Rafael and I have been friends for a bit now. For at least a year I’ve spent days talking to this man and not once did I take a moment to get to know his art. Raf has been in love with music for, I believe, his entire life. When we linked up about a month ago in Williamsburg I got the chance to hear more about how he grew up and all the things he’s experienced while cultivating his art. Just a warning, I don’t remember it all verbatim and I’m not the best at recording it would seem but here we go.
That day, Raf and I talked about him being in several bands and when he ran his own music blog. At some point in his career, Raf had such a large following on social media that he would even get free merch from brands and other artists. Be that as it may after all of his success there were some things that didn’t sit well with him. In the end, because of that very reason, he felt a need to start over completely. Getting to know these things about Raf was really interesting for me. Raf’s one of the humblest people I’ve met and most often I’m just laughing ridiculously at the crazy shit he says. How did he go from being an influential artist on twitter to my hilarious, humble and talented friend but still keeping himself motivated?
Loop & Breathe
Loop, a companion audio piece for Breathe
Now, getting to know Raf on a different level, when I see his visual pieces it’s no surprise how minimal yet engaging they are given the emotion behind them. Take His Recollection series, some of my favorites of his; they’re an ongoing project that Raf has started where he recreates scenes using video synthesis. I could go on all day about Raf’s visually appealing work but there is still his broad spectrum of sounds as well. Loop and Breathe (above) an animated visual paired with an ambient audio track are a combination piece created so that they compliment each other. These aren’t the only things he has to offer either. He’s currently working on creating a music project, by using just his iPad, for soundtrack work.
What I make is just a natural extension of me
I wanted to feature Raf because of his music so I, just like you probably, wondered how did he get into visual art? When I asked him just that he said, “… I always wanted to create visual art. I got into video synthesis because it was an approach to creating visuals in a way that was similar to how I knew music” That’s still weird though, to me at least, most of the time it’s hard to pick up a brand new skillset or take on a new thing but to Raf it meant more than that. “It sort of opened up some more options for me creatively and pushed me out of my comfort zone of only making music.”
Feeling comfortable is one of the most dreadful things to artists. The idea of Part Time Mag is always taking yourself out of that. It isn't easy though, staying on top of your work, especially as more time passes. It's hard to feel like you're doing anything worth while let alone original. I know that I alone go through the dryest of dry spells at times just keeping myself around my team is all the creativity I come across.
I think the one motivator to get out of those dry spells is knowing that perfection isn't the goal for my art and I'll never be perfect and that's fine. This is an ongoing process for me and I just want to continue growing. Sometimes I'll put together 5 or 6 pieces and only like one and that's ultimately a win for me. Better than not trying and ending with 0.
What's most important is just knowing yourself really. When I see Raf's progress from those days in the past to where he is now I see someone that's more confident in what they create.
More than anything my work feels like an impulse for me. I've always been trying to create something since I was a kid. every piece has its own meaning but overall what I make is just a natural extension of me.
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