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About Varied / Professional Senior Member Sam RaffaMale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 10 Years
Premium Member 'til Hell freezes over
Statistics 168 Deviations 88,473 Comments 369,827 Pageviews

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:sphilr: by Edme

sphilr avatar by Edme


sphilr nudicon by snowmask


Shining Stars Of Deviantart by ArtByCher


When everything's working right, you become transfixed by the notes and chords and the beautiful spaces in between. In the center of it, with the drums, bass and guitar all around you, the earth falls away and it's just you and your crew creating this forward motion, this undeniable, magical stuff that can move ten thousand people to snap free of life's miseries and get up and dance and scream and feel just fine.

  • Listening to: Joni Mitchell: The Hissing Of Summer Lawns
  • Reading: Thomas Pynchon: Bleeding Edge
Nurser Journal Illus by SRaffa

If you've got five chances, throw four at whatever you can reasonably hit. But, as for the fifth…

In 1991, in broad daylight, I'm pounding on the heavy glass doors of Spivak's Art Supply, a store that had been open for many years until this very day, the one day I really have to get inside.

All of the windows and doors are papered over from the inside and the lights are out.

My fist is meeting the glass with the kind of desperation that gets people arrested and put in jail, every day of the week. I don't hear any noise at all from inside.

Boiling over all at once, I run around to the alley in back and up the short ramp where trucks had formerly unloaded easels and drawing boards and whatever else into this store. I put my ear to the door and I can distinctly hear someone speaking out loud in there, and the pounding I give the door now surprises even me.

"Open up! I gotta have my drawing back! Please open up this door!"


I had recently discovered that color Xerox machines could reproduce the details and nuances of graphite pencil drawings far better than standard Xerox machines could, and for a fraction of the price of PMTs and stats. I was trying to drum up freelance work by printing self promotion posters featuring color Xeroxes of a pencil drawing I'd done depicting three babies emerging from three roses-- Nursery is its title.

I'd been able to afford to have five of these posters printed; I'd sent four of them to local ad agencies, but on a crazy whim, I'd sent the fifth to one of my favorite writers, Harlan Ellison, through the publishers of his most recent book.

Weeks later, none of the ad agencies had contacted me, but Harlan Ellison called me on the phone, much to my stammering amazement.

And months later he called again, this time to say that he wanted to use the Nursery image for the cover of his forthcoming book, but only if I could get the original mailed off to him to be properly photographed, and in something of a hurry.

Of all the paintings and drawings I could have chosen to hang at Spivak's Art Supply for their customer appreciation show, Nursery was, of course, among them. And the day Harlan Ellison called to ask for that drawing turned out to be, of course, the day that Spivak's had gone out of business and locked its doors for almost the final time…

I don't know what became of the rest of the art hung for Spivak's customer appreciation show, but Nursery did become the cover of Harlan Ellison's book, Dreams With Sharp Teeth, and I've done additional work for him in the years that have followed.

If you've got five chances, throw four at whatever's within your reach. But that fifth chance? Slam it at the fucking moon while you still have time…

Nursery by SRaffa


Sam Raffa
Artist | Professional | Varied
United States
Sam Raffa is an artist and graphic designer whose clients have included Book Of The Month Club and Dark Horse Comics. His paintings have hung at Le Jardin Des Arts Gallery and Royce Galleries Ltd in Colorado, and the International Art Expo New York.

Deviousness Award

Deviousness Award
Where to begin with the reasons for selecting `sphilr for this month's deviousness award. How about with his passion for all things art. If you want to see someone who lives and breathes the concept, you don't have to look any further. He has spent his entire life honing his unique and easily identifiable style. You can look at what he does and just get that sense that he is the type of person who wakes up needing to create something. His journals reflect that passion as well. Additionally they provide a bit more insight to the soul of this individual. Showing a compassionate and giving nature which can then be further glimpsed through his positive and supportive commentary.
`sphilr is the real thing and we are proud to add him as a recipient for deviousness this July!
-awarded July 2007


Add a Comment:
Spring74 Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the fav :-)
(1 Reply)
scarletwave Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015
Hi Sam. What are you doing?  I know we hate Twitter but it made me see your journal because, well, I am challenged.

And when I get sad I remember things like:
Hester by thomsontm

(1 Reply)
atefehaban Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015
Happy new year, my lovely friend!
Happy year of the sheep,
Have a cute sheep
(1 Reply)
Solys Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015   Artist
♥ Happy New Year , dear Friend! :)
(1 Reply)
jactinglim Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the FAVE on Akame ink doodle :D
(1 Reply)
GabyCoutino Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  New member  General Artist
great gallery :)
(1 Reply)
atefehaban Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2014
Merry Christmas
(1 Reply)
milbisous Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2014
Merry Xmas!

 :iconcraciun1::iconcraciun9:Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer:iconsanta-plz:
(1 Reply)
DiegoTripodi Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014
Merry Christmas, Brother! :santa: :D
(1 Reply)
tiamat9 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014
Thank you kindly for the favorite. Happy Holidays to you. I wish you all the best for 2015.
(1 Reply)
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