June 9, 2010: Hatena Featured Artist - Fred (id:blankenburg)


Welcome to the 9th edition of the Hatena Featured Artist section of our blog, where we introduce Flipnote creators from around the world.

We post a new edition of the Hatena Featured Artist every week on Wednesday, and hope to introduce a variety of different artists that will inspire and entertain you.

Be sure to check back here every Wednesday to see some of the most amazing artists on Flipnote Hatena. Maybe we'll even feature you someday!

Today's Hatena Featured Artist is Fred (id:blankenburg) from the Americas region.

Please introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Fred. I am a 43 year old musician, artist, Father, and counselor. I am married and have three wonderful and inspiring foster children; two of whom I recently adopted! I also have a dog named Penny, and a Koi fish pond in my yard were I spend a lot of time relaxing.

How do you get your inspiration for new Flipnotes?

When making Flipnotes, I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere! At times I will see something that triggers an idea. It might be a current event, a photo, a song, a painting, a scene from a movie, or even something completely random.

Ideas usually come to me when I am doing other things; for example they come to me when I am working, when I am sleeping, when I am watching TV, or even when I am driving! Because I can’t always turn off my imagination, I have learned to keep a pad of paper handy to write things down so I don’t forget them. I have also learned that ideas cannot be forced, and giving my mind time to rest usually is the catalyst for my best work.

I am a huge fan of Star Wars, and Star Trek, and the Original Land of the Lost TV show. I am also a child of 70’s rock music, and grew up listening to bands like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and even Jimi Hendrix. By contrast, I also love Michael Jackson’s music, which inspired me to make my “Food Criminal” song parody/ Flipnote that reached #1 on Hatena.

When you are not creating or looking at Flipnotes, what do you do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies or things you like other than Flipnotes?

In my free time I love going to the beach, running, exercising, and just being outside. I love baseball and have visited dozens of ball parks across America. I also enjoy spending time with my family, encouraging them to be successful and to enjoy life. Whenever possible, I play my guitar and a whole bunch of other musical instruments. I also love playing video games, and have been playing since the early days of “Pong”.

From time to time, I sing and perform in a Children’s Music Band called, “The Pinecone People”. We have several CD’s out there, and perform live shows in addition to having been featured on National Children’s Radio programming.

We believe that you have lots of ideas for your Flipnotes. Do you have any plans for a type or style of Flipnote that you would like to create in the future?

I am always looking to push the envelope on original ideas made with Flipnote Studio. I am currently working on a “Survive the Dungeon” series where decisions you make send you to different “chapters” in the adventure. All of the chapters will be posted on one locked channel so that everything you need to survive each chapter will be in one place and at your fingertips.

I am also working on a “Lost Treasure Hunt” where the first to reach the solution would receive the “Lost” Purple Star of Hatena! This will be a “scavenger hunt” type game where people have to collect the clues to assemble a virtual treasure map in order to find the solution. Several of the clues are already in place; however, they will not make any sense until some future time. P.S. This is not going to be something easily solved, so hopefully I won’t frustrate too many in the process!

Let's talk about something unrelated to Flipnotes. As you own a Nintendo DSi, we assume that you enjoy playing games as well. Which Nintendo DSi Game have you played recently and which one is your all-time favorite?

Recently I downloaded a DSiWare game called “Escapee Go”, which has provided my family and I with many hours of multiplayer fun. If you haven’t played it already, at only 200 points this game is a download no-brainer, and well worth the money.

My all time favorite DS game would have to be “Mario Kart”. I’ve been playing that game since it came out on the Super Nintendo, and in my opinion, it is still the best multiplayer game ever made. P.S. it also looks especially nice on the new DSi XL screens!

As you know, Hatena is based in Kyoto, Japan. Have you ever been to Japan?

If you get a chance to visit here, what is the first thing or place you like to check out? I have never been to Japan, however, one thing that I would really love to do is hike to the top of Mt. Fuji. I hear that it is possible to do the hike in one day, and is quite possibly one of the most beautiful hikes in the world!

Thank you for taking the time to answer those questions. Now, final word. If there is anybody you would like to greet or something you would like to say in the Flipnote Hatena community?

I sincerely want to thank all of my fans and everyone who has supported my Flipnotes! I thank all of you for your countless comments, stars, contest entries; and spin-offs (yes even spin-offs- the ultimate form of flattery!) Your support and honest criticism of my work has only inspired me to try harder and to push the envelope of what is possible. I have learned so much from all of you, and have been truly inspired by all of the work of other artists and the Hatena community as a whole! I also appreciate everyone for being supportive of someone my age (43) and being open to the idea that video games are not just for kids, but for all kids at heart.

In closing, I have to say that we (animators/artisits) are very lucky to have such a unique and infinitely imaginative place like Hatena to express ourselves. Thank you Hatena and Flipnote Studio for all the work that you have done to make this possible! I applaud you for your efforts and faith in the creative process.

P.S. If you would like me to see your Flipnotes, please post them on Astram and Fred’s Rating Channel! I will do my best to look at/ rate flips that you have posted there.

Check out all of Fred's Flipnotes

Thanks for checking out the Hatena Featured Artist, and please let us know any feedback that you have in the box below. Also, please be sure to check out Flipnotes by the creator we interviewed here, and show them your support with your stars and comments!