If you were to refer to our newest Golden Guy, Blake Johnston as a renaissance man, you wouldn’t be wrong. This multi-talented, multi-tasking model has his sights set far beyond the business of fashion. Known (and adored) for his chiseled good looks and luscious locks, Blake possesses a modeling style that is seemingly effortless. And if you’re really lucky (we were), you’ll get a brief guitar serenade on set. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet our Golden Guy, Blake Johnston.
AUVERE: Hi Blake. Tell us about yourself. Where are you from?
BLAKE JOHNSTON: Hello! I’m a creative person from Newport News, Virginia.
A: How did you get into modeling? Were you scouted, or did you pursue being a model?
I played guitar at a music festival in Virginia Beach. After the show, a photographer asked if I wanted to try modeling. I wasn’t saying no to many things at that point in my life, so I took the opportunity. Those photos led to a few more
collaborations with local photographers and a consistent gig with the fashion company, RP55.
After about a year of testing, I built a decent portfolio. I was in NYC working on a music project when a friend reached out to me to act as her boyfriend for a couples casting. We got the job to model together for a mattress company! On set, they saw I played guitar and asked me to play on camera. That experience helped me to take modeling seriously and to see how it could help me in my musical pursuits. I connected with Q Models through an online submission and uprooted my life in Virginia to move to NYC.
A: What do you enjoy about modeling? What are your favorite types of jobs?
BJ: It’s hard not to enjoy all the pampering and encouragement that models receive on set. I love that modeling challenges me to prioritize my physical health, unlike any other job I’ve had. I love the process of becoming a canvas for creatives, and shape-shifting by using my imagination to go to a place that I would not otherwise go. My favorite jobs are the ones with open-minded clients and photographers who like to see my personality and are interested in my creativity too.
A: On your Instagram page, you describe yourself as an artist, guitarist, producer, craftsman, mechanical engineer, and model! Let’s focus on your music for a minute. We checked out www.yeablakemade.com and listened to one of your albums, “1 W/The Groovemnt.” Loved it! Tell us more about the making of that album.
BJ: “1 W/The Groovemnt” is an album I produced for my Band “The Groovemnt.” The album is made up of raw jam session recordings from my bedroom in Virginia Beach. I took the audio, then added post-production and arranged all these cool moments into songs. Some of the tracks were gathered unconventionally, like iPhone voice notes. My friend Billy Mercury leads us soulfully with his dope voice and cool stories. The live keys and synth bass are performed by Torrin Purkett, and the live drums are by Chandler Nunnally.
A: Even though the album is rooted in R&B and Jazz, we heard some metal vibes in Far Away. Is it typical of you to fuse different genres into your music?
BJ: Yes. Each of “The Groovemnt” members has different musical backgrounds that shine when the energy is really high. We love all music and aren’t afraid to blend new sounds and rhythms. My solo projects can be categorized as R&B because of the way I sing; although, you can feel some musical shifts.
A: You made the cover art for 1 W/The Groovemnt, which showcased your artistic abilities. Are you also pursuing art as a career?
BJ: I believe art is more of a therapeutic thing for me. Although I see art as a hobby, I recently started to sell my pieces on my website www.yeablakemade.com, and I’m excited to see what ideas result from that endeavor and what doors my artwork might open.
“ Guitar is my first and favorite instrument.
A: You are not only a guitarist, but a composer, singer, songwriter, and producer. What’s your process for creating music? Do you start with the music or the words?
BJ: Guitar is my first and favorite instrument, so most of the time, my productions are built around a guitar riff I found interesting. I’ve made many songs with words pieced together after the music using an old poem or a feeling.
A: One of our favorite songs on your new album is The Aim. Tell us about the making of the video for The Aim.
BJ: I have to give credit to the director/videographer Cris Schafer. We used my dad’s creative space in VA to shoot a playful, Covid-safe video that takes the viewer on a trip with The Groovemnt bros. We experimented with green screens to make the small space feel bigger.
A: You are clearly in great physical shape. What’s your secret?
BJ: Thank you! I do a full-body, medium-weight workout every day. I pick about 5 exercises to do, one after another, in a rotation until exhaustion. One of the workouts is a thorough core set of planks and ab wheel. I switch the other workouts around daily to focus on upper or lower body. In the warm months, I run outdoors and stop frequently to do planks and pushups. I don’t diet, but I eat reasonably, and I naturally enjoy healthy foods.
A: How would you describe your personal style?
BJ: My personal style is weird, comfortable, and convenient. I like to pair unconventional items together just to make a moment interesting. I love color!
A: Let’s talk about jewelry. Do you consider yourself a jewelry guy? Do you have any pieces that you wear every day?
BJ: I want to be a jewelry guy! I have a small silver necklace that I’ve been wearing most days. Jewelry always seems like the best final touch to a look. Jewelry is like “people sprinkles.” So I can imagine I will be investing in some gold soon.
A: We love how you look in our new chain collection. What are your favorite pieces from the photoshoot?
BJ: Thank you! There was an awesome studded ring with jewels between the studs that I thought was so cool, fresh, and young-looking! And as for the necklaces, I loved the simplicity of the new round-link chain in the medium length.
A: What style advice would you give to other men interested in wearing fine jewelry but might need a little help in choosing the right pieces?
BJ: I think it’s as simple as putting jewelry on and seeing how you feel. Buy a piece that accentuates your favorite feature. I like necklaces the most because I never feel like they’re in the way of something I’m doing. I think it’s good that I have my silver rope, so now I have more confidence in what I want to have next.
A: When we launch our new silver pieces, we will be sure to let you know!