Interview With R. M. Drake: Who Is This Instagram Famous Poet?
Instagram has seen a humongous growth in recent years. With this explosive user growth, we also see the rise in posts related to literary nature. Quotations and poetry, in particular, are very popular on this relatively young social media platform.
Interview With Writer Robert M. Drake
There are a lot of accounts which posts poems, quotations and short pieces of writing. Amidst this jungle of writers, one name that comes to the forefront is @rmdrk. Behind this hugely popular username (@rmdrk) is actually a Miami based young street artist and writer, Robert M. Drake.
Robert has recently published his third book “Beautiful Chaos“ through lulu.com. His work is being read by over a million people (across the world) on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. His book is already on top third position on Amazon.com in American Poetry category.
I must admit, that it was an honor to interview the man who is not only both successful and highly creative but someone who is being followed by some of the hottest celebrities of our time. Naturally, it sparks a curiosity to meet and know more about this man!
It is impossible to find out the complete list of celebrities who follow him but the man and writer Robert M. Drake is followed by Khloe Kardashian (American reality TV star), Kendall Jenner (American reality TV star and fashion model), Kylie Jenner (American reality TV star), Sophia Bush (American actress and activist), and Shay Mitchell (Canadian actress and model).
There is little to no doubt that thousands of young and aspiring writers want to know more about Robert. This is where this interview idea came to my mind. I knew I wanted to know more about him. Well, it is my pleasure and honor to introduce Robert to all of you.
Without further ado, enter R. M. Drake.
Robert M. Drake: On Lifestyle and the Man Himself
Robert, are you originally from Miami, FL?
Yes, I am originally from Miami, FL.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Miami?
Currently, I do not have a favorite place. There used to be a spot in a south beach called Van Dykes. It was a restaurant/bar/jazz lounge. It was fresh. I would kick it there several times a month. Good food, good people, good music and good drinks.
Do you like living in Miami? If you were to relocate, where would be that?
Probably San Francisco. I love it there. I feel unreal when I am there.
Do you have any pets? If yes, what are their names?
I have a Dog named Stewie. He is a rescue dog. When I was ready to adopt a dog I went to a local shelter. I remember seeing Stewie and his sister. I liked him a lot. He was very friendly but unfortunately, I did not take him.
A whole week passed and I still thought about him. I felt bad that I did not adopt him. I went back about a week later and his sister was gone but he was still in the shelter. I immediately adopted him and the rest is history.
He is very kind and lovely. Sometimes I feel for him because he cannot speak. I can see a lot of emotion in his eyes. It saddens me.
Yes, I do, and I am very fortunate to be able to write full-time. I have put in a lot of sweat and blood into writing. Not a lot of people know that I have been writing since 1994. I have written numerous stories.
I have a 650-page book coming out called “A Brilliant Madness.” It a collection of five short stories I have written from circa 2003 to 2007. I am also working on “Gravity”, a novel.
Robert, let’s talk about Spirituality a little bit. Do you believe in God? Life after death?
I am not sure what I believe in. I feel things that I do know of. I have seen things that I do know of. I have a lot of questions regarding the entire religious spectrum. I have had very lucid dreams and experiences that question the ideals of Divinity.
I would like to say “No”, I do not, but something deep inside me tells me to believe and to keep searching. I am not sure what is it but there is something that does not want to eradicate my entire belief in God.
Maybe after all this is a human flaw, to believe that we can only define ourselves until we cannot and then there is a “God” to finish defining whatever it was you could not.
I do believe in life after death. My brother just passed in late August and we have spoken a few times.
Robert, on your Etsy store you mention that you are a sculptor and painter as well. Were you creative since childhood? Do you plan on exhibiting your work in the future?
When I was a child my parents were very poor. They did not have the money to buy me toys. In fact, I would only receive a gift during Christmas time. There were many instances where my father would buy me clay (because it was very cheap) instead of action figures or play guns, etc.
This was the only way I would lose myself. I would use whatever was around me and play. With the clay, I would sculpt action figures and play. When I was outside, I would pick up sticks and play. I was highly imaginative back then. It stillÂ amazes me to see how children use their imagination to getaway.
Imagination is a powerful thing. Some of us keep it and nurture it as we grow and some of us forget we have it.
I paint a lot of things. I do a lot of street art. It is everywhere in Miami and in other cities across the USA. No, I do not exhibit or plan on exhibiting my works. I like my artwork to stay in the streets. It belongs there and I would never want my work to be represented in a gallery. (I have turned down so many requests).
My artwork is free and it is forÂ everyone and it will always be. I would hate for my work to be owned and kept away from everyone who has yet experienced it.
With over 1M+ followers, you are a celebrity on Instagram. Tell us what does it feels like?
It is not real. I am not a celebrity. My work is shared by millions of people but nothing has really changed in my life. I still have the same life and I still live in a shitty apartment. Nothing has changed.
My writing only lives in the digital. It is not realÂ but what is realÂ is the feeling and hope my work gives to people and for that I am grateful. I am very blessed to be in a position where my thoughts and feelings influence a lot of people and that alone is enough to make me feel like my life is worth more than what is it right now.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
No. I believe in lust at first sight. I think that makes more sense to me. The illusion of love at first sight is not real.
Robert M. Drake on Writing
Tell us something about your upcoming novel “Gravity”?
Gravity is a novel that I have been writing since 2013. I do not want to mention too much about it at this time but I can tell you one thing: when you read it, you will lose track of time.
You will feel like you are dying only to reborn within every word. You will see yourself in the characters of the story and you will learn how to fall in love with something other than a person (human being).
The story is a reflection of our spirit and I have been chosen to write such a story. It is beautifully tragic in such a way that EVERYONE will be able to relate to it. This is why it is called Gravity, the attraction/force one we will never be able to break free of.
Can you talk about people or books you have read that have inspired you to embark on your own writing career?
I idolize great minds such are Virginia Woolf, Albert Camus, Walt Disney, Jean Paul Sartre, The Rza (which I will be working with soon), John Steinbeck, Nas, Steve Jobs, Kiki Smith, my college English Professor Robert Stambaugh and many more. The list is too long to list.
Can you talk about that one defining the moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote a story called “The Balcony” back in 1999. It was about a girl who jumped off a balcony because she felt so alone and she felt like no one could help her. As morbidly awful as that sounds it actually made the people I showed it to cry.
I knew whatever it was I had in me was special. After that when I was in college, I remember a lot of my professors telling me that I should be a writer. I never stopped writing. It was in my blood and I became obsessed with the idea of writing. Not because I thought it was “cool” but because I felt like I wanted to tell stories; stories that I thought I would like to read as a reader.
I want to capture something and I know I have still not captured what it is that I am trying to capture. If that makes any sense. I would probably feel this way until I die because I am always evolving and what I am trying to define is also evolving. There will never be an end to my work/research. I will never be done.
Trying to write when you do not feel like writing. And that’s all, really it is.
What advice would you give to budding authors?
Write what you know and do not write what others are writing. I understand there are certain things and emotions we all feel and go through. But if you are happy, do not write about hurting. I believe it is best to express what you are feeling at the moment. This way, the expression remains raw and fresh.
I am not saying you cannot write about something you went through last year because you can. But I believe it is best to write about whatever it is that is current. It keeps your feelings relevant to the “now” instead of waiting to write about whatever it is you want to write later.
I would also suggest to keep writing even if you express yourself poorly or if you do not like what you are writing. Keep writing. Do not compare yourself to other writers/authors because none are alike. It will only bring you down.
Also, the more renowned you get, the more recognition you will receive. There will be a lot of love but with praise and love comes hatred. For me, it fuels me to become better. I love it!
I love it when someone tells me my work is terrible. Thank you, I want to write better. I want to write deeper, and I will. I am not going anywhere. So, all of you who judge my work negatively and hate it, thank you. Keep hating; it makes me and my writing better.
Does your poetry carry a particular message or do you write for pleasure?
I do not write poetry. At least to me, I never saw them as “poems”. I write stories; that is all I have ever wanted to do. I do carry a message in my stories and the world has yet to see all that I can do.
These social media “thoughts and messages” are about 5% of what I want to do. I believe, if I play my cards right then I will leave a very powerful message behind when I pass away. I can assure you that.
All the mentions of “her” and “she” in your poems… are there particular people you write about?
They are characters in my stories. And, yes each character is always inspired by someone I know. So yes in a way it is.
My greatest challenge was probably to get my writing out in front of my readers. It has been a blessing that I have used Social Media to stretch out my thoughts and stories to millions of people.
It is a beautiful thing that I am not enslaved by a publishing company and restricted. I want to show people to not be afraid to fail, and live your dreams. I want to show people that failure is bound to happen but you can succeed. Be free and do what you love. No excuses.
Can someone make living from writing? What advice would you give to struggling artists out there?
Do not sell yourself to a company. Do not let them buy you by offering you a little something you can probably do yourself. You can make money of any product; you just need to present it properly. This is the way the world works. If you are an artist and you want to make a living off your art then study and learn about marketing. It is an entirely different world and a world that might seem too vast to grasp.
This is why a lot of people sign contracts and all. They do not want to deal with the marketing part of their endeavor. But then you are selling your art for a small piece of the cake. Companies will rob you blind and rob you of your work. Do not be a slave. Be your own boss and find the motivation to become so.
Any near term personal goals or long term ambitions?
To live, at least long enough to write a few novels. My brother recently passed away. I know I do not have all the time in the world. My goal is to live a little longer.
Where do you think you will be after 25 years?
I cannot see that far into the future. I am sorry.
Robert M. Drake: Just for Fun
What is your favorite English word?
What is your least favorite word?
Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?
One time I was doing street art and a bunch of people came up to me because they saw what I was doing and it caught their interest. When they saw what I had put up they freaked out, and then I freaked out. I do not know how I feel about being exposed. This is why I like to remain in the shadows.
If a film is made on you, who would play your role?
I am not sure. I do not watch too much TV or movies. I do not own a TV and I have not had cable since 2012. I’m not into TV or movies; I don’t know a lot of actors so I feel like I cannot answer this properly. I’m sorry.
So you might know that Khloe Kardashian and several other Celebrities follow you on Instagram. Have you met Khloe in person?
Khloe is fresh. I love her and that is all I want to mention about that.
Do you like going to the zoo?
I have not been in a long time. But it is okay.
What do you do when not writing or painting?
Drinking. Sometimes I have to live a little to remove the heaviness pilling up from the inside.
On what do you spend the most: clothes, accessories, perfumes, underwear, food, etc.?
I do not spend much money. I was poor all my life. I guess in a way I am not attached to anything materialistic but if I must say I do like spending on other people. It makes me feel good about myself.
No one actually knows. I do not like telling too much about my work to the people I am close. It might change people and I like to protect the very few people I have left. I do not let any new person in my life; that is all.
Do you have a nickname?
My friends call me Bobby.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with R.M. Drake as much as I did preparing and putting it out. Since you are already here, let me tell you a secret. You can subscribe to the Naked Soul letters (see top right of the page) to receive exclusive contents, informative posts and fun-entertaining articles.
Get the book Beautiful Chaos here on Amazon.