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About Me

Julian Raven

My journey as an artist started when I was very young. My drive to become an artist continued developing in stages throughout my life. I was born in Richmond-Upon-Thames in London, England in 1970. I was raised in southern Spain, in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Marbella. In my teen years, under the mentorship of Master artist David Bodlak, my identity as an artist was forged.

Graduating the British equivalent of high-school at 16, I took a year off dedicated to painting and then was accepted at the prestigious Chelsea School of Art in London England in 1988. This venture did not last a year. My existential crisis coupled with the negativity I experienced at art school caused me to walk out after seven months. I realized that my art was something I could develop in the picturesque and stunningly beautiful Spanish countryside under the resplendent Andalusian sunlight.

Making a living in Spain was difficult. I ended up building and running three hard-rock bars with my brothers. My art suffered, but I still produced in a small studio in my home and used my creative skills as an entrepreneur. Between eighteen and twenty-two years of age my life spiraled downwards due to my ongoing existential crisis. That all changed when I had a dramatic epiphany on 'La Concha,' the mountain of God, that overlooks the Costa Del Sol where I lived. My life was turned around from darkness to light, from despair to glorious hope and a calling to ministry began to grow in me. Leaving my life of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, I followed my call to the mission field. There I still painted and developed my photography skills. I tried to sell my art to tourists on the streets, with little success, since my business model was all wrong, a common artist's dilemma! 

Eventually in 1996, I was to end up in the United States, in Hemet, California. I began to attend art shows looking for possible outlets for my work if I was to pursue my art, that did not materialize. Later that year in Nyack, New York, I was to meet my wife and best friend of now over 25 years, Gloria and start a family. We opened a custom furniture store where I used my art skills to custom design, build and hand-paint furniture, kitchens and high-end cabinetry. This fulfilled my creative yearning, but my deep desire to paint continually burned within.

The call to ministry was unfolding with me attending a local Seminary. Eventually, following the call, we moved to Elmira, New York in 2006, to be on staff at a local church. This was short lived as church politics, greed and leadership corruption ruled the day thwarting my ordination. I pursued business and art again, going as far as to renovate part of a warehouse I had to house an art gallery I called 'Virtue'. The economic crash of 2008 drastically impacted my businesses, causing Gloria and I to make a life changing decision.

In late 2009, we decided to return to the sandy beaches, vibrant culture, exquisite cuisine and healing sunlight of southern Spain. Marbella was like an oasis in the desert beckoning us to come. So with our three precious children we packed up and travelled to Spain. It was a perfect time for my wife and children to meet my family. After 14 months, we returned to Elmira, New York. After engaging in some contracting work for a season, I resolved to finally pursue my career as an artist, full time. I knew that if I went to the grave not having given my artistic gift its full opportunity to flourish, that it would be like burying my talent. I had spent time working in an art gallery in Spain surrounded by paintings and getting inspired to once and for all pursue my art.

After a year of painting in our country home's above-ground basement, we acquired a 6000 sq. ft. warehouse in Elmira, New York, where I could pursue my artistic passion on grand scale. For eight years I pursued my passion creating some of my most significant paintings. My first painting to sell to a collector through Saatchi art sold for nearly two thousand dollars. The next two paintings sold for twenty-five thousand dollars to collectors in Switzerland. I was blown away! These sales fired my artistic drive, that continues to this day.

After opening a gallery in Elmira, my wife and I decided to move to Lynchburg, Virginia where all of our children had moved to attend Liberty University. We opened our new, beautiful Raven Art Gallery in March of 2023 in Lynchburg, at 2121 Wards Rd., a few minutes up the road from Liberty University, where my art studio is and all of my work is on display.

Thank you for visiting The Raven Art Gallery online!

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This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!


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