je suis APRIL 2011
Photo by Ozz Larsson
AVENUE | Publisher's note
Rusch Raymaker Rusch Raymaker Publisher AVENUE
pring is blooming and bursts of colours pop and greet us in our fashion style-ups! Have a taste of Sherbet Delight with Vixie Rayna as she has Fun with Fashion...Lulu Jameson brightens up the AVENUE Homme wardrobe with splashes of Anime Rainbows... and capture pastel velvet Vignettes of your walks in Spring hued fields with Strawberry Singh. In our wonderful world of Second LifeÂŽ, we are constantly greeted with newness and profound creativity. This month we invite you to explore a surrealistic journey into Parallel worlds at Farstar New Earth where you will be tantalised by the sensual symbolism that pervades this gem of a sim. SLâ„˘ is teeming with musicality but the bands that create original music are far fewer. This month we profile one of these talented few, Engrama, who has been rocking the music world with their original sounds. Lend them your ears as they take you to another place with their aural hypnosis of indie, alternative, ambient and post rock tunes. And what is Second Life without a little controversy? *grins* Secondlie Scribe has been known to be a voice and mind with incisive observations and unadulterated feedback about the world we live in. Join Sensuous Soulstar as she gets behind the paperbag persona and delve into this curious mind. May Spring, with all its colourful changes, bring you unabated growth, colourful explorations and delightful discoveries.
AVENUE | Editor's note
Isadora Fiddlesticks Photo by Ozz Larsson
Isadora Fiddlesticks Managing Editor AVENUE
ittle by little, as people are starting to grasp virtual worlds, they find that virtual world technology can recreate many things we hold dear like traditions and cultures.There are lots of places in Second Life that serve as memorials of the many things we hold dear in real life. Our virtual world has served as some sort of a looking glass that bares our imagination and depending where we are from, our culture. The places we see, the items we rezz, the people we meet - they serve as priceless reminders and we hold it dear. This month, we celebrate those kinds of places. Places like Muddy’s where one’s memory is cherished. We also discover people like Joe Yazzie, SL’s first Native American artist to have a SL gallery of his real life art, and his son, Joesseppe Yazzie trying to recreate Native American Indian culture in SL in an effort to salvage their culture. Visiting their gallery gave me a lot of insight about their culture coming from Joe Yazzie’s perspective. All this and more for another sizzling issue of AVENUE!
34 Cover Story Julia Merosi
AVENUE Magazine April 2011 cover Featuring je suis designer Julia Merosi Photographer Zmilla Rehula
//Head [sYs] Head Ornement Equinoxe Blue/black v0.2 //Outfit [sYs] Psylo Black outfit //Lashes Chaisuki lashes 50 //Bracelets FineSmith Fragile Bracelets //Nails FineSmith spikeNailsR 10’s short DRAAKJE
44 Vignettes 58 Homme Fetured Designer 68 Mayhem Seetan Fun With Fashion 76 Fashion Icon 86 Donna Flora 102 GOLden Shopping 116 Couture AVENUE Look 2011 Leesa Donner 132 Model of the Month Pure Nikolaidis 140 My Precious Summer Queen 2011 152 Sports & Recreation Green Acres
178 For the Love Of VWBPE 2011 188 Live Music engrama 198 Club of the Month Muddy’s Music Café 210 Media Mojo SecondLie Scribe 220 Fetured Artist Joe & Joey Yazzie 228 Arts Feature DynaFleur 238 Inspirations
Magazine : issue 31
Publisher Assistant Publisher
Rusch Raymaker Jesika Contepomi
Fashion Editor Marketing Director Senior Marketing Executive Marketing Executives
Creative Director | Photo Editor Copy Editor Designers
Vixie Rayna Jesika Contepomi Livia Mastroianni Emlies Xeltentat Blaze Petrov Beyonce Aurotharius Paola Tauber Sensuous Soulstar Paola Tauber Jesika Contepomi
Sensuous Soulstar Vixie Rayna Thalia Jie Spruce Canning Isadora Fiddlesticks Augusta Carver Strawberry Singh Jesika Contepomi
Senior Writers AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates Couture AVENUE, AVENUE Models & Academy, and AVENUE Marketing & PR. Online issues can be found at: issuu.com/avenue
Joie LeFavre Xandrah Sciavo
AVENUE Magazine blog: avenuemagazine.blogspot.com
Lulu Jameson Blackliquid Tokyoska Thalia Jie Boe Cortes Brie Wonder Strawberry Singh Vixie Rayna
AVENUE Inc website: www.avenuesl.com
Natasja Schumann Blaz Halfpint Tillie Ariantho Diconay Boa Lulu Jameson blackliquid Tokyoska Ozz Larsson Annough Lykin Mischa Cuttita Srawberry Singh Izzie Rexen Brie Wonder
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Jesika Contepomi Livia Mastroianni Emlies Xeltentat Blaze Petrov
AVENUE | Cover Story
Julia Merosi Je Suis...
Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photography by Blackliquid Tokyoska
hile clothes may make the man, or even woman, only accessories can make the outfit complete. But not all accessories are created equal. Sometimes it takes a little extra creativity, and the ability to customize them down to your exact specifications that truly makes an accessory an integral part of an outfit. Nowhere else on the virtual grid that we call Second Life速 will you find the kind of customizable, high quality, stunning accessories that you will only find at je suis. Take a moment to find out more about the woman behind the name, the brains behind the brand, and the designer behind the quality, Julia Merosi.
Sensuous Soulstar: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with AVENUE. With you being such a busy woman, I want to just jump right in to the main questions, how long have you been involved with fashion and how did you get your start? Julia Merosi: I started working as a store assistant at BAX some years ago. I had always been looking for accessories that matched the boots, and that is why one day when the store was empty and I was totally bored, I tried to put into practice the ideas that kept coming to my mind: I designed a bracelet and a belt, and this is how my designer activity began. In June 2010, I finally created my own brand, je suis... SS: Wow, so you’re not a novice to the world of quality fashion. Since you’ve had some history with it, tell me what is your definition of “fashion?” There is always talk about the latest “it” fashion, but what do you think really makes for truly iconic fashion? JM: I think truly iconic fashion is something that comes from your soul; you need to show who you are through your fashion style. I believe you can do it better with accessories and jewels because they are what make your outfits stand out and shine. SS: Now let’s go back to when you first got into fashion. What was your first impression of the fashion of that time, and more importantly, what was your impression of the fashion accessories and the quality and variety of what was offered? JM: My avatar was born in a world where style almost didn’t exist. Of course there were some
amazing designs I found in various malls, but if you look back at Second Life in 2006 and you compare it to Second Life today, they are different worlds! The fashion field has evolved so much, sculpted prims brought a true revolution in the conception of designing, and now I am looking forward to the meshes! They will again change everything and it will surely be a great change. When I joined, Second Life couldn’t offer what we have today. SS: I want to turn to your inspirations for a moment. Now, before we get into your store and your designs, tell me about some of your inspirations for the pieces that you choose to wear yourself. I love to see how designers tend to dress and accentuate themselves versus the designs they put out for others. Would you say that your personal style can be categorized? JM: I don’t think my style can be categorized. The most important thing is that a piece must hit me. It can be cute, sexy, elegant or totally crazy, but if it meets my taste I am absolutely ready to buy and wear it. I rely on my taste only. SS: Alright, so what about your designs? Where do you pull inspiration for your designs? Do you model your pieces after RL accessories, or do you stick to strictly whatever your imagination comes up with, or a mix of both? Is there a particular line or style that you model your designs after? JM: The most positive thing about accessories and jewels, above all at je suis..., is that they can match any style, because they are fully customizable. I like having a wide range of different styles in my store and I will always try to keep it that way. Of
course, if I see something in RL that inspires me, I am willing to use the idea but only as a starting point: I look into myself and find a way to create it in a more personal way. I don’t want to make exact copies of RL items; that is not designing. The biggest part of my designs comes completely from my mind. Some are inspired by RL products, but modified to fit my own style. That is what I enjoy most in creating for Second Life. Even with the new elements constantly coming out, I am free to use them as a vehicle for my imagination, without restrictions. SS: Let’s get a bit more into the brand, je suis...; tell me a bit about the name behind the brand. Does the name have a specific meaning either in RL or SL™, and how does it apply to the brand itself? JM: I’d been
looking for the perfect name for a while. There were many good ideas, but in the end I thought je suis... was the right one. “Je suis...” means “I am...”, and the name of the product completes the sentence. It matched my idea perfectly: we can have a wide range of styles, according to our moods and feelings that still belong fully to us. On a side note, I picked the French language because my mother is half French. SS: Now you specifically focus on “accessories to match your every mood and style.” What was it that made you decide to focus solely on accessories? Was there a lack of quality accessories around, or did you just feel that you had more to add to this often overlooked sector of the fashion world? JM: It’s just that I love designing them! I love creating accessories to match my outfits. Clothes in Second Life are amazing, but if you want to add your own touch and stand out among all the others, accessories are the way! SS: Now that is definitely following your passion. With that in mind, how often do you strive to release new pieces, and is there a process or a method to your releases? Do you design by season, or around a particular color or theme, or is it just whatever comes to mind when you’re in a creative mood? JM: I try to release new pieces on a regular basis and also enjoy creating exclusive items for events, so I am always working! Of course, if its winter and I feel cold, I will probably design a scarf, but I don’t want to be stuck in seasonal collections, I do whatever comes to my mind.
SS: What should we expect next from je suis...? Are there new releases slated to come out in the near future, and will there be a focus for the upcoming season? With a new year, and a new mainstore, what would you like to see happen in 2011 with je suis...? JM: Of course I would like to see je suis... grow and get more popular. In June 2011, we will have our first anniversary and a huge party. I am planning to release a lot of new items during the whole year. Some are ready, and some are still in my head waiting to get built in Second Life. SS: I want to thank you for taking the time out for this interview, 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 you’d care to share with our readers? JM: I live too many funny episodes everyday to remember them all and I don’t think I can give life lessons, so I’ll go for the advice, and a very simple one. Be creative and enjoy what you do, no matter if it’s designing, dressing up your avatar, blogging, building, photography, roleplaying, meeting people, or running a business. Relax and have fun! SS: “Relax and have fun”, incredibly underrated advice for both lives, but a key piece of advice for anyone of any age. For more information on je suis... visit the website at www.juliamerosi.com, or just stop by the store in-world at Dirty Pleasures [69.102.607]. A
ignettes will be my new monthly column in AVENUE where I will have the opportunity to share some of my art and ramble on about it. A big thank you to the AVENUE team for this new adventure which Iâ€™m quite excited and nervous about all at the same time. I hope you enjoy this little peek into my Second LifeÂŽ. This month we have a spring theme going on so I thought what a brilliant way for me to share some of my favorite sims that are perfect for this time of year.
pring filled ims
AVENUE | Vignettes
Written by Strawberry Singh Photography by Strawberry Singh
/Skin Grixdale Emery Mocha /Hair Truth Pippa Chestnut /Dress Reale Floratta tulips /Jewels Donna Flora Alma white /Nails je suis Naive nails /Poses Olive Juice
The Luisiadas sim is the home to the Nordari store created by the talented owner, Jordan Giant. She changes the sim brilliantly for every season. Just a few weeks ago there was a gorgeous winter wonderland and now it’s all a luscious green with butterflies that look almost life-like. I decided to wear the tulips dress from Reale to this sim. It’s just so elegant and whenever I think of spring and flowers that’s the dress that pops into my mind first. Visit the nordari store as well, she makes some of my favorite skyboxes on the grid. Nordari [Luisadas 136, 100, 21]
The Komorebi sim is home to a few different Japanese designers. A lot of gorgeous home furnishings can be found on this sim. There are also many areas on the sim with rays of sunshine, green grass, trees, flowers and more. Youâ€™ll be sure to find the perfect scene for a spring afternoon. I am wearing the spring collection from the new brand LaViere. LaViere is the new baby of Azure Electricteeth of Tee*fy. The spring collection consists of adorable dresses, sculpty tops, skirts and lots more in a variety of earthy and neutral colors and prints. The Komorebi sim already has a few adorable shops there, but they have lots more room to grow. I canâ€™t wait to see what else pops up there. Visit Komorebi and enjoy the sunshine. Komorebi [215, 220, 21]
/Skin Grixdale Emery Honey /Hair elikatira Just Blonde /Clothes LaViere Romper and Cardigan /Jewels Donna Flora Vivian necklace black /Nails je suis Naive nails /Poses Olive Juice
/Skin Grixdale Emery Honey /Hair Shag Songbird feathers /Dress Kyoot The ground beneath her feet /Jewels Donna Flora Vivian necklace white /Nails je suis Naive nails /Poses Olive Juice
The Heart sim is one of my favorite sims. There are different areas on the sim, they even have a small autumn section as well as plants for sale and beautiful waterfalls. Iâ€™m actually standing in the summer meadow but the big pink tulips are so happy they remind me of spring. My adorable spring dress is from Kyoot and the chic hair is from Shag. The hair comes with feather attachments that add a bit of drama and style to the do. Although the tulips are my favorite part of this sim, I also appreciate the peacefulness of the waterfall. So make sure to take a walk around and explore. Heart [106, 58, 21]
Spring is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. Aside from the allergies acting up, it always puts me in a happy mood to see the different colors of the flowers and watch them bloom. Wishing you a beautiful a spring. <3
AVENUE | Homme
Photographed, Modeled, and Styled by Lulu Jameson
//Skin Zoobong Ocean //Hair 1 Find Ash Behaved Actor //Hair 2 Plume LJ Version 1 // Facial hair Plume 03a // Beard Plume LJ Option 3 //Top MAKNIE Pugoâ€™s bro sweater //Pants MAKNIE Roll up denim jean //Bag Action Unisex Skater Bag //Shoes Kookie Snugs //Glasses Reek Denton Shades
//Skin Kento Cherish //Hair Dura Boy16 //Hairbase + Facial hair Plume 04a //Tattoo SL NewSkool //Top Sleepy Eddy V-Neck cardigan //Pants & belt Connors Painter baggy //Shoes 2Real Pro Spec //Gloves Connors Rider //Earring Plume Tribue Brown
//Skin Den dou Eito //Hair no.07 Street Glam //Hairbase + Facial hair Plume 08a //Vest & Scarf Scars Design jacket Red //Top Doppelganger Inc New Threads Tee Mustard //Necklace n-creation metallic chocolate //On hands Scars Gilet Cardigan (part of) //Pants MAKNIE Check roll up jean Brown //Belt END fret //Shoes Kalnins Crossyard //Glasses Reek Aeroplane Shades //Earring Plume Tribue Brown
AVENUE | Featured Designer
e v o Lshion& a F
Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Ozz Larsson
nnovative, daring, sexy, feminine, yet edgy. These are the words that some people would use to describe fashion. And for those that have seen the designs of Mayhem Seetan, they would use them to describe her designs perfectly. Having been involved with the RL fashion world for some time, Mayhem was able to carry her skills with her into Second Life速 and start creating amazing pieces with her store AZOURY.
Augusta Carver: Why did you decide to join Second Life? Mayhem Seetan: Because of a TV show that happened in France “new star” or a candidate (I forget his name) was doing gigs in Second Life. AC: When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer? MS: In my real life, I studied fashion design and was for several years Assistant Manager of a large French retailer “Xanaka”. I know how to use some programs, so I had the chance to create clothes in Second Life. AC: How was this collection different from the other collections you have worked on? MS: The style of my collection and more focused than before, and therefore, it was more easily recognized as the “AZOURY” style AC: What is your inspiration for your new collection? MS: From everywhere, things seen in catalogs, blogs, television for example, daily life, etc… AC: What matters to you most as a fashion designer? MS: Make quality drawings even for people who have a small budget. It is very important to me! AC: How would you define “success” for someone in your chosen position? MS: Of see people wearing my creations or when they congratulated me on my work or ask me for interviews, it is very gratifying. AC: What is the style of your line and why do you feel that way? MS: I do a bit of everything and especially what I like in real life (city, casual, avant-garde). For example , I will never create “princess” dress styles as that is not my thing.
AC: What is your favorite part and most challenging part of the design process? MS: My favorite part, which is at the same time the most difficult is the “texturing” and “rendering”. AC: As a designer what is most rewarding for you? MS: The compliments of buyers or when people tell me, “We recognize your brand, your style!” AC: And what does fashion mean to you? MS: A way for people to express themselves. AC: How would you define your own style? MS: AZOURY, fate of ordinaries in offering a wide variety of styles and colors. AC: What is one thing you would like people to know about AZOURY? MS: I want people to know we offer the qualities at lower cost (for every budget). AC: What are some of your favorite stores to shop in Second Life? MS: Plume, Mandala, Belleza, Lion Skin, and DeeTalez. AC: Any words of advice for future designers? MS: A lot of patience... AC: Is there anything we can look forward to seeing from AZOURY in the future? MS: Just to keep a constant quality from AZOURY that people have come to expect and love. With Mayhem’s sense of style and love for all things fashion, you can definitely see how she became one of the top designers in the fashion industry within Second Life. She is known for her high fashion and couture. Each collection is surely to make a statement with unique designs mixed with a sophisticated and edgy flair. FRANCE 3D Courchevel [33.50.22] A
Sherbet Delight Styled, Modeled & Photographed by Vixie Rayna
AVENUE | Fun With Fashion
pring has arrived! This season the shades of sherbet entice us in the rainbow shades of pink, orange, yellow, and green. This palette is totally edible with its fun array. With such feminine colors, it’s very easy for your look to come out too simple and child-like. Rev up some sex appeal with fun hairstyles and eye makeup to create a striking and unique face. Makeup is an inexpensive way to change up your style in a very inexpensive way. Most bundles of eyeshadow can cost you anywhere from $100L -$300L; not a bad investment to make your favorite skin almost one-of-a-kind. I love to mix old with the new. Chantkare has created some really fun styles for the Chic Limited event, and I snatched up the Le Disco. The colors were just perfection. You’ll be ready for fun in this lively ensemble. I paired the outfit with the now classic Jennifer hair from Lelutka, and the new, but classic, Melissa skin from Belleza. In the next look, it’s easy to see how the new Lotus pumps from Baiastice make a bold stepping statement. Paper Couture’s Infinite Rainbow was released in their show-stopping F/W 2010 collection – and it’s a perfect must-have piece for this Spring. Add a pop of color with electric yellow tights and an aqua belt. Color is a wonderful way to have fun in your creativity. Test the boundaries of what is conventional; this season is all about risks. Until next time!
//Hair Lelutka Jennifer in Bournville //Skin Belleza Melissa - Pale 2 //Tattoo TWhore Makeup7 //Outfit Chantkare Le Disco //Nail Candy Nail Knit Bonbon //Bracelet Miel Cue //Earring Berry Berry Ultra Lush In Pink //Shoes Lelutka Saffron in Neutral Green
//Hair Lelutka Whitney in Burnt //Skin Belleza Melissa in Tan 16 //Tattoo Miamai Shadow 05 //Dress Paper Couture Infinite Rainbow //Leggings Aoharu Hard Crash in Yellow //Nails Candy Nail Flower Garden in Green //Earrings Mandala Milky Way in Samurai Blue //Belt Fish Strawberry Geisha in Deep Sea //Shoes Baiastice Lotus Pumps in Acid Yellow/Rosa Shocking
AVENUE | Fashion Icon
Vintage Chic A taste of
Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Brie Wonder
hen thinking about fashion, most people are reminded of the clothes first, but there are so many different aspects that go along with thoseâ€Ś hats, purses, shoes, jewelry, etc. If you have the right pieces to pair with your outfit, they can be used to help define it and make it stand out. Donna Flora designer, Squinternet Larnia has been bringing to life creations which do that and more.
Augusta Carver: Why did you decide to join Second Life®? Squinternet Larnia: I heard about it from media...newspaper and TV and then from friends as well, especially a person who worked here as skin designer. AC: So how long have you been designing jewelry and clothing? SL: I started in September 2008 and I kept creating clothes, then I started with jewelry and I loved to create more and more. AC: Why made you decide on vintage style designs? SL: As soon as I entered SL™ I felt immediately captured by this this genre and I used to look only for vintage stores for shopping. AC: Did you join Second Life to design? SL: Yes, that was my purpose. After a short period dedicated to exploring and getting familiar with SL, I immediately started designing. AC: Do you have a favorite part of the designing process? SL: Creating jewelry is so relaxing; it’s the least difficult thing for me since I enjoy it a lot. AC: There are a lot of stores in SL, what makes yours stand out? SL: I think the originality and the fact I mixup different elements and styles, but most of all the irony I apply to my creations. AC: Besides designing, what else do you like to do in SL?
SL: I like to chat with friends, explore new places and of course shopping. AC: What do you find challenging about the designing process? SL: Learn new techniques, study new software that can give me more freedom to create and the possibility to realize my ideas exactly as they are in my head. AC: How do you find inspiration for your vintage themed jewelry and couture clothing? SL: I am inspired by different things. I like to glance through RL fashion magazines, but most of my inspiration comes from my memories: cinema, old movies, famous women of the present and from the past, my grandmother, my family photo albums, memorable characters, fables... clothes that my mother used to wear or my own clothes... the dress of a woman walking in the street...the skirts I wear every day or the skirt I’ve always dreamed to have. AC: How would you describe your own fashion style? SL: Vintage mostly, but not only vintage. It’s very eclectic and mixes up different styles, but with a unique concept of the elegant woman, who loves to combine past and modern fashion and is playful, ironic and rich. AC: Do you have any favorite designers or stores you always have to check out? SL: A lot! I always wander around skin, shoes and hair stores to see new releases.
Of course I have my favorite designers, but I also like to discover new shops and designers I didn’t know. AC: What does fashion mean to you? SL: Creativity, game, joy, narcissism and at the same time also culture. AC: Is there anything we can look forward to seeing in the near future regarding Donna Flora? SL: I’m working and experimenting different styles for my jewelry lines AC: Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for any future designers? SL: My advice is to be modest about your work and extremely curious about everything SL has to offer and everything that happens in RL in the fashion field, but not only. Never follow fashion, create it! Squinternet has shown that through fashions many textures and styles, there is one of look that never seems to go out of style. A look that is classic and ever popular - vintage. Vintage is a great way to revise the timeless looks that helped make fashion what it is today. You can find that at the Donna Flora store. Browsing through the store almost feels as if you stepped into another era…a timeless era where you can find the best of high quality clothing and jewelry. I can hardly wait to see what new items Squinternet comes out with next. A Visit Donna Flora [Bonin 142, 151, 37]
AVENUE | Trendspotting
Styled, Modeled and Photographed by Brie Wonder
Outlander //Cardigan Vive9 Kasia Bulk Cardigan //Shorts Vive9 WaistHighs //Shirt ARAI Swet03 Tshirt //Glasses Elate! Susie Cateye Shades //Shoes ANEXX Strap Wedge Bootee //Jewelry Donna Flora Dragon Screw //Skin Nylon Outfitters Honey Beige //Hair Fashionably Dead Spider Queen
//Dress Happy Finds Blouse Dress //Bag KAO Gamaguchi Bag //Jewelry KOSH Shepherds Glen Ring //Nails Tres Blah Nail Colour //Skin Nylon Outfitters Honey Beige //Hair Boon OVR527
//Top Picnic Icni Romper //Skirt Mon Tissu Crossroads Maxi Dress //Shoes ANEXX Tassel Suede Booties //Glasses Elate! Susie Cateye Shades //Jewelry Ruchica Plane Rings //Makeup Cheap Makeup Le Tigre Eyeshadow //Skin Nylon Outfitters Honey Beige //Hair Vive9 Yulia Boon Anna45 Braid
AVENUE | GOLden Shopping
Styled, Modeled & Photographed by Vixie Rayna
How we move defines who we are. Inworld, one must find the animation that best tells their own story; from dances to static poses, GOLden Shopping offers the best selection to define your personality. GOLden Shopping is part of The GOL community of sims built by renowned architect Dakota Neumann. It’s the perfect place to discover your own personal style. As soon as you arrive, you’ll find brands such as Aoharu, Anexx, Nardcotix, 2xtreme, BAX Coen Designs, Akeyo, LostAngel Industries, Boom, C.Smit, Belleza, Diesel Works, So Many Styles, Oh Studio, PACADI, BOA Creations, Elymode, Je Suis, No.7 and Kiliebe. There is everything from clothing and accessories to dance animations and furniture. It’s easy to find your own style with such a wonderful mix of designers. Visit GOLden Shopping today on GOL 5!
AKEYO previous page AKEYO Dave Dance #2 current page AKEYO Nina Groove #4
Diesel Works Diesel Works MOMO II #6
Diesel Works Diesel Works Groove #5
LostAngel Industries LostAngel Industries Sweet Seduction #1
LostAngel Industries LostAngel Industries Diva #7
AVENUE | Couture AVENUE Look 2011
Written by Jesika Contepomi Photography by Annough Lykin
Couture AVENUE Look 2011 MARCH FINALIST
Leesa Donner T
he Couture AVENUE Look 2011 Contest has just announced it’s 7th finalist and continues to bring an array of stylists and models to the runway each month. With top SL designers such as AZUL, Baiastice, GizzA, Lelutka, Nicky Ree, Osakki, Stylissimo and sYs, one would think this challenge easy. How hard can it be to wear such stunning designs and look amazing…harder than you think. The contestants each month compete to bring the ‘best’ style to the runway, to embody the Couture
AVENUE brand in a way that shouts unique. This month’s model, Leesa Donner, entered for her 6th time. Each time she grew in her styling and came closer to being chosen as finalist. What made this month different? What inspired her to step up to the challenge and bring a personal side of herself to the runway? Join me as I sit down with Leesa and find out not only what she learned through her experiences but how she remained strong and persistent.
Jesika Contepomi: Leesa congratulations on your win and thank you for taking the time to sit with me today. I know you are a long time fan of AVENUE, but what inspired you to enter the Couture AVENUE contest? Leesa Donner: Last summer, I went to the Second Life Community Convention and met you and Rusch, and was very impressed with AVENUE beyond what I already knew about the agency. I waited until I had some modeling experience under my belt before I competed in the Couture AVENUE contest and even signed up with AVENUE Academy. JC: You’re no stranger to the Couture AVENUE runway, after entering the contest multiple times, what kept you motivated to continue and how was each month different? LD: I walked this contest six months in a row. At first losing was devastating, especially over multiple times. I learned I had a real attitude problem and one of my dearest friends kicked me in the butt for whining too much. I honestly have her to thank for being here today. I had to re-adjust my competitive bent to be one of doing modeling for the art and joy of it. I have learned to focus on learning and becoming my personal best and not focusing on winning or losing. JC: That’s great advice to anyone in the contest circuit, getting up, dusting off your britches and getting right back on the bike with a new sense of direction. With that being said however, let’s go back…when and how did you get your start in modeling?
LD: I had no intentions of being a model. I have no real fashion in my real life per se. One of my oldest Second Life® friends is Naiya Kazyanenko. One day she took up modeling and I was very impressed with her transformation and skill set. At first, I thought modeling would be boring, but then I quickly realized the error in my thinking and how much effort it took to attend to all the details. I have House of Beningborough to thank for my initial modeling contest experience. I learned so much from that competition that it helped push me in all kinds of ways. Everything I know about modeling and fashion I learned in Second Life. You do not have to be a real life fashionista to learn and grow, and succeed in Second Life... that is the beauty of it here. JC: I agree that is the case for many Second Life models, SL™ fashion for many of us is the gateway drug to a life of shopping addiction and prim altering. Leesa now that we know a little about your start, looking over your entire modeling career would there be one thing you would go back and change? LD: I applied to join AVENUE Models Academy a year before I actually started attending. I thought I needed more experience under my belt to take these courses. I think in retrospect that attending earlier would have helped me more. I have been to two other schools and I think each gives us different things to focus on. I find the schools and the friends I make there are absolutely invaluable. I don’t think I can ever stop learning my craft as a model. JC: And in your full career what has been your
most memorable modeling experience?
LD: Probably winning Couture AVENUE Look semi-finals for March. This took more effort over the last six months than anything I have done in modeling to date. It made me try to improve with outfits each month even when I thought I was doing pretty well. I am still floating with the “high.” It just inspires me in so many ways. I am grateful for this experience.
LD: Well, if you would have asked me this three years ago when I was brand new to Second Life, I would not have even imagined being a model in Second Life or being the owner of a business like Truthball, but I am. Second Life is a world of creative opportunities with the sky as my limit. I have achieved a lot but I think my goal for now would be to be known as a model for my styling and my craft, and to be sought after because of being great at what I do and also for who I am.
JC: In the past 6 months of this contest your look has not only evolved but it’s coming into a personal look that is very unique to you. It’s always interesting watching someones style evolve. What do you find thus far makes your styling and look personally unique? LD: This is a very hard question. I struggle with this question in general in modeling in a virtual world where we could all be clones. For one, I do not copy anyone and I never have. I feel I have only recently arrived with a shape and look that is uniquely mine. Maybe it is just me, but there are very few models I recognize again and again. In real life, I think models have a much more static look than in Second Life. They are known for their hair or face, but in Second Life we have so many options available to us and I have struggled with being limited to real life conventions. I am still learning with this one. JC: That’s an honest answer I can appreciate, finding ones unique style takes time. Now looking ahead, where do you see yourself in a
JC: In closing I want to thank you so much for your time and ask one final question. And I feel the response to this should be a notice to everyone interested in entering this contest, because you have a close knowledge of this contest. What advice would you give to someone interested in joining this contest? LD: Never give up! You might have to try for six months before you can win—but that in no way makes you a loser. Ask each month what you can do to improve. Push your limits. If you are even selected to walk that is an honor in itself. And, be sure to invite lots of friends to come watch you walk so they can vote for you for the audience portion of this contest. I mean that last part sincerely as this is a very fun contest to expose people to who never go to fashion shows. The contest only takes less than half of an hour and most people can spare that amount of time so be sure to invite all your friends.
-Are YOU the next face of Couture AVENUE? To learn how you can be a finalist for Couture Look 2011 and be featured in AVENUE Magazine, stop by the AVENUE office and pickup an application. Join the AVENUE Magazine Readers Group for regular updates, important dates and finalist announcements. Couture AVENUE Look 2011 Application LM AVENUE at GOL [173.96.22] AVENUE Website http://avenuesl.com
AVENUE | Fashion Spread
Styled, Modeled and Photographed by blackLiquid Tokyoska
//Skin [sYs] DRAGONFLY pure skin (crystal) cleavage skin //Sunglasses [sYs] ATOME soundglasses //Outfit [sYs] ATOME Outfit //Boots [sYs] OZ Myladie bootsÂ //Hair *MrS* LuLu short hair black
//Sunglasses [sYs] PULSAR soundglasses //Outfit [sYs] PULSAR outfit //Boots [sYs] PULSAR boots //Hair Baiastice Shepa hair attachment-BLACK //Earrings MANDALA Buddha earring Black[L] //Nails MANDALA Takara Nails black diamond //Bracelet MANDALA Takara Right Bangle Argyll black
//Head [sYs] Head Ornement Equinoxe Blue/black v0.2 //Outfit [sYs] Psylo Black outfit //Lashes Chaisuki lashes 50 //Bracelets FineSmith Fragile Bracelets //Nails FineSmith spikeNailsR 10’s short DRAAKJE
//Skin [sYs] Yin (pale) Cleavage, Hairbase Black //Head [sYs] Head Ornement Equinoxe Blue/black v0.2 //Dress [sYs] AGRYPINE DRESS //Gloves [sYs] MYLADIE //Boots [sYs] OZ Myladie boots //Bracelets FineSmith Ocollection Oxygen bracelets //Lashes Chaisuki lashes 49
AVENUE | Model of the Month
Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Diconay Boa
ure Nikolaidis is no stranger when it comes to Second Life®, especially when it comes to modeling. It is not a career to be taken lightly or to enter in order to become rich. It is something that you do when you have a love of fashion, and when you want to help support and showcase designs from some of the most creative minds across the grid. Modeling is not an easy task to partake here in SL™. With all of the patience that it takes to edit, pick the right poses, style, learn choreography, etc., a lot of time and effort has passed. It is something that one has to constantly work at. Despite all of the challenges associated with the fashion/modeling world, Pure has found a way to constantly learn, grow, and stay ahead of the competition, and it is because of this that she is AVENUE’s Model of the Month.
Augusta Carver: Why did you decide to join SL? Pure Nikolaidis: I am one of those typical “Sims” victims. I loved to play it, and then one day my brother turned up and told me about SL. I have always been a person that is very much interested in meeting people from different countries and continents, and with SL, I had the possibility to combine both: my love for virtual life with my interest for other cultures. I was addicted right from the start. AC: Have you been modeling long in Second Life®? PN: I used to work as a Stylist for En Vogue before, but I only started my career in April of 2010. I graduated from the MVW Academy at that time, and then went to Glance Academy too.
AC: Awesome, I went to Glance; it was a good experience. PN: Yes, I can say that I had the best training there. At Glance, I was lucky to be taught by Arisia Ashmoot, and I can say that I learned nearly everything I know by now from her. Afterwards, I was so well prepared that I got the offer to work there as a Model Trainer myself. AC: How do you like that position so far? PN: I love it. I am a teacher in RL too, and I love to see how different the challenges in these two worlds can be. I teach hearing impaired children in primary school in RL, and here in SL, I am allowed to instruct grownups that already know what they expect from life. Two different worlds...and I feel very much at home in both. AC: So you said you teach at Glance, how did you get started with AVENUE? PN: I joined this huge casting last summer and even though I thought I had no chance with the little experience that I had, I was one of the lucky ones to be chosen. I am more than happy that I had this chance and I love working with AVENUE and representing this agency. I adore the professional way that things are done working with AVENUE. AC: Well you have come a long way in SL it seems. PN: Yes, I have done many things in here already. I was welcomed by some lovely people when I was new to SL, and they gave me a job as a host for the live events at
their club. Since then, I have had a great weakness for live musicians here. After that, I managed a few clubs but stopped that when I started my modeling career. AC: What do you find to be the most challenging for you as a model? PN: There are two things that challenge me a lot in modeling: one is the fact that you need to find a way to always be unique. There are hundreds of agencies, thousands of awesome models on the grid, and the fashion industry is developing at an enormous speed. At times, I feel itâ€™s very difficult to follow this speed. Since I have a full time RL job, I feel that I cannot follow this the way that I would like to. The second thing is the fact that I am somebody that seeks harmony and happiness, and in this business with all of the different types of people I encounter, that can be hard to find and maintain at times. But, I have to say that so far I have met mostly great people in the world of fashion. AC: What do you like best about modeling? PN: Besides meeting great people, I love the fact that I can support designers in their work. I can help them get appreciation for their work. I have designed a few clothes myself and I know how much work there is in one simple dress. To me the designers of SL are as talented, and as creative as those that design RL fashion. They are artists and I love to show off their works of art, and to help them be appreciated for the effort
they put in. I wish I was that creative! And I wish I had the patience to bring my ideas via Photoshop to the grid! I really have a deep respect for their work. AC: Apart from modeling, what other things do you enjoy doing in SL? PN: I love to follow the live music scene in SL. You will always find me hanging out in Indian [themed] sims. I am a great fan of India and many of my friends are from there. I love playing games like Greedy or Skippo. All in all, I just have a normal life here too. AC: What inspires you? PN: RL fashion, great models like Kay Fairey, Arisia Ashmoot, Cieleste Magic, and Wicca Merlin, and my SL family. AC: And do you have any words of advice for those in the modeling industry? PN: I found out that if you want to model here, you should take it serious and be professional; otherwise you will never achieve the goals that you have set for yourself. But never forget to laugh and enjoy what you are doing. It is obvious that Pure has a love and appreciation for helping others and passing on her knowledge. Through her many experiences, she has kept a positive outlook and looks forward to wherever her SL journey may lead her, and we look forward to seeing her modeling career achieve new, uncharted heights. A
AVENUE | My Precious Summer Queen 2011
Road to Royalty
Written by Xandrah Sciavo Photography by Natasja Schumann
s spring begins to blossom around many of us in different parts of the world, those who are following the annual My Precious Queen Contest can see it continue to bloom and grow. We find ourselves at the midway mark of the first competition of 2011. With January and February behind us, six finalists have already been chosen, and March presents us with three new hopeful contenders that join the journey to the June crowning of My Precious Summer Queen 2011. The winner of this semi-annual contest will have the great honor of representing Agnes Finneyâ€™s My Precious Design House, a high fashion establishment known for the creation of some of the most elegant and sophisticated gowns and ladies formalwear on the grid. At the end of the current contest round, the My Precious Summer Queen will be chosen from a field of fifteen finalists, all of whom will have
the opportunity to attend a workshop class offered by AVENUE Models Academy prior to the grand finale in June. The lucky winner at the finale will have an amazing journey ahead of her. In addition to the prestigious title, My Precious Summer Queen 2011 will receive cash prizes, a voucher for AVENUE Models Academy, sponsored gifts and gift cards, and a photo shoot for AVENUE Magazine. She will also have the opportunity to serve as the hostess of Behind the Throne (http://mypreciousroyalty. blogspot.com), a blog in which she will highlight My Precious designs and events during her reign. AVENUE Magazine is delighted to present another round of finalists for My Precious Summer Queen 2011. Read on as we introduce you to the March 2011 finalists: Caoimhe Lionheart, CottonCandy Teardrop, and Elle Ahren.
Caoimhe Lionheart Royal Princess – March 2011
Caoimhe Lionheart is a kind and dedicated fashionista, and a lover of fine art who finds a great deal of her own personal passion in the artistry of the designers and photographers of Second Life®. In addition to spending time with friends and listening to music, she finds shopping to be a therapeutic activity and enjoys spending time finding styling details that display the “wow” factor in an outfit or photograph. She derives much intrinsic enjoyment from combining the arts of fashion and photography, and delights in creating beautiful art. She is an Evane model and is also a graduate of Mimmi Boa Modeling Academy and Miss Virtual World Modeling Academy, and a trainee and student at Passion, the Fashion Agency. One thing that Caoimhe appreciates the most is the uniqueness of our community and the ways in which we embrace and celebrate diversity. Caoimhe sees SL™ as a world of togetherness and cohesion. According to Caoimhe, her personal style is constantly evolving and changing with her whims, but it often is comprised of what she calls a comfortable avant to a more classical cocktail style. Favorite My Precious Design: “My favorites of Ms. Agnes’ My Precious designs for photography, right here and now, are the
Asian-influenced lines. I love the choice of cloth, colours, the ribbons and beauty of the overall picture of the gowns. A model can create a great deal of story just in their choice of styling these gowns. Also though, her casual tea-length and knee-length lines fit perfectly into the classic cocktail look I enjoy for day to day wearing.“ Thoughts about the My Precious Queen Crown: “It is an honor just to be considered a princess in the My Precious Queen Contest. I am surrounded by models I have high esteem for and will enjoy working with toward the goal of having a show of the finest magnitude. My Precious, to me, is one of the forerunners of fashion houses from its professional treatment of models to its dedication to creating a oneof-a-kind, quality product design.“ Style tip: “Truly, the only tip I can give is, believe in yourself and your style, work on it, tweak the elements but always, find your style and make it your own. Be a trend setter, not a follower. If the trend does not “catch on,” don’t become discouraged, push forward and evolve to all you can be. Creativity, art and style are not written in black and white, and even if your style has a follower of just one person, own it, let it define you and be proud.“
Elle Ahren Royal Princess – March 2011
Elle Ahren is a fresh face to the modeling world and the fashion scene, having recently begun her career. She is currently working with International Modeling Agency and enjoys the fun that her career has brought to her Second Life. With exceptional talent behind the camera as well, Elle is preparing to open up her very own photography studio in the near future. Those who know Elle well would describe her as kind and pure with a great sense of humor, and she indicates that treating everyone with kindness is of key importance to her and is the essence of her personality. Elle shares that she has experienced a multitude of outstanding moments in SL and cherishes the amazing people and friends she has met. In her spare time, she enjoys working on photographic projects, going out dancing with her friends, shopping, and putting together new looks with finds from her shopping excursions. Elle has many fashion “idols” that serve as inspiration to her, but she always strives to add her personal styling touch. She values creativity and innovation in styling and is attracted by a touch of sensuality, fierceness, and uniqueness in fashion. Favorite My Precious Design: “It is so hard to say. I really have a lot of favorites, but if I had to pick up one it would be the Queen Arden gown in black. I feel so strong when I wear it. That piece is so well done, the details are
gorgeous, it fits me so perfectly and it allows me to come up with a lot of fierce looks that make me feel like a potential queen.“ Thoughts about the My Precious Queen Crown: “I remember that my eyes were instantly captured by the contest ad at the My Precious store. I think this contest is simply amazing because Agnes’ Fashion House really demands a queen who represents the brand with exclusiveness and glamour. It would be such an honor to be chosen as a queen, winning that crown would make me the happiest girl in SL, even though I already feel that way for being chosen as a princess! And I am sure the other ladies feel the same way, and the competition will be a true challenge and a great experience for us all.“ Style tip: “I think when the subject is styling, the tip is simple. Be yourself. Try to expose all of your personality and feelings through your looks. Don’t copy everybody, but be unique. Try to remember all those pieces lost in your inventory or those ones you have recently seen in some store and imagine how they would match to express yourself at that moment, and create a look that pleases your eyes and makes you say “Yes, that’s just what I’m looking for”. Try everything, even if you think that something would not match well, because you might get surprised with the final result!“
CottonCandy Teardrop Royal Princess – March 2011
A dynamic and multi-talented lady, CottonCandy Teardrop works as a general manager for four clubs on the grid in addition to her job as a DJ for BOSL Radio. She indicates that she is new to modeling and is currently trying to learn all she can in order to be successful in this newly added career path. Described as sweet, caring, and smart by her friends, this sassy spirit says she is definitely a part of the SL community for the people she has met; her beautiful, optimistic spirit is clearly seen when she tells us about her belief that the good will always outweigh the bad in our virtual world, and opportunities to meet amazing people are well worth it. CottonCandy loves spending time with her friends, listening to music, and shopping. She describes her personal sense of style as eclectic, stating that her mood on any given day often serves as a major influence over how she chooses to style herself. Favorite My Precious Design: “My favorite My Precious Design is Angelina. I’m a girlie girl,
so I really love the feathers and the movement on it. She really outdid herself on the design.“ Thoughts about the My Precious Queen Crown: “Honestly, I’m so really thrilled and honored to have been chosen for this. I really love the designs, so the chance to represent them really humbles me. “ Style tip: “Well, I look at every SL fashion magazine I can find, read every blog, go to the fashion shows, and then try to think how I would have styled it. Plus, it is a great way to keep up on what is new out there, or at least new to you.” For more information about the contest, entry forms, or to see a gallery of the contestants for each month, visit the main store location. If you have a unique flair for glamour and elegance, you could be the one that the My Precious fashion house is searching for. A
AVENUE | Sports & Recreation
Green Acres is the place to be!
Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photography by Annough Lykin
reen Acres is just too modest. Lush green acres surrounded by calming waters over rolling hills and wildlife blended beautifully into the background would be a better description...but I guess Green Acres is easier to market. The Green Acres Golf Course is one of the few natural marvels left in Second Life®. It’s the home of the most realistic golf course on the grid, and the home of every serious golfer in SL, and a good number of them in first life as well. While words could never do this beauteous marvel justice, hopefully the words from the owner and designer of Green Acres, Morton Decosta, will entice you to get off of your virtual bum and get out and enjoy a few rounds of the most challenging golf that you will ever find in SL™! Sensuous Soulstar: With all of the wonders in SL™, it always amazes me that there are still sims that make my jaw drop, and I must say that Green Acres did just that to me. What was your inspiration for designing this course? Was it modeled after any particular courses in first life, or rather, did you create it around your ideal golf course? Morton Decosta: Both Kae Sura and I are avid golfers in RL. We began in December of 2009 with a new region and while looking at the bare land, it just seemed to want to become a golf course. The seaside aspect of a standalone region led us to the classic Pebble Beach golf course in California as an initial design inspiration. We also mixed in aspects
of the classic original St. Andrews golf course in Scotland. You will notice the little stone buildings and the St. Andrews’ stone-sided bunkers in strategic locations here and there around the course SS: With all of the work that has gone into this course, and with all of the costs and fees associated with maintaining any form of a business or even leisure sim, what led you to decide to make the course free for all, and do you feel that it will remain this way as long as it continues to operate? MD: Golf is fun for everyone. Green Acres is meant to be an opportunity for RL golfers to meet in SL™ and as a way for others to discover the fun of golf for the first time. We enjoy maintaining the region and it will always be free for others to enjoy. SS: You currently have a very large following, with a tremendous group membership. What do you feel has made this course a favorite among serious golfers in SL? MD: I think the highly realistic design of the course is attractive to everyone. Beginners can master the basics and practice to improve, while experts still find the course to be challenging. SS: Do you ever hold tournaments or events on the course for group members, and if so, how often and when can we look forward to the next event? MD: Yes, we hold tourneys on a regular basis. The most recent was a couple’s tourney during February. But, we try to never get in the way of people who just want to drop in to play a
round of golf at anytime. Our next tourney is coming soon and will be the grand opening for Golf Aruba, our new 18-hole course in the neighboring region. We are excited about being able to offer golfers 36 holes of challenging golf on two adjoining regions. SS: You’ve added so many different elements to each hole; you’ve even found a way to factor in environmental elements as in first life to add to the complexity of the game. What was your goal in creating each hole, and how difficult was it for you to be able to add in the additional elements to make the game more challenging? MD: Each hole is meant to provide golfers with attractive vistas from the tee box, and with unique combinations of shots to the green. SS: Recently you’ve added a new course, Golf Aruba, as you previously mentioned. Please tell the readers a little about the new course, and what they can expect from this course in comparison to Green Acres. MD: Kae and I have been to Aruba many times and are quite familiar with the attractive culture and beauty of this island nation. Tierra del Sol is the name of the championship golf course on Aruba, and so we designed Golf Aruba to provide residents with the feeling of playing that golf course. The region reflects the terrain of the entire island, with palms and beaches to the south west and windswept arid terrain to the northeast. The northwest corner features a replica of the landmark California Lighthouse on Aruba. It can be seen from many
"We are excited about being able to offer golfers 36 holes of challenging golf on two adjoining regions" scenic perspectives throughout Golf Aruba. Visitors will find classic habitat areas for the wild donkeys and wild goats of the island. Of course you will also see iguana lurking here and there. The trees are all low to the ground and windswept as on the island of Aruba. There are also the ruins of an old gold mine. Look for the one small glinting nugget that can be found somewhere. Golfers will notice that just as on the real island of Aruba the wind greatly influences the play of golf on Golf Aruba. The greens are also a bit on the wicked side and it is a challenging golf course. SS: With a new year upon us, and a fresh new start, what would you like to see happen with Green Acres, as well as Golf Aruba in 2011? Are there any plans for renovations or expansions? MD: We try to make small changes almost every day. Just as on a real golf course we move the
hole placements on the greens. We also select various fairways and greens for major changes from time to time to keep things interesting. SS: Will there be any future additions to Green Acres or any additional complementary courses to be added in the near future? And if so, what can golf fans expect from these additions? MD: Who knows what the future holds here? We are all having great fun. Importantly, we enjoy seeing everyone have fun here, and that is what is most important. SS: We definitely want to thank you for taking the time out for this interview, and would 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? MD: One realization becomes clear to everyone here: golf is golf whether in RL or SL. You get the same feelings of success from a great round of golf, and the same feelings of angst and hope for the future when you don’t do so well. More importantly, there is the social aspect. Playing golf makes for great friendships. You see that here at Green Acres every day. It is a wonderful demonstration of what Second Life can be. SS: I couldn’t have put it better myself, so I will let those words speak for themselves as they not only sum up the article, but sound as inviting as the description of the course itself. For an amazing round or two, or even three of golf, visit this beautiful course in-world at: RomanticTimes [26, 165, 21]. A
AVENUE | Interesting Sims
Parallel&Worlds alternate Realities Written by Isadora Fiddlesticks Photography by Ozz Larsson
magine yourself on a new planet, far off the known galaxy, where humans and other beings have gathered together to recreate a new kind of Earth: the Farstar New Earth. This is a posthuman society, the home of Cybersurrealism and Asphyxia (Reborn) beings. Upon visiting, you are greeted by an open space with items rezzed in the midst of a building, a weapons area for the fighters of the sim, and a gallery for the sim owner, Farstar Enochâ€™s creations and finds. The build, in a state of development, will soon reveal extraordinary areas, distinct from the Earthlike location of Farstar New Earth. Deep in the sim lie multiple parallel worlds. The sim itself is far-reaching and mysterious, a surreal and enchanting location created by Claudia222
Jewel, a budding artist and creator, helping her friend [Farstar] create a world where anything is possible and where you can visit world after world. After spotting Jewel while exploring the sim and discovering that she was the creator of Parallel Worlds, I soon began a conversation with her. I complimented her amazing work before having to leave, and during that first conversation found that she was the most accommodating person. The next time I was able to speak with her again, I asked about her build in Farstar New Earth and how it came about. There were so many things that I wanted to ask of her, including the way she expresses herself through her builds, and how she displays an amazing depth about her.
Isadora Fiddlesticks: What brought you to Second LifeÂŽ? How did you discover it? Claudia222 Jewel: I was always interested in learning more about 3D. I got curious, I think. My first impression of SLâ„˘ was not the best, I must say, due to the fact that I could not build and had never taken enough time to get to know the possibilities. However, after 2 years, I came back to give it another try and began slowly learning what we can do in the sandboxes, like most builders. I think having no money left me to try and make use of prims, and the limitations made me want to learn sculpties. Having a Mac laptop made it a little hard to build at times, but I loved it so much that it did not stop me from trying. I later found software for making sculpties for SL, and it was like a dream come true for me. I started to spend most of the free time I had, outside of my full time work, creating sculpts and texturing them the way that I wanted, and by making vehicles to fly around in SL that were a little different than the usual, which nobody seemed to understand because they were different and many found them a little scary. I realized then that I needed to put them in their own world to make them more understandable for people, so that they could accept them as their own. IF: What was the first thing you did? When did you start to create builds and installations? CJ: My first creation was an eyeball made from a friendâ€™s texture. He wanted to show me
the splinter he had in the iris. I saw the texture and it instantly fascinated me. I was very proud of what I did. The reason I started my first installation was because I tried to help my friend, Farstar Enoch, get more visitors to her new sim. It was a fantastic new sim where many of my friends would hang out. I had no money to contribute and knew that Farstar wanted to have a gallery on her sim to show art. I started to contribute by doing this project where I put the things that I made in the air to have more open space to enjoy SL. I was never very fond of the walls in SL, or even RL replicas of houses, because my camera gets stuck in them; I also see the insane possibilities flying gives us here. The space to make things very simple would be an impossible thing to do in RL. Another reason was the personal loss of a family member. Building in Second Life helped me to learn so much next to my usual daytime work. Here, I am trying to relieve myself from the sorrow inside me. In SL, I can create something and it seems to be alive, while others have to leave us. IF: How do you define your style? CJ: This is a difficult question for me because I want to create without forcing my style too much on others. I believe we all have inner growth and understanding of beauty or expression. By accepting that this is coming from me at this moment, it becomes me at this time in my life. Most of the time, I let myself be guided by intuition and not so much by a
plan because that plan starts to appear as I go on. There is a fantastic outcome when learning to trust our capabilities. Many symbols are somehow hidden in my work; some say I am a surrealist, and some say a symbolist. I try not to be too occupied with that idea. I have never found the right category, and I see things in a more visual way and am still learning every day. I hope many will feel welcome in my place, and see things that they can recognize or enjoy. For me, creating is something like a language in pictures; my own grasp of the truth of how able I am at this moment and to translate that into a 3D impression in technique or expression. IF: How did you conceptualize Parallel Worlds? Where did you get the imagery and the idea? CJ: I was busy for awhile with making strange vehicles and their need for a world as a setting to make sense, because they’re all a little different than the usual categories of vehicles. That is how the idea grew in me. IF: How did this build end up in the sim and how were you able to work your concept with the sim? CJ: It was a simple idea, mostly to try and help the sim owner through my ability to make something in addition to the places already there. I know that Farstar also wanted a New Earth art gallery on the sim, so I made one on the bottom. But, I feel too locked up in rooms that are square in SL, so I got the chance to try this in the sky. It all came to very fast, and got out to others thanks to UWA [University of Western Australia],
which exposed some of my work in January, where I received four awards for two of my works. Soon after, Colemarie Soleil made a clip about Parallel Worlds for New World Notes last February, and then Gaia Clary made a film with her team, Machinimatrix, for the 48 hour “Go Green” competition with a set that I built for her sim called Jass. IF: How long will Parallel Worlds be in-world? CJ: I hope for a long time. I was asked to keep it there, so I hope I will change the parts out from time to time and refresh it to keep up the 1200 prims limit. IF: What are you going to do next? Any collaborations? CJ: I will create an exposition for the Pirates Gallery on the 12th of April with quite a big build in the sky. I hope one day to be able to make a whole sim and to use all of the prims that I can. So far, I have not made anything for sale because it’s all very new to me to even be given the chance to expose my creations. One day, I hope I will have more space. I will keep my eyes open for that chance. While exploring the many wonders of Second Life, make sure to come out and explore Farstar New Earth, where you can stumble upon its surreal Parallel Worlds. Here you can enjoy the work of Jewel, including her mysterious flying vehicles, while admiring the Earthlike qualities of this posthuman society. To journey to Farstar New Earth, visit in-world at Farstar New Earth [37.130.34]. A
Written by Spruce Canning Photos by Blaz Halfpint
VWBPE 2011 A frank discussion on the educational benefits of Second Life
AVENUE | For the Love Of
he educational benefits of Second Life® are well known to many in the worldwide educational community. Since 2007, The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference has discussed how to utilize the metaverse in education, and offers participants a chance to network and exchange ideas on how to best incorporate virtual worlds into their classrooms and research. The 2011 conference held March 17 – 19, 2011, was no exception to the creativity and knowledge shared by participants. This year’s participants ranged from 2,000 to 2,500 from most of the developed countries, according to Kevin Feenan, or Phelan Corrimal in-world, of the Rockcliffe University Consortium which hosts the conference annually in SL™. By attending this conference, I was able to see the good uses that SL and Virtual Worlds have in the field of education, rehabilitation and other fields of endeavor. As I listened to Botgirl Questi’s opening keynote speech to the assembled educators and other professionals, I learned that the boundaries of the physical world and the virtual are blurred by the use of the Virtual World in Education. I also learned that the purpose of the conference was to use the metaverse as a powerful tool to facilitate real achievement in the classroom, and as a means of collaboration. When asked about the purpose of VWBPE in the field of education and how teaching could be revolutionized by working in the virtual world, Corrimal stated: “the conference is a community run event that allows educators to get together to
discuss recent developments and best practices as they relate to the use of virtual worlds in education. The purpose behind it is really for collaboration and sharing of information to the benefit of all educators that are using Second Life and other virtual worlds to help increase proficiency in the classroom.” He added that, “in so far as revolutionizing education - each technology has its own niche to play in the overall toolbox that education has at its disposal.” I asked Corrimal about the far-reaching effects of VWBPE on the educational community and he replied: “we have video recordings of sessions on VWBPE going back to 2007 on Treet. TV’s web site. There are a ton of best practices on there that people can watch and review in addition to the conference proceedings (published in the Journal of Virtual Studies).” He then added that “all of this is material which is needed for people to do research and to experiment with the platform in order to understand how to use the platform, why it is effective, which platforms to use for what, etc... Second Life and virtual worlds like it, have been utilized by both the United States Government and the Canadian Government to provide training and rehabilitation for their respective agencies. The Canadian Border Services Agency also used Second Life very effectively in providing training simulations for border crossing officers prior to them going out for field training.” He then added that “there are a myriad of ways in which this environment can impact not just what happens in the metaverse but in normal daily activities
as well.” The U.S. Army uses Second Life in the Wounded Warrior program to treat soldiers who contract Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The treatment uses a simulator, which is almost an exact replica of the combat zone with interactive local population. The sim is interactive with the patient, and actual combat conditions are replicated. The patient relives the combat and when a trigger manifests itself, the patient hits a switch programmed into the scenario and they are teleported to a safe and relaxing scenario such as a sandy beach. In the presentation at the conference, the trigger was a child sent out in front of U.S. troops laden with explosives in a suicide bombing. The conference also highlighted those who use Second Life to better the lives of people with disabilities in the workplace. When asked about such groups, Corrimal stated: “Virtual Abilities is also another really good group that is changing the way people with disabilities see their career opportunities. This environment has opened up many RL doors for people with various disabilities that in some ways they are way ahead of people that are ‘fully capable.’ The Metaverse has opened many doors in that regard.” When asked what he would like to see as a result of this year’s conference, Corrimal stated: “I think the biggest thing I would like to see is how the educational community is adapting to the increase in the number of available virtual worlds and how they are integrating 2D web services with the Second Life / OpenSim environment now that web on a
prim has been out for over a year.” He added: “I think there are lots of new opportunities for people to explore and so I’m really interested in people’s stories of what has worked well and all the neat ways they have been doing things that most of the rest of the world think can’t be done. There is still a lot to explore and do and learn - so this is a really good opportunity to get new ideas and meet people who are not just talking about it but actually doing it. This is a good place to see some of that.” In parting, Corrimal stated that “the last couple of conferences have been eye openers. Not just here but also other conferences such as the Second Life Community Convention (SLCC), Sloan-C, ISTE’s big conference in June, Merlot and and MetaMeets, which is coming up in June as well.” As the conference concluded, I came away with the understanding that it is the educators and the SL communities as a whole that make up the creative force that drives the grid. This annual conference proved that SL and other virtual worlds like it can revolutionize education, and can make learning that much easier for students and lifelong learners. It can also inspire those with disabilities to perform as well, if not better than, their fully able counterparts. The people who attend this conference, along with the entrepreneurs that work in the metaverse, make the grid the positive force that it is today and in the foreseeable future. For more information on VWBPE, please visit their website at http://www.vwbpe.org/. A
W Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photography by Blaz Halfpint
hile it is a rarity to find true live music in Second LifeÂŽ, there are still a few hidden gems among the virtual music scene. One such gem is the live band, Engrama. Composed of two roommates from Buenos Aires, these multi-talented musicians and vocalists compose their own original music, play all instruments themselves, as well as provide their own vocals on every track. Sit back, take a moment to put on the dreamy tunes of Engrama, and read along as AVENUE introduces you to one of the last great live bands left in SLâ„˘.
AVENUE | Live Music
[engrama] exploring the sounds of
Sensuous Soulstar: I wanted to thank you for taking the time out to talk with AVENUE about your band and your music. The first thing fans want to know is how would you classify the music of Engrama? From listening to your music, I sense a bit of soft rock, a little bit of a folk, with an earthy, almost dreamy feel to it, but I feel there are a few other elements in there. Would you classify it as one genre or a mix of many? Engrama: I think our music doesn’t fit in just one genre. Some songs are more post rock, such as the instrumental ones. But we really don’t know how to describe our music. It’s more like the soundtrack of images, and like a dream, as you said. SS: Who are the official members of Engrama, and how did you all come together to work as a group? Who is responsible for the vocals and the music composition, as well as the instruments? E: There are just two members in the band: Pupito Helstein on the guitar and vocals, and Lakua Arriaga on drums and vocals. We met each other in Buenos Aires, Argentina and [Engrama] was born when we started living together. We have just two instruments and our own vocals. SS: How long have you been performing, whether as Engrama, or solo in your first life? Do you give performances in SL, and if so, how often? E: We have performed in Second Life, as
"in our real life shows we never play any cover songs; maybe one in all of the gigs, but usually none" well as in real life, for a little over two years. When we lived in Buenos Aires, we used to play there and now also in Spain. We used to play very often in Second Life; almost every day. SS: Now with your music, do you strictly perform your own original tracks, or do you cover any artists as well? If so, which types of artists do you cover? E: In our real life shows we never play any cover songs; maybe one in all of the gigs, but usually none. But in Second Life, we try to mix our original songs with covers because almost all our originals songs don’t have lyrics, so we think it is more interesting to mix it up with covers so we can offer a nicer show. The kinds of artists we cover are musicians in the Independent scene, such as: Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Sigur Ros, Bjork, and Portishead.
SS: Tell us a little about the name Engrama. What made you decide to choose the name, and how do you feel it fits the group as a whole? E: Well, we were looking for a name and we just asked a book. We opened the book and just let a finger choose from a page with our eyes closed. And the word “Engrama” appeared. In addition, Engrama is a concept of Scientology. While we are not into Scientology, we do like some of the aspects of Dianetics because we like spiritual things. SS: I see that you guys have released some tracks on your website, www. engramaband.tk. Tell me a bit about the tracks that you have out now. Do you have plans to release an album and perform more in your first life, or do you plan to keep the base of your music strictly in SL? E: We are now recording our new album. This one will be more professional than the last one. The “El volador” album was recorded at our home without any mixer, but just in a raw way with the inside PC microphone. This one will have a better sound and we would like to release it in real life as well. Engrama was born simultaneously in Second Life and in real life, so we will continue playing as much in SL as in RL. In fact, we are now streaming live video from RL when we play in Second Life, so we are now mixing RL with SL.
SS: With the tracks that you have released to the public thus, how has the reception been? Do you find that people have been surprised by the level of quality in your music, and how has the feedback been since you’ve started performing? E: Well, we are so happy with the reception of the album, even though it was not a high quality recording. We sometimes receive messages from people in-world saying that they have the album on their mp3 or in their cars, so that’s really nice to know. A lot of people downloaded the album and it’s such a magical thing to know there are people who own the Engrama album around the world. SS: What is your goal for Engrama at this point? What would you like to see happen in the year 2011 and beyond for the group musically in both first life and SL? E: This is a good question. We really do have a wish for this year with SL: we want live music to grow more. Real live music, because in the search for music now, about 70% are deejays or singers. We don’t have anything against singers because if they are alone at home and they can’t play any instruments, they do have to use tracks, so that’s ok. But, we really want more live music and live concerts. We need new bands and new musicians so SL can evolve in terms of music. There are so many musicians using background tracks that we had to start streaming live
video during the gigs to let people know that we are a real live band playing all the instruments in real time. And in real life, we are starting to have more gigs, so we are happy since we now live in a town without a huge culture of live music. Just yesterday, a TV from the Basque Country called to give us an interview, so that is nice as well. SS: As always, we want to thank you for taking the time out to talk with AVENUE, and we 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? E: I just want to say that if you liked the interview please come to see us perform. It will be a real experience because you can see us also playing in RL at the same time! And for advice... tip the venue! Hahaha! We wish we could share with you a good story, but our English is not so good, and we think you would get bored, so we will just let our music talk for us! SS: No matter what language you speak, you can still enjoy the mellow sounds of Engrama. Their music speaks to you, and does have an imagery all of its own. Make sure to keep up with the band by visiting their website: www.engramaband.tk, and by joining their group in-world to keep up with their concert schedule. A
"Engrama was born simultaneously in Second Life and in real life, so we will continue playing as much in SL as in RL. In fact, we are now streaming live video from RL when we play in Second Life, so we are now mixing RL with SL"
Muddy’s Music Cafe Written by Joie Lefavre Photography by Annough Lykin
n the middle of a serene park sits a motorcycle whose light reveals the music in the air. Perhaps tunes left hanging from the nimble fingers that once plucked the guitar resting next to it…music that touched the lives of many who visited the club that once stood where the grass now sways in the breeze and friends stop to leave roses in memory of the man who started it all. It is a memorial to Virgil, the man whose namesake spawned the cherished experiences and DJ careers of many; whose friendship invokes such warm feelings that those who were graced by it can’t help but smile, even if a tear or two escapes.
AVENUE | Club of the Month
Memories don’t always linger in the past. True friendship, like good music, sticks with you. Virgil left behind more than just laughter and a love for classic rock. He left behind a legacy that lives on in Muddy’s Music Café. Old friends and great music mingle there to create a welcoming, warm atmosphere just a few steps away from the memorial. It is all overseen, of course, by Virgil’s gift to his dear friend… Muddy the dog. Talking about the roots of Muddy’s is an emotional task, but a fantastic road well worth traveling. The beginning was simple and pure: “we had been looking for some time for a place for us to hang out...to meet people and to have a sense of belonging; a place where we could pop in and make friends there. We couldn’t find that place...a place we could call home here. So, we figured that there must be others like us, looking for that HOME hang out where everyone really did know your name. So, we figured we would build one just to have some good music around the clock,” Bridget Hammill explained. Back in those days, she was Bethany Markova, and is still called Beth by the regulars at Muddy’s. The goal has always been community rather than business; the company, the music, the family of Muddy’s was always more of a goal than making money. It shows from an inside view, too. It has been run with a warm professionalism, with Beth (Bridget) learning as she goes. “I think the hard part was learning how to do the tech side. That was a challenge, such as how to do the boards, and I didn’t even know what a URL was! So learning the tech side was hard for me.
I had to learn how to interview a DJ, to find out if they used mic, what they streamed with, that kind of stuff. We didn’t even use a Shoutcast board there because I was too worried I couldn’t use it.” Harder than learning the tech side of things is the wait for people to learn the club even exists. Even with advertising, there are always bumps in the road for new clubs. “[There were] a lot of days with me and Virgil sitting alone at the table waiting for someone to drop in. The poor people; we would be all over them ‘WELCOME to Virgil’s! Want a group tag? Come talk to us!’” Looking now, though, one could hardly tell that the club ever had a slow time. The group hit over 3,000 members recently, and is consistently busy. So busy, in fact, that they had to let go of one of her favorite attributes of the original Virgil’s. “What I was proudest of at Virgil’s is that we were able to give some DJ’s their first gigs in Second Life®. They started with us. We aren’t really able to do that here at Muddy’s.” Being too busy to work in a newcomer isn’t necessarily a bad thing! They do try to make the effort to help out those hosts and hostesses that are new to the club scene. “If they are new and want to work here, we have a person who trains them.” Visiting a PG club is something refreshingly surprising in SL™. No strippers hawking from poles, no hiding the computer monitor when kids run into the room as you’re working out or cleaning to good music, and no demands for tips in twenty directions as you try to relax. “We
do the same here as at Virgil’s, we go around the clock, twenty-four seven. We mostly do classic rock and charts although we do have some blues and country DJ’s, and a few who do house. They kind of mix it in, but for the most part, it’s classic rock and charts. And we are PG venue. DJ’s do have regular schedules and you have to be on staff as a sub to get a slot when it comes open.” Good music with a preset schedule, so that you know what to expect; that helps people to find their comfort zone within the club, make friends or just listen to the tunes while puttering around the office or at home. It’s no question what makes Muddy’s so great. Just ask, at any given point, what makes Muddy’s stand out and immediately, there is a resounding response: “the people!” Of course, there will be one or two characters who respond with some joke about the good looking hostesses, but beneath the laughter and smartaleck comments is a deep rooted love for the place. Durell Celt, a patron who has been around since it was in its original Virgil’s setup says this: “the people and music; they’re all my family, so I love ‘em. It’s just the best club in SL. No one will ever beat it.” He adds a little tip for those considering visiting, “you wanna come in the mornings, lol, we’re all nutters!” Reeper Benazzi explains that it’s great to be a part of the mechanics of Muddy’s; “I have been a DJ here at Muddy’s from around the third week the club was open; hard not to be loyal to Beth.” This is a feeling that is undoubtedly mutual.
“What means the most to me is,” Beth explains, “I feel SO honored EVERY day that such a GREAT, and I mean great, group of people share their SL with me. They let me share it with them and I feel SO honored. I have met the MOST wonderful people. The staff here… I have seen them pray for, and be concerned and loving to those who are hurting and in need; and I have seen them rejoice with each other in times of celebration. The staff is family and I just can’t even tell you how it feels to have them let me be a part of their lives here, and that they choose to spend their time at Muddy’s. I think the most rewarding thing is that a group of people, a community of people came together to build something like Muddy’s. We still keep a picture of Virgil’s over the bar. Muddy’s is for sure built on the foundation of Virgil’s.” Perhaps the best way to sum it up is to share a quote from one of the guests, Tammy Tunwarm: “I think it’s because Muddy’s is authentic. The Hosts, the DJ’s, the VIP’s, the owners, the music ...you don’t get fake here, but true kindness. Everybody gets a warm welcome when coming in and everybody tries to include peeps into chat when they seem to be quiet.” Whether it’s to make new friends or visit old ones, or just to listen to some great tunes, Muddy’s fits the bill. Here is yet another great sim to enrich and improve our second lives. Here’s a thanks to Virgil, and to all at Muddy’s. Stop by and enjoy a good time at Muddy’s while you’re in-world at Isla Del Estrella [110.112.24]. A
AVENUE | Media Mojo
Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photography by Jesika Contepomi
SecondLie W O G Y ill
The Grid’s Honest Truth W here can you go to get the gritty, lowdown on all the latest news in Second Life? Eh, who knows! But… where can you go to get a hilarious take on the ever so non-informative, riddle-filled press releases from Linden Lab themselves? Why The Grid’s Honest Truth of course! Join AVENUE as we sit down with the cynical, nasally host himself, SecondLie Scribe and pick his bagged brain as he gives you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…so help him Scribe. Sensuous Soulstar: It’s an honor to be talking with Mr. SecondLie Scribe himself! Let’s just get right into the interview. From what I can gather of the episodes, it appears as if The Grid’s Honest Truth takes a comical look at real headlines around the Grid, especially those from the Lab. What led you to come up with
this concept, and what is it that you hoped to accomplish or to portray with this concept?
SecondLie Scribe: Simply put, it’s a parody of the official customer-facing presence of Linden Lab, the hyper-reactionary “SL Press” and the sex-obsessed hit-and-run RL press coverage of Second Life®. There’s a heck of a lot of harebrained mush out there, and SecondLie is there to add to it. SS: Now I must ask, as I’m not familiar with the history of Second Lie, was this character created strictly for the show, or can he be found perusing the virtual grid on any given day? If he was created specifically for the show, was he created as an impersonation of anyone, or a combination of any persons, and more importantly, what was the inspiration for
the voice? SLS: SecondLie started on Twitter a few years ago as a reaction to the branding crackdown by Linden Lab regarding the terms Second Life®, the words Second and Life, and the abbreviation SL™. The Lab encouraged the use of those terms to get their brand name out there and seen and hyped up, and then...WHAM...a total of 180. So many people who spent a lot of money on brands and external properties using those terms, with encouragement by the Lab, suffered great hardship and financial loss due to this cruel change in marketing tactics. They suddenly had to rebrand and change, while others got a free pass not to change (SL Universe Forums, Prokofy’s Second Thoughts, etc.). The Voice was going to be a creepy, wheezy old man. However, that didn’t quite fit the young and hip look to the avatar, so against the better judgment and wishes of my favorite voice coach, I went with a really bad, lazy and nasal version of Walter Winchell. (Hence the opening: “Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Avatar, and all the scripts in C.”) Some folks don’t like it. Okay, fine. You record it and send it to Zen, and I’ll focus on the Tweeting. Tweety tweety tweet... retweetatweet... WHEEEEE! SS: Aside from his, as you put it, “nasally” voice, I must say that SecondLie’s look is a bit intriguing. But I do have to ask if the look is just another whimsical touch, or if the man behind the name is purposely shielding his face from
the rest of the virtual world to be able to bring the “honest truth” with no repercussions? SLS: The grey jacket (Blaze Columbia) and shopping bag and handkerchief and white socks are an homage to The Unknown Comic, a huge phenomenon from the seventies: a struggling comic talent amped up with hype and marketing schtick by The Gong Show team. Once the big reveal happened, the phenomenon was over for him. SecondLie draws on another Seventies comic gimmick: Tony Clifton. Andy Kauffman and his pal Bob Zmuda came up with the character of an over-the-top drunken fat bastard of a lounge singer. Both could play the role with heavy makeup, lifts, wig, glasses, etc. People assumed it was Andy doing his usual confrontation humor, but he’d taken it to a new level... you never knew which guy was “running” Tony that night.
episodes, and there hasn’t been one done since February. How often did you intend to release this segment? Was it intended to be a regular on-going thing or was it more of a side project just for fun and there is no real set schedule? Or rather, does it just kind of come and go as interesting news comes about? SLS: Zen and I had originally hoped on one per week, but Zen’s got a crazy schedule and he’s doing stuff with Chris Pirillo and Lockergnome and now SXSW and... Oh, right. He flooded his home office, too. MAN is that guy a party animal! So, it comes out when he gets a chance to come up for air and tack a few clips together, which is usually about five minutes past the expiration date of the jokes. Unlike milk, which you can sniff and ask someone “Does this taste funny to you?”
The same goes for SecondLie. It started as a group effort, up to 30 people flooding the Twitter account with crazy and bizarre updates, all different voices. You had no idea who was behind it. Or, if you think you did, you were surprised that the updates were coming from someone entirely different.
If folks really need their fix, they can just read the Twitter stream in their own reedy, nasally voice. Put a paper bag on your band, cut out some eyes and a mouth, and wobble it a bit for effect. (It’ll have higher production value than our show... maybe even replace it if Wiz catches wind of your funky moves.)
I guess this was a comment on the Agile/ Scrum method of development - it ends up being noise and chaos if badly managed. (If Viewer 2.0 wasn’t, well, then the Pittsburgh Pirates will win the World Series this year, too.)
SS: What can viewers expect from The Grid’s Honest Truth for the year 2011? Will SecondLie get a new look, or will there be guests on the show? Any plans to expand or develop other characters? Or will fans be treated to more of the wise cracking SecondLie that we all enjoy now?
SS: I notice there is no real schedule to the
SLS: Maybe another episode or two. Zen’s horribly busy. New look? Nah. It’s a classic and homage to a phenomenon from my childhood. Until the cease-and-desist order appears, it’s my way of saying “Thank you for all the laughs, Murray Langston.” Other characters? Well, I’ve been thinking about SecondLie’s church in chilbo: The Church of SecondLientology. There needs to be some kind of weekly sermon there, and so I’ll probably work up a bizarre telepreacher voice and look for it in the spirit of the longlost Church Of Elvis. But, really, I think people shouldn’t get their hopes up and just expect the same old crap over and over again. And you’ll like it because we told you to like it. BLEAH! SS: Well there you have it folks, straight from the horse’s mouth, or rather, bag hole strategically placed over his mouth. We can look forward to more nail biting, unknown unknowns and only hope to get yet another glimpse of SecondLie and his below-the-belt hitting news from beyond the virtual grid. To borrow from the man himself, Goodnight Mr. & Mrs. Avatar. To keep an eye out for new, or even old episodes, visit the Treet.tv website at: http:// treet.tv/shows/honesttruth/. And to keep up with the wisecracking man himself more often, follow SecondLie on Twitter (@SECONDLIE). A
AVENUE |Featured Artist
When Art and Heritage Merge
Joe & Joey Yazzie Written by Isadora Fiddlesticks Photography by Natasja Schumann
ast month, we featured the Native American sim Red Rock Mesa as one of our Interesting Sims and, in doing so, discovered a huge Native American community within Second Life®. After finding a renewed fascination with their culture, and further exploration into their world, I spoke a little more with the Virtual Native Land’s community leader, Nany Kayo, who enthusiastically spoke about Native American Navajo artist Joe Yazzie;
the very first American Indian artist to have a gallery in-world. The gallery, she said, is newly launched in SL™, and Joe will be the first Native American artist to have ventured into virtual worlds. I soon got to meet with him in his gallery, and as he gave me a walk through, I asked about his art. Joe had been sketching on and off, but went full time when he retired from his work.
“When you have a family, they come first,” he said, stating a universal truth.
suffered a long wait for their reunion, which happened many years later.
As for his methods, Joe sketches and scans his work, then digitally colors them in his computer, with fine and colorful results. I felt truly honored to have taken a look around this amazing gallery, which boasts a large selection of his real life work. Joe’s use of color is very liberal and his work is very appealing, telling stories from his dreams and of his people.
Yazzie, as he’s known in his SL profile, came in-world through Nany Kayo of Virtual Native Lands, SL’s largest community of Native American Indians with vast sims on Native American culture and community. He was attracted to the opportunity to teach people of his culture, and had a twofold mission: to tell his people’s history in virtual worlds, and second, to showcase authentic Native American culture in virtual worlds.
His first digital works were “Buffalo Kill” and “Lazy Hazy Dazy Begay,” both depicting Native Americans in their daily activities. His use of color is inventive and liberating, which is no surprise since it’s coming from the man who says he “dreams in color.” Describing his style as “traditional, yet contemporary,” his work nowadays consists of using computers, and oftentimes, starting more than one work at a time, and finishing one of his works after a week or two. Yazzie says he depends on his eraser a lot and sometimes finds himself making many changes, depending on his mood. He describes his work as “motion, color and what it was like in the olden days.” When asked about his favorite work, he stated that he has many. I told him of my personal favorite: “And They Left Her,” which is a portrait of a thoughtful and sad looking woman. I learned from Joe that the woman in this artwork was his grandmother, and he proceeded to tell a sad story of his grandmother being abandoned by her family when they were sent to prison many, many years ago. His grandmother
Joe is passionate in telling his people’s story in SL. In most instances, he would imply that history writes an incomplete story of his people, which causes a lot of misunderstanding and biases against them. Looking through his works in the gallery, you can see him communicating their history and involvement in certain affairs. One example is his work entitled “Desert Storm.” He is also focused on preserving the culture of his people. Not just his own tribe, but the entire Native American culture and way of life. He’s enlisted his son, Joey Yazzie, to assist him in his mission to bring their culture and art into virtual worlds. Joey is new to SL, but is already doing a lot of progressive work here. His early work is also featured in Joe Yazzie’s gallery, and he is currently busy working on more projects, such as an Apache dancer that they will present at an upcoming event. In real life, Joey does a lot of work in print. He is very excited about learning new techniques
and is really just as passionate as his father about preserving their culture. As the next generation, he has a huge responsibility with passing on tradition, and he has to do it in an ingenious manner. With so much potential content from the duo, Joe and Joey Yazzie will certainly make an impact for their community, creating a presence to merge the old and the new, and passing on to future generations all there is to know about their heritage before all is lost. With these two now in-world contributing and telling their story, the SL experience will soon be much more valuable and memorable. Joe Yazzieâ€™s gallery, spanning five yearâ€™s worth of post retirement work, and Joey Yazzieâ€™s representation of Native American pots and artisan works can be found in-world at The Rez [129.129.41].
AVENUE | Arts Feature
Written by Joie Lefavre Photography by DynaFleur & Joie Lefavre
rom the moment we land at DynaFleur and ensure our video is enabled, we are immersed in a vision of dreamlike beauty. What appears to be a portal to another galaxy leads us beyond the hilly terrain below, which swirls with the promise of sending us out to space should we slip and fall into it. Take the steps down that fateful path and the whole place seems to come to life. Each step leads to some sort of reaction, be it light, sound or motion. The tunnel responds to our movement, with pieces whirling around us, and the cilia at the blossomâ€™s center allow passage by swaying and bending to open at the tunnelâ€™s end.
Cautiously…curiously, we pass through and are met with a message from some unknown presence. We are given the gift of flight to approach enormous curtains. When we draw near, the curtains part and from behind them emerge monstrous canvases with brilliantly shining real life macro photography of botanic life. We smile. We fly to the next piece, and the next, until we land back in the center to enjoy a dance amidst this strange and beautiful scene. Obviously, this was not a thrown together display for artwork. No easels are here, no frames, no windows, no doors, and no roof. This is a unique, well planned piece from start to finish. We had to speak with Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield about their creation. The inspiration for DynaFleur stemmed from both a love of the imagery in nature and the experience at Keystone Bouchard’s reflexive architecture exhibit. Douglas Story, the artist, describes it this way: “when I first saw the Reflexive Architecture scripts that Keystone Bouchard’s group had unveiled, I immediately wanted to incorporate them into an artistic setting.” His partner, Des.de.mona Enfield, appreciated the exhibit so much, she provided him with the panel and cilia scripts, which he published on his blog. “Keystone’s ideas were so marvelous. Very simple logic… repeated many times… makes for fabulous effects.” These scripts were then used as a jumpingoff point for her work on DynaFleur, where the two worked together to combine her scripting expertise with his real-world macro images of
flowers and leaves. While the original DynaFleur began with the sponsorship of Princeton University, and with Poid Mahovlich doing the original terraforming work, keeping the vision alive took months of work. Rebuilding the original concept of the build was only part of it; there was also the implementation of the artwork itself. The climax of the exhibit comes at the unveiling of the enormous images that Douglas took around California. “There are a collection of these photos, at a more reasonable size, at my old ‘Chambers & Landscapes’ exhibit. The public is invited to go there, see the photos, and snicker at my newbie building skills. This dates from June of 2007, I think. It was during the building of this that I realized that it would be far easier to hire a scripter than learn scripting myself; that’s when I met my wonderful partner Desdemona. The galaxy imagery comes from Mr. Dubinski,” Douglas explains. Why such an enormous display? Desdemona explains: “we are big on 3D art…things you can live within.” This art is definitely big enough to live within! In walking through, it is similar to what an ant might feel like on its walk home. Douglas explains that the entire design was meant to give visitors a sense of peace, passingthrough to a calmer world than what we may see every day. He also adds: “the great sound design by Dizzy Banjo goes a long way toward achieving this goal.” Indeed it does. Every step triggers a new sound, as the piece responds to its guests.
This is exactly what Desdemona was hoping for in writing the scripts. “My goal is to give visitors the sense that they are moving within a living, breathing machine that provides them with a relaxing and transcendent experience. I want the machine to acknowledge their presence by responding to them. I want many things to be happening concurrently in order to saturate their senses. I want to do all this in a manner that can be administered with ease and operates without bringing down the simulator.” It was this kind of thinking that drew the attention of MICA. In asking Curious George, the main sponsor and astrophysicist from MICA who provided the support to keep this sim going, what the most important aspect of DynaFleur is, he responded: “Immersive Virtual Art - this may be the best example in SL™ and there is value in that. Hosting it is a small public service on our part. DynaFleur was previously hosted elsewhere, but it could not be sustained. We have the means to provide the venue for it, and they have resurrected it here in StellaNova.” This is something new for MICA, as MICA offers “an active series of popular lectures, every Saturday at 10 am SLT, which we do as an education and public outreach service to the community,” in addition to hosting this amazing art installation. This is the only art installation that they currently support. What a novel concept that would draw together an artist and an astrophysicist! One would think that this was intended to be an artful way to draw people into science. Turns out, it wasn’t
planned that way. Douglas explains that he was not really thinking about science at all with this. “I had been experimenting with putting my photos on very big prims and loving the results. Then....we heard about the work of Keystone Bouchard’s group, called ‘Reflexive Architecture.’ I loved the idea of the environment reacting to the presence of your avatar.” This theory is explained further by Desdemona: “Just [as] a painter would use acrylic paints without being a chemist…this is more aimed at a visual effect of responding to avatar presence. The real art of the design from my point of view was a way to administrate hundreds of these scripts.” Intentional or not, DynaFleur has taken the science of scripting and molded it with the beauty of imagery and the sensation of hearing to make an interactive display that can be appreciated by all. One thing is for certain: everyone’s favorite part of this exhibit is the cilia. Says Douglas: “I still love the pink cilia. Their motion and the sounds they make are creepily lifelike.” Desdemona elaborates further: “these came the closest to creating the illusion of a living creature. Like a simple choreographic move… done in a wave by 15 dancers. They actually are cilia…that was the original idea; sort of a peristaltic effect along the walls. The cilia are a gentle benign effect…they give way before you.” As with any great masterpiece, there are always changes that could be made. Each perspective finds something different to tweak. Douglas,
for example, would add: “more cilia! I had originally planned this with the whole outgoing hemisphere of the globe to be covered in fields of waving cilia, but the alas, a sim in SL™ can only support so much of a script load, and we found that with too many cilia they did not react to the avatar’s presence in a pleasing way. So we reduced them to that ring that you exit the globe through; as it is, there are about 200 of them.” That is the artist’s point of view. What does the scripter have to say? “My changes would be at the technical level. I am far better at writing large scale scripted systems than I was when we created DynaFleur. It would make it more responsive, more life-like, and use more dynamic sound and motion techniques.” And the sponsor? Well, being an astrophysicist, he certainly has his preferred images of beauty. “I suggested to them to change the visual theme from flowers to space and galaxies, e.g., in the art pieces being unveiled, as that would fit better with our mission, and everyone loves space imagery. They have used a galaxy interaction video for the landscape. They might change the visual theme of DF later, and I think that would be interesting. It is not my place to make changes there; they are the creators, and I let them do it the way they like.” And that’s just the way we like it, George, great job. Here we find yet another great sim to further enrich our Second Lives™. To enjoy the beauty of DynaFleur, please visit the sim at StellaNova [25.34.1066].
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