June 10, 2020 – Day 86 of my quarantine
At 65, being an old fart artist (a Fartist?) – I rarely purchase books anymore about being an artist because I figure if I don’t have a handle on it by now maybe I should look for other work.
Rafi’s book was a surprising and refreshing exception to my line of thinking. It was delivered 4 days ago and I finished reading it, cover to cover, 2 days ago (I could not put it down).
He writes in a very genuine, authentic, and personable way that makes you feel like you are sitting at the kitchen table having a conversation with an old friend. He presents his ideas directly and clearly while maintaining a sense of accessible vulnerability both as an author and a human being possessing a full range of emotions.
Rafi’s hard-won advice is grounded in common sense and rooted in his practical experience. All of his ideas along with the graphics are presented in a very organic way so that one topic flows seamlessly into the next.
You’ll find no airy-fairy nonsense in this book or abstract concepts that require you to jump-the-ship of your own reasoning. All of it makes solid sense both contextually and in its real-world application.
This book made me feel good without pumping me up with a bunch of ego-inflating empty promises or over-used, worn-out positive thinking rhetoric found in so many How-To guides. When he cheers you on in this book – it feels both sincere and deserved. As I stated at the beginning – there is a casual, comfortable sense of friendliness infused throughout this book. You really feel that Rafi believes in you and your abilities when he’s addressing you, which serves as a gentle reminder to then believe in yourself.
It’s loaded with practical tips and information including an unflinching look at what today’s “Professional Art Establishment, Art Experts & Renowned Galleries” really looks and feels like from a working artist’s perspective.
I highly recommend this book to new artists just starting out, artists in mid-career and Old Fartists, like me, who mistakenly think they already know everything.
On a personal note, I’d like to share one of my comments to a recent video interview he and his wife gave on YouTube-
“One of the primary reasons I am such a big Rafi & Klee Fan is that from the very first time I saw one of their videos I heard them saying what I wished someone had said to me 55 years ago when I was a 10 year old and my Dad was already instilling in me the Protestant Work Ethic in that “drawing these little pictures is fine but you can’t do that when you grow-up.” Unfortunately, the damage to my psyche was done and fear was firmly installed in my thinking (get a real job) so I worked in factories for close to 45 years before finally retiring and opening my own full-time art studio. It is my sincere hope that I am the last of a generation pushed to live lives of quiet desperation. Thank you, Rafi – for your strength of spirit and encouragement to artists of all ages.”
I was first introduced to Rafi and his adorable, awesomely talented wife, Klee when I came across their YouTube channel. I was instantly a fan and a follower. I also proudly support them on Patreon and consider them to be among the people I refer to as ‘online friends’.
Here are some links where you can find both the book and them – just click on the graphic to open the websites in a new window –
Sending you all my Love and Light. Stay Safe. Stay Smart. Stay Sane. Stay Strong out there.
Until next time …