A Short Self Interview Blake4d Talks Shop about Writing and Being an Artist
In response to a question asked of me on Hubpages by Tamarii2.
Q : First things first, where and when were you born?
Blake4d : I was born in Louisville, Kentucky on Father's Day June 16th in the Summer of Love, 1968.
Q : Obviously Blake4d is not your birth given name correct?
Blake4d : No Blake4d is my Nome de plume and only has been my pen name since beginning to write for the Internet in 2010. I was born Blake Adam Ford ( Ford being my mother Kathryn's maiden name )...and around three years old I took the last name of my first step father Bob Hall. When taking his last name, my mother decided that we both should keep our original family name Ford, and so she and I both carried it over as our middle name. She became Kathryn Ford Hall and I became Blake Ford Hall. She would later divorcee Bob Hall, but kept Ford as her middle name even when she married again years later. Today we have different last names, but carry the Ford family name as mother and son for life. Blake4d is an acronym is invented using my name back in 1997 when signing up for my first free hot mail account. I came up with the idea while scribbling on a post it note. Blake Ford = Blake4d dropping my last name all together, and it became my first user name. So to explain it more simply. Blake is my true first and birth given surname. My middle name is Ford, which I have turned into an alphanumeric homonym, Ford = 4d ...and so my pen name is Blake4d. After dropping my legal last name of Hall. My AZ drivers license reads Blake Ford Hall.
Q : What was your childhood like?
Blake4d : Well, I was an only child and lived most of my early years with only my mom and I, our family has all the stereotypical dysfunctional problems of abuse, addiction, and alcoholism...with the bonus dimensions of multi-generational perpetuation of the same and worse. Out of respect to my mother I won't discuss any of the grosser details. Let's just say this. Imagine all the worst kinds of abuse, violence, and neglect that can be done to a young child by her parents - then imagine a young girl having them done to her day after day for the first decade of her life. Then add to being afflicted with Polio until the vaccine was invented around the time she was seven or eight. Imagine all that, crippled, bed ridden, and all the aforementioned things. Now imagine what it must of taken for that young girl to survive those years. That little girl was my mom.
Q : So your mother raised you alone?
Blake4d : For the most part, my first stepfather was only around a few of the years between three and ten years old. But he helped my mom leave her family in Louisville, and never look back again. She has been the constant in my life as parent, mother, and family. She was my world all of my youngest years as a boy.
Q : Are you two close?
Blake4d : Yes, very...perhaps to the point of being dysfunctional over bonded. I am a mama's boy to be sure, even as an adult. She is all the worst and best aspects of an overprotective, and codependent neurotic mother. But she and I also have a friendship and honesty that surpasses anyone else I have ever known as mother and son. Whatever we lost by virtue of having to be mom / son, and surrogates for our adult child issues respectively...was equally traded in turn for a relationship that is psychologically deeper than you could attain any other normal way in other more normal families.
Q : Did you become more like her being so close, or more different?
Blake4d : You know on a day when we were having an argument over something ( who knows what? ) I asked my mom if she and I were not mother and son, would I be the type of person she would want to know and be friends with. Without blinking, she immediately responded No. Not overly emotional, or angry, or even coldly...just a calm matter of fact, No. She is conservative and practical, where I am creative and charismatic. She is linear and materialistic, I am abstract and philosophic. She is agony, I am ecstasy. Yet, I have counter balancing sides to my personality that definitely make my ying look calmly logical to her post traumatic yang. Especially when it comes to emotions and inner child issues, that is the line in the sand where it seems that we do a kinda role reversal as parent and child. To the outsider looking in all might seem very chaotic, but for our two part family unit - it is really as good as it gets. Plus despite all those things, we do love each other unconditionally. I would take a bullet for her in a devils heartbeat. We are so perfectly imperfect for our needs as people, it is ironic that we are family.
Q : In what ways do you think she most influenced you as a person?
Blake4d : My mom has an incredible mind, strong, adaptable, and razor sharp when she sets her mind on a target or goal. I am nowhere near as driven as she is naturally, but I make up for it by having inherited a double dose of her tenacious need for details. And I can only hope that I have also inherited her natural gift for material worldly manifestation of money and good work ethics. I swear my mom can make money from dirt if she needs it and is her generosity is only outweighed, by her karmic tendency to misplace her loyalties and trust very unworthy recipients of her good fortune ( Myself included. ) But most people who meet us, don't initially recognize us for mother and son, that is how different we are in looks, mannerisms, attitudes, even the way we speak...and darn it she got good teeth that are nearly straight to this day, and I got teeth like a inbred moonshine making hillbilly from the backwoods.
Q : So, when did you first become interested in the arts?
Blake4d : I wrote my first poem when I was four. I remember it was called ' Coloring the Planets ' - I used to have it in a scrapbook...but it was lost years ago. It was about half a page , long as two or three haikus in length. I also remember drawing with pencils and crayons around that same time, I drew my mom pictures of two dragons fighting each other. One breathing fire, the other breathing water out its mouth...I colored one red, the other blue. I also was reading at least a year or two above my age level by five. But I hadn't yet connected those activities as doing art, it was just me playing alone and finding ways to pass the time, as only children have to do very often.
Q : Were you naturally talented?
As the years progressed and I entered kindergarten and grade school, it became apparent to my teachers, my school advisers, and my mom that I was advanced in several areas of learning. Reading, comprehension, memory, creative use of writing and language skills, imagination...and an unfortunate stubborn dislike for other children. I was egocentric and considered most kids dumb or slow witted, I also had a lot of health problems which kept me from playing outdoors like normal kids my age until I outgrew my bronchitis over the next few years. I was naturally gifted with writing and words before I even entered kindergarten. I had written two short story, novella length 'books' - both around fifty handwritten pages. One was about an island of giant snakes with a shipwrecked military airplane and its crew stranded. The other was a very psychedelic sci-fi story about time traveling aliens from Jupiter coming to save the Earth from Nuclear War breaking out between the US and China ( I think it was called Spaceport 1985...or something like that ). I also discovered dancing after my step dad took me to see Saturday Night Fever, I wasn't very good but I enjoyed it a lot. I also got my first little cassette recorder from Bob Hall, and as early as seven was experimenting with primitive recording and sound. Mostly clipping effects off TV shows, silly stuff, but I was the only kid on my block that was doing so...I guess that was my own natural talents first showing themselves for the first time.
Q : What are your actual talents you have achieved?
Blake4d : Well I play several instruments, but guitar is my best one. I can sing and play, and what I lack in technical mastery I seem to make up for in natural ear for anything to do with sound, music, recording, even public speaking as such. I write, and have recently begun some journalistic explorations as a writer. I have done a lot of photography, have a good head for computers and have taught myself alot in the last decade around software in various applications.
Q : I have achieved a lot over the years thought.
Blake4d : I have probably been in a couple dozen bands that made it to various levels of success, have been a movie extra in about a dozen movies, have been everything from a surveyor to a web designer to a piano mover in my daily work life. Have started my own home business a couple times over now with varied degrees of success. I haven't found anything yet that I couldn't teach myself if I had a sufficient enough interest in learning it. My biggest downfall as a human being is my procrastination streak. Once I get going, I am very prolific with anything I do...but it can take me a while to get going, God and Goddess bless my family for putting up with me over the years, especially my Mom.
Q : Do you call youself an Artist?
Blake4d : I have to say yes. But as one of my favorite anonymous quotes states, 'Just because nooone understands you, doesn't make you an artist." But I am admittedly multi-talented. I am a skilled writer, poet, designer, and semi-skilled at web design, html, photography, and his favorite softwares are photoshop and notepad.I am a musician...playing guitar, bass, some piano, keyboards, singing a little ( can sing and play any of the instruments mentioned ), and an amateur audio engineer. I can sorta dance a little in several styles, and dabble in other mediums for fun.
Q : Are you Anti-Christian?
Blake4d :I am if anything Anti-Anti, one of my most basic beliefs is that that prejudice is the root of most human problems in communication. Furthermore, prejudice of prejudice is the ultimate anti-oxymoronic statement. I am against being against things just because you oppose them personally.
Q : Are you Pro-Choice?
Blake4d : I believe that most issues concerning women and their bodies should be decided and debated by women, That does not make him pro or anti, either life or choice.Instead I would say I am more pro-women and their ability to make the best decision for their bodies and babies. If men are doing their part by the women in their lives, then men will be represented in such opinions as a whole. Pro-choice or Pro-life, I really am not either.
Q : Are you a Liberal?
Blake4d : You would be surpised to find I have been a registered Republican during every election of his life. That does not mean he always voted left or right, for his vote is cast based on the individual or legislation at hand. So he has rarely sided with anything based on a party affiliation. Blake4d is currently unregistered as a voter, and has been since 2009 for personal reasons.
Q : Are you a Hippie?
Blake4d : I consider myself more of a techno-pagan or a cyberpunk with pagan tendencies.
Q : Do you come from money?
Blake4d : This is so not true, if anything he came from dirt poor country roots.
Q : Are you well educated.
Blake4d : This is not true in the traditional sense. I have gone to college, but only hold a General Studies AGS. I have a Reverandship title from time spent studying in a local seminary. I have self educated myself in too many things to list. My greatest achievement has been successful learning the method by which I learn things best, I can teach myself anything that I set my mind upon. This I know for sure. I also was made a knight several years ago, by a gentleman who had the correct honorable status to do such a thing.
Q : Are you a lover of animals?
Blake4d: I have a very loyal, yet very dumb old dog named Honcho Poncho. I also have two tortoise shell calico girl cats, the older of which is Maggie age 8ish, and Piper age 3ish, and an old alley cat that adopted me a few years back named Mouser, although he is 6ish and the size of a small pit bull in weight. Mouser is a cross eyed Abyssian Tabby. Yes I love my animals, but am not a fanatic for animal rights. Meaning, I love my animals, I don't necessarily feel that for all animals. Some animals are just jerks. They can stay outside.
Q : What draws you to writing?
Blake4d : Writing was my first mistress, my first art that I excelled in. So in a way she will always be that for me, I suppose being a writer has a certain stigmata that it leaves with you, and you show the signs of being a writer outwardly as well as inward. But personally I have always found that the written word had a way of letting me speak my mind, but still edit that personal side that I wanted to share only in part with the world direct and openly. Plus the pen, the pencil, the typewriter, they keyboard...all the tools of writing have felt right at home in my hand.