I was happy to be invited to attend Martell Cognac Iconic Blueprints event hosted by Rob Hill, Sr. When they told me where the event was being held, I immediately knew this would be the perfect date night for us because Atlanta is our second home.
We packed up and headed east to Atlanta. The little woman and I would get an opportunity to have a date in one of our favorite cities but also celebrate and honor Martell Cognac Iconic Blueprints Experience honoree, Derek Blanks.
The Martell Iconic Blueprints Experience honors and celebrates men who are making great strides in the community and are emerging leaders. Truth be told they honor the unsung leaders of our communities, men like me, that are defying and exceeding all challenges that come our way.
The event was hosted by Rob Hill, Sr. in Atlanta at the Opera Nightclub. The atmosphere during the event was lively, celebratory and relaxed. The little woman and I was able to mingle and network plus we enjoyed the special cocktails provided by Martell Cognac. Our drink of chose for the night was the Martell Sour for her and the Martell Blueprint for me.
Rob Hill, Sr. welcomed everyone to the event and emcee the night. He lead a discussion with Derek Blanks that also included a Q&A from the audience. Derek Blanks is a humble guy who embodies the true meaning of an “icon.” I had the pleasure of interviewing Derek. We chatted like we were in the barber shop. Here is a snippet of what we discussed.
SDMS: Tell me what inspired you to pick up the camera?
Blanks: The love for art inspired me to pick up the camera. My background is a visual artist, illustrator. I’ve been drawing and painting all my life. So my original needs for the camera was for reference. I used it for reference. After I graduated and even through school, I used the photography as a medium to do something different and kinda of incorporated my actual illustration with photography. So I was doing something different. It kind of worked out because I used my fundamental what I was taught as far as the drawing with the photography.
SDMS: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Blanks: In the next five years, I see myself doing big things as far as I have already started my production house. I see myself making major motion pictures, such as documentaries. Doing international ad campaigns on the photography side and just expanding the visual brand of Derek Blanks photography.
Just being honored for doing the things I love means everything. -Derek Blanks
Rob Hill, Sr. said something tonight that spoke volume to me “People only see the success they don’t see the struggle of you getting there.” How true is this statement about marriages. People are watching you and they see you and your spouse smiling and celebrating an anniversary year after year. Its commendable but there are challenges that all marriages face. But even when we are faced with challenges in our marriages, we must face them together and defy the odds. There are so many things that are against marriages but just like Derek and Rob has done in their life, we all go through things that we don’t like but we must fight through them to succeed.
Men it’s important that we continue to be leaders in our family and in our communities. Oh and date night was a hit.
Thank you Martell Cognac…..
Disclosure: Thanks to The Niche Parent Network and Martell for sponsoring today’s post.