Greetings, you fabulous creative creatures of the internet!
Hold on to your hats because tonight is the night – the night we take you on a wild rollercoaster ride through our studio, home, and gallery! That’s right, we’re live-streaming straight from the heart of creativity, and you’re invited to join in on the madness!
After what felt like a gazillion years (okay, maybe just a year or so), we’ve finally whipped our studio into shape, and tonight is the grand unveiling! Picture this: art, jewelry, stories, live music, and enough good vibes to power a spaceship. Oh, did I mention there’s a giveaway? Because, YES, there’s a giveaway – and it’s going down at 6 PM EST sharp! Get ready to win some seriously awesome stuff!
Now, I know you’re sitting there, thinking, “But what’s on the agenda?” Fear not, for I have the inside scoop on tonight’s festivities. Drumroll, please…
FIRST – GREETINGS and STORIES!
We’ll kick things off with a virtual high-five and share some stories about our journey. Spoiler alert: there may or may not be hilarious anecdotes involved.
SECOND – STUDIO TOUR!
Time to put on your explorer hat as we guide you through our newly minted studio, revamped gallery, and media studio. Watch out for the hidden treasures – you never know what you might stumble upon!
THIRD – LIVE SALE!
Ready your wallets and get those itchy trigger fingers ready because we’re unleashing a live sale! Snag some unique pieces for yourself or your loved ones at a special “Thank You” price– ’tis the season for artsy goodness.
FOURTH – GIVEAWAY!
Drumroll intensifies. The moment you’ve all been waiting for – the giveaway! Tune in, participate, and you might just be the lucky winner walking away with some jaw-dropping goodies.
FIFTH – MUSIC PERFORMANCE!
Break out your air instruments and prepare for a musical extravaganza. We’ll be serenading you with tunes that’ll make you tap your toes and maybe even attempt to bring a smile to your lips!
AND FINALLY – QUICK Q&A (Ask us anything)
Curious minds, this is your time to shine! Throw your burning questions our way, and we’ll do our best to answer without breaking into a nervous sweat.
Throughout the entire event, you’ll have the chance to chat with us via the YouTube link. We’re counting on you to bring the virtual house down with your witty comments and infectious energy.
So, set a reminder, tie a string around your finger – do whatever it takes to remember that tonight, at 5 PM EST, we’re bringing the party to your screens. Get ready for a night filled with laughter, creativity, and the kind of fun that’ll leave you smiling for days.
Enter to win, buckle up, and let’s make this a night to remember! See you on the virtual dance floor, you amazing humans! 🚀💃🕺 #StudioParty #ArtisticExtravaganza #GiveawayGalore
It’s that time of year again! Welcome, art enthusiasts and festive souls! I’ve got some seriously exciting news to light up your December – Klee and I are throwing open the virtual doors of our Sunflower House for the most anticipated event of the season: our Virtual Open Studio on December 9, 2023, at 5 pm Eastern! Before we get started, the give-away link is down below, enter to win! Now back to describing the awesomeness that will be our virtual Open Studio!
Picture this: cozy up in your favorite holiday ugly sweater, grab a cup of spiked cocoa, and join us for an art-filled extravaganza right from the comfort of your home. It’s like a front-row seat to the coolest art show in town, no pants required!
This year promises to be extra special. We’re not just offering you a peek into our creative space; we’re cranking up the fun with music, a virtual tour of our art studio, stories that’ll warm your heart, and of course, loads of laughter. Because who says virtual events can’t be as lively as a holiday party at the Sunflower House?
And wait for it – drumroll, please – we’re rolling out some fantastic deals on select artworks! It’s like a holiday miracle – jaw-dropping art at irresistible prices. Plus, brace yourselves for the grand reveal of brand spanking new artworks and exclusive items crafted just for this virtual extravaganza. It’s arts galore!
Now, here’s the real kicker – this year, for the first time ever, I’m unleashing a collection of Christmas ornaments and greeting cards that are bound to sleigh your festive spirit! Who knew art could deck the halls so stylishly?
Our Virtual Open Studio is more than just an art show; it’s a chance for us to kick back, relax, and share some holiday cheer with you. It’s like having a front-row seat to our laid-back hangout, where the only agenda is to have a blast!
And if you thought it couldn’t get any better – hold onto your Santa hats – we’re hosting an incredible giveaway! Imagine scoring a Rafi and Klee art and jewelry bundle or even a one-on-one Zoom meeting with us. Dreams do come true lol! Just sign up below for a chance to win these fantastic prizes, and we’ll be announcing the lucky winners during the show.
So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the festive spirit, mark your calendars for December 9 at 5 pm Eastern, and head over to the page below to sign up for our virtual giveaway. Let’s make this year’s Virtual Open Studio the talk of the season – an unforgettable evening of art, laughter, and holiday magic. We can’t wait to virtually hang out with each and every one of you!
WHAT: Rafi And Klee Virtual Open Studio WHERE: The Sunflower House Via This Link: https://rafiandklee.com/live/ WHEN: Saturday, December 9th At 5 PM Eastern WHY: Because it is going to be a blast!
Hey, fabulous folks of Oil City Pennsylvania, and beyond! I’ve got some exhilarating news that will add a splash of color and creativity to your Sunday plans. Drumroll, please… This November 26th, from 11 AM to 4 PM, get ready to immerse yourself in a dazzling celebration of local talent during the Artists Sunday extravaganza!
If you’re wondering what Artists Sunday is all about, let me break it down for you. It’s the perfect remedy for post-Thanksgiving and Black Friday madness. This Sunday is dedicated to supporting the incredible artists and art businesses right in your community. Say goodbye to generic gifts and hello to one-of-a-kind treasures crafted by the hands of your very own local artists.
Picture this: paintings that speak to your soul, jewelry that sparkles with personality, ceramics that redefine elegance, books that transport you to other worlds, prints and cards that are practically works of art themselves, mesmerizing photography, toe-tapping music, and beautifully illustrated books that are simply irresistible. The best part? All of these gems will be up for grabs, and they’re waiting for you!
But wait, there’s more excitement to unfold in Oil City! Although Klee and I won’t be showcasing our own masterpieces from 11-4, we’ve got something equally thrilling lined up. Brace yourselves for a mind-blowing special effects makeup presentation starting at 4:30 PM in the Great Room at the National Transit building (206 Seneca St, Oil City, PA 16301). Why, you ask? Well, our incredible friend Kaleb Lewis, an extraordinary make-up artist, is leading a make-up course for some seriously talented artists. Get ready for a face-off style showdown, where Klee and I, along with the awesome judges John Bernstein and Nick Hess, will be critiquing the magic just like on the hit show!
I can’t contain my excitement – it’s like I’m living a dream! So mark your calendars and make your way to Oil City between 11 AM and 4 PM. The entire town, from the north to the south side, will be buzzing with open studios and artists’ pop-ups. Feel free to explore the artistic wonders displayed in local businesses or dive into the creativity housed within the artist studios in the transit building.
And here’s the grand finale – at 4:30 PM, witness the spectacle as the special effects makeup presentation kicks off. It’s going to be an absolute blast, and I can guarantee you won’t want to miss it!
MAP OF ARTISTS SUNDAY
So, whether you’re a seasoned art connoisseur or just looking for a unique holiday experience, make Artists Sunday your destination. Join us in Oil City for a day filled with creativity, community, and pure artistic joy. Trust me; it’s going to be an event to remember! #ArtistsSunday #OilCityArtistry #CreativeFestivities
WHAT: Artist Sunday WHERE: OIL CITY, PA (Downtown Area and National Transit Building) WHEN: 11/26/2023 1-4 and 4:30 PM WHY: Because it’s awesome! Find out More Information on Arts Oil City Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/artsoilcity/
I can’t even explain how excited we are to be a part of this event. In all my time as a working artist, I have never seen such an authentic demonstration of wanting to help our local creative community. Not only will this conference be extremely valuable to creatives, but it will also be fun.
Creative Entrepreneur Conference An Opportunity for Creatives – Artists, Performers, Writers, and Artisans – to Learn How to be Better Entrepreneurs. May 20, 2023
Calling all artists, performers, writers, and artisans in Northwestern Pennsylvania! Are you ready to take your creative business to new heights? We are thrilled to share an incredible opportunity with you. The Creative Entrepreneur Conference, scheduled for May 20, 2023, at Pleasantville Camp, is designed to empower and equip creatives with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive as entrepreneurs. With a diverse lineup of sessions and esteemed presenters, this conference promises to be a game-changer for your artistic ventures.
Expanding Horizons: The Creative Entrepreneur Conference aims to bring together professionals, organizations, agencies, service providers, and practicing artists under one roof. This convergence of expertise and passion creates a unique platform for learning and growth. Whether you’re just starting or looking to elevate your existing business, this event offers invaluable insights and best practices for success.
The Power of Knowledge: The conference agenda is packed with concurrent sessions led by experts in their respective fields. These sessions cover a wide range of topics that are essential for creative entrepreneurs. From understanding intellectual property and copyright to mastering bookkeeping and taxes, branding, marketing, online sales, and participating in fairs and festivals, you’ll find guidance on every aspect of running a successful creative business.
Prominent Presenters: Among the remarkable presenters, we’re particularly excited about the sessions hosted by us – Rafi and Klee Studios. However, this conference brings together many creative business owners and organizations. As owners of their own successful creative studio, and creative organizations, they will share their expertise on marketing, social media, and pricing art, as well as opportunities for creative growth. Their insights will undoubtedly inspire you to find the perfect balance between profitability and creative fulfillment.
Opportunities Galore: One of the highlights of the conference is the exploration of various opportunities available to creatives in Northwestern Pennsylvania and beyond. From residencies and teaching opportunities to co-ops, exhibits, festivals, and organizations seeking performers, you’ll discover a wealth of prospects to showcase your talent and expand your network. The session will be led by Ashley Fosbrink, Kylee Mader, and Barbara Pierce, who will guide you through the numerous avenues waiting to be explored.
Networking and Exhibitors: The Creative Entrepreneur Conference offers the ideal setting to network with like-minded individuals and potential collaborators. In addition, the event features several exhibitors, including the Allegheny National Forest Artist in Residence Program, Elk County Council on the Arts, Erie Arts and Culture, and the Wilds Cooperative of PA. Engaging with these exhibitors will open doors to even more opportunities and resources tailored to support your creative endeavors.
Registration Details: We understand the importance of making this opportunity accessible to as many individuals as possible. Thanks to a grant secured by the Forest County Business Alliance from the USDA – Rural Development Rural Business Development Grant Program, the cost to attend the entire conference, including meals, is just $75 per person. However, space is limited, so we urge you to secure your spot promptly.
To register, simply visit the online registration form and complete the process by May 18, 2023. Payment can be conveniently made via credit card. Don’t miss out on this chance to unlock your creative potential and take your business to new heights!
The Creative Entrepreneur Conference is a one-of-a-kind event that brings together creatives from across Northwestern Pennsylvania for a day filled with knowledge-sharing, networking, and inspiration. With a wide range of sessions and esteemed presenters, this conference provides a golden opportunity to learn how to thrive as a creative entrepreneur. Take the leap, register today, and embark on a transformative journey to elevate your artistic business to new heights!
For anyone who cannot make it, I will be recording the Rafi and Klee workshops and releasing them to our rogue community site members. More details on that soon.
The Holiday season has come and gone. As Klee and I prepared for our long winter nap and reflection, I was struck by an important question. Who are you today? I mean, I know who I am, right? Surprisingly, the answer is no. The fact is that we change and evolve with every experience we have.
Listening to the gusts of wind and snow pummel my house, I was taken back to my childhood and some experiences and people that helped make me who I am today. These moments, conversations, struggles, and highlights taught me valuable lessons. However, if I am candid with myself, it is just a narrative I have repeated so much that it has become a reality. Everything I remember from my past is a construct of my design. I watched much TV as a kid and absorbed characters like Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross. They impacted me by introducing me to something I wasn’t surrounded by. Hope. But was it real?
Maybe it was the holidays or that Klee and I decided to take some time off from all the craziness and reset, but I can’t help wondering why I do what I do.
Anyone following our journey knows the last few years have been full of adventurous tales.
Some of you know that we moved last year, and to say it has been a crazy rollercoaster ride is an understatement. Let’s be honest, the last few years have been a bit of an insane ride, and I finally feel like we are getting to some semblance of normal. Well, normal for us. As I reflect, I think about how our lives changed dramatically and the toll it took on us.
The true craziness started in 2020 when the world shut down, and everyone fought amidst a pandemic. Klee and I spent a lot of time navigating the changes that would have to come with our art business. No longer able to do local shows for income, we needed to adapt and change our strategy. As we watched our bank account dwindle, we struggled to find footing. The truth is, spending a lot of time indoors and away from others wasn’t bothering us at all. Klee and I are artists. That’s normal for us. We spend a lot of time in our studio. We also really like each other, so nothing much had changed. It felt like the world around us was changing, or maybe we were paying closer attention since we weren’t distracted by markets and shows. Things sometimes felt a bit dark, but we kept our spirits up.
Because we needed to take a new direction, we focused a little more on connecting with artists online. We started a community of Rogue artists from all over the world. We wanted to create a safe place for creatives to interact and share ideas. We began to invest more time in our online efforts. We built a community, started a podcast, and uploaded more videos. We also supported the artists in our local area whenever we could. Then hurricane Sally hit our area, and everything shut down twice over. To say that 2020 was challenging doesn’t quite sum up the year. Let’s say the term dumpster fire is a better description.
Enter 2021, and things are slowly coming out of the worst of the pandemic, but there are still a lot of heightened emotions and arguments in the world. As much as people wanted to talk and argue politics, I wanted nothing to do with that conversation. At this point, we had our eyes set on moving, but we were still trying to navigate the financial effects of 2020. I was writing my second and third books, organizing the art for a large exhibition, planning an adventure to the north, and figuring out how to afford to purchase a new home.
We had wanted to move from the apartment we had been living in for a while. The truth is we had outgrown it years earlier, and other factors involved made it a somewhat challenging environment for what we do. With every year that passed, the challenges became more prominent. Every year, however, we would put it off until the following year. This was most likely due to fear. As much as we wanted to move, we knew how to navigate our environment, which was comfortable (as in our comfort zone, which has nothing to do with real comfort). We finally reached a point where we had no other option but to move on and leave the apartment behind. Things had gotten beyond challenging, and we were determined to escape the situation we had put ourselves in by living in the apartment. We decided that even if we had to live in our car, get rid of everything, and start over again, we were willing to do that. It was time for a change.
Of course, the odds were stacked against us. Self-employed artists are at the lowest rung of banking loan opportunities, but we didn’t care this time. We were going to make it happen. Towards the end of the year, we gathered what we had saved from successful art shows and proceeded to travel the country and look for a new home. We eventually landed in Oil City, which had an artist’s relocation program to revitalize this once-boom town. The city is beautiful, and we found a house that we immediately fell in love with. It was our dream home. Our offer was accepted, and it was time to return, pick up our belongings, and start our new life.
Upon arriving at the apartment, we found that a leak from an air-conditioner had devastated Klee’s jewelry bench and tools. The water had also gotten underneath the protective tarp surrounding the studio. This meant that we would have to tear things down at a hurried pace. Exhausted from our travels, we jumped into taking the studio apart, buying a house long distance, organizing another art show, collecting art from around town, and getting ready to move our lives across the country.
The studio was shut down during all this, and we could not take any orders. This meant we were not making any money.
It was a month of constant exhaustion and heavy lifting that ended with us throwing everything into a 26-foot U-Haul before our landlords showed up with their own Uhaul (who needed us to move ours out of the way, but that’s a whole other story). We put our jeep on the tow dolly and navigated our way to our new town, stopping to nap at a Truckstop and racing against time to make it to our new home for the closing.
Once we were at the house, the challenges continued. We knew that buying an older home would require updates and repairs. However, we did not expect no-shows, delays, and a lack of good contractors. The house needed new electrical, plumbing, and other repairs before we could open our studio. At this point, the studio had been shut down for months.
Finally, eight months into 2021, we opened the art studio and jumped right into taking commissions and opening up our online store. We were in our dream home, and life was good. However, it was nonstop, and my body couldn’t take it anymore. The move and pushing my body too far caused debilitating pain. I pushed on anyhow.
We organized a two-month gallery show, released two books, music, volunteered, and worked on commissions all while we did repairs for our new home and built our lives back up. All the while feeling like we would never catch up and get back on track. We pushed through the holiday orders and finally got to a place where we could catch our breath.
Honestly, all of this would have been fine, it is just the luck of being busy as an artist who just moved to a new town. However, on the back end, everything we had in place to run our art business was old and outdated. Systems needed an overhaul, and everything was more complicated than it needed to be.
Enter the break.
Towards the end of 2022, we decided to take a few months off to get ourselves organized and restructured. During that time, we released the last audiobook, built a Rogue Artist Community site, created systems for our business (giving us more time for creativity), finished building our art studio, and updated our website and webstore.
Another artist I know said, “I’m jealous. I wish we could take a few months off and relax.”
Relaxing is next on our list lol.
My reflection on these last few years has taught me that no matter what is thrown at you, nothing can stand in your way as long as you are determined to keep going. However, making time for self-care and relaxation is paramount. We may be able to climb mountains, but you have to stop and rest along the way.
I can sit here and bitch about all the struggles we have had, but honestly, that’s just life. How we handle them and reflect is really what matters. We may still be recovering physically and financially, but what drives me forward is the same thing I was introduced to as a child. Hope. The difference is I surround myself with it now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can take my word for it… cause, you know… I’m like, cool. The kids are still saying that right?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ReadingsAnd 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.
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.
Sept 16th (4pm-7pm) and 17th (11am-2pm) – Music Concert – RAFI’S REDEMPTION TOUR!
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?
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.
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.
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!
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
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
Upcoming Public & Virtual Events:
Live Band Practice - Rafi And Klee December 27, 2023 at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Join Us Live For Some Awkward Fun Tunes