Stylist & photographer Cade Nansen
he promise of a New Year and all its possibilities has begun.
Mesh technology has finally arrived and the joys of enjoying fashion as it seamlessly wraps us up is upon us. As designers put their minds and hearts into creating new apparel wonders for us to don, we at AVENUE, would like to do our part to help feature them. AVENUE is proud to present a pioneering fashion fair that is
about mixing our wardrobe up with Mesh designs. Come 25th February, we will be staging MIX + MESH | Spring Fashion fair 2012 to the grid and feature the pioneer Mesh fashion designers that will forever change the way we dress. The two week long event will be filled with exciting collections, fashion shows and other fun events that anyone and everyone can take part in.
for the best and an openness to experiences that will take you on new journeys as you realize the promise of each new day.
With that I wish everyone a brilliant New Year ahead...may you be filled with anticipation
Rusch Raymaker Publisher & Editor in Chief
Rusch Raymaker AVENUE
he Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months! ~Edward Payson Powell Yet another year has passed, and we here at AVENUE could not be more excited. With a new year comes more opportunities. More opportunities to discover even more of Second Life. More opportunities to reveal the best talent the grid has to offer. And more opportunities to entertain, educate and enthrall you! What will this year bring? While we cannot predict the future...we can at least tell you what this issue will bring! Our first coveted cover for the year belongs to fashion sensation
Ziamela Loon of Jador. Read along as she shares her passion for creating, her inspirations, and even a few secrets that you may not have known about this impressive designer. And while you’re in the mood for fashion, join our own talented phenomenon, Miaa Rebane, as she shares a little preview of her own fabulous blog, and even a bit of her immaculate taste this month. We give you a little chill with this month’s top model, Winter Jefferson. Take a minute to enjoy the witty remarks, classic quotes and even wise words of one of the virtual modeling industry’s most unique, and enjoyable personas. And of course, we continue to bring you the most amazing non-fashion features, including
the return of one of our favorite SLebrities, Umberto Giano, with this month’s sizzling new interior piece featuring the work of “Commoner,” a soothing and artistically astounding new sim for you to discover in “Cocoon,” and our own little ode to mesh! Now turn the page to enjoy another sizzling issue from our amazing AVENUE family to you, our extended family.
Sensous Soulstar Managing Editor AVENUE
Stylist Jesika Contepomi Photographer Cade Nansen
Cover Story Jador Fashion
Blogspot Miaa Rebane
Fashion 32 40 50 56 64 80 86 100 110 120 128
Cover Story Jador Fashion Featured Designer Meitreya Blogspot Miaa Rebane Vignettes Homme Fashion Icon Sartoria Edge of Style GOLden Shopping elymode My Precious Queen Contest Trendspotting Model of the month Winter Jefferson Lifestyle
138 150 164 178 188 194
Interiors Commoner Interesting Sims Cocoon Sports & Recreation Hosoi Perspectives DJ of the month BiteMe Chrome Club of the month Industrial Dreamz
AVENUE Magazine January 2012 cover Featuring Dantelicia Ethaniel wearing Belen by Jador Fashion Photographer Dantelicia Ethaniel
Arts 202 212 224
Media Mojo Bryn Oh Arts Feature Mesh Mellows Featured Artist Dantelicia Ethaniel
Publisher Assistant Publisher
Editor in Chief
Creative Director | Photo Editor
Senior Marketing Executive
Emlies Xeltentat Xandrah Sciavo
Augusta Carver Huckleberry Hax Linda Reddevil Sensuous Soulstar ShaiLi Alex Spruce Canning Umberto Giano Strawberry Singh Vixie Rayna Xandrah Sciavo
Boe Cortes Brie Wonder Cade Nansen Kallisto Destiny Lulu Jameson Miaa Rebane Strawberry Singh Vixie Rayna
Annough Lykin Asia Rae BlackLiquid Tokyoska Boe Cortes Brie Wonder Cade Nansen Diconay Boa Kallisto Destiny Lulu Jameson Miaa Rebane Nala Kurka Natasja Schumann Ozz Larsson Paola Tauber Seashell Dench Sophy Meridoc Strawberry Singh Tillie Ariantho Bryn Oh Dantelicia Ethaniel Kikunosuke Eel
AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates Couture AVENUE, AVENUE Models + Academy and AVENUE Marketing + PR. Online issues: issuu.com/avenue AVENUE Magazine blog: avenuemagazine.blogspot.com AVENUE Inc website: www.avenuesl.com
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Writer Linda Reddevil Photographer Asia Rae
nce in awhile, good things can come out of necessity and desperation, and can also end up benefiting the mass majority of people. In fact, these very two things were the driving force behind Ziamela Loon when she began designing her own clothing line, Jador Fashion.
Standing out from the crowd
Like many of us starting out our Second Life®, Loon found work at a jazz club and due to the venue, her new job required her to wear dresses. Loon explains, “I needed some dresses for work but I was so poor.” While many of us would have headed straight for the freebie stores or camped out for some extra Lindens, Loon instead decided to become a bit more ambitious when it came to working her way around her predicament. “I started to study some tutorials and then I started to build and to design something,” shares Loon. Her talent became more and more apparent when people started asking her where she bought her outfits and how much she paid for them. That was when she decided to sell her creations, starting with just a few at first. When she finally had sixteen outfits to sell, Ziamela Loon opened a brand new shop. Talk about humble beginnings! Today when you visit Jador Fashion at Jador Casa you can truly appreciate just how much it has grown from that original, tiny parcel to an entire sim with massive, majestic buildings spread all around it. So much has happened to Ziamela Loon since 2007 when she sold her first flexi gown named “Chanel” under the brand name Vanity Affaire. After a short while, Loon met two other great designers, Anthony77777 Bandit, a jewelry designer, and Serser Jacobus, a
builder. “We collectively decided to rename ourselves Jador, as it was the best name between us. So Jador was the fusion from Vanity Affaire, GEM Fashion and Jador Buildings,” Loon explains. She chuckles as she reminds herself of just what has transformed in SL® since 2007 when she first opened her store. First, the clothing alone has come so far just in the past four years, especially if you look at pictures of designs from that time. Second, the three designers who had formed Jador, mutually decided to separate two years ago leaving Loon’s clothing line to be known simply as Jador Fashion and, third, Loon stopped counting her designs after those first 16 since there are now just too many to count. Jador Fashion is reminiscent of old department stores of years gone by. It’s a store where you can find almost anything your heart desires, from beachwear to fantasy fashion and everything in-between. Room after room at Jador Fashion offers up casual jean outfits, shorts and tops, classy chic pantsuits, cocktail dresses and the most formal of gowns that you can find anywhere in SL. When asked what her inspiration is for creating so many various designs, Loon confides: “I design what I feel at any given time. I never know what I’m going to create and I basically follow my mood.”
No one can argue with that type of success, yet it should be noted that versatility also plays a part. With so much competition in the fashion industry in SL, Loons feels it’s especially important for a designer to be versatile because there are so many different types of customers. While some women prefer chic clothing, and others prefer to wear formal, it’s the versatile designer who knows that all women will have a need for both types of styles in their inventory at some point. While she realizes it is impossible to make everyone happy 100% of the time, she continually tries her best to accommodate the needs of her customers as much as she can. Many of us truly can’t comprehend the work that goes into designing clothing lines, or even what it takes to also be successful at it. If you haven’t done so previously, take a walk through the Jador Fashion store and really look at all the designs being offered for sale. While Ziamela Loon has had the past four years to design all that you’ll see, her job still isn’t over, nor is it easy. To continue as a successful SL designer means keeping up with the trends, both in real life and in-world. When asked what exactly goes into creating a new line of designs for Jador
Fashion, Loon explains that “many factors influence the emergence of a new fashion collection.” She goes on to say that “first, my mood comes into play and then always knowing what’s new in SL.” For example, Loon clarifies that a new collection this year will have to include mesh. She also states that she’ll have to improve her outfits so as not to be left behind nor find herself obsolete. “The market is merciless and my customers are increasingly demanding, as they should be, and I will always offer designs to the best of my ability,” Loon remarks. Designing may be serious business but, Loon tries to keep herself grounded by “keeping it simple and spending time with family and her hubby, Andrews Zebberman,” who is her husband in both lives. When asked what can we expect from Jador fashion in the near future, a clever smile washes over her face as she replies, “Who may know? Let’s live day by day, cross our fingers and wish all the best for everyone.” While that reply may seem vague to some, the smile was a clue that it would be a very good bet to keep your eye on Ziamela Loon and Jador Fashion. Satisfy all of your fashion needs and wants by visiting Jador Fashion 134.158.28.
Maitreya | Mesh Stylist & Model Vixie Rayna Photographer & Model Miaa Rebane
Vixie (Left): Maitreya | Mesh Silk Neck-Tie Blouse Maitreya | Mesh Anais Skirt Maitreya | Mesh Alexa Wedges Miaa (Right): Maitreya | Nolita Dress Maitreya | Mesh Radical Boots
Miaa (Left): Maitreya | Mesh Athena Sweater Maitreya | Mesh Leather Legging Maitreya | Alexa Wedges Maitreya | Mesh Leather Satchel Vixie (Right): Maitreya | Mesh Ava Jacket Maitreya | Mesh Anais Skirt Maitreya | Mesh Radical Boots
Vixie (Left): Maitreya | Mesh Athena Sweater Maitreya | Girdle & Stockings Maitreya | Mesh Radical Boots Miaa (Right): Maitreya | Mesh Cul-de-Sac Maitreya | Mesh Alexa Wedges
eye on you By Miaa Rebane
bra: House of Fox | Black Studded Bra gloves: CheerNo.Deuil | Mort Gloves top: Emery | Dressy Top Zebra skirt: Leverocci | Iris Print Skirt armorpad: Epoque.s | Armorpad glasses: Leverocci | Plain Glasses boots: Jâ€™s | Thigh High Boots hair: Iruco | Hair 25
blouse: R.icielli | LOURDES Blouse shoes: M | Le Plateau skirt: Maitreya | Anais Skirt glasses: Fishy Strawberry | Vintage Candy Bar Glasses hair: Boon | UUT644 Hair necklace: Tram | Chiffon Ribbon
dress: Vanguard | Soldier makeup: Nuuna | Makeup headdress: Ladies Who Lunch | Telephone Headdress
skin: Glam Affair | Linn Light eyes: FASHISM | Sunrise Eyes hair: Wasabi Pills | Mimi Hair n bodysuit: Defectiva | Stealth Suit
Defectiva by Strawberry Singh
he first time I tried on Defectiva clothing, I was amazed by the quality. I had never heard of the brand before, nor seen it blogged very often, but the designer has a huge selection of military gear that would make any role-player happy. Also, the designerâ€™s name is Disembodied Hand, and you know with a cool name like that, heâ€™s just going to be totally creative!
Probably one of my most favorite outfits of his is “original sin,” which I’m wearing in this picture. It’s got a very space-age quality to it and is totally sexy at the same time. I absolutely love the texturing as well! It comes in three colors and the silver one is quite futuristic. I chose to wear the black one because it went so well with my SLink mesh thigh high boots.
skin: Glam Affair | Linn Light eyes: FASHISM | Sunrise Eyes hair: Wasabi Pills | Mimi Hair nails: Candy Nail | #P024 outfit: Defectiva | Original Sin boots: Slink | Tall Leather Thigh Boots
Speaking of mesh, Disembodied has started creating mesh items for Defectiva. Heâ€™s created a selection of jackets for men and women and now his latest release (as I write this) is a full bodysuit. Itâ€™s quite well done, especially the backside. I am looking forward to seeing what else he will be offering us in mesh. I am really happy to see more and more designers adapting to mesh. I enjoy wearing it and feel it really breathes more life into my avatar. If you are not familiar with mesh, or would like some more information on it, you can read my blog post about it called, Much Ado About Mesh, (http://strawberrysingh. com/2011/08/29/much-adoabout-mesh) which I wrote back in August when Mesh was first unveiled to the grid. Check out more sci-fi and military inspired designs by Disembodied Hand at the Defectiva mainstore at Malleus 158.111.60. skin: Glam Affair | Linn Light eyes: FASHISM | Sunrise Eyes hair: Wasabi Pills | Mimi Hair n bodysuit: Defectiva | Stealth Suit
You can also view his items on the Marketplace at https:// marketplace.secondlife.com/ stores/3208.
2012 we got it covered.
Join AVENUE Magazine. Proud to be your favored Second Life速 publication since 2008. Sit back and enjoy. www.avenuesl.com | www.issuu.com/avenue
Photographer & Lulu Jameson Guest Model & Kikunosuke E
Designer Eel of Mandala
his month Lulu Jameson, AVENUE Photographer/ Stylist, and owner of Vaya Con Dios (VCD) had the chance to work with Kikunosuke Eel, owner of Mandala. Showcasing the beautiful form of the male body and inventiveness of style, they take you on a journey through the male ego. Both reveal their new collections of jewelry and the debut of Luluâ€™s new male skin line. The male form never looked so good.
Model & Stylist: Kinosuke Eel, Photographer: Lulu Jameson skin: VCD | Rafael Tone O, Shaved tie: Mandala | Smexy Tie Necklace earrings: Mandala | Lust Ear Pierce, Male nails: Mandala | Nail palette 2, Short hat: ARGRACE | Fedora Hat jacket: Scars | Short Jacket pants: Scars | Sâ€™s Design Zip Pants tattoo: S o H | Autumn Koi Tattoo Faded
Model & Stylist: Kinosuke Eel, Photographer: Lulu Jameson skin: VCD | Rafael Tone O, Shaved necklace: Mandala | KARMA Necklace piercing: Mandala | TAKAYAMA Face & Ear Piercing nails and ring: Mandala | SINRA2 Nails & Rings Set, Male hair: Shag | Black Jack jacket: Armidi | Classic Pinstripe Blazer shirt: Connors | V-neck Shirt pants: Gizza | Shabby C H I C
Photographer, Model & Stylist: Lulu Jameson skin: VCD | Rafael Tone 2 eyebrow cut: VCD | Eyebrowcut Right B-C earrings: Mandala | Ear Piercings necklace: Mandala | Ekou Time hair: Dura | 25 vest and tee: Kal Rau | Casual blazer & Tshirt 04 pants: Emery | Jean Skinny gloves: Hav | Dark Black Gloves belt: Mandala | Mikoto Belt
Photographer, Model & Stylist: Lulu Jameson skin: VCD | Rafael Tone 3, Shaved necklace: Mandala | Haramita Necklace hair & feather: Cheerno | Femme Fran 2 eyeliner: VCD | Soft Eyeliner freckles: VCD | Soft Tintable Freckles
Photographer, Model & Stylist: Lulu Jameson skin: VCD | Rafael Tone Yang, Unshaved 2 necklace: Mandala | Karma gloves: Sinistyle | Taped Fist and Black Nails hair & hat: Wasabi Pills | Magician eyeshadow: VCD | Tintable Eyeshadow vest: Scars | Slim Long Coat leggings: Schadenfreude | Opaque Ash Amortencia Stockings pants: NV | Pantakas belt: Kosh | Charcoal Belt
Photographer, Model & Stylist: Lulu Jameson skin: VCD | Rafael Tone Yin, Shaved earrings: Mandala | Haramita necklace: Mandala | Haramita Ryujin crown: Balderdash | Crown of Twigs hair: Maitreya | Malou eyeshadow: VCD | Dark Eyes Unisex pants: Miamai | Betgse
The elegant man of
Sartoria Writer ShaiLi Alex Photographer Diconay Boa
artoria is the place to shop for masculine style and panache, and one that follows the traditions of top Italian designers. That is why our fashion icon this month is Traveller Bade, the elegant man behind Sartoria.
Bade explains that the skills that allow him to design and run a digital business in Second Life® “come from my professional background in graphic design; the work of Second Life takes time: days, weeks, [even] months.” He explains that it’s like any other project in real life, and is certainly calculated to pay for the work performed. In the beginning, Bade wanted to create nice things and make some money: “As a man, I was looking for nice clothes, and then I started drawing things that were hard for me to find around Second Life. I think my skills are good for menswear, but I also draw some things for women,” he says in an exclusive interview. Sartoria’s clothes are designed to be used for many occasions and events, such as gala receptions. Their versatility can also be combined with other pieces from his casual collection for informal occasions. Bade began by basically establishing his presence, his name, a way to advertise, by trying to figure out what and how many tools exist to reach people, and then creating products that were interesting and intriguing to customers, even after the first glance, without ever having to rush to sell so many products, but proceeding with caution creating products sought after, and using his skills to make them
beautiful. Bade chimes, “[I] then put them up for sale when I was sure I did everything possible to make them beautiful, and that gave me the opportunity to build a collection that was long lasting, year after year.” His inspiration comes, in part, from some of the classics of Italian tailoring, such as Pignatelli, Davide Cenci, and more, but also from the very casual styles such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Burberry. “Surely it is easier to form ideas on paper, as I always do, but it may happen that many achievements do not match the original idea or experience that, once in Second Life, prove disappointing; the comparison with the products of other designers helps to control the level of my production. I can also say that I have made so many products but that does not satisfy me, so they are not for sale”. Bade prefers to work alone because his times are a bit odd, so he works quietly, and sometimes in a hurry, and this is difficult to do in a collaboration with others. “Usually, I do not accept requests for custom products or changes; I avoid the mundane, but when a customer can see products in another perspective and the idea intrigues me, and then if I have time, I work on it.” He also shares that if he must do research, he’s careful about choosing what he thinks
residents would prefer to dress in. He also likes to surprise the masses with contrasts and new purpose, which is perhaps the most complex thing to manage because it is precisely here that the many ideas that he has in his mind must become welldefined proposals. “I have an irregular flow of production. Unfortunately, I create when I can, not every week, but I give importance to continually update customers,” he says. When asked, Bade shares that he believes that his success comes from the perception that the brand follows the ideas of Italian tailoring, and that customers have the opportunity to buy clothes that are highly sought after. “I work with attention to details, even though I’m not perfect, but certainly the price compared to quality leaves a satisfied customer. The best satisfaction in Second Life is free compliments from the customers.” His creations express simplicity and elegance, and while many of his customers are men who adore that elegance, his customer base also includes those that want to find quality outfits at great prices, nothing that “for some years, many women come with their partners and they choose what to buy together.” When asked about new projects, Bade shared that he’d “like to organize an event that tells that Italian
design has arrived in Second Life, for at least 5 years now, so there is so much beyond fashion production.” Traveller Bade has had the amazing ability to keep Sartoria at the amazing level that it is today: a very successful brand, through his good taste and an incredible attention to detail. But the only way for you to find out for yourself about the elegance that is Sartoria is to visit the main store at Burning Heart 103.191.24.
Edge of Style
hat better way to leap into the new year than the start of a new venture: Mesh! Mixing and matching mesh clothing for those who haven’t tried is a challenge, but well worth a shot. It may not be to everyone’s cup of tea, as there are far more limitations than with sculpties. Mod rights are limited, so your base avatar shape will need to fit into one of the sizes provided with the item. So, for many guys who tend to wear ladies’ items, this may not be easy. Pants and jeans can also be restrictive when trying to fit boots without looking oversized. However, in saying all of that, mesh certainly holds the contours of your avatar shape seamlessly especially during movement. It’s still the early days for men in mesh; variations and styles are still few and far between for men, but I have managed to find a few items that I really liked and wanted to try. I even felt brave and ventured into female territory for a pair of pants from Celoe. So, if you like the idea of Mix and Match Mesh, take a look at some of the mixes and see if you are inspired to mesh it up.
ix atch esh
By Boe Cortes
skin: Fruk | Lennon Skin Stubble eyes: MADesigns | Piercing eyes hair: CheerNo | BLUD hat: Mon Tissu | Wool-Lined Deerstalker jacket: NERD.P | Cardigan 03.A pants: Celoe | Lolong Trousers (MESH) shoes: FIR & MNA | The Citizen Boots scarf: Reek | Cozy Scarf
skin: Fruk | Lennon Skin Stubble shave: NAJL Designs | Facial Hair Tattoo eyes: MADesigns | Piercing eyes hairbase: Vaya Con Dios | Express Yourself Elegance Raie Droite hair: U.December | Without jacket: Hoorenbeek | Trenchcoat (MESH) shirt: NODe+ | Shirts01 pants: Iruco | Stripe pants shoes: Iruco | Formal Shoes
skin: Fruk | Lennon Skin Stubble shave: NAJL Designs | Facial Hair Tattoo eyes: MADesigns | Piercing eyes hair: CheerNo | NOTORIUS jacket: Scars | Jacket sweater: Sleepy Eddy | Crew Neck Sweater pants: ZooBong | Billie Skinny-Thin Jeans (MESH) shoes: FIR & MNA | The Killiney Boots (MESH) scarf: Baiastice | Big Fall Scarf belt: MANDALA | Mikoto Belt
The color of
he question is: what are you looking for? Poses? Clothes? Makeup? Regardless of what it is, the answer can always be the same: Elymode! There you will find a variety of things from a brand known for its incredible shades of colors.
Writer ShaiLi Alex Photographer Natasja Schumann
Elysium Eilde, designer and owner of Elymode, is a creative graphic designer and photographer, and the real life skills that she has acquired have been essential to her success in Second Life®. “The work I do in Second Life may be virtual, but I still see it as real, and consider it a part of my real life portfolio.” She has been working as a photographer in SL® since 2007, and she also blogs, dabbles in pose making and has a cosmetics’ line. Yet, Eilde just began creating clothing in 2009. Her goal in the beginning was to try something new. “It was time for a little change, and I saw clothing design as a challenge. I wanted to see if I could design and create SL clothing that I would want to wear” she says. Eilde considers herself lucky to have a couple of designer friends who were able to give her some tips on how to begin, and once she did, there was a lot of trial and error to figure things out, “I’ve never used premade clothing templates, so all the details are just techniques I had to figure out on my own, but that’s half the fun!” When asked what was the most difficult part of designing, Eilde stated that she has always been “comfortable creating in 2D, even SL photography, in a 3D environment, with an end result that is a flattened, 2D
image. Making the transition to thinking in 3D for clothing design (especially sculpts and mesh) stresses my brain; considering things from all angles, working with the physics of fabric, creating balance, it’s still a challenge.” Elymode is a successfull brand, yet Eilde is still not satisfied with it, as she always want to do offer her best. Elaborating, Eilde explains: “I’m not sure if I’m satisfied enough to call it ‘success’ yet. I work hard, and I’m always trying to do things better than I did them before. Elymode is my project. I like creating things from start to finish, and the idea that what comes from Elymode comes from me; it’s personal for me.” Elymode’s style of clothing is cute and sexy casual, with a large focus on color. Appreciative of the fact that everyone has their own unique style, Eilde creates lots of mix and match separates for customers to combine in their own way. “I also love to design cute intimates, the kind you lounge around in that says ‘I’m adorable and sexy and I’m not even trying!’” When it comes to her work, she agrees with the saying that “you are what you create” and she has a tendency to be dark and sarcastic; “My work expresses the me that I want to be. I judge myself harshly and I see the glass as half empty. I’m an introvert and a hermit but
Elymode clothing is the opposite. It’s bright and optimistic, and fun and energetic. It helps me to express those qualities for myself, and can help break through my somber mood,” Eilde shares. Eilde finds her inspiration in a photograph, a memory, something someone says or does, or even something she sketches. Yet, she shares that she has no idea what it will be until it’s on the page. Most of her clothing starts out as a sketch, as she tries to keep a sketchbook near her at all times. “Sometimes, the end result looks a lot like my original idea, but other times, as I work, if I am not happy with my progress, I’ll take the idea in a whole new direction instead of struggling to stick to the concept.” Realizing that no designer can create for all tastes, she creates what she would like to wear. “My target audience was, and still is, me. Of course I wanted to be successful in terms of sales, but I’m not interested in creating anything other than what I want to create,” Eilde explains. Most of her customers are looking for something fun and flirty. She says it’s more “cute girlfriend” than high fashion, “though I’d love to try something that leans towards fantasy at some point.” People love what she does, and Eilde definitely feels great about
that. “I still get excited when I see someone wearing Elymode when I am wandering the grid or browsing Flickr.” The feedback she receives from customers is that they love her use of colors, her attention to detail, and her adorably sexy style. “As a creative person, and as a brand, I need to evolve, but I think those traits will be constant.” When asked what people can expect from her work, Eilde reveals the surprising character of her creations: “Who knows? Anything can happen! Elymode will always come from my heart; other than that, I can’t project the future. I’m happy to read suggestions and ideas, and sometimes incorporate them into my work, but I rarely take custom clothing work. Custom poses and cosmetics I consider depending on time, and if I think I can do the job.” With no favorite creation, Eilde admits that she just loves everything she does, and her favorites change constantly. “Often, what I am currently working on is my favorite, but if I look back at my complete collection, there are some items that stand out for me. The Vita separates and dresses are some designs I’m most proud of. The texture looks rich, the colors are fun without being too cute, the separates can be combined in many different ways, and I
love the way the dress hangs on the avatar. My recent Meli set is another favorite because it’s got these big adorable bows, and again, lots of mix and match potential.” Elymode is definitely a recommended suggestion for all of our readers who enjoy bright colors in their looks, along with a lot of sex appeal. On your next shopping spree, make sure you visit Elymode at Journey 86.194.23.
My Precious Queen Contest
Luna Enderfield My Precious Winter Queen 2012
Writer Xandrah Sciavo Photographer Seashell Dench
t may be cold outside in some parts of the world, but as winter brings the ice and snow, the My Precious Winter Queen Contest brought the heat, culminating in the longawaited selection of the new face to represent Agnes Finneyâ€™s My Precious design house.
Each month, stylistas from all over the grid submit their photographs with the hope of being selected as one of the three monthly winners who will advance to the final event. After six months of fierce competition, the field for the My Precious Winter Queen Contest was narrowed to thirteen contestants who competed for the crown at the elegant My Precious and Entre Mares Runway venue on Saturday, December 10, 2011. The panel of judges for the evening included: Agnes Finney, owner of My Precious; Sykao Adamski, owner of Entre Mares; Alienbear Gupta, owner of Alienbear Designs; Mui Mukerji, supermodel, CMO of Alienbear Designs, and stylist for My Precious; Vixie Rayna of AVENUE, Inc.; Xandrah Sciavo, My Precious Queen 2011 and Miss Virtual World Turkey 2012; and Elle Ahren, My Precious Summer Queen 2011. Each contestant was given the opportunity utilize their creativity and personal eye for style to create three distinctly different looks: an autumn or winter themed styling, a style based on a black and white color palette, and the final “frozen beauty” theme. After a suspenseful evening, three beautiful and talented finalists were chosen; Bodza Blackadder as second runner-up, Irina Strazytski as first runner-up, and Luna Enderfield was chosen as the new My Precious Winter Queen 2012.
AVENUE Magazine is happy to introduce you to the new My Precious Winter Queen 2012. Read more as she shares a little about herself, some thoughts about the competition, and some personal tips that served her well during the last six months. Xandrah Sciavo: Hello, Luna, and congratulations on being chosen to represent Agnes Finney’s My Precious fashion house as My Precious Winter Queen 2012! I’d love for you to take us back and tell us what prompted you to enter the contest. Luna Enderfield: I remember one of my first visits to My Precious when they were displaying the photos of the girls who aspired to be the next My Precious Queen. I wanted to try, but I knew that these girls were very well-prepared. I decided against sending my photos to join the contest at that time. This year, in one of my more recent visits to the store, I saw the ad for the contest again. I had graduated from my modeling classes so I felt more confident to apply. The reason why I decided to join this contest is because Agnes Finney is definitely my favorite designer in Second Life®, and her designs are very famous, distinctive, sophisticated, chic, elegant and stand out very much in the fashion world in SL®.
XS: Now that you have won the contest, what are your next plans for your new role? LE: My plans are to represent this famous brand in the best way I can. I must confess that I still cannot believe I am the new My Precious Winter Queen. It is a big responsibility and I am aware of this. But, I want to thank the wonderful designer Agnes Finney and her staff for guiding me and offering me their help at all times. XS: During this round of the contest, something differently was done. All of the contestants were asked to complete not two but three styling tasks! Where did you find your inspiration for the stylings you created, and did you have a favorite? LE: For the three stylings during the finale, I found inspiration for both of the first two as a retro, chic and elegant girl and a fantasy and winter themed lady for the third. I think asking us to complete the three styles was a good idea because that gave more opportunity to know a little more about our tastes in choosing what to wear. It is very difficult to choose my favorite of those three, because I liked them all. I am a big fan of My Precious Designs, but I think the frozen beauty styling was one of my favorite parts in the finale!
XS: When it comes to styling for a contest like this, what do you think helps someone stand out as a fantastic stylist? LE: It does not matter if we dress in a simple or elegant and sophisticated outfit. If one gives their personal touch, has a good attitude and dresses with confidence in themselves, their styling will always look fantastic. XS: Past winners of this contest have found their beginnings as a model through a variety of ways. In what way did you get your start as a model? LE: I began to experience the world of fashion in Second Life this year. I had never thought about being a model and taking classes to become one, but I have a friend who is a model and it was she who told me that I should take classes to become a model. I finally decided to take modeling classes, and I graduated in April from Miss Virtual World Academy. Graduating is something that fills me with pride, because it was a big challenge. Iâ€™m practically new to the world of fashion. I did previously participate in a styling show sponsored by Passion Modeling Agency for Purple Moon and was chosen as the third runner up. I know that having been elected as the new My Precious Winter Queen will open many doors for me, so I am available to join a modeling agency in SL soon.
XS: Aside from what it is we choose to do in a virtual world to make a living, there are so many other important experiences and benefits that enrich our second lives and keep us here. What are some things you have learned that you think would benefit others? LE: I have learned that here, there are a lot good people behind each avatar that offer sincere friendship no matter the distance. I have also learned that there are malicious people, though it is better not to relate to them and focus only on the good people who leave us good experiences and great lessons in life. I have also learned that here there can be drama involved, but it is better to stay away from this because if we are here, it is to have fun and make good friends. XS: Luna, as for your future in the industry, where do you see your current path taking you? Where would you like to be a year from now? LE: I would like to continue learning and be a good representative as the new My Precious Winter Queen. I also would like to join a modeling agency and continue my career as a model. Within a year, I would like to be remembered as one of the last queens of My Precious and to leave a special footprint. I would also like to help Spanishspeaking girls who wish to join and participate in the fashion world in SL.
XS: Winning this contest is most certainly a stepping stone for your career and one of the first of what is sure to be many future successful ventures. How do you define success? LE: From my personal experience, success is the ability to dream big, and have the guts to follow your dream to its realization. Success also means to keep going despite repeated failures. Take risks, and if you want to achieve your goals in life, donâ€™t say it...do it! Pearls of wisdom from the lips of the new My Precious Winter Queen 2012, Luna Enderfield. AVENUE Magazine congratulates her as well as all of the finalists for a job well done throughout the duration of the contest. Indulge yourself with the glamorous and sophisticated designs enjoyed by Luna and so many other lovely fashionistas from around the grid by visiting Agnes Finneyâ€™s My Precious main store at Agnes Finney 145.151.22.
Standard Fare by Brie Wonder
top: Zenith | Buttons Coat skirt: Mon Tissu | Westbury Mini watch: Kari | Barb watch skin: Potcha | Tomomi makeup: Ms. Shippeâ€™s Studio | The Snow Crane Facecolor hair: Fashionably Dead | Pierce
dress: Epoque | Skeletal Cutout Minidress bracelet: Whippet & Buck | Polished Cuff skin: Potcha | Tomomi makeup: Ms. Shippeâ€™s Studio | The Snow Crane Facecolor hair: Fashionably Dead | Pierce
body: Whippet & Buck | Barr None Lingerie necklaces: Jetcity, Viita skin: Potcha | Tomomi makeup: Ms. Shippeâ€™s Studio | The Snow Crane Facecolor hair: Fashionably Dead | Pierce
top: Mon Tissu | Sequin Cardigan bottom: 2byte | 126 Denim necklace: Willow | Bottled Magic Necklace clutch: Haut Monde skin: Potcha | Tomomi makeup: Ms. Shippeâ€™s Studio | The Snow Crane Facecolor hair: Fashionably Dead | Pierce
Model of the Month
A cold dose of
Writer Sensuous Soulstar Photographer Cade Nansen
e is a man that needs no introduction. For those of you unfortunate enough to not have come across his path, you have missed out on something amazing. He is Winter Jefferson, and no one can tell his story better than he can. So without further ado, we present our Model of the Month, in his own words.
Sensuous Soulstar: I’m so excited to get this opportunity to learn more about you, so without hesitation, let’s just jump right in to the main questions: how long have you been involved with fashion in Second Life®, whether working for others, or modeling clothing? Winter Jefferson: My first tentative toe dip into the world of fashion was in June 2008. All my friends had blogs and they had been urging me to start one for ages, but I didn’t feel the world was quite ready to deal with me yet. A now defunct company named Rezzable took a chance on me and hired me to be a blogger and stylist. This later evolved into organizing their fashion events. So, although I haven’t been a serious model for a long time, I’ve been immersed in this aspect of SL® for over three years. SS: Now you’ve pointed out that you haven’t been a serious model for very long. When exactly did you first discover the modeling industry on SL, and what was your first impression of what you saw? And what led you to take that plunge into the industry? WJ: I was first dragged into it very reluctantly in 2008 by a friend who had started an alternative agency, Nocturne. I walked a few shows and then decided that getting up at 3 a.m was for the birds… and I quit
for a couple of years. I vowed to never model again, and concentrated on my blogging instead. Around fifteen months ago, I went to a show by an agency that I will never name. And it was horrible, it really was. They had four male models amongst the really well presented women, and these guys had disproportionate shapes, blotted skins, poorly fitted prims, and poses best left in 2006 from whence they came. I thought “no, those designers deserve a lot better than this.” I decided from that moment on that sleep was for the weak, and threw myself back into the madness. And I have not regretted it a moment since. I’ve never attended any schools; I prefer to do all my learning on the fly for anything I undertake in both lives. This usually means being tossed terrified into an audience of people ALL JUDGING ME. SS: So, aside from learning as you go, what has been the biggest challenge in getting noticed and getting work as an aspiring model, especially as a male model?. WJ: My biggest challenge? To be honest...it was myself. I had the misconception that because of my established personae as the Aussie vampire fashionisto, that
I was only considered a novelty act. I am also very aware that due to my all over paleness, I’m really hard to light, especially in a group shot. So I toned down my “Winterishness” and did my best to blend in – darker skin, beefier body, blue eyes instead of silver. I succeeded for a while, then received a wakeup call when I missed out on a casting I had my heart set on. I had been trying so hard to not stand out… that I didn’t. I realized my stupidity after several days of kicking the cat around the room and have embraced my differences ever since – and it now shows in the diverse and interesting work that I’ve been getting asked to do. SS: What, if anything, would you change about the modeling industry here in SL, and why? WJ: I wish we could go so much larger. I want more people on a sim to watch shows, and the capability to hold genuine world class events that draw people into SL from the outside world. More physicality for our avatars so we can move, pose and bend them with fluidity and grace to really display the hell out of the stunning items that we are so lucky to be able to wear. Better broadcasting systems so we can convince real world bands to come in and perform to an audience of thousands whilst the models strut to live music as the rightful marriage of rock and
fashion. We can do so much here but the limitations still frustrate me. I know all this will happen one day, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting it right now. SS: Since you are AVENUE’s Model of the Month, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask how you became a part of AVENUE Models, and how do you feel the experience has been thus far? WJ: My own personal litmus test for my success as a model was to be accepted into AVENUE. If I wasn’t good enough for the best, then I was going to throw it all in. I had worked with them on several occasions on Rezzable projects such as “Black Swan – Swansong” and “The Future Is Now,” and I was invited by Rusch [Raymaker] to be a guest stylist on the “For the Love of McQueen” charity event. When the castings for 2010 were announced, I fought my way to a position against some of the best models in SL, and I don’t intend to ever leave. I consider AVENUE my home agency as I love the people, the professionalism and the downright spectacular shows they produce every time. SS: While I know that modeling takes a great deal of your time, tell me about your Second Life outside of modeling. Are there any other things that you’re working on, any other jobs or positions, or even hobbies, and what do you do just
to relax and enjoy your time? WJ: I have a sadly neglected blog at www.incoldbloodsl. blogspot.com which I occasionally wander back to. It’s a chaotic mixture of fashion and snark, and has been going for three years now. I’m also the official Muse for Monica Outlander, the designer of Miamai and seriously, it’s the best line of work EVER. I’m looking for a similar position in real life. She and I share a common twisted psyche, and when we start flinging ideas at each other, strange and wonderful things happen. I also enjoy trying to tweak my photography skills, so, I’ll log into an alt that has less than half a million inventory items and just wander the grid taking pictures of inspirational sims. I also spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out the best way to grief my friends. Almost all of them have learned to never accept any kind of inventory offer from me, and if they do then never to attach it in polite company. SS: Since you’ve mentioned it previously, and after that last response, I’m totallyintrigued, tell me more about the man behind the white-haired vampire? While I do love the look, I want to get a little into the personality that accompanies the look. I’ve heard nothing but good things,
and I want to hear straight from the source. When people say the name “Winter Jefferson,” what is the first thing that you’d want to come to mind for them? And let’s take that one step further. Can you share with the readers one thing that people, even those who know you best, don’t know about Mr. Jefferson? WJ: AGH! I had such a hard time answering this question, so I outsourced it to my friend, Strawberry Singh, to answer on my behalf. She said I was a “mysterious soul” which was really nice, but then she said I was “simple yet difficult” and forgot to mention anything about my sexual prowess, so I think I’ll take a stab at it myself. I just want people to think that I’m interesting. I’d be fairly content with that; knowing that my joie de deuxième vivre contributed something to people’s second lives, even if it was just noise and ersatz charisma. Something no one knows about me...I never ever open from the other end. No milk carton gets to tell me what to do. SS: I love it! And with that, I want to allow the readers the pleasure of getting the last word from you. With that being said, why don’t you provide some of that “Winter Jefferson” sage advice, especially for those that may be interested in the world of modeling.
WJ: I will gladly bestow two pearls of wisdom. One…don’t do what I used to do when I was still just a noob model, kids. The runway is no place to stop and chat up the ladies in the audience. Yes, I genuinely used to do this. And it’s just too dang hard to coordinate with pose changes. Also, realize that it’s possible to establish yourself as a Big Presence in fashion without turning into the model that no one wants to work with. Be adaptive and malleable, and understand that lag happens, and alarms sometimes don’t go off, and occasionally some asshole will drop four folders worth of review copies onto you as you are on the runway. Stay pretty on the inside as well as on the outside, you will thank yourself for it one day. And so will everybody else.
Writer Umberto Giano Photographer Brie Wonder
ooking for an interesting and creative shop to browse? Tired of clichés, the same tired décor and gift items? Then wander on over to the Club Road South sim and visit Commoner, the newest gift shop in Second Life®. Open both in Marketplace and inworld within Common Grounds Coffee House, Commoner is home to an eclectic inventory of must-have non-essentials: witty, amusing trinkets and kitsch novelties to clutter your walls, shelves, and table tops with conversation opportunities.
Owner Emery Milneaux states, “While the name ‘Commoner’ came to me right away, as a play-on-words of my attached coffee house ‘Common Grounds,’ I feel the name’s more than just a pun. Commoner’s a place where I’m able to challenge preconceived notions about common objects by putting my own twist on them - for instance, a framed needlepoint from Grandma stitched with expletives, or a dead tree within a snow globe that is monochromatic in color and not made of the expected polished wood and shiny brass. I can assure you, none of my customers are average, and I want them to feel as though they’ve stumbled upon an urban flea market of sorts. I hope they find the vibe funky, playful, and charming.” Playful certainly sums up Commoner’s vibe with such novelties as the Vice Jars, which come in a set of five. At first glance they appear like the sort of canisters marked “Flour” or “Sugar” that you’d see in any kitchen. But a closer look reveals that these jars hold some pretty delicious vices, labeled “Uppers,” “Downers,” “Prozac,” “Ambien” and “Ganja.” Aside from being comic and ironic, there’s an almost (but not quite) unapologetic tone about them that is deeply satisfying. “The Vice Jars alert your friends
and visitors that you’re not perfect, and you don’t care. I like that,” quips Emery, who adds, “Perfection’s boring. We all have flaws, and flaws make us interesting, so why hide them?” Another offbeat offering at Commoner is the Voodoo Doll Frame. The frame on the face of the voodoo doll is scripted, so you can easily insert the image of your best frenemy or a recent ex behind the glass insert. And for those who find a single pin through the heart too merciful, clicking the doll will give you additional pins.“I like the idea of someone framing a picture of their enemy,” comments Emery, “That’s funny to me.” “Funny, quirky,” and even a bit “irreverent” all describe Commoner as well as its owner, Emery Milneaux. “The shop reflects not just my tastes, but my personality, too, I suppose,” concurs Emery. “Because I’m a graphic designer in real life, a lot of my SL® friends have encouraged me to create inworld. I considered my options but never followed through with making clothes or furniture or what-have-you. I just wasn’t into it. And why do something you’re not into, especially on SL? However, when I first opened my coffee house, Common Grounds, I knew I wanted a gift shop attached, and I guess I finally just found my niche.
“I’m inspired by pop art and culture, the more modern approach to folk art, and the DIY scene. I’m all about funky little gift shops in real life and can spend hours walking up and down their aisles.” Just like gift shops in real life, Commoner offers seasonal gifts too. “I want Commoner to function like a real world gift shop would, and real world gift shops carry seasonal items,” explains Emery. “I put out a few items for Christmas and was pleasantly surprised by the response, especially with the Tinsel Trees.” Continuing the holiday fare trend, Emery is busy working on items for this coming Valentine’s Day, too. Those shopping for last minute gifts for their special someone no longer have to waste precious time with fruitless marketplace “candy and flowers” searches. Commoner will be a one-stop shopping destination for lovers on Valentine’s Day this year. Commoner’s seasonal featured item this February will be a collection of chocolate pralines in a heart-shaped box, textured in an understated corrugated cardboard. The word “Love” is boldly painted on the box’s lid, while the bottom part of the box is lined with red plastic and red and white striped tissue paper. When you click the box,
you’re given a random piece of chocolate, each in its own foil cup. And what goes better with candy than flowers? So for a limited time, Commoner will offer a medley of roses in yellow and shades of red, also boxed in corrugated cardboard. A red ribbon wraps around the box’s lid, and a small hanging tag wishes “Happy Valentine’s Day” in an antique typewriter font. To complement the chocolates and candy is a miniature teddy bear - the first in a series of limited edition teddy bears sold exclusively at Commoner. Only 100 of each bear will be sold; 50 in-store and 50 on marketplace. Emery describes the teddy, saying, “He’s super fuzzy and fits in the palm of your hand. What’s not to love?!” The chocolates, flowers, and bear are all fully sculpted, and the expertlyrendered textures complete this unique and charming gift collection. Last in the holiday line-up are the Conversation Hearts. The Conversation Hearts will be Commoner’s first gacha item. Each candy heart rests on a sculpted tongue that automatically opens your avatar’s mouth when attached. The Conversation Hearts are offered in 5 different colors, and there are 50 hearts to collect, each with its own message.
Some messages are sweet, some are bitter, and some are naughty. One favorite feature of Commoner is the shopping flexibility. Shoppers who prefer to use the SL marketplace will find its marvelous inventory right at their fingertips. Those who prefer the store shopping experience will appreciate that most of Commoner’s items are transferable, so patrons can shop in-world without the hassle of sending a gift via marketplace. “And while you’re there,” adds Emery, “be sure to check out the neighboring coffee house. Common Grounds is a great place to meet up with old friends or make new ones. Pop over and grab a complimentary cup of coffee and learn more about our open mic nights and other events.” Whether it’s real life or Second Life, one of our happiest delights is stumbling upon a shop that is singular and distinctive, a place with merchandise that is clearly chosen by the owner for its charm, beauty, or whimsy. Whether you’re shopping for a special occasion, a special someone, or just splurging on something creative for yourself or your home, Commoner will enchant you with an unexpected but essential shopping experience.
Writer Sensuous Soulstar Photographer Sophy Meridoc
s a verb, cocoon means “to envelop or surround in a protective or comforting way.” This could not be a more appropriate title for this month’s Interesting Sim. Imagined and created by Rikku Yalin, Cocoon is a beautiful island full of art, atmosphere, and everso-relaxing rhythmic tunes to soothe your soul. Join AVENUE as we sit down with the creator of this place of solace, as she provides background on this newest attraction for wandering souls.
Wrapped in a
Sensuous Soulstar: With all of the wonders in Second Life®, it still amazes me that there are still sims that make my jaw drop, and I must say that Cocoon did just that to me. What was your inspiration for designing this sim and how difficult was it for you to bring your vision to life? Rikku Yalin: Thank you Sensuous. Cocoon is supposed to describe a feeling, my vision of the human nature and the world; it why it was not so easy to do it. Sometimes you have ideas and you want to draw it or make a picture to share of it. It is not an easy task, but you are so glad when it is done! SS: Did you have any help creating the sim, or was it all a labor of love for you? RY: I didn’t have any help to create the sim; it my fault because I like to create alone. I need a lot of concentration, and it relaxes me also. I created Cocoon with all my heart to share it with all the residents of Second Life. SS: How long has Cocoon been around in its current form? Has it always looked the way it does now, or have you changed it over time, and do you anticipate leaving it as it is now, or will you be changing it as time goes on? Is this the first sim that you’ve designed, or have there been others? RY: Cocoon has been around for about 2 months. I never
changed it and I will never change it. I used to do ephemeral sims, with each sim having a story, a spirit, and each sim was open for 3 months. Then, I would close it, take it all back, and build something new as a new destination. In general, I worked for 2 months to realize a sim and to keep it open for 3 months. Cocoon isn’t my first sim, as the first one was “Elingwen,” followed by “Amancio,” then “ Hope,” and now “Cocoon.” SS: What does the sim mean to you? If you had to describe it for those who could not get into SL® to see it and who couldn’t see a picture, how would you describe the sim? What feelings does it elicit in you, and what feelings do you hope it brings others? RY: This sim is a poem to me. The first message is love and hope. If I had to describe it, I would say it is a colorful place where it is apocalyptic and harmonious all in the same place. With light and darkness, it a duality, with desolation and hope, and with some film music that makes you dream. I wanted Cocoon to not just be a nice place to see, but a place which could give you some emotions. I know what Cocoon brings to me: love, hope, and desolation. I think each person is unique and each feeling unique also, and I am always very glad when I get feedback from visitors.
SS: How has the reaction and response been from others since youâ€™ve opened the sim? Do you find you have a steady flow of visitors, or even repeat visitors that have fallen in love with it? RY: Cocoon isnâ€™t my first sim, so I have a small group who follow my work and are still here, and I thank them for their support. I have the chance to be on the Destination Guide, so the flow of visitors is good and I still have new visitors that discover the sim SS: For our curious and always willing to help readers, how do you keep the sim alive? Can visitors donate to keeping the beautiful sim open, and if so, how can they donate? RY: I do pay for the sim. I put out some donation boxes all around the sim to get some help, and I sell 3 robots that I have created. All donations are appreciated, I thank you for it. SS: I want to thank you for taking the time out to answer my questions, and I always like to leave the readers on a positive note. So with that being said, is there anything as far as advice, a life lesson, or even a funny story that youâ€™d care to share with our readers? RY: May the wall of your cocoon be just thick enough to struggle and just long enough to emerge as the beautiful person I
already know you to be...live in the present moment and always have hope! Such beautiful words to match an equally beautiful person that has created an immensely beautiful destination in-world. There are no words that can describe the feelings of peace and awe that arise once you visit Cocoon, as only a visit to this wondrous place will ever do it justice. Take a break from the stress of both lives and spend a little time at Cocoon by visiting Strand 160.125.21.
Sports & Recreation
The Protectors of
Hosoi L Writer Linda Reddevil Photographer Sophy Meridoc
ike many worldly cultures, Japanese culture has found its way into Second Life®, but its presence on the Hosoi sims is unlike any you’ll find elsewhere. What started as a small Japanese garden as a tribute to a friend met in SL® who had died, builder Amirya Hosoi turned her grief into a passion. Over time, the Japanese garden turned into six sims, yet due to “the global economic recession which also affected SL, [Hosoi] was forced to scale down to four sims and that is what you will find today,” Hosoi explained.
The four sims consist of Japan Kansai, where you’ll find the Okiya-Geisha House, a theatre and shops; Japan Kanto, a market area and arena for fighting/ sparring tournaments; Mao is dedicated to a magnificent recreation of the Great Wall of China; and finally Japan Chuba, the home of the Keibatsu Samurai Clan at the Matsumoto Castle. It is here that a certain few learn to dedicate their lives to protect the Clan, the Empire and the People of Hosoi and follow “The Way of the Samurai” with the utmost discipline. The Keibatsu Samurai Clan, whose name means ‘judgment’ in Japanese, are the peacekeepers of the Hosoi sims and protector of Empress Amirya Hosoi, who explains that “I combined two Japanese names to create my name. Ami means ‘beauty’ and Ryu means “dragon.’” A little background research on the history of the samurai reveals that the samurai were the warriors of pre-Modern Japan. They made up the ruling class that eventually became the highest ranking social caste of the Edo Period (1603-1867). Samurai employed a range of weapons such as bows and arrow, spears and guns, but their main weapon and symbol was the sword. Samurai were supposed to lead their lives according to the ethic code of bushido (“the way of the
warrior”). The bushido stressed concepts such as loyalty to one’s master, self-discipline and respectful, ethical behavior. The Keibatsu Samurai Clan brings this code of ethics to life in SL. The beginnings of a samurai at Matsumoto Castle are filled with “studying and learning in both swordsmanship and samurai ethics” Hosoi informed me. I was directed to a gorgeous room in the castle which contained study materials by clicking a bookcase in the room textured with ancient scrolls and books. Notecards came forth with teachings about The Structure of Feudal Japan, Japanese Honorifics, Historical Periods of Japan and Japanese Sword Types. As with any samurai clan, there is a hierarchy to be respected and given loyalty to. From Shogun to Ashigaru, the Keibatsu teaches, through example, by educating properly of the laws and way of life in a strict yet humble manner. Since the Matsumoto Castle is open to the public it is also the “duty of the students and the samurai to patrol the Hosoi regions and welcome guests by handing them a Hosoi Welcome Card to educate them on how our laws work” says Hosoi. The Keibatsu Samurai’s life is also filled with pleasure as well as studying and protecting, I learned from Hosoi. “We have theatre,
Tai Chi and Meditation sessions, sparring events and much, much more. We’re also always willing and open to integrate ideas for new events from our staff and students” she says. Walking around the grounds at Matsumoto Castle was not only a learning experience in the ways of the samurai but it also became a means to marvel at the structures that were replicated almost perfectly. As I sat for hours reading, watching and listening to the soothing music playing, I was immersed into a time and place that I will only ever read about or see in pictures in my real life. When asked what her motivation was to create these sims that the Keibatsu Samurai Clan have devoted to protect, Hosoi stated that it was “for people who have never been to Asia; we try to give them a peek into the Asian life here. People feel at home in our sims and really feel a piece of the real thing in the atmosphere we created.” Thus, the Hosoi sims are truly a treasure in SL and worthy of protection by the Keibatsu Samurai. Visit the Keibatsu Samurai Clan at the Matsumoto Castle by visiting Japan Chubu 197.65.22. For more information and calendar of events visit the Clan website at http://keibatsuclan. blogspot.com.
Writer Huckleberry Hax Photographer Sophy Meridoc
ut of the blue at the very beginning of December (apparently it was available to premium users previously, but where Linden announced this I have no clue), came a potential new paint job for Second Life®. Linden’s latest idea, “Linden Realms,” is “the Lab’s first-ever game prototype… dodge rock monsters and fierce fireballs as you cross deadly, toxic rivers to complete quests and cash in your crystals for Linden Dollars.” What’s notable is that, at the time of writing, at least, this venture is apparently so significant to LL that the
Linden Realms logo currently displays on the SL home page with equal prominence as the regular SL® logo, and over a full page Linden Realms poster. The newcomer to www. secondlife.com is now shown our metaverse as consisting of cartoon style fairies, rocks and evergreens. At the moment, this is the very first thing they see. Not wanting to be part of that crowd that unleashes the hounds of blogosphere fury every time Linden have the audacity to do something to try to grow their business, however, I decided to give Linden Realms a go.
The first couple of tries met with failure when I tried to follow links from the “Showcase” section of the in-world search on Imprudence: these claimed to be to Linden Realms but one led to a bog standard welcome hub and the other to an island somewhere with a red brick lighthouse and a large group of rather confused looking avatars. The third attempt was via the Destinations Guide on the website and got me to the starting point, ‘Portal Park 1.” Okay, but that was when I realised from the odd collection of spheres and cylinders around me that I obviously needed a mesh-enabled viewer. Linden had neglected to mention this, presumably because this whole experience is very clearly aimed at new residents who won’t yet have learned about the existence of third party viewers, especially those not yet supporting mesh.
sequence is frankly bonkers and likely to confuse the hell out of newbies. As an experienced SL user, I spent nearly ten minutes camming around (newbies wouldn’t have yet mastered this skill) trying to work out if these were different levels and I’d somehow managed to miss levels one and two. In fact, each gate leads to an identical version of the game situated on different islands (each island consisting of eleven sims) towards the northeast of the grid and it doesn’t actually matter which of them you choose. None of this was obvious to the large collection of avatars stuck in a big heap of uncertainty in the centre of the Portal Park, many of whom had disappeared by the time I decided to throw caution to the wind and take my chances on entrance number three – and not by walking through one of the gates.
Attempt number four, then – this time in Firestorm – got me viewing finally Portal Park 1 and its eight gates to the first gaming area correctly. A note about the gates – and I think it’s worth spending a moment on this, since they’re the first point of contact avatars actually have with “the game”: they’re numbered in roman numerals in the following sequence: 5, 7, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Unless I’m missing something blindingly obvious, it strikes me that this
And so on to the first realm itself. Game play can pretty much be summarised as follows: your guide, Tyrah, directs you from one part of the island to another and you have to avoid such obstacles as rock monsters, fire balls, toxic water and rock falls to get there. Along the way, you can collect different coloured crystals which can be traded at ‘The Portal Workshop’ in quantities of 50 for Linden Dollars (50 red earned me L$1, 50 yellow earned me L$2
and 50 orange earned me L$5; hardly a fortune, but for damned sure more lucrative and more entertaining than camping). All these things are achieved via some rather slick technology. “Death” occurs on physical contact with beast/fireball/toxic water/falling boulder, automatically sending you via teleport to the nearest “resurrection circle.” Similarly, crystals are collected simply by walking into them, as they disintegrate on touch, and the quantity you have of each colour is recorded in a HUD which loads automatically on entry into the game area. The HUD, which is also where you receive your instructions from Tyrah, is a point of interest for a number of reasons. First of all, it loads without asking permission. Second, it doesn’t get stored in your inventory. Third, if you take it off you get automatically teleported out of the game. Fourth, when you return to the game after leaving – minutes, hours or days later (even if you’ve removed the HUD in the interim) – your crystal levels and game status are preserved. Whatever your orientation towards crystal collecting might be, this technology has interesting potential for use elsewhere on the grid. Each “quest” is essentially a challenge to find or reach a particular point on the island without dying too many times.
Tyrah asks you to go check out destination A; you finally find it. Tyrah tells you, “Oh, so X is happening there. Now I want you to check out what’s happening at destination B.” And so on. Avoiding the rock monsters is initially frustratingly difficult, but gets easier once you realise you can outrun them if you, well, run. The rock falls also finished me off fairly consistently until the point where I abandoned my strategy of basically legging it through the caves and instead used a stopstart approach to the problem. I spent a few hours of a Saturday afternoon playing and got sent from the Base Camp to The Shattered Cavern, to Banshee’s Peak, to Tyrah’s peak and then to a toxic pool in the centre of Devil’s Canyon. Along the way, I also visited the Sunspire Tower and its satellite platforms, where I experienced being burned up “by the outer layers of an expanding star” (amazingly, the island was not even singed by this) and later “atomised by a broken portal.” The toxic pool in the centre of Devil’s Canyon was, alas, where I finally abandoned Linden Realms, since whatever it was that was meant to happen there didn’t and twenty minutes of walking around it in circles (and even managing to jump my way onto the tiny island in the middle which I felt had to be the intended destination) led me eventually to conclude there were better things to
be occupying myself with on a weekend. If all this sounds rather cynical, you might be surprised to learn that I actually quite enjoyed Linden Realms. Simplistic as it is, the game play had an appeal to it that reminded me of the eight bit dodge-this-and-collectthat computer games of my teenage years. It’s simple, but it’s fun. And the scenery – whilst admittedly a little like something you’d expect to see in a Disney movie for those under ten – was well designed, colourful and bold. The island had a definite atmosphere. The experience is immersive. Perhaps most amazingly of all, but also most crucial of all for any sort of online game experience, there was practically no lag whatsoever. I say I gave up on Linden Realms, however I do intend to return to that toxic pool and work out what it is that’s supposed to happen there. I also want to visit the other realms I’ve since discovered are accessible from separate Portal Parks (check the destination guide). Is this the start of a new direction to my SL? Of course it’s not; it’s just an interesting distraction. As a start to someone’s SL, however, I think this idea has possibility. It’s hardly a net that’s going to catch everyone’s interests; nonetheless this represents an approach to one
of the most difficult challenges facing SL recruitment: getting new residents immersed in the world before they tire of its uncertainty. A newbie that follows the pointers to Linden Realms as their first SL experience will actually have something structured to do instead of all that hanging around at the Infohub, waiting for something to make sense (or, at least, for the guy with the large penis attachment to go away). The awarding of Linden Dollars is an especially cunning strategy, particularly since – at the Portal Workshop where you trade your crystals in – you’re given a direct link to the Marketplace website, preloaded with a search for items costing between two and twenty Lindens. This is a great way of getting people interested in their avatar’s appearance whilst caught up in the game… and might even have worked as a strategy were there an area in the workshop for rezzing the boxes when they get delivered. This brings me back to my earlier grumbles. As an idea, Linden Realms has potential. But it needs significant polish if it’s going to succeed in its newbie attracting objectives; at the moment there’s still too much about it that’s just confusing. In fairness, it’s a new strategy and should be given time to mature, but a lot of these gripes are relatively easy fixes and just
require a little newbie empathy. There’s technology here that I’m looking forward to seeing exploited by SL’s immensely creative community. And it’s a good showcase for mesh. Last of all, I can’t help but wonder – particularly given the prominence that the venture’s been given on the SL website – if this is the first step in an SL “rebranding” that I’ve seen suggested in a couple of blogs. A year from now, will we still be visiting “Second Life,” that world without a proper name that suggests we can’t cope with our existing life? Or will we be visiting just “Linden?” Read more of Huckleberry’s musings on his blog, http:// huckleberryhax.blogspot.com.
DJ of the month
Writer Linda Reddevil Photographer Seashell Dench
don’t think many of us in Second Life® haven’t visited a club at one time or another somewhere on the grid. Some may not have been your cup of tea, but I want you to think about a time when you’ve visited a club and had the time of your life. Was it the atmosphere? Was it the crowd of people there as well? How about the music? More importantly, was it the deejay spinning the music? Everyone knows a deejay can make or break an event, or even a club. The right mix of music sets the tone, creates a mood and has the power to leave a memorable mark on your psyche. Deejaying isn’t just about playing music. It’s an art form, and our DJ of the Month, BiteMe Chrome, is just such an artist.
After her set spinning tunes at Industrial Dreamz recently, I had the pleasure to sit and speak with DJ BiteMe Chrome and get some insight into her success as a deejay here in SL®. Linda Reddevil: Hi BiteMe. I like your name. It sounds like you wanted to send a message to someone, perhaps? (Laughs) BiteMe Chrome: No message, honest. (Laughs) Some people also call me BabyDoll, but either name is good. But, BabyDoll sounds less...mean. LR: I think either one is cute. So, BabyDoll, I’ve often wondered about the life of a DJ, so I’m dying to ask if you ever receive any strange requests while working? BC: I don’t know if you have ever heard of them, but I get some requests for the comedic heavy metal band, Psychostick. You can find some of their songs on YouTube. LR: I hadn’t heard of them before now but I looked them up on YouTube quickly and some of the songs are pretty funny! Currently, you’re working at Industrial Dreamz in SL. How did that gig come about? BC: Well, I had just come back from a long break and I was new to everything in SL again. Industrial Dreamz looked like a nice hangout spot and it was fun to be there. So, I filled out an
application and was hired after a test trial. Now that I’ve been there for so long, everyone is like family and I love them all. LR: I understand you’re a host at Industrial Dreamz too? BC: I’ve been hosting there about 7 months. It’s hard to remember exactly, but it feels like forever now. LR: Can you describe for me a typical night for you, whether it’s hosting or deejaying? BC: For me, it’s so simple. When I host the club, I instant message the DJ I’m hosting to get the artist information and then I create a notice and send it out 15 minutes before my shift. After that’s done, it’s party time! (Laughs) We get some great people in the club and they make it so much fun to work there. When I’m the DJ, I set up a playlist and wait for the countdown from the DJ ahead of me and then I play. It’s simple really if you were to see it done. But, the experience while I deejay is phenomenal. I smile the whole way through my set and it’s just great. I get to please people with my music! LR: There is something to be said for making people happy and it sounds like you really enjoy doing that. BC: The best part is when I hear people say, “I love your set!”
or “OMG! I love this tune!” That right there makes me smile earto-ear. LR: I can sense that you take great pride in what you do and I’m willing to bet you make it look easier than it is. What’s the secret to being a good deejay? BC: You absolutely have to be a people-person and definitely have to have a love for music. It’s that simple. LR: That sounds like a great recipe for success as a deejay to me. I would bet you have a huge playlist of songs that you play too. What type of music do you play most often? BC: I mostly play Rock, but I’m always trying to get more music. Pretty soon I’m going to start doing Dubstep sets, which is a genre of electronic dance music and maybe some EBM/Industrial music.
In addition to deejaying, BiteMe also shared that she enjoys shopping, editing photos, and just hanging out with friends in SL. But most of all, her main objective is “to become an even better DJ.” I’d have expected nothing less after speaking with this talented and happy-go-lucky young lady. I have no doubt she’ll reach her goal and we’ll hear much more about her in the future. To learn more about BiteMe Chrome, you can visit her Facebook page at http://www. facebook.com/o0BabyDoll0o. And to hear her amazing sets, stop by Industrial Dreamz at No Limits 179.161.28.
LR: What has been your most memorable experience deejaying so far? BC: So far, it was my first night deejaying on a professional level at Industrial Dreamz. There were only a few people there and it was kind of quiet because it was really late. These two women, who were friends, came in and decided to stay and listen to the tunes. All night they kept telling me, “You’re my new favorite DJ!” It made me so happy that I could be that great to someone.
Club of the month
Writer ShaiLi Alex Photographer Ozz Larsson
he Industrial Dreamz club is where you go to party until the break of dawn... literally. This club doesnâ€™t stop! The part starts at 12 a.m. and continues on until 10 p.m. So, if you like to dance and you can keep it going and going, stop by Industrial Dreamz and this club will have you dancing, meeting and having fun all night long.
Are you looking for
The environment is an Industrial/EBM/Gothic setting in the wild world of Second Life®, but here you can find all kinds of people, gothic or not; people just come to have lot of fun. “It is a place to come together with friends and socialize, dance, be goofy, and flirt, with the main focus being our live DJs and stompy music. We have over 50 DJs from around the world, live hosts for every shift and many events encouraging and lots of fun,” says the owner, Aash Writer. A club recognized for friendly beats and atmosphere, the genres of music include industrial/ EBM goth, synthpop, electro, darkwave, noize, aggrotech, trance and techno. It has become a popular destination, and is home to the best live DJs and hosts from around the virtual world. Industrial Dreamz holds special events four to five times a month, all really dependent on the month itself, from costumes to live acts. Are you looking for fun? Then check our interview and find out where you are guaranteed to have it at this one of a kind club. ShaiLi Alex: Why was the club created and how did you come up with the idea? Aash Writer: About three years ago, my partner and I worked for a popular Industrial club called Sub Zero. Jonathan Hayabusa was the Head Euro
Dj and we created a little box called Industrial Dreamz that was created for him to hire and train DJs. When Sub Zero closed, some of the staff approached us and asked us to make Industrial Dreamz a public, ongoing club. The name originated from the genre - Industrial/EBM/Electric/ Goth and the Dreamz part came from the last name of a friend of ours who was involved in the first building. SA: What is the main objective of the club? AW: It is all about the music. To share the Industrial genre showcasing live Djs from around the world. SA: What is typical type of crowd? AW: We get people from all time zones, from around the world, all ages, all walks of life. That’s the best part. Meeting so many friends. Customers quickly become family at ID. SA: What are the main attractions of the club itself? AW: Live Djs and Hosts, contests, and live music. SA: What can visitors to club ID expect? AW: You can expect a drama free zone where the music is always fresh; the Djs take requests and play the best of the genre, and where the staff and guests are always friendly.
SA: Do you have any new projects in the works? AW: We are constantly evolving. Recently we came up with the idea of Industrial Dreamz Afterhours. From 10pm - 6am SLT, our Djs are free to play any genre they choose. So you can find rock, trance, Dubstep...anything goes. SA: To what do you attribute the success of the club? AW: 100% to our awesome staff and managers. SA: How do you feel about all of this success? AW: I think the success is measured in how many true friends we have found along the way and the sense of family we have with our staff. To find out more about the club, or to check on its calendar of events, you can visit the Industrial Dreamz’s website at: http://www.industrialdreamz. com. And when you’re ready to enjoy all the fun of this unique club, you can visit in-world at No Limits 191.162.29.
Writer Sensuous Soulstar Photographer Bryn Oh
n one of her most recent machinimas, “Cerulean,” Bryn Oh provides what she describes as “a side story within an ‘exquisite corpse’ build done in Second Life®. The larger build is called ‘The Path��� and is a collaboration between Bryn Oh, Colin Fizgig, Marcus Inkpen, Desdemona Enfield/ Douglas Story, Maya Paris, Claudia222 Jewell, Scottius Polke and Rose Borchovski.” For background purposes, the term “exquisite corpse” is a means by which a collection of
words or images is assembled, with each collaborator in the piece adding to the composition in turn, either by keeping to a specified rule, or by being allowed to see the end of what the previous person contributed. Essentially, in this scenario, one artist contributes a line of a story through his or her artwork, and then each descending artist adds along to the work with no limitations, no requirements and no strings attached, a means by which to let their creativity flow.
In “Cerulean,” Oh provides a glimpse of the start of “The Path,” specifically a portion of her build, roughly known as the “Inventor’s Lab.” The opening scenes of the machinima provide a slow camera pan of the lab, accompanied by the heavy sounds of a ticking clock in the background, displaying the semi-flooded room full of oddities and unknowns as the previous ticking sounds are now combined with the sounds of dripping water. The viewer is treated to an amazing upclose and intimate view of the installation, with the camera focusing on the more unique oddities around the lab. It is not until midway through this short film that we discover the title piece of the film. Cerulean is a range of beautiful shades of blue, and in the selected machinima, it centers around one of Bryn’s selected pieces bearing the same name. In the film, we are introduced to the namesake which materializes as the glowing color of a mechanical moth or wasp like flying creature, with glowing eyes, and a wheeled tail, which we see take flight mid-film. The creature manages to come to life, almost as if given a breath of life, and we see its wings began to move, creatively in sync with the rhythm of the background music by Yamamoto.
As the creature inspects its surroundings, we see it pause, almost as if opening its eyes for the first time to the light of the world, as it takes in its current housing. As the camera pans, we began to see more of what the creature can see, as his focus becomes narrowed on an object near his location: a jarred fetus. The creature slowly begins to investigate the jar, eventually managing to remove the lid and free the fetus. We see the fetus ascend to the top of the jar and the two silently meet, almost embracing as if they share a beautiful instant connection that we on the outside will never understand. Again, almost rhythmically the creature wraps itself around the newly freed fetus and begins its ascent to freedom. We see the fetus embrace the creature, as it holds on seemingly for dear life to begin its new life with this newfound friend. As the creature flies off into the night, we are treated to a preview of Ohâ€™s second portion of the installation, the flooded fields, as we are left to only imagine and wonder what will become of the creature and the fetus. While certainly odd players in the film, one can only wonder the symbolic meaning behind the creature, and his
relationship with the fetus. Is it one of love or is there something darker there that only it knows? The beauty of this, as with Ohâ€™s other works, is that the story is open for interpretation and as always, leaves the viewer wanting more. Take time out of your long day to enjoy this beautiful film, in addition to actually visiting The Path, by viewing Ohâ€™s machinima at http://youtu.be/ GhIKEak5p3Q.
Mesh Mellows integrating mesh into art
Writer Spruce Canning Photographer Sophy Meridoc
esh is here to stay in Second Life®. It was only a matter of time that the new content creation technology would be integrated into the many of the art works that have been presented on the grid. Claudia222 Jewell’s build, “Weird at the Mesh Mellows” sim does just that.
When you teleport to the sim, you will find a ground tableaux and two ways to get to the main artwork; one is the mesh fly shaped object which teleports the visitor to a ground-like scene inside an insect shaped shell. The scene reminded this writer of the movie, The Incredible Shrinking Man as the visitor sees the scene from the eye of a small insect. There is also a sign which teleports the visitor to the sky tableaux. The introduction to the whole build takes one to a scene where there are many plant-like structures, and then there is the second mesh object in the form of a Dragon, which the visitor can use to fly to each level of the build and see everything from the air, and on the surface of each part of the build. When I asked about how the build was constructed, Jewell was very enthusiastic about the introduction of mesh into the building process and how it inspired the build in the sky above the sim. â€œIt all came very spontaneous together; I am still exploring what mesh offers and what we can do with and learn more how all works it in Second Life. The levels I made were to simply have more space for all parts; the bottom is the mesh part alone with no sculpties besides the ground.â€? Being inside the giant fly presents a darker theme, less calm
than the scenes above where the colors are more golden brown. Jewell explains, “All the parts I did in different stages of learning, and [they] have some insect and nature theme, but I like to create things that don’t exist in our real life. It is for me almost like creating dreamlike places in an awake state, so I don’t exclude also a little more frightening and mythological scenes in my builds.” “Gaja Clary was letting me rez the parts in the sky of mesh mellows, and I wasn’t aware at that moment it would be featured in the showcase later.” As you fly through the build you are able to view the insect themes, and even humanoid forms with wings that one would see on a housefly, along with the antennae that one would find on a honeybee or moth. It is reminiscent of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, where the protagonist of the novel is transformed into a giant cockroach. When I asked how the insect theme came about, along with the forest sequence inside the giant fly in the build, Jewell summed it up this way: That’s different from person to person. What I do is visualoriented, and I hope people get transported in a dream, not based on reality, more surreal, timeless; where we feel small and tiny even like the fly. Like much in life we rarely see the bigger
picture when we are stuck inside a situation, only leaving the place and flying outside and studying it from outside reveals things we didn’t notice before. Flies are not my personal favorite insects, for example, but seeing them closeup, very close-up I mean, we will notice wonderful structures within their bodies, and not all of it looks ugly to me. Maybe all we need to do is to take a closer look at all that is around us to experience the little wonders of creations in nature. I love all creatures that exist, even people, and hope one day they all get their respect on this planet that seems to have so much more focus on us. In the small part that is home to the baby birds, it’s almost forestlike. The plants are also equipped with heads, all becoming a bit like they are alive. Jewell shares, “I hope we care for all creatures and nature like it was a baby. Not believing some animals are just here to be bred in masses and in factories, and killed before even reaching puberty. We became very unaware of how things get mass-produced and what others pay for our living standards. Much that we do to save costs has terrible consequences for others.” Mesh, as Philip Linden stated at the last Second Life Community Convention last August, will make content creation easier,
and in the artist’s palette, it is a valuable tool. When I asked how she used mesh in the Mesh Mellows build and her plans to use it in future projects, she stated: “I have, thanks to mesh, many more possibilities of making very detailed objects, even when it is sure to affect prim equivalence by size, as probably most that have imported mesh have seen, it counts by size too in Second Life. Considering this and other aspects will make me use sculpts for the biggest parts of my creations to avoid too many prim counts for sims, as this can be problematic with more organic models in large size. In the end, it all comes down to making them as small as possible in render costs. Sure, I will always keep on using normal prims along with mesh and sculpties. Many visitors without a mesh viewer will still see my sculpts, but miss the mesh objects, but now that so many viewers are mesh enabled I think it will be just an extension to us all like the addition of sculpties in SL®. The beginning is always a little strange to some, and to adapt to new viewers wasn’t easy for all.” Jewell continued by sharing: “I sure will go further in mesh; it was a dream to be able to make mesh for SL. I do not have a 3D background, and it has taken me many nights over the last year to try and learn a bit in it. Not sure what it will ever become, a
passion to create in 3D programs and an urge to create in general drives me to make more and more, but I need surely about another 2 years of learning every night, and practicing to get to a stage where I will maybe be more satisfied about my models. That will include learning to rig wearable avatars which I make also. In some months, I will have an exposition in a sim called Artscreamer; they generously gave me the sim for 3 months to make creations. I hope you will come and visit it when it is completed.” As I concluded the interview and took my last look at the Mesh Mellows sim, I thought about what Claudia had said, and I asked her what her opinion was on the advent of mesh in the artist’s palette and she had this to say: “Mesh is an amazing addition to SL; in time more will learn to make them in non inworld programs, and many that had problems with sculpties will find easier ways to import it to SL. Sure many will find it to be very much to learn and difficult, also, to make it better than with sculpties. Many will use existing models and just change them a little and upload them for their art projects, but to be consistent in quality will be hard for people that use models from others.” Art is in so many forms manifested in SL, and does not
necessarily need sculpts or mesh, as many utilize the way scripts can interact. They are more for those that like to make more figurative models to express a very great tool.The question is how much of our time do we want to put into learning, and many will decide to go more into content creations with be able to make models. In parting, Jewell reminded us that “I will stay learning and creating for another 2 years, and then decide what I want to do in the future with what I have learned, but I am surely the happiest person to finally have mesh and the passion for it too. Hopefully, I can spread my addiction to learn this new addition to others, and to not end up saying “don’t mesh with me!” As mesh becomes more prevalent, we will see more and more projects with objects that will seem like objects in real life sculptures and buildings. Mesh has, and still is, the “game changer” in Art and content creation. To enjoy Jewell’s latest installation for yourself, visit Mesh Mellows 113.67.28.
The artistic passion of
Ethaniel Writer Sensuous Soulstar Images Provided by Dantelicia Ethaniel
er images can be summed up in one word: astounding. She has a passion and flare for creating magnificent pieces of art, and an unsurpassed talent for bringing images to life. Her creativity flows through her work, including her innovative combination of first life and Second Life. She is Dantelicia Ethaniel, and this month, we are delighted to share with you a bit about her background, her inspiration, and her process.
Sensuous Soulstar: I definitely want to thank you for taking the time out to share a bit about yourself. Let’s just jump right in to the questions. Without revealing too much personal information, tell me a bit about the person behind the avatar. Do you find that your personality influences or shows through your artwork? Dantelicia Ethaniel: Thank you for your interest in my work. To make a long story short, I’m French, I grew up in Paris though I have been living abroad these past years, Brazil being my home now. I have been drawing, painting and doing photography in first life for as long as I can remember but always as an amateur. I suppose everything I do create is an extension of the person I am, the way I perceive or imagine things, pretty much like the words one uses when speaking give clues about one’s personality. SS: With your background in art in your first life, what led you to get into photography in Second Life®? DE: I started taking pictures in SL® after a close friend, a Flickr addict, talked me into it. It was shortly after I joined SL, I gave it a try and got hooked very fast. I discovered so possibilities through
medium, that I invested more time to develop my technical abilities from the shooting to the editing. It became a creative outlet. Many persons, many things have inspired me to create; I grew up with photographs of Doisneau, Lindberg, Roversi, and Sarah Moon plastered all over my walls. I spent long hours at the Louvres and Rodin museum losing myself into beauty. Even in SL, the works of talented individuals like Bryn [Oh], Juliette Herberle, Ariel and so many others have been feeding my creativity. I think at some point, creating images becomes a necessity, it’s just who I am and how I express myself. SS: Think back for a moment and tell me about the first piece that you ever shot after deciding to try your hand at photography, and how you felt it turned out then? How do you feel it compares to the incredible quality of your pieces now, and would you change anything about that first piece? DE: (Laughs) Oh that was pretty bad, I used to hang in a Flamenco club and was attempting to capture couples dancing; it wasn’t quite Lois Greenfield or Degas material. It was a hot mess, but I was thrilled by it, by the process.
I think that when you’re passionate about something you just dive into it and you improve, you progress, you learn from mistakes, you readjust, and that never ends. I’m still discovering new techniques or tips and there are probably things I’d change in the pictures I took 2 days ago, let alone 2 years ago. Though it’s always interesting to look back at these first pictures and see how one evolved, but it was right at the moment, it was what I wanted, that’s what matters. SS: Tell me a little about your inspirations. While looking through your images on Flickr, I’ve noticed that there isn’t always a common theme to your artwork, although all of them seem to tell a story within themselves. What inspires you when you start shooting? Do you have a process that you go through? More specifically, which comes first: the story/theme and then the image to bring it to life, or is it the opposite? DE: At the beginning is my state of mind, I would say that it sets the framework of what’s to come, the subject, it’s very much about introspection, a specific story behind each photo; then it could be the music I’m listening to, a movie I saw, something I read, anything really, and that could influence the technique used, the place I’ll shoot in, the colors, etc.
So yes, most of the time the story comes first, but sometimes, as you work on the photography, when you shoot or edit, something strikes you and changes the story, the narrative or gives it another angle and you follow that. SS: With all of the changes and improvements to Second Life, including the introduction of shadows, incredible new Windlight settings, and so much more, do you feel that your artwork continues to grow with each new advancement, or do you feel like the improvements are making it harder for true photographers, as it continually requires mastering new skills? DE: I’m so grateful for each and every tool that has been given to SL photographers recently. The shadows give so much vibrancy and light and depth to the photo, the windlights help to create a mood, underlining the story, the background versus foreground focus gives the picture so much more relief. And at the end, SL photography is setting up its own standards, it’s not even about matching real photography, it’s a field on its own. It’s like when I bought my first digital camera. At first you’re grumbling because of all those functions you never used, but in the end, it offers so much more possibilities, it’s well worth the change.
SS: I’ve also noticed that you have a number of pieces where you utilize, among other things, pencil over a textured photo and the end result is absolutely magnificent. Please tell us a little more about this concept. DE: As it can be seen by my use of texture in the SL photography, I have always wanted to create a bridge between actual drawing/ painting and SL images. I love to actually be in contact with the image, to pass my fingers over it; it’s a very special experience to bring that virtual piece into a real environment. I usually draw or paint portraits, so naturally it’s what I have started with. And the process is way much longer than pure SL photography, because I go back and forth between the computer and drawing table and by having the image in hands, you just play with it more easily, more naturally but it takes time too. SS: I’ve also visited your website, http://danteliciae. wordpress.com, and even your images there are stunning. I originally wanted to classify it as a blog, but the more I explored, the more I wanted to call it another showing of your artwork. So I think it best to ask what was your original purpose for the site, and is that still what you find to be the purpose? DE: I’m a fashion photography
passionata more than fashion itself, piling up years of Vogue at home. With that website, I wanted to emulate what I felt when looking at Vogue’s Meisel or Leibovitz breathtaking images; they never show fashion literally, they show a character, they tell a story, and most of all they make us dream. The clothes are costumes; they blend in. So, I guess there lies my inspiration for the website: not to showcase clothes literally but to dream about a story of a character which happens to be wearing this or that. I think it’s also a way to thank the talented clothing creators of SL who pave the way for our avatars/ characters to exist with inspiring designs. SS: I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to answer my questions, and as is my custom, I like to leave the readers on a positive note. So with that being said, is there anything as far as advice, a life lesson, or even a funny story that you’d care to share with our readers? DE: I’m truly thankful for your kind words about my creations. I think the main thing I’d have to share is that it doesn’t matter one’s level of experience or technique in photography or any other forms of creation, what matters is to express yourself, and not let anyone, critics or self critics curb that need.
Such powerful words, of course, to be expected from such a powerful artist. With her artistic background in her first life, there can be no question as to the source of her incredible talent in Second Life. She not only creates art that speaks to the soul in-world, but she has managed to create the perfect combination of first life and Second Life in some of her textured images, and while she credits the technical improvements of Linden Lab with setting the standard, it is evident from her work that artists such as Ethaniel are what truly set the standard in the art world. To enjoy more of Dantelicia Ethaniel’s artwork, visit her Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/ photos/49223218@N02.
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