For a long time I’ve imagined the day I’d finally take off. Having successfully crowd sourced my book chronicling Creative Crushes, all the truly talents friends I’d cultivate. Finally meet face to face the incredible artists and souls that I’ve built relationships with over the years. The person at the very top of that list- Ray Ferrer!
We met years ago when I began this journey of blogging. The first moment I fell upon his art he catapulted to the top of my Creative Crush list. Come on, anyone who knows Ray’s work knows why!
Naturally I contacted him about doing a Tuesday Talent interview. He graciously agreed. I began sketching and interviewing him. Dare I say this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
Originally I wanted to draw him holding Rhiann in his arms based on their wedding pic (They’re just too damn cute for words). Ultimately in the essence of the TT interview I figured I should just draw Ray. And since his talent is larger than life, to me, I naturally had to sketch him with a superhero vibe, weapons-knife, spray paint and huge heart.
Over the years I learned so much from Ray about art, social media, networking, promotion and the enduring nature of love. And yet we never met face to face. Our friendship grew over the connective cords of the interweb.
When I received the news about Ray’s brain tumor my heart sank. I felt sick. Just having lost my Aunt to an inoperable brain tumor months prior, I found my own fears and experience coloring my ability to feel hope. But I refused to accept another loss. To imagine a world without Ray’s light.
I know many of my friends contributed to Ray’s Fund when his brain tumor was discovered. I want to thank you for that. For giving to someone I care for deeply. Your support for Ray and Rhian was support for me as well.
In the midst of his fight against (what was not yet known to be) cancer Ray took the time to email me. Typing was extremely difficult for him. But he reached out anyway. And despite his intermittent paralysis, no longer being able to drive, having to forgo Caffeine and alcohol (all the little luxuries we take for granted in life) he was so motivated and inspired.
I have Ray’s artwork on my gallery wall. I spend most my weekends in his, as I like to call it, “Happy Leprechaun” t-shirt. It is my go-to comfort clothes.
“Cause Unknown” sits upon my dresser. This one piece of art sums up an emotional space in which I’ve lived. A space only few can imagine. A space I wish Ray and Rhian had never found.
Sadly Ray’s fight ended on May 20th. His beloved Rhiann is still no doubt saddled with medical bills. A fund to raise money for their daughter Georgia to go to college has been set-up. So if you have anything further to give please do.
And if you haven’t yet today, hug someone for whom you care deeply. Take a chance and do the things you’ve been putting off. Embrace today as if there is no tomorrow because one day there won’t’ be.
And Ray I hope you’re sitting with a giant cuppa Joe. I mean hot tub sized and painting to your hearts content.