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How To Be A Badass Artist

Many people will ask me about my art and popularity and assume that I have always had some secret answer to both. The truth is much more exciting. Contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t born with it. In fact, I spent most of my life having abysmal social skills.

Any sentence containing the word “Rafi” would not be followed by a phrase containing the words popular, cool, or badass. It was quite the opposite. I was painfully shy and assumed that I would never amount to anything. Of course, back then, I didn’t push my own boundaries.

Just look at how cool I was.

In my shy brilliance, I understood I was introverted and scared to get in the limelight. Anything requiring me to face rejection or put myself out there would bring paralyzing fear.

So what changed?

I did. At some point in my life, I decided that life was too short to be invisible. I knew somewhere deep inside that I was stronger than I had believed. I also understood that the best way to conquer fear was to face it head-on. Hence, my art career. Sure, I wanted to share my art with the world, but honestly, this whole ride has been a self-conducted social experiment. I wanted to see if I could turn someone who felt broken and small into someone who would have a powerful creative voice in the world. To this day, this is what motivates me to create and put myself out there.

Here are seven things that I have learned along the way.

Worrying About What People Think Of You Is Useless.

This is one of the most powerful lessons I have learned. I had a hard time wrapping my head around it, but it was life-changing once I did. People will always have opinions, no matter what you do or say. Not doing a thing or holding yourself back and not living the life you want due to other people is a waste of precious time. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what they think. They have their lives. You have yours. As long as you are not hurting anyone in doing your thing, they can go fly a kite.

Invest In Yourself And Your Badassery.

Back in the day, everything I did could be traced to trying to get validation or some kind of reputation. I spent most of my time trying to prove that I deserved good things. I didn’t self-indulge in art materials because I thought it was not responsible in other people’s eyes. “Why do you need so many sketchbooks?” Because I’m a damn artist, that’s why. Invest in yourself, and don’t allow yourself to feel guilty about it.

If I was dating this would be my profile picture because I’m so cool. Thank the lord I am married.

Choose Carefully Who Influences You.

There are a lot of naysayers in the world. This is because most of them have given up on their dreams for some reason or another. These people usually have great arguments on why something isn’t possible. I guarantee you that they have spent their lives justifying their decision to quit and thus have a convincing argument. However, they are full of shit. Everyone I know actively pursuing their dream would never crush someone else’s dream. People that give up are so jaded that their only way of making themselves feel better is to convince someone else that their way of thinking is the correct way to see the world. You don’t need those people to influence how you will live your life.

Just Go For It, Especially If You Are Afraid.

The fear never goes away on its own. If you avoid it, it doesn’t get better. In fact, the act of avoidance just makes it worse. The only way to honestly face a fear is to do what you are afraid to do. At the beginning of my art career, EVERYTHING I did to put myself out there was terrifying. However, my life was exciting. When you push boundaries, fear is always involved as you have new experiences. Embrace the fear and have the adventure. The alternative is to just go back to how things have always been. For example, I am terrified to play music on stage and this weekend I will be performing music at our art exhibition. As scary as that is, the adventure of facing the fear is absolutely worth it.

I’m so cool that the autofocus can’t keep up with me.

Argue With The Stickman.

Every morning I calm my mind and breathe. Some call this meditation. I call it arguing with my stickman. The stick man is that inner voice like a drunk asshole that just blurts out the most damaging things about you. Most of us either take what they say as truth or try to bury the feeling inside us. Suppose you’ve heard yourself saying, “I’m so stupid!” or avoiding an unsettling feeling. That is the stickman. The stickman has a kegger in your mind, totally disregarding your furniture. Even if you hear yourself getting mad and throwing daggers because someone is trying to empower you, this can mean that the stick man is in control. Argue with that voice and remind yourself that you are capable. Just because it’s in your head doesn’t mean it’s true or even a belief that truly belongs to you.

Let Go Of The Past

The truth is that we all have epic stories of tragedy in our lives. I am talking about some horrible shit. Every one of us. We’ve all had painful experiences. It’s just part of being a human being. However, I’ve seen people stuck there and unable to move on from the pain because they carry resentment. I spent most of my life with the weight of resentment on my shoulders. It was limiting me from moving on with my life and approaching it as an empowered badass. Once I slowly let go of something, I could move on and reidentify with my badassery. I realized that by holding on, I was allowing someone who had wronged me to have control over my life and emotions. Fuck that.

This is my cool looking at my phone face.

Do It, Not Say It, And Spray It.

Back in the day, I constantly talked about things I would do but never took action. I think I was looking for validation for my ideas. It’s almost like looking for permission. As I started to change my way of thinking, I realized it was better to just do the thing and prove to MYSELF that I could do it. That’s where your power is. It is in what you believe about yourself. Everyone else can keep their opinions to themselves.

At the end of the day, this is an ongoing journey. We never get it done. I will be learning from my experiences and pushing more and more boundaries as I ride my life to the end. It’s not about fame or being famous. It’s about being yourself and unapologetically sharing your voice with the world. When you are genuine and don’t carry a chip on your shoulder, you will bring authenticity and love to the world through your art and everything you put out there. So I urge you to go for it because the world needs more artists sharing their creative badassery with the planet.

I’m such a cool magnet that I attracted this coolness… She’s SO cool.

You can take my word for it… cause, you know… I’m like, cool. The kids are still saying that right?

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Human Connection Is Everything

Last week was something of a blur. With everything going on lately, I frequently walk into rooms and forget where I am. I’m also guessing at what day of the week it is because I honestly don’t know. Our exhibition has been extended. We are working on commissions, trying to remodel the third floor (our bedroom), hosting guests, recording an audiobook, practicing for a concert, and figuring out how to create clones of ourselves. 

Have you ever had one of those days that felt like you were moving at the speed of light? This week (or month, I have no sense of time) has felt like that. 

However, some moments stand out—moments of connection where time slows down. As two “Artroverts,” Klee and I spend a lot of time hidden away in our studio, where we express ourselves through our creations. These creations will connect us with humans when we put them out there. Some may glance, listen, or read it and scoff. Some may ignore it, but some will connect. Some will even feel inspired to reach out to us; thus, the connection comes full circle.  

Robin came all the way from Kansas and hung out with us at the gallery. This was our first time meeting him in person. He is an amazing human and we were so happy for this opportunity!

Because we are very public on the internet, we get to connect with people from all over the world. This is something that still surprises me. I tend to forget that Klee and I are public personalities. This is because the reality is that we are total nerds. We are both socially awkward and weird. Yet, people from around the world have connected with who we are even though we may have never met in person. I think this is a beautiful thing.

Putting yourself out there and making human connections will always require being brave and taking chances. Engaging in conversation with someone new can be intimidating. Many creative folks are shy and would tweeze their nose hair out rather than start a conversation with a stranger. However, if you put yourself out there, you will have to step out of your comfort zone despite the nerves.

Something magical happens when you connect with someone in a conversation many miss because they are too scared to go for it. 

Darren drove in from Ohio and spent some time with us at the gallery and we had some really awesome conversation.

Listen, Klee, and I know what it feels like to be so painfully shy. Every time we put ourselves out there, we are pushing through a comfort zone. It’s gotten a little easier over the years, but the fear never really goes away. That being said, we keep certain things in mind when choosing to go public with our awkwardness.

Choose the things you like. It is easier to engage in a conversation when surrounded by people with similar interests. If you love reading, join a book club. If you create art, volunteer to teach an art class. Put yourself in an environment where YOU are comfortable. Talk about what you enjoy. Don’t jump on subjects because they are common or popular unless you are genuinely interested in them.

Embrace rejection for what it is. Everyone is not for everyone. You may click with some and not so much with others. Introverts tend to feel like they are on trial. You are not. You don’t need to gather friends, just people you connect with. If a conversation doesn’t jive, don’t blame yourself. It just means there was no connection. If someone rejects you, then it means they have no business being in your life anyhow.

Heather and Steve visited Oil City During their cross country trip and we spent a great time together. This was our first time meeting in person and it was awesome!

Be yourself. It is exhausting to try and be anything other than yourself. You don’t have to be anyone else to make a connection. Just be yourself and connect with your people. 

Have fun. I think we can quickly turn meeting people into a serious act for many of us. The truth is, if you make it no fun and are not having fun, then why do it? 

Be vulnerable. Don’t put up an act. Allow yourself to be more vulnerable. Don’t drop filters or boundaries, but don’t curate a version of yourself that is not you.

The Kirkman’s came in from Cayman Islands and spend a few days with us. This was our first time meeting and it was like hanging out with old friends.

These moments are magical. These moments only happen if you allow yourself to be who YOU are. Last week, we connected with some unique humans. Some traveled quite a distance to meet us. This is bravery, and we are so happy to have had the opportunity to share that time with them. This is what it is all about. This is the stuff of life.

Over the years, we have extended our Rogue family of creative humans across the globe only because we treasure our connection to them. In a world where everyone is chasing fame, likes, an algorithm, or money, I think it is important to remember that we are all human. We are all connected. We all cry, laugh, get stressed, jump for joy, and do our best in life. Our humanness and humanity are what can bring us together. It is also what has the most value.

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HI! We’re STILL Here! You Can’t Get Rid Of Us!

Klee and I are still at it! We have taken over Graffiti Gallery and we are not ready to let it go! That’s right! We are extending our show through September in Oil City at 210 Seneca St, Oil City, PA 16301.

Rafi and Klee are both extending their shenanigans at Graffiti Gallery in Oil City PA. They are showcasing all the art they love to create. This includes paintings, jewelry, sculptures, books, music, and more. They also want to invite creatives and forward thinkers to come out the first weekend in September and discuss where we are all heading in this amazing town and ways to get there. Come and find a retrospective of Rafi Perez’s paintings, sculptures, and Klee Angelie’s jewelry and creations. Come hang out and talk about life, listen to music, look at some art, and have a blast. The show runs through the month of September on Fridays from 4-7 and Saturdays from 11am-2pm. The gallery will also be open for private appointments, contact Rafi and Klee to schedule your private tour.

The show will run through September and each day will feature art creations and fun. The show is meant to inspire and delight and we plan to have a lot of fun while we are there. We look forward to meeting the amazing people of this community!

Sept 2nd (4pm-7pm) and 3rd (11am-2pm) – The Rogue Artist Book Readings And Discussions About Revitalization.

Come and meet Rafi and Klee at their first two month long art exhibition in their new town. Enjoy art, jewelry, music, and more at the exhibition’s extended run. Drinks and a fun atmosphere will be provided. Come ready to have a good time and talk about being a rogue! Rafi will read his favorite passages from his books throughout the day, he will also talk about their efforts in the revitalization and plans for their beloved town of Oil City and the region. If you are a rogue and are excited about this area please be there. The biggest enemy of innovation and progress is apathy, but there is a way to combat it and move forward despite the challenges. They will also hold a question and answer and brainstorm session throughout the talk. He will also sign books if asked throughout the day.

FACEBOOK EVENT – https://fb.me/e/3BxjPi2hk


Sept 9th (4pm-7pm) and 10th (11am-2pm) – Live Paintings And Creations Throughout The Day.

Come out and spend some time with Rafi and Klee and experience art experimentations and creations. Including but not limited to live painting, jewelry, and music writing. Enjoy conversations about their travels, art, and why they moved to this amazing area and their plans moving forward. Also, Rafi will be demonstrating painting on his spinning easel throughout the days and creating something special for his new home town that will be given away to a lucky winner at the end of the exhibition run. Come in and get a free raffle ticket.

FACEBOOK EVENT – https://fb.me/e/4BZjM1CSH


Sept 16th (4pm-7pm) and 17th (11am-2pm) – Music Concert – RAFI’S REDEMPTION TOUR!

Our Band Is Called Better On The Drums

Enjoy some art and some great conversation and some music practice during the day. Rafi experienced his first live performance and botched it the whole way through (well, that’s how he feels) and is hoping to make a strong comeback and blow the minds of anyone there brave enough to listen. The concert will start on Friday at 5pm and Saturday at 12pm. This laid back concert will be like hanging out with two friends while they sing and play guitar. 

This will be the second time ever that we perform as “Better On The Drums” our new band. Witness Rafi be nervous again on stage… or will he be?

FACEBOOK EVENT – https://fb.me/e/24wcIoMrY


Sept 23rd (3pm-8pm) and 24th (11am-2pm) – Let’s Get Uncorked! And Finally Say Goodbye.

Enjoy some art and great conversation during the day and come downtown for the wine walk. They say people love buying art when they enjoy wine so we are hoping to capitalize on the phenomenon. Well maybe. However, you know what else works with wine? Great conversation! This will also be the final weekend of the show (we promise) and we’ll be saying goodbye.

FACEBOOK EVENT – https://fb.me/e/2AqXKuGFP

More About Oil City Uncorked

Oil City Uncorked Happens on Friday, September 22, 4:30 – 8:30 pm in downtown Oil City (north side business district). Sample from 10 regional wineries (plus a sprinkle of spirits & brews) located at various host businesses within walking distance! Participating vendors: Allegheny Cellars Winery, Black Dog Wine Company, Cart/Horse Distilling, Country Hammer Moonshine, Deer Creek Winery, Emlenton Brew Haus, Fat Chad’s Brewing, Fractured Grape/Novosell LLC, Groundhog Winery, Happy Hour Winery, Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery, Twisted Vine, Two Birch Winery, Webb Winery, and The Winery at Wilcox. 

Light refreshments will be available at host businesses, plus downtown restaurants will be open for regular dining. Souvenir tasting glass included with ticket. Oil City Uncorked is for ages 21 & over, valid ID required on event day. Tickets are available online through this link (processing fees apply), at the Oil City Library, 2 Central Avenue, and at Core Goods (starting 8/31/22), 219 Seneca Street. Proceeds benefit the downtown revitalization efforts of the Oil City Main Street Program.


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HI! We’re New Here! Rafi And Klee Exhibition

Klee and I are doing something we have never done before and are so excited. Mark your calendars and prepare for an Art-stravaganza that will knock your socks off. The kick-off will be on August 5th, with the reception from 6 pm – 8 pm EDT at Graffiti Gallery in Oil City at 210 Seneca St, Oil City, PA 16301.

Rafi and Klee will both be showcasing the art that they love to create. Come and find a retrospective of Rafi Perez’s paintings, sculptures, and Klee Angelie’s jewelry and creations. You will also experience never before seen art from Rafi and Klee’s stash of works that have never been displayed anywhere.

The show will run through August and each day will feature art creations and new facets of us that we have never performed live. The show is meant to inspire and delight and we plan to have a lot of fun while we are there. We look forward to meeting the amazing people of this community! We will also live stream certain parts of the event for our online family of Rogue Artists!

Facebook Main Event Page https://fb.me/e/4WljdSFfG

Facebook Music Event (See Below For Date) https://fb.me/e/3LajhQU4i

Facebook Author Meeting Rogue Event (See Below For Date) https://fb.me/e/20Wqbx08t

Show Dates And Events Are As Follows:

We have special things planned for each week of the month of August at Graffiti Gallery in Oil City and also online.

August 5th, 6PM – 8PM EDT – Exhibition Reception (Food and Drinks Will Be Provided)

Come and meet Rafi and Klee at their first art exhibition in their new town. Enjoy art, jewelry, music, and more at the exhibition’s opening reception. Delicious food, drinks, and a fun atmosphere will be provided. Come ready to have a good time. They will be holding the exhibition in August. Visit their event page for more information on the dates and times of the event for concerts, book readings, and art talks. Official Event Page https://wp.me/p1XVFv-qqd

Facebook Main Event Page https://fb.me/e/4WljdSFfG


August 6th, 12PM – 6PM EDT – Meet Rafi And Klee. Music And Art Creation Throughout The Day.

Come out and spend some time with Rafi and Klee and experience art experimentations and creations. Including but not limited to painting, jewelry, and music writing. Enjoy conversations about their travels, art, and why they moved to this amazing area. 

Live Stream On YouTube Of Show August 6th, 1PM – 2PM EDT (Will post link and announce across all social media)


August 12th, 3PM – 7PM EDT – Meet Rafi And Klee. Music Concert At 5PM – 6PM (New Never Before Heard Songs)

Our Band Is Called Better On The Drums

Enjoy some art and some great conversation during the day and enjoy some never before performed music in the evening. This laid back concert will be like hanging out with two friends while they sing and play guitar. 

This will be the first time ever that we perform as “Better On The Drums” our new band. Witness Rafi be nervous on stage lol. 

Live Stream On YouTube Of Music August 12th, 5PM – 6PM EDT (Will post link and announce across all social media)

Facebook Music Event https://fb.me/e/3LajhQU4i


August 13th, 12PM – 6PM EDT – Meet Rafi And Klee. Meet The Author Book Readings And Signings At 4PM – 5PM.

Enjoy some art and great conversation during the day and some book readings in the evening. Rafi will read his favorite passages from his books and hold a question and answer. He will also sign books if asked.

Live Stream On YouTube Of Book Reading And Q&A August 13th, 4PM – 5PM EDT (Will post link and announce across all social media)

Facebook Author Meeting Rogue Event https://fb.me/e/20Wqbx08t


August 19th, 4PM – 8PM EDT & August 20th, 12PM – 6PM EDT – Meet Rafi And Klee. Bridge Fest Weekend.

Come out and enjoy the two day event of Bridgefest in Oil City! Meet Rafi And Klee and a bunch of other amazing artists. Bridge Fest Weekend. Bridge Fest is Friday, August 19 (4-9 pm, Center Street Bridge, sponsored by the Oil City Main Street Program): live entertainment, DJ, food vendors; face painting & other kid’s activities, artisan vendors & more. Saturday August 20 (4-9 pm, Veterans Memorial Bridge, sponsored by the Oil City Arts Council): live music; food and artisan vendors; beer & wine tent. Each bridge will be pedestrian-only, closed to vehicles prior to and during its respective event… park downtown and stroll freely! Come and see us inside Graffiti Gallery.

Live Stream On YouTube Of Show August 20th, 5PM – 7PM EDT We’ll Walk Around With You. (Will post link and announce across all social media)


August 27th, 12PM – 6PM EDT – Meet Rafi And Klee. Final Day Of Show And Giveaways.

This is the final day of our exhibition! We will be hanging out talking about art, life, and anywhere else the conversations take us. We will also be doing some giveaways that day as a big thank you to everyone that came to our exhibition.

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Where Inspiration Comes From

People often ask me, “What inspires you and your art?” At that moment, people expect me to say something like “Picasso, Warhol, or Dali.”

Although the great masters of the past inspire me, their art doesn’t inspire me at all.

Oh, sure, I may grab some ideas from here or there because I find something fascinating in the art. However, when it comes to inspiration, the things that inspire me have more to do with life than the products of life.

Let me explain.

What we create always comes from inside of us. It comes from that place where we absorb the world around us. It’s the stuff of life. Although just about every creative endeavor you witness expresses the artist’s journey, it is their interpretation. In fact, when you resonate with a work of art, it is because you have written your own narrative for it. It’s a beautiful thing. At that moment, the art becomes a collaboration between you and the artist. Ultimately, the artist sees one thing, and you may see something totally different. You see an image that may symbolize a moment in time in your life, but you can never really put yourself in the artist’s shoes. The art then becomes something even more powerful and transcends into synergy.

Recently Klee and I took a long road trip to Illinois for my daughter’s wedding. It had been two years or even longer, since we had seen anyone in the family (due to the year that shall not be named, and pandemic).

We were excited. That being said, there was also a good amount of mental preparation. Obviously, anyone with a family knows that sometimes you will have to deal with some quirkiness that is unique to your family dynamic.

Those things, those conversations, those smiles, those interactions, those quiet conversations, those heated moments, that laughter, the sadness, and all of it, are part of the stuff of life. All of it is part of what inspires us. These are the things that can knock us down or pick us up. These are the things that show us the lessons of who we are or what we want to be. These things allow us to overcome or fall flat on our faces.

These are the things that inspire my art.

It’s not Picasso’s art. It’s Picasso’s life that I’m fascinated by. Art is simply an expression of how he looked at the world. How ANY artist sees the world. It is merely an expression of how they saw the things that we can all take for granted.

In this world of hustle and being busy, it’s easy to let life pass us by. It’s easy to forget the little moments. It’s easy to look at the destination and forget the journey altogether.

Inspiration surrounds us. It comes from those moments of overcoming. It comes from those moments of absolute joy, and it comes from those moments of heartache. This is what inspires innovation and creativity. Many of us believe that we have to think our way through things. That we have to figure this or that out. But in reality, thinking doesn’t really get us anywhere. Usually, we exhaust ourselves by overthinking and take a break from it, that’s when feelings finally get their say and the solution comes to us. This is inspiration.

Feelings are powerful. Most people try to suppress or hide their feelings, yet feelings express our ultimate truth. So, if you’ve ever been taught to hide your feelings, it means that you’ve been taught to hide who you are, your authentic self, and the way you process and see the world. We have been led to believe that our feelings make us vulnerable, yet only in that vulnerability can we find our strength. It takes vulnerability to truly fall in love with life, yourself, and other humans.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, the things that inspire me are the things that I get to experience. Only because I allowed myself to be there fully in my feelings and not question the moment with brain chatter.

Things like watching my beautiful daughter walk down the aisle. That is a lovely moment in time. That is something that will inspire my art. In fact, I’m planning on creating work specifically for them based on my interpretation of that beautiful day.

There are so many things in life that we can focus on. I feel like sometimes we’re trained to focus on the things that really, ultimately, at the end of the day, don’t matter. What really matters is the fact that right now, you are breathing.

You are experiencing life and feeling your way through it right now.

So if your focus is on something that ultimately doesn’t matter, that may mean you’re stuck in your head.

I suggest just being out of your mind. That is where I like to spend most of my time. There’s no better place to be for true inspiration.

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Sharing Who You Are Matters

Sometimes, things suck. Sometimes we feel like what we have to share doesn’t matter. However, the world may need exactly what you have to share. More love, more support, more creativity, more awesomeness!

Buying an old house can be quite demanding. It’s been about four months since we signed on the dotted line and moved in. The plan originally was to have our art studio up and running, explore all the art happenings in town, and get the pre- order books out to all the amazing people who ordered them. Oh yeah, and we would be filming and editing the entire process and sharing it with the world.

However, electrical, plumbing, structural, buying furnishings, and other issues decided that our overly ambitious plans would have to take a backseat to life. Life… It’s always there, lurking pleasantly in the hopes that you’ll remember that you are human and you are alive.

Honestly, it’s been awesome. The good, the bad, the stressful, and the overwhelming. The fact of the matter is that we are quite lucky to be having first world problems like “plumbing issues” because it could be much more serious.

As we reach the end of the plumbing saga, and prepare to sit down and finish the books that were originally supposed to go out over a year ago, I am reminded of the love and patience displayed by all the people out there who support us.

As you know we have had an adventurous year with many many changes. At the beginning of the Indiegogo book campaign of writing on rogue marketing, I never expected the challenges and changes that have taken place. A global pandemic, struggles with close friends, political drama, a hurricane, power outages, an infestation of fungus gnats, a large solo art exhibition, winning awards, an epic adventure, a devastating leak, and buying our dream home with it’s own challenges. During last year, we have had some really dark times, and some sunshine… and through it all, you were there… patiently supporting this book. Supporting us, and that means the world to me.

So, thank you. We will be quiet for a couple weeks as we go into hermit book mode and get our books polished and ready for release. We will also be building the studio back up (finally) for our opening on April 1st.

If this adventure has shown me anything, it is this… It’s easy to want to get wrapped up in all of the crap that happens in life and the world. It’s easy to isolate and believe that what you do doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s easy to believe that everything is so much bigger than you and you are but an insignificant spec.

However, people I have never met in my life have brought sunshine and light to some moments that were difficult. Simply by showing support, joy, and giving in their own unique way. We all have that gift, we all have something to give, we all have something to share… and it matters… it ALL matters.

So, as I get ready to release a book full of my thoughts and words out into the world, I am reminded of a special quote that keeps me going when things may seem dark. When asked why he performed at a free concert just two days after getting shot, Bob Marley responded, “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”

So share more love, more support, more creativity, and more awesomeness! The world can ALWAYS use more of that… We can ALL use more of that. Thank you in advance for being the awesomeness that is you. See you soon.

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You Deserve It All

I’m here to tell you that you are not crazy for wanting more. You are not selfish, and you are not delusional for aiming your sights on your dreams.

We grow up in a world of compromises. We learn that in order to “survive” we have to compromise who we are and what we really want in life. We are told to put our childish dreams aside and aim for something that is more realistic. Something that we can ACTUALLY achieve or what someone else thinks we deserve.

So we compromise. We grow up. We become adults. We get our head out of the clouds and settle for what we can have. But you were made for more. A life that is true to you. You were not meant for people pleasing, following orders, or placating. You were meant to express yourself fully and embrace who you are.

​You were meant to love, laugh, and tell it how it is. You are meant to break the façade of being normal. We pretend to be adults. We learn what it means to adult in the world. Yet, some of us remain unadulterated. We remain raw, pure, and undiluted to the best of our abilities. Some of us get rid of the rhetoric of what we are “supposed” to be or do and filter out the noise. We all can do it. It’s not luck, it’s not a special skill, and it’s not magical thinking. It is simply a matter of paying attention.

If you wake up wondering what you’ve been doing with your life or feeling like it’s too late, then you might be buying into the illusion of being ordinary.

Just remember, you were made to be extraordinary.

This is something I have to remind myself of often. Many times your own mind, friends, family, work or the world at large will give you ultimatums on how you are supposed to behave and act. They will say, “a good friend, employee, son, daughter will – fill in the blank.” This most likely happens on the heels of you doing something they disagree with. This is how the rhetoric get’s going. You compromise because that’s what you are supposed to do. Sure, we can make agreements and compromises if we want to, but NEVER compromise who you are. Never compromise your dreams.

The truth is, it’s all just crap, butt hurt, bent feelings, differing perspectives, and a false sense of control. We are all in the thick of the noise, but we can all rise above it. You can rise above it. You can believe in you. You can remember that you are extraordinary and leave the adulting to the ordinary folks out there.

Just some food for thought.

Also, we now have a PO BOX! I know some of you have been asking So here it is!

Rafi And Klee
PO Box 1573
Oil City, PA 16301

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Pensacola Art Event – The Stuff Of Life

There comes a point in life as an artist where you reach a milestone. This is it for me. It is happening on Tuesday, June 29 from 6-8 pm. I have admired and loved what Luna Fine Art Gallery has been doing for the last couple of years and have wanted to feature my art there and be a part of that creative family. Anyone that knows me knows that the connections I make in life with other humans are meaningful beyond measure. I have loved the friendships I have cultivated with people who have supported and rooted for both Klee and me during our creative journey.

In working with Luna, I have become friends with two extremely creative and giving people that I am honored to share this milestone with.

The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.

I know that this show is a celebration of my creative career, but I wanted to make sure I celebrated Luna’s efforts and encouragement. My exhibition would not be what it is without their creative ability to see something that may not have been so clear to me. I am beyond excited to share my solo exhibition with you because of this. So a big shout out to the gallery directors, Lisa Puzon and Shaughnessy Johnson for being so absolutely amazing.

If you are reading this, chances are you have followed me throughout my creative journey, some of you have been there since the beginning. I adore you and I want to give you a shout-out as well. The thing that makes this show so special to me is that some of you have had a huge impact on my life and it is reflected in the art that I create. This is our show. An exhibition of the amazing moments I have shared with you in the last decade or so.

The Exhibition is called The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.

This exhibition is a testament to the human spirit. To the beauty and power, we all possess as humans. It is the culmination of a 10-year creative journey where I challenged myself to stand in my own skin and allow myself to see the beauty in the world. This is the sharing of the calling within each work that I create to explore and understand the human experience.

Over 30 Artworks By Rafi

There will be seating, some words will be spoken by some amazing humans (including Klee, she is nervous and would appreciate your support), and refreshments on opening day. I would love it if you joined us. We will also have a special unveiling and a lot of fun so prepare yourself for an epic time.

WHAT: Art Exhibition – The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 29 from 6-8pm – Ballroom A
WHERE: Luna Fine Art Gallery, Hilton Pensacola Beach,12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach FL 32561
WHY: Because this is going to be amazing. You are going to want to bring friends as well so you can show them how cool you are.

Find out more about the show and how awesome it is going to be by watching the video below:

For all of the amazing humans that follow us online and are from all parts of the world, we will be recording the event and sharing it with you next weekend.

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Artist Leaves 100 Sculptures Around Pensacola FL

On June 8th, in the early morning hours, I left something special around the beautiful town of Pensacola, FL, in the form of 100 sculptures.

I was inspired by the recent sale of a sculpture by artist Salvatore Garau. His sculpture auctioned off for $18K, but I wanted my sculptures to be displayed prominently around town for everyone to enjoy.

This particular project required days of planning and plotting to pull it off, after all, 100 sculptures are a lot of works of art. Luckily, I made them small enough to handle in one trip in my vehicle, and Klee helped me move them into place. I wanted them to be small enough for people to take home. I only ask that they do not take home multiples.

Artist Rafi Perez With Some Of His Sculptures

Because the sculptures are small, I estimate the value of each at about $500.

Salvatore Garau said of his sculpture, “It is a work that asks you to activate the power of the imagination.”

In February of this year, at the Piazza Della Scala in Milan, Salvatore Garau exhibited BUDDHA IN CONTEMPLATION. As seen in the picture, this sculpture is marked out by square tape on the cobble-stone.

BUDDHA IN CONTEMPLATION

I determined that the tape would eventually fade and fall apart, so it was unnecessary. In fact, I believe it is damaging to the sculptures, and thus, none of my sculptures are marked out by tape.

The 100 sculptures have been left in prominent areas around downtown Pensacola and displayed by some of my favorite businesses.

My sculpture series is called “No hay nada aquí,” and I hope they will bring much joy to the beautiful people of Pensacola. I also hope this inspires other artists around the world to share their art with their favorite places. I plan on expanding on this series and displaying them around New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. My ultimate plan is to eventually display the series in cities and towns around the world.

Salvatore Garau said, “The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight. Therefore, it has an energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.”

However, my sculptures are made up of the evaporated tears of a captured chupacabra who cries when tickled with a fiery Pheonix feather. Since the artist mentions the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in the wrong context, I would like to say that my pieces are explained by the theory of relativity. So there is your explanation with some physics thrown in.

Close Up Of Sculptures “No hay nada aquí.”

I also have a painting that is part of this series for sale in my store. Please check it out by clicking on the image below. Once you see the listing make sure to click on the “find out how to purchase” button for some additional info.

“Esto Es Aire” Invisible Painting Original Wall Art by Artist Rafi Perez Unseeable Medium on Intangible Canvas 48X48

To hear more about our thoughts on this particular art style, you can watch the video below.

Also if you happen to be in the Pensacola Beach area Rafi will be having a solo exhibition at Luna Fine Art Gallery at the Hilton On Pensacola Beach (12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561) from June 29th – September 9th. By the way, this show will have tangible paintings you can see and touch, although I may bring some of my invisible sculptures.

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5 Reasons Why I Don’t Need Drugs To Feel Good

People tend to think that artists are on the fringes of society and completely out of their minds. I can only assume to know what kind of craziness they think ensues in my creative life. I’m sure they picture me wide eyed and completely detached from reality stuck in front of a canvas throwing brushes at imaginary people… or doing drugs. Let’s be honest, most people think artists are on something.

I hate to burst your bubble, but I don’t do any drugs and I’m really quite boring… but awesomely boring. Although, if you saw me right now you would think I was out of my mind or on drugs. Listen, just because you’re in your studio shaking your fists in the air and screaming “You’re gonna die!” doesn’t mean you are crazy… it might just mean that a fly got in and it’s been flying around your head for the last hour.

Anyhow, the article is all about why I don’t need drugs, so let’s get into it.

1. I do something nice for myself every day.

Simply put, I make sure to do what I want to do for a few hours. Not a to do list, not a job, not errand, simply what I want. It might be paint something, or sit in a chair and stare at a wall, whatever it is, I’m gonna do it.

2. I listen to myself.

I pay attention to how I talk to myself, or how I describe myself in conversation to other people. I’m always paying attention to make sure that I’m not discouraging or putting myself down. I feel like it is a social norm to get down on yourself, and say things like “Yeah, I’m stupid.” or blah blah blah… In fact, most people don’t want to say too many nice things about themselves for fear that someone might think they are conceited, which in my opinion is stupid.

3. I forgive myself

I screw up a lot, and make all kinds of mistakes. I do a lot of great things too, but the problem is that most of the time we tend to dwell in the mistakes and all but forget the wins. I make it a point to learn from my mistakes and move on.

4. I accept myself as I am right now.

For starters, that means accepting the body that I have today, which is a very different body than I had forever ago. If there is any habit that I picked up from my family, it is obsessing about my weight and my age… weight, I can do something about if it gets out of hand, age not so much. Either way, being happy with the you that is you right now is the only thing that matters.

Self-acceptance also means accepting my income and success level, and getting out of the stupid mentality that I’m not enough. Honestly, accepting yourself is stating to yourself that right now, in this moment, you are enough… plain and simple.

5. I eliminate toxic people from my life.

I do not allow or tolerate clients, friends, family, collectors of my art, YouTube followers, or anyone to make me unhappy. I have no problem hanging up on, deleting, or not continuing a relationship with anyone who is toxic. It’s not worth it.

All in all, it’s about feeling a sense of freedom and appreciating your life more. I feel like a lot of my life was spent feeling like a victim, and needing to escape. It’s still a work in progress, but I mostly feel really good about my life. I no longer feel like a victim to toxic people, my own self talk, my mistakes, my age, my body, time, the world, or much of anything… except that damn fly.

I gotta go… “YOU’RE GONNA DIE FLY!!!”