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Painted Brain | From The Painted Brain Academy: An Interview With Raffi Rivetes
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • February 29, 2016

From the Painted Brain Academy: an interview with Raffi Rivetes

I met Raffi Rivetes (a.k.a. 8-Ball) at Painted Brain Headquarters on the ninth floor, high above Wilshire Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles. He’s wearing a grey Painted Brain t-shirt and a pair of jeans.  The office is abuzz with activity as we, the members of Painted Brain Academy, attempt to unearth truths about the lives of our associates.  Raffi says that he was born in Los Angeles and developed an interest and talent for art and photography as a teenager.  Art is one way that he expresses himself.  His work is influenced by his spirituality and reflects his mental health and psychological state.  8-Ball used Hollywood as a hang out during his youth, and his creativity emerged as a teen when he invented a fantasy world to help him survive an identity crisis.
Raffi aspires to write a book about his personal experiences with The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health system.  Here, in the Painted Brain workshop, 8-Ball would like to improve his writing skills.  I’m pleased to attend The Painted Brain Academy with Raffi, to see how each of us grows as a journalist.  We are all excited to see how we can influence society with our words.

Heather Wilcox is studying journalism at the Painted Brain Academy. This is her first submission to Painted Brain News.

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