judgmental, or mean to yourself. It’s really silly, some of the bullshit excuses we use to be unhappy. It’s your life, it’s your mind, own it. You get to decided, you either sit on your hand and wait or you let inspiration guide you even when everyone else thinks you’re nuts.

 

 

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Happiness is a State of Perception

Recently I finished a piece called “Contemplation.” It is a painting of a woman who is deep in thought and the magic of her intention is floating around her. As with most of my pieces, I stared at it for a very long time after it was finished and wondered what people would think of her.

This got me thinking about the different perceptions people have about art. Some people would think she was absolutely beautiful, others would just scoff at her and walk away. I wondered what kind of person would scoff at something beautiful and whether or not they were happy people.

It was then that I remembered that I was a very different person in the past. As much as I love art and am excited to see the uniquely awesome creations that people create, back then I was cynical and would scoff too. I can honestly say I wasn’t very happy, I pretty much complained and criticized everything.

This got me thinking about the weather. Yep, the weather. It’s been infuriatingly hot here in Pensacola and as much as I would love to stay inside and hibernate in air-conditioning, I have things I have to do outside.

I thought about people I know who don’t seem to be bothered by the heat and how much happier they seem during the summer months. I thought about hot days at the beach and how the weather isn’t really that big of a deal.

Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez
Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez… and it is hot.

Perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. So I played around with the idea of deleting the heat and focusing on the things I enjoyed. I focused intensely on the small breeze, the cold refreshing water, the sound of the fan running in the background, the birds tweeting and how good it felt to wipe the sweat from my skin. Slowly, I started to shift my perception to other awesome things, such as the feeling of walking into air-conditioning after being out in the heat or how the shade feels so good.

I realized that the things I perceive are not good or bad, that judgement comes a split second after I’ve experienced what ever it is. If I spend my entire time bitching about the heat, then all I’m doing is making myself miserable. Instead, I’ll delete the bitching, focus on the beauty and milk that as much as I can. It works wonders for me.

In the past I criticized everything and made myself miserable, guess it’s better to just focus on what you want to see. To see the beauty in a flower on a hot day, listen to the sound of birds chirping, the sound of thunder in the distance or admiring a unique piece of art and taking it all in with a smile. Sounds way more fun.