Let’s start this inside edition look into I AM HUMAN – Sketchbook of an Addict in it’s proper place with the face of the man who made all of this possible…

The person saying “Horror Genre” is none other than the infamous Jeffrey K Fisher, American illustrator and all around lover of himself.

That’s right, Jeff was a huge fan of himself and for good reason. He could draw like the dickens. He was an incredible draughtsman and was well versed in so many facets of art creation. He was an illustrator, a muralist, a court reporter sketch artist, a printmaker, a painter, and an amazing teacher.

I owe just about every bit of skill that I have as an artist to Jeff and I’m honored to say that.

When I first met Jeff in 2002 I was 30 years old, had never kept a sketchbook before, and had never drawn from the live model.

When Jeff passed away unexpectedly in 2014 at the age of 58 I had amassed 40+ sketchbooks and over 7500 hours of study from the live figure.

Needless to say, Jeff had a major impact towards my ability to design, draw, and create anything that I wanted to. He was a mentor, a friend, and a brother.

I’ve dedicated this book to him and will forever be in debt to the generosity and caring that he showed in shepherding me into my life as a professional artist.


If you research cardinal bird medicine throughout the web, you’ll find a wide variety of definitions about what the cardinal represents.

Many cultures and segments of those individual cultures will have very different meanings and traditions based on cardinal sightings.

I’m not going to talk about any of those. If you’d like to delve deeper into the Cardinal as a spirit animal or totem, please do so with a google search. You’re sure to find your head spinning in a thousand different directions.

I’m here to talk about the meaning that I hear most often in conversations or at times of a cardinal spotting.

Cardinals can be a sign that a loved one has come to visit you.

The word cardinal itself is derived from the Latin word cardo, meaning hinge or axis. I read an article suggesting that this pivot could signify the swinging of the door between the physical and spirit realms.

Birds are often associated with bridging the gap between the earth and sky and for a good reason.

But what does this all mean?

It could be as simple as taking a moment to honor a loved one that’s passed on when you see a cardinal.

You could think about what lessons or sage advice they might offer you given your current circumstance in life.

My twin nieces know that when they see a cardinal it’s my Father, their Grandpa Marino coming to visit them and that’s enough.

It’s a beautiful lesson to see a young child convinced entirely of their encounter with a spirit from beyond.

Do you ever wonder if it’s possible for our loved ones to send us messages?

Well, wonder no more. Any encounter with a beautiful cardinal is a chance to sit and reflect on life. That’s worth the opportunity to pause and breath and slow down for a moment.

Speaking of opportunities, which loved one is visiting you now in the form of the cardinal image above?

What do they have to share with you today?

Savor the moment and enjoy this opportunity to reflect!


If you’ve never seen the sunset in the Southwest Desert or any desert landscape you might want to put it on your bucket list.

I never felt such a feeling of “something greater” until I immersed myself in the barren landscape of Joshua Tree National Park in California. There’s something about the vastness of the desert that will humble you.

Being humbled seems to be a theme that keeps coming up when I think about some of my most spiritual experiences. The sense of scale in the desert always seems to put things into perspective. I remember sitting on a ridge one-day eating lunch and looking out over the grand vista miles into the distance. The sense of belonging and peace were pervasive at that moment.

I finally understood that….

We’re a part of something that’s much bigger than what our limited mental capacity can fathom. There have been countless people who stood in this same spot and witnessed the same awe that I felt. That it’s beautiful to be alive and to have the opportunity to grasp the enormity of an endless landscape.

And the best part is….

This connection to “something bigger” is available to every single one of us at any time. When the sun rises each morning we are given an opportunity to rise up into the light just as the mountains in my image above entitled “Majestic Glow” are doing. The majesty of life is effortless to see when faced with an epic view like the sunrise over the horizon.

I love those moments when I’m on vacation and get to have the visual experience of a grand vista. It’s always an inspiring experience.

There’s just one problem…

Most of us don’t get this perspective of the horizon anymore. Our worlds have become focused on smaller and smaller things and our perception about the wonder of life has shrunk as a result. When presented with a vast landscape, like the ones you see in the desert our ability to perceive wonder reawakens.

I hypothesize this disconnect from the vastness of life is affecting us in adverse ways. In NYC where I live, it’s sporadic to see the stars, but I never really realized just how unfortunate that was.

Then I had the following experience…..

I returned recently from a journey in the Amazon rainforest where I encountered the night sky of the southern hemisphere for the first time. I was shocked to see the plethora of different constellations that were there but even more shocked to see the stars in general.

For the first time in my life, I was able to see the night sky in its full brightness all the way down to the horizon. It was a 180-degree dome of magnificence, and it was mesmerizing. That’s a perspective a vast majority of us never get to see.

So what did I learn from these encounters?

I think that it’s important to change our perspective from time to time. I don’t mean to try to shift our mental point of view, instead I suggest we change our physical orientation. Seek out places that give us a new look of things. Visit the beach, hike in the mountains, visit a tall building, climb a tree, take a trip to the desert.

You could even just lay on the ground and view the world from that perspective. Simple things like that help to break our visual cycle and bring back the wonder of the world around us.

You see my point right?

The world is a beautiful place, but we sometimes get too focused in on the same things, the same views, the same route home, the same standing level perspective.

When I draw pictures, I know that I can always make an exciting image by pushing the angle, or point of view as I’ve done in the image below.

By changing the viewer’s position on the subject, you create excitement, and that causes people to become interested in the picture. We can keep ourselves in a state of wonder if we also change our view of the world.

So, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, bored, or complacent in your life. Just change your perspective, and you too can instantly reconnect with the majestic nature of life.


The artist’s task is to save the soul of mankind, and anything less is a dithering while Rome burns. Because of the artists, who are self-selected, for being able to journey into the other, if the artists cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found. – Terrence McKenna

This quote by Terrance McKenna is something that fuels me in my pursuit of diving deeper into the realm of spirit but it frightens me as well since saving the soul of mankind is a daunting task. I’m a big believer in honoring our sacred connection to the unknown, and I decided a while ago to take a stand in helping support the evolution of our human trajectory.

Here’s a list of goals I’ve created for my artistic contribution:

  • Create art that speaks to the sacred connection we have to the unknown
  • Create art that honors the Earth, the animals on the Earth, the sacred elements, and the sacred spiritual teachings of indigenous cultures
  • Work with clients that are engaged in work that supports the evolution of good for all Human-kind
  • Donate a portion of my income to support conscious initiatives that help the Earth, the animals, and our Human family

Why I’ve chosen this path

One of the essential concepts in creating the life you want is defining your purpose. Finding the “why” has become a standard initiative of most successful entrepreneurs. There’s a reason for this:

It’s no longer acceptable, in my mind, to create art that doesn’t have a purpose that will help others. I’ve come to the place in my career where it’s critical to spend my time creating art that helps in some way. We, as a western society, have become so detached from this planet and the sacred connection to nature and spirit.

This disconnection has manifested itself in numerous forms. Isolation, depression, mental health issues, preventable diseases, and loneliness are just a few of the symptoms of our departure from the connection we have with the Earth, with ourselves and with each other. I believe art can help lead us back to our roots and back in harmony with one another.

Through my engagement with indigenous practices from around the world I’ve continued to strengthen my core connection to the Earth, to the spirit of the unknown, and most importantly to myself.

It’s this path of purpose and responsibility to the greater whole that has cemented my decision to create value through art. This manifesto outlines a way to make a difference using my creative endeavors. I vow to use art and music to reach out to those who are looking to find their way.

I will also stand as a rock of commitment and an anchor to those who are already on this path. Through this offering, I intend to shine my light into the collective evolution of our planet and our human race.

A Call for Connection

I’m sending out an open invitation to connect and work with anyone that aligns with the following objectives:

  • Collectors who desire conscious art in their home or business. Art that’s embedded with prayer and positive manifestation that will add blessings to your sacred space.
  • Spiritual centers that are seeking sacred art installations for their space which will enhance the interaction and support of their community.
  • Clients that have active business initiatives which are adding to the protection of the Earth, Human consciousness, sustainability, healing, and community development.
  • Seekers who would like to develop a closer connection to the unknown through the incorporation of creativity and community into their lives.
  • Advocates who are looking to inspire people in their life by giving the gift of art. Art heals, and we can improve the world together by spreading the light of creative inspiration.

Let's work together!

Please use the form below to get in touch. Together we can use the blessings of music and art to help support and inspire the world!

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Check out this pic of me when I was a kid with my Christmas smile and a super cool electric guitar in hand.

You can’t tell but something isn’t right…

Back then I was taking guitar lessons from my Father. My Grandfather, in his early career, was a professional guitar player and a prominent bandleader. He taught my Father how to play guitar, and I can only imagine how thrilled they were that I was playing the guitar.

At the time of this picture, my Grandfather owned a guitar shop in Brooklyn where he fixed up the electric guitar that I’m holding in the picture. It was Christmas morning and I’m surprised at how thrilled I look holding that guitar.

The truth of the matter is…

Behind the smile I was wearing, I hated taking guitar lessons and learning from the book that I was studying. Within a week from the date of this picture I gave them back the guitar and told them I never wanted to play guitar again.

The next time I even touched a guitar was around the age of 24. I also decided I was too cool to stay in chorus once I reached the Junior High School and quit that as well, once again never to sing again until the age of 24.

At 24 years old I was in the Marines and stationed in California. Some Marine Corps friends were sharing an apartment out in town, and I went over one day to a party. When I arrived, 15 people were sitting around the living room, and they were passing a guitar around.

My friend Tai, who was a musician, was trying to teach them how to play the opening riff from “Blister in the sun” by the Violent Femmes. The melody behind the following lyric – “When I’m walking I strut my stuff, and I’m so strung out, I’m high as a kite, and I just might stop to check you out.”

That’s when it happened…

It’s a relatively simple three-note riff, and no one seemed to be able to play it. As I was watching I’m thinking to myself, “Give me that guitar, I could play that”. When the guitar got to me, I played the riff with no problem and my love for music was instantly ignited. Tai had an extra guitar and he let me borrow it to play in the barracks. I’ve played guitar just about every single day since then. That was over 20 years ago.

When I told my Dad, who was still an avid guitar player, that I was playing guitar, it must have thrilled him. He immediately grabbed an old acoustic guitar that was laying around the house, fixed it up and shipped it out to California. It was a beauty, and I had my very own guitar, my first guitar!

To say I became obsessed is an understatement. The guitar became, and has remained till this day, an integral part of my life, my creativity, and my soul. I even began the long journey to recover my vocal abilities. It’s been a long but beautiful road.

It’s one that I cherish immensely and attribute to saving my life on numerous occasions. I’m finally ready, after all this time, to share that blessing with the world.

Peter Bragino playing guitar in front of an original colorful painting named Open arms at Theceeflat Gallery BrooklynHere’s me playing guitar in front of an original collaborative painting named “Open arms” at Theceeflat Gallery in Brooklyn

Here’s the lesson I learned…

The reason I’m sharing this story is to encourage you to honor your dreams and your passions. Even if you’re just dating them and enjoying the learning experience, there’s a blessing hidden in there. It’s good for your soul, and you might become great at them. It’s never too late to try something you always wanted to do.

I encourage you to do it. Although our lives are short, they’re also considerably long. I’ve gotten 20+ years of enjoyment out of playing the guitar/singing, and there are so many years of happiness ahead.

At the beginning of the year I promised I’d be sharing my musical endeavors with everyone and the time has come to make that a reality. I’ve opened a Soundcloud account to share the music that I’ve written. Keep in mind that these are self-produced scratch tracks in Garage Band. They are not professionally mastered songs, but I felt it was essential to share anyway.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share the other half of my creative soul with you. Many blessings to you and the passions in your own life. The world needs the gifts that you bring. Let’s share more often and celebrate. Let me know what gifts you want to share with the world in the comments…


Short bio

Although I grew up in NY I spent 10 years living in California during and after a 5 year enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. When I first encountered the west and particularly the desert I discovered a true sense of spiritual awareness. The stillness and grandeur of those wide open spaces launched me onto a journey to commune with the Earth and more importantly to connect deeply within myself. My current artistic direction is a reflection of the journey we all walk in life. It’s a combination of honoring the sacred internal path and celebrating the beauty of our beloved planet. I’m sharing this journey in the hopes of encouraging others to seek wisdom from Mother Earth and from within themselves. I’ve found incredible support, wisdom, and direction along this sacred path and I’m here to shine a light on that timeless connection that we all have access to.

Bragino_GOC_Higher-Aspirations-compressor

Higher Aspirations, Grain of Consciousness Series by Peter Bragino

What is your medium and your process?

My medium is mostly mixed media. That consists of Acrylic paints, markers, pens, laser engraving and sometimes digital painting.

Describe what inspires your artwork.

My work is inspired mostly by Mother Nature and the spiritual journey of life. I use improvisational techniques, mark making, draughtsmanship, and heavy design aesthetics in my pieces. I like the look of hand drawn marks on a page. I aim to create harmony out of the chaos that occurs when you approach a piece of art from an improvisational manner by layering design ideas on top of the randomness that initially occurs. This process allows the image to have a life of it’s own. As the artist I try to honor that history as cocreateor of each piece and find my way to a meaningful image.

What sets your artwork apart from others? What makes it special?

It’s important for me to allow the hand of the artist to be evident in everything that I do. That, to me, is the life blood of a work of art. It shows process, energy, mistakes, corrections, struggle, and solutions. That journey is something you’ll see in all of my work. It’s a blend of inspired energy meeting trained creative understanding and solutions.

painting of a woman in purples and pinks laying on her side resting on her arms as if going to bed

Apathy Reclining, Modern Goddess Series by Peter Bragino

How would you describe your studio?

My studio is warm, confortable, organized, and fully available to create on demand. It’s a space that supports my creative energy in a very efficient way so that my creative process is always unhindered. It’s fully adaptable for having events, dinner parties, and gallery openings. I created it as a multi-use space.

Do you listen to music while working on your art, and if so, what type?

I generally listen to music when I work and that could be a number of things. Ambient music, Icaros, Pow Wow songs, and 80’s are just a few. It varies on the mood and the piece.

Do you collect artwork? What is your favorite type and why?

I have collected a few pieces from friends that are artists. I do so to support their growth and also to collect images that inspire me in my own work.

What do collectors love about your art? And what have you learned from them?

Collectors love the amount of contemplation, passion, and love that goes into my work. All of my pieces are created with a deep level of introspection about spirituality and that energy/intention resonates with them. I’ve learned from them not to be too concerned about explaining my work to people because when someone connects with a piece they get it completely. When it resonates with them it does so in a manner similar to my own thought process of why I make art. Aesthetically, spiritually, and emotionally our world views are synced so the work makes sense automatically.

Guardians Series Poster, By Peter Bragino

Guardians Series Poster, By Peter Bragino

 What is one of your favorite quotes, and why?

“When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.” ― Robert Henri

The reason I like this quote is:

  1. It’s by Robert Henri and I believe he is one of the more contemplative artists I’ve come across. His words and disposition towards the deep beauty of the artistic life resonate deeply with me.
  2. I think deeply and with great care about myself, my fellow human beings, and this incredible life we’re living. I reject the thought that everything is known and I live artistically in a space that’s always courting the unknown. I think it’s important for us as humans to seek deeper understandings about all things especially about ourselves. This quote aligns with that notion.

What other interests, besides your artwork, do you have?

I have many other interests beside art. I’m a musician, guitar player and singer who writes and composes songs and music. I’m an avid gardner who loves to grow my own food. I’m heavily engaged in Indigenous Cultural ways and ceremonies that include Sweat Lodges, Teepee meetings, and other medicinal ways to commune with spirit. I’m currently playing live music for some of those ceremonies. The main instruments that I use are acoustic guitar, Native American flute, rattles and drums. One of my favorite things to do is to hike around in nature and to explore like a child into the unknown and bountiful spaces of the Earth. I consider myself a Treasure Hunter – when you open your awareness, sharpen your perception of the world around you and embrace the unknown you will inevitably find magic – That, to me, is one of the most mysterious and beautiful gifts of life.

Majestic Glow, Grain of Consciousness Series, by Peter Bragino

Majestic Glow, Grain of Consciousness Series, by Peter Bragino

When and why did you decide to become an artist? Why is this so important to you?

I remember as a child always wanting to draw with my friends. They’d want to play sports but I’d always put drawing on the table as an option. I also loved trains since my Father worked as a track walker for the NYC Subway system. I was always intrigued with what he did for work and completely excited when he told me he was taking me into the city to show me the trains and stations where he spent his days. I’d never been into Manhattan before and was excited for the journey.

Throughout the day we quickly passed through every gate and station we encountered since my Dad had the keys to all the gates. I remember riding in the front of the train to see the tracks as we were traveling in the tunnels. I was mesmerized by all of this. At one point in the day we pulled into a station where my father wanted to show me something on the walls as the train was puling away. Artist had painted images in sequence onto the walls of the tunnel that acted like a flip book. As the train moved away the images that we were seeing out of the window began to move and animate. This, to me, was pure magic. After the images passed my father looked down at me and said – “The artists that created these murals don’t get paid to come down here and paint them. They do it because it’s something that’s inside of them.” – That was the moment, like a flash of lightning, I instantly knew that I was an artist just like them.  I recall that as the moment I met my soul.

That intuition, the strongest I’d ever felt since then, has remained with me. I’ve always known that art would be my life. It was just a matter of when and how. That moment is very important to me for numerous reasons. It’s a magical memory with my Father. It’s a gift of the intuition that helped me know from a very early age what I would do in life. It’s the first time I fully recognized my soul. That’s why the inner connection to self is so important to me and why my work focuses on celebrating and shining a light on that relationship. I believe everyone has the ability and the right to connect in that way with their own inner knowing. I believe that all personal wisdom and true direction comes from that connection.




I believe that we all have an in-extinguishable light inside of us. This is the ultimate source of wisdom and connection to our most authentic self. I believe in you and the unique gifts that you bring to this world. Shine bright my friend. The world needs your light!

So what are the top 5 benefits to connecting with your soul and intensifying your light?

  1. You’ll gain a deeper sense of belonging – The world can make it tough to feel as if you belong but by strengthening the connection you have to your inner light you will feel a deeper sense of connection. That’s because you will have a greater sense of self which pays dividends towards understanding who you are. That knowing will draw other to you that are similar and inevitably you’ll eventually know that you always belonged, you just hadn’t met your tribe yet..
  2. You’ll get to know your own personal Yoda – That’s right, who hasn’t dreamed of having Yoda as their mentor. Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s a Yoda inside each and every one of us. This wise sage speaks to us from within. It appears as a voice, intuition, our feelings or our heart. It always has the final say and that say is always the truth. You may choose to ignore that wisdom but it will never turn it’s back on you. Deepen your connection, know your sage, and embrace your inner Yoda.
  3. You’ll discover your greatest gifts – We all have gifts that we bring to the world and by knowing yourself from an internal perspective you can engage, cultivate, and manifest your greatest assets. These things will illuminate your uniquemess, they will burn bright and will fill you with immense joy. It’s pretty remarkable what a true connection with your soul will bring to you. Incredible gifts await, you just need to start listening and cultivating that relationship today.
  4. Your life will blossom – It’s true. I’ve witnessed it in myself. Beauty comes from knowing oneself and connecting to our inner light. It’s easy to be yourself as a child but as time goes on we tend to lose our way and get lost in the confusion of life. Like a ship tossed around the sea you search for solid ground but there’s nothing in sight. When you tap into your inner navigation the sun emerges along with the rains and the winds of fate begin to blow in your direction encouraging you to unfold and metamorphosize into the beautiful being that you already are. That’s worth getting to know yourself for sure..
  5. You’ll become you – This is the ultimate goal for all of us here on planet Earth. It seems so simple but it remains such a struggle to achieve. How do we become more like the person we know we are inside? Well, we start to commune with that inner wisdom and we listen to it. The key is to trust that wisdom. In order to do that we need to develop our connection first. With a strong connection we will get strong intuition. Then we’re off on our greatest adventure sailing freely and joyfully upon our ship of destiny.