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Monday, October 15, 2012


After much thought and still more to do, sometimes accepting accomplishments is a hard thing to do.I am a firm believer in confident not cocky.I have recently realized that not accepting one's own accomplishments in it's own weird way is just as harmful as being too proud.I personally see pride or not being humble as an all black or all white area. But I am realizing that I may have to accept the many shades of grey in-between.Also I have come to realize that accepting ones own accomplishments isn't bad.As I have always tried to remain humble I catch myself not accepting what may rightfully due.

This stemming from a recent overcoming in public arts in my community.I recently completed a 72 ft mural in Ashtabula Ohio based on education.And upon my speaking in company of state senator,city manager and many public officials I was talking to the ground during my speech.I realized I was trying to not be prideful in my accomplishment as I would have done another mural if asked.This mural was 72 ft in length.I provided it at no cost to the city.I also completed all work by myself.I never looked at this project as a huge overcoming.Let me add that I was happy.I was proud but not full of pride.Upon completion though I almost refused the wonderful reception of comments and other speeches.Not to be ignorant! I just ( in my head ) knew I did it for the kids,the community,and it was not about me.So as we had held a ribbon cutting I almost felt overwhelmed.I felt as though I in some weird way did not deserve such a wonderful process.

So back to the case at hand acceptance of owns own accomplishments.I suppose in the end at this part in my thought process it is not bad to accept your accomplishments.As NOT accepting them or gloating about them could be (damaging) in some ways....Now ensues my personal journey of acceptance of my accomplishments.Its such a strange thing to think about.I have tried to remain so humble my whole life.I have had things,I have had nothing,I have had parents,I have lost them,I have been addicted to drugs,I am now less then two months from 7 yrs sober,I been through moments of immense turmoil,I have been through moments of immense joy,I have lived in nice houses,I have been homeless....

At the end of the day I am left with one question What is too humble?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Be back soon

New blogs coming soon! 72 foot mural on the way and more future progress thanks for all your patience

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Interesting Question

 Q...How do you handle all the ideas in your head and still take the right amount of time for each?

This question came to me pertaining to art, poetry ,and the many artistic endeavors I take on.

My original answer was:When you LOVE something you find a way to make it work.Like family...You will make a 27 hr plan fit into 16 hrs. cause it is what you love.I have to mention sometimes it is a blessing and sometimes that blessing is a curse.Having ideas you cannot get out (happens quite often) becomes a plague.

As I thought more on this very simple question I found myself confused at my own actions and how I myself accomplish them sometimes, Realizing I never gave thought I just did.I mean there was not a written plan so to speak.Just an idea of where the start was and an idea of where the finish was in my eyes and then it was just a effort to get from point A. to B. trying to achieve the desired results.

So as I sit here thinking of my process I realize I have a process of organized chaos.I mean there is a method to the madness.But it is very much the mad scientist type of work.Papers scattered everywhere.Things written down that 30 days later I may or may not remember.Ideas scattered across my mind just as they are my art desk.Now anyone can look at my art desk and be like how can you find anything but as I sit here typing I have a visual of just about where everything is.
So now I think of the things accomplished just in 2012 so far and the things in the immediate future.I remain perplexed.I have never given it this much thought in one sitting.I have gotten a resolution of support in my city to do murals,I am nearly done with a 4ft. x 8ft mural for Project Hope for the Homeless,Completed a piece for a friend who has fallen ill,Organized with another artist a two person Art show March 17th and 18th,Started a whole new realm of artwork,poetry,and photography.Working on the preliminary drawings for the first mural in my city,In process of commissions that are presents and some that have been waiting,Then already planning more art shows for this year and the possibility of helping troubled youth and addicts in the form of getting them all in one place like a creative workshop.And so much more.The thoughts are still rolling in.Writing it down it seems like so much but,I look at it like its what has to and should be done!

So the ultimate answer is:
I don't know!.....I just do...It takes alot of my time and thought.It is mentally exhausting although most people think being an artist is the easy life.I really just do!And I would like to consider myself  an Artist / Humanitarian.Because what I do extents far beyond me.The LOVE,the devotion,the want to help,the feeling it gives me makes me find the time for it.These things make me find ways to make it happen.But I don't know where the time comes from?I am blessed things that are supposed to happen fall into place and I would like to believe that because I do them for the "right" reasons that that is why I am fortunate enough to continue.I hope this has helped the one whom has asked the question.If not I hope someone can take something from this and use it to encourage them to get out and do what they love.I hope reading this can uplift someone in a similar spot or situation.And I hope to continue as AN ARTIST / HUMANITARIAN AS I WOULD HAVE IT NO OTHER WAY..........

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

heavy thought

  After some heavy thought today pertaining to the last post. I found myself mentally exhausted.So I have made some simple changes,evaluations,and decisions.Life is too short and after this march art show and these many commissions I am going to crawl under my creative  "rock". Concentrate on the things that mean the most to me in life.Sit back figure out exactly the best way to handle things.Be it my Daughter,Art,Lifestyle,and everything else.

I will be focusing more on writing here.Will be developing a whole new level of imagination and inspiration with the art work.And focusing on making others along with myself have a better state of mind/way of life.As things indeed could always be more encouraging,uplifting,motivating,and just plain out better.As I walked around yesterday in this beautiful weather we have been graced with in January I could only think about what I could do "here".What I could do to help myself and others.Even though I have been doing what I can I believe there is always the potential to go that one step further.The potential to motivate someone or make them smile if even for the moment.That spreading of contagious happiness rather than negativity.

My list of goals is lengthily and I intend to get done done in their own time but as soon as possible also.I am personally tired of the macabre attitudes I myself and others have carried and spread.I am also inspired by the smiles and changes I and others have made thus far.So that being said.It now comes a time when I make life what (I believe) it should be.About be as happy as one can be given the circumstances.Changing the status quo so to speak.

As I leave this blog this wonderful morning I ask you to reflect.I ask you to smile at someone as that may make their whole day.I ask that before you get angry you analyze the situation and think before you speak.I ask you to help the person next to you,to give something to someone that needs it,to do whatever it is you feel you can do to spread the positiveness.As when I am taken from here I would rather know I did what I could even if it was minuscule to make this place better for the people left here.I would hope that maybe through some of your own thought processes you find what it is you would like to do and make it happen.Make your or someone else's dreams come to fruition.That being said have a wonderful morning,day,and night  

The obituary

As I think about life and its concept of time I can only wonder why when I read the obits. people are dying at my age so frequently.This in itself has been weighing on me for some time now.If I was to pass tomorrow what would my obit. read.Would it matter.Do the things I have done mean anything in the grand scheme of things.I have come to 2 conclusions one was what my obituary may read and two was that I believe making the world a better place even if it be the change in another human's thought in the direction of happiness is well worth it.

When I got to thinking of what my obit may read.It was interesting and yet quite depressing so we have the birth date and the death date "whenever that may be".Then something along the lines of Chris was raised in Willoughby Ohio.Had his daughter for whom he loved dearly in 2001.Got sober in 2005.Was an artist showing in many galleries and the Rock an roll Hall of Fame.Helped out Project hope for the Homeless as often as possible.Spoke to the children at the juvenile detention center.Was the Vice President of Lakeshore Artists group in Ashtabula.Was a huge advocate against drug abuse.Was trying to instill public arts in his community.........Bam then I went blank................Seriously Chris how much of this actually matters in the grand scheme of things?How much of this is changing things?How much of this would your daughter be proud of.........(we official hit a metaphorical mental breakdown).....Thinking only to myself WOW something HAS got to change......Half of what you have thought of Chris doesn't even matter in relation to leaving something behind for others to carry on if they choose.How much of this really changed life's....The only saving grace in this thought process was I did not to these things for any other reason then to do them.They were not done out of selfishness or pride.......Back to the silence in my head......Chris you have to change something.There has to be something you can do to change your life.To change others life's.To make your daughter proud of her father.......Then the thought proceeded in death (if tomorrow) by his mother,many aunts and uncles,and grandparents.Leaving behind his 11 yr old daughter.......What a smack in the mouth..Really Chris?I was so happy I had accomplished anything at all given the cards I was dealt.But at the same time depressed I had done nothing of any importance to people as a whole.I had done things for myself and that was great but they either had to be done like getting sober or they we choices that I felt comfortable making.....

So now comes the time to change the status quo.Now comes the time to make that obit... Whenever it comes  read differently.Here is the conscious decision to change the circumstances and life events to things (I believe) would have more validity or be more meaningful in the grand scheme of things.So on to the changes and another quick blog.On to positive movement and attitude.On to more positive thought.On to make the world I am a part of a better place in anyway possible even if it be small changes.These changes if positive are contagious and I can only hope to impact someone or something larger than I. 

                                                                                                                         Christopher Raab

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A break!

After a break,that I am sorry to the readers for....I am just overwhelmed with art work and life decisions.I recently am Organizing a two person show for march,Finishing a 4 ft x 8 ft mural for Project hope for the homeless,Figuring out the best mode of action to get my daughter in my life,Endless commissions,Pushing a mural proposal in my city,and now possibly working on a monument for people lost to addiction.

Now this is no excuse for my break but I had to get right with myself before I spoke here.I am writing today cause I have a good friend going in for surgery on his brain this very morning.He had a seizure and the dr's found cancer.On a personal note this hit so close to home.With the loss of so many friends and my own mother.I walk through life with what may be a skewed perspective.It seems though that some of the best people are plagued with turmoil.This man who has contracted this cancerous tumor works harder than anyone I know.Loves is family first and business second.A good soul.A benefit to the community and now has to deal with something that seems so undeserving (in my opinion).

Now I know life isn't always fair.And I know the people who seem to walk through life "wasting" it may not be as happy as they seem.I realize I can only see my perspective but the point to today's blog is the fact that this wonderful person who is only in there mid 30's is weighing on my mind in many different ways.So this blog is more of a vent than anything as I have thought about a lot of things in the past 2 months or so between the being overwhelmed,my own life,and this current circumstance.So bear with me Here it goes:

I have a hard time getting my mind around the perspective that bad things happen to good people.I am having a hard time this month with the fact that, My birthday is feb. 3rd, My daughters 11th birthday is feb. 5th, My moms death anniversary is the march 11th.Like between all of this and the things weighing on me right now I can only wonder how much I can take.I wonder why those who invest so much "seem" to get so little back.It also makes me realize like I have since childhood just how fragile human life really is.How in a literal second everything can change for the better or the worst.That this life we can all take for granted can work in our favor or plague us till we explode.That life is so simple and complex at the same time.I have come to realize that I personally must get busy living or get busy dying.Life gives us options and for this I am grateful but it can also take them away at a moments notice.Everything that goes up eventually must come down.

As I sit here overwhelmed with thought,happiness,misunderstanding,I am left with racing thoughts yet completely speechless...What a conundrum.....As I walk through life helping everyone I can,Trying to help my community,and trying to maintain happiness within myself.I feel like I am doing "what I am here for" but in the same sense I realize I can be taken from here anytime.I also realize daily I have to deal with my own demons.Be it the demons I have created or ones others have bestowed upon me.I sit here in fear that My daughter wont know her father,That I may not achieve the outreach to others I hope for daily,That I may leave here not having finished "what I was supposed to do".....I again am perplexed

Excuse the jumping around but,I feel so found yet so lost.I know that many of us may feel the same way.Some of you may think I am crazy....I feel like "genius on the border of insanity"....I mean don't get me wrong I know what I want to do.I know whats right.I am thinking clearly.I just have these "conundrums" that come up from time to time.This thing with this friend of mine really hit close to home.One of the only things since the death of my mom,birth of my beautiful daughter,and my own overdose that makes me realize that life is truly a gift.It does have a purpose.And on the flip side well things sometimes "seem" to have no rhyme or reason.

As I stare at the blinking cursor............My emotions screaming to write......My mind screaming to slow down and compose myself......I again am perplexed....That feeling again of being so lost and yet so found at the same time.The mind is a wonderful thing.Well to those reading I am sorry for such a long break again there are no excuses.I was lacking due to trying to compose myself while being so overwhelmed.The blogs will be more consistent.

I wish all of you the best in your journey.I hope this was not a rambling that went misunderstood.I encourage all of you to smile at someone today as tomorrow may not be here and being positive is contagious.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Family Values

Family values.What are they.Like a value to a piece of art I suppose it is only worth what someone is willing to sacrifice for it.I say that lightly only because I myself have come from a quite dysfunctional family and when I had got to thinking the other day I realized when I watch other families well I don't know how a normal one operates.I never sat at the table,I rarely can remember a family function and well  as far as morals and life issues My family that I knew and I probably weren't the best to model yourself after. This comes up today in this blog well, because as I was younger not having family never really bothered me.I handled it well made the best of what I had and that seemed to be good enough.As I have gotten older and am now about to hit 31 in feb. I realized this want for family.This urge to have it.Now I have a daughter I have not been able to see for an extended period of time and I love her dearly which only fuels this family wanting fire.But as I look at other people (some not all)I realize they only use there family,They value it more than life itself,and with some they cannot stand it and it seems that blood may be no thicker than water.

I guess where I have become perplexed by this conundrum is why now?Why the deep want for family as I have gotten older when I was fine without it?Aside from the things with my daughter who I have never stopped longing for I catch myself wishing my deceased mother was back.I catch myself wanting to have a relationship with my biological father whom I have only seen a dozen times in 30 years,6 of those times being in the last 2 yrs.I also find myself wanting to know the family roots,meet cousins,all in all I guess take a sense of pride or hope in the word family.Now personally in my family well this doesn't work many have tried at numerous let downs and fails.Not a sob story but the family is known only to come together at funerals if that.So back to the original question?

Is this something planted so deep within us we don't even realize it?Is this case of wants or morals built into us or picked up along the journey?Do you keep striving for the unreachable?Or do you just let it go?The fact that through my whole life.Crazy childhood,drug addicted mother,being addicted myself,homelessness,having tons of money,being poor,happy,sad.....Through all of this the two things I cannot shake and take the hardest is the tribulations with my daughter and the want for my blood family.I have plowed through many hard situations without too much trouble.Bringing me to only one logical answer through what I have seen.IS IT SOMETHING SO DEEPLY WANTED BECAUSE IT IS SO UNOBTAINABLE?!The reason I stress that question is cause and this is not everyone but a majority I feel I can safely say.....At my age if they have family its a bother or they don't want it.If they don't have it they long for it.If they have it and its severely dysfunctional they get caught in a limbo of heartache and torment from the ins-and outs.

Family in my opinion at one time had a sense of pride and value.You were happy to be the butchers son and you followed the trade with pride no questions asked.Family had a meaning.Family had a sense of hope.Family was behind you through the good and the bad.And please I am not suggesting anyone abandon all hope or take this as a judgement call this still exists in some families to this day.I just sit here typing completely perplexed on how it is that I have gotten older and now I feel I need my family...Let me also state when I say need family throughout this whole blog I have been talking about love.Not for money or whatever it may be that you can receive from someone.Just that unconditional love.So as I bring this to an end I would like to stress a simple suggestion.If you have family and can tolerate them love them regardless cause they may not be here tomorrow.And if anyone understands deeper than I why this want to have family is instilled in us regardless of age well leave a comment as it would be much appreciated.Have a good day everyone