We had the good fortune of connecting with Rif Raf Giraffe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rif Raf, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I chose this question because I feel a lot of successful people I talk to struggle to find a healthy balance, and I have seen it cause health, relationship, and work problems in friends when their careers consume their lives. I am 41 now but when I was younger I was obsessed with the thought that working around the clock was going to be my path to success. I feel I tried to force doors open to try and get places I thought I wanted to be. It brought out the worst version of me. When I finally had the courage to remove myself from my situation life started moving in the direction I always dreamed it could.
Currently I think balance is one of if not the most important part of my approach to life. I travel frequently for work so sometimes my routine is the only constant I have going. Diet, exercise, and meditation are all part of my daily ritual to help me stay centered and on task.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Personally I am a multi-disciplined artist with a focus on mural painting. I cofounded a mural festival with my wife that is entering its fifth year and expanding coast to coast this year. We also started a gallery/residency program in our hometown of Kansas City in early April 2021 too. Is it hard, yes nothing good in life comes easy but I you put in the work put yourself in the right places and know it’s what you are suppose to do in life things will click. I wasn’t able to support myself full time off of art until I was 35. It’s a competitive field and just as many people want to do what you do so it’s constant effort and evolution, but I’ve personally painted half way across the globe and can’t wait to keep expanding.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’ve only been staying in LA since Dec with Covid happening but here’s what I’ve found… I love the outdoors so a hike to the observatory and a few drinks at the top is great. Beaches in Venice or Santa Monica are more lively and more my kinda vibe. My friends have a gallery in Fairfax called Ewkuks so around there for shopping and food is great time for an afternoon/evening. I enjoyed grabbing drinks at The Den and being around Hollywood at night as things have slowly open back up and looking forward to seeing more of the city as it returns to normal
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As a festival organizer you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with because it is always a group effort. I call ours a family and truly believe we are. We have worked with artists, sponsors, property owners, and neighborhood councils to achieve feats that can only happen when everyone works together with a collective vision. As our event goes national the family grows and we push ourselves to see what is possible.
Youtube: Rif Raf Giraffe