j a n u a r y
fifty linden FridayS
2 0 1 7
The ever humble, inventive creator joins Spotlight this month to discuss his background, his brand, and his incredibly bright future as one of Second Lifeâ€™s favorite creators.
Spotlight catches up with the owner and creator of Fifty Linden Fridays to find out her secrets on how she created and sustained one of Second Lifeâ€™s most popular events for over half a decade.
events: fifty linden fridays
C O N T E N T S 62
The grid is going mad with items made specifically for the fun and frivolous side in all of us. -RC- Cluster and ContraptioN sit down to talk with Spotlight.
events: now trending
Owner of one of the hottest pose companies currently on the grid, Tracy Redangel provides a sneak peek into the magic of her crazy, sexy, cool poses.
Enchantment is much more than an event, it is a fully immersive experience including hunts, contests, shows, art galleries, and much more. Read about the culmination of talent that brings this event to life..
Event coordinators, content creators, bloggers and shoppers share what exactly event culture means to each of them.
events: perspectives 80 124
After the amazing reception issue last November, we have at work behind the scenes to readers with something to re teeth into. What better way t than by featuring one of the and most popular events on Linden Fridays represents a lo tradition of bargain shopping with variety and creativity, no products being sold, but of th environments dedicated sho into each week. We caught u legend OMGWTF Barbecue (B owner and brocante co-creat renowned blogger Cassandra avid shopper Melinda Childs. donâ€™t pass up our insightful a featured article.
To represent the growing tren frivolity, we caught up this iss much loved Faust Steamer of and Redd Columbia of -RC- C two brands represent some o unique and expressive items Life, from two very different s
rom The Publisher
of our inaugural e been very hard o present our eally sink your to start that off longest running the grid? Fifty ong-standing g coupled ot only of the he various oppers teleport up with event Barb), floorplan. tor Tegan Serin, a Middles, and . Make sure you and delightful
let’s talk about style! We’ve got it this issue with perspectives from Aisha Convair of the infamous Designer Showcase and Cortez Brandriss of [ free bird ] fame. Also famed blogger Mericat Ireland lends us her perspective, along with a well-traveled gridhopper and dedicated shopper, Magenta DaVinna.
nd of fun and sue with the f ContraptioN Cluster. These of the most in Second styles. And
As if that’s not enough, we also have features this month highlighting the creativity and uniqueness behind the brand [CerberusXing], the undeniable talent of GingerFish Poses by Tracy Redangel, and the incomparable team behind one of the most popular events on the grid, Enchantment. We hope that you enjoy reading our January issue!
Delicate T. Flower
After the incredibly e the Spotlight team i we endeavor to shed an event coordinato enjoy this issue and
From a production a brought in a couple the best content, bu anyone is interested me a notecard in-wo
Kess is definitely ma the various promotio over and be sure to f updated on all the g
With that, thank you our readers who con
With that, Happy Re
From The Editor
excellent feedback we recieved after our inaugural issue, is back at it again with our January edition! As always, d insight on all facets of event culture. Whether you are or, designer, blogger or a shopper, I sincerely hope you all the extraordinary people and groups we cover.
aspect, we continue to grow our team. This issue, we more writers and photographers to not only bring you ut to also ensure the highest quality of presentation. If d in joining our talented, fun and dynamic team - drop orld!
aking the moves on social media. I’m sure you’ve seen onals and giveaways she’s been doing. Flip the page follow us on our various social media platforms to stay glorious things we do here at Spotlight.
u so much to all the designers, event coordinators and all ntinue to support this publication.
PR & Ma
Welcome to the second issue of Spotlight Magazin now and since we’ve been back we have been pu Spotlight readers. Over Christmas we did a 12 Day to enjoy and if you have been following us on Fac with MadPea’s Deco(c)rate on a giveaway with the we’ve given away well over L$30,000 of prizes but more coming over the next few weeks too! The be social media channels. We’re on Facebook, Plurk a
To celebrate the launch of this second issue we ha Spotlight Magazine in world group. The talented a has exclusively made a set of totally on point bent these poses is to join our in-world group and colle more about Tracy and her store in the feature on p
One of the reasons I was so keen to work on the S the unique approach and vision that they had for all aspects including those of shoppers and blogg and we’ve been looking at ways for bloggers to pr we’ve come up with a novel way for go-getting bl events with features in the magazine. If you’re a b please feel free to contact me, or any of the Spotli
Congratulations to everyone who has been a winn I look forward to lots more winners coming soon t
ne. The holidays seem like a long time ago utting together lots of giveaways and prizes for ys of Christmas giveaway that everyone seemed cebook you will know that we have been working em over the last 10 days or so. Since the last issue t If you missed those prizes never fear we have lots est way to keep up to date is to follow us on our and Twitter as well as having the website.
ave a super new group gift for members for the and generous Tracy Redangel of GingerFish poses to poses just for you! The only way you can get ect them from the group notices. You can read page 112.
Spotlight project alongside Del and Trouble was looking at events, and their management, from gers. An area close to my own heart is blogging romote themselves to our audience too. We think loggers to advertise themselves to stores and blogger and youâ€™re interested in finding out more ight team in world or check out our website.
ner in our promotions over the last few weeks and too!
Click here to learn how to advertise with Spotlight!
photographer & writer
day. ever! Written by Cajsa Lilliehook Landscape Photography by Taylor Wassep
Page 34 | Featured Event: Cover Story
January 2017 | Page 35
Page 36 | Featured Event: Cover Story
TGIF! Workers across the world celebrate the end of their workweek with those four letters. In Second Life® there is an additional reason to be grateful for Friday thanks to Fifty Linden Fridays! Now those are ‘F’ words we can get behind even with the “L” in the middle. Fifty Linden Fridays (FLF) is an event that appeals to bargain hunters, creators, fashionistas, and to those of us who are nostalgic for the days when there were an abundance of store sims to explore. Shining a spotlight on Fifty Linden Fridays, SPOTLIGHT Magazine interviewed Fifty Linden Fridays organizer OMGWTF Barbecue (Barb), creator Tegan Serin, blogger CassandraMiddles Resident, and shopper Melinda Child for insight from every perspective. Fifty Linden Fridays is the brainchild of OMGWTF Barbecue. It was Summer 2009, there was a worldwide recession that rippled through Second Life. She had a struggling clothing store and was trying to solve the perpetual challenge of smaller SL stores, how to attract more traffic to her store and expand her customer base. She realized that her group of friends, many associated with The Starlust Motel, reached slightly different customers than she did. They made different types of items. Explaining the genesis of Fifty Linden Fridays, she recalled, “I wanted to make that work for me. How could I get their customers to be my customers too? I decided we would form sort of a co-op, and share our marketing reach with each other! Fifty Linden Fridays works because each store markets the event to their customer base–The stores all benefit from each other, and customers get great deals! It started the day after my birthday and went pretty well, so I kept doing it.”
January 2017 | Page 37
Page 38 | Featured Event: Cover Story
January 2017 | Page 39
Tegan Serin was among the initial guest creators back in August 2009 when Fifty Linden Fridays launched. She only had a small skybox then. After the Fifty Linden Fridays hiatus, she came back as a regular creator. “When Barb decided to revive Fifty Linden Fridays again, I was lucky enough that she asked me to join–floorplan. was still very small, I think I only had a few tables and frames made at that point!” Fifty Linden Fridays has had a lasting impact on SL commerce. The only events back then were annual or semi-annual fairs and expos focused on a particular product, Skin Fair, Jewelry Fair, and Fashion Week, for example. Additionally there were the fundraising annual events such as Hair Fair and Relay For Life’s several events. Most main store events were hunts that often frustrated both shoppers and sellers. This was something new, a weekly event that did not take shoppers to a special build but sent them to the main stores to pick up bargains and, they hoped, shop and discover new stores. As Tegan observed, “FLF is the first recurring event in SL and was the jumping board for so many other amazing events that have followed in its wake, and I love that it brings customers to my store instead of a central location.” It has certainly springboarded many events and nearly every day of the week now has its special bargain price. Friday, though, maintains its primacy.
Fifty Linden Fridays Designer | Tegan Serin Photographer | Leah McCullough
Page 40 | Featured Event: Cover Story
I think FLF at least in part inspired lots of other events and some change in the retail landscape. While many point to Fifty Linden Fridays as “the” turning point in SL commerce, Barb sees it more as “a” turning point, part of a broader shift that was already happening. She said, “I think FLF at least in part inspired lots of other events and some change in the retail landscape. In my mind, that time in SL was somewhat of a turning point.–The way stores marketed their products began to shift from things like hunts and freebies in-store to multi-store events. It has resulted in so much creativity! Creators and event organizers never cease to amaze me with the shit they come up with.” Shopper and fashion lover, Melinda Child explained what makes Fifty Linden Fridays special for her, “Since each item is at the creator’s store, you don’t have to waste time trying to get into one region that is full. You can also find other items in their store that you may have missed. There is also a nice variety of items in this event including clothing, hair, home decor, etc.” Variety is what Barb was going for when she conceived the event, understanding that variety would bring a broader customer base and, of course, more sales for everyone. Tegan affirmed that variety is what sets FLF apart, exclaiming “The variety! Barb has such a vast array of creators in FLF that there’s absolutely something for everyone each week.”
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Fifty Linden Fridays Shopper | Melinda Child Photographer | Leah McCullough
Page 42 | Featured Event: Cover Story Fifty Linden Fridays Owner | OMGWTF Barbecue Photographer | Leah McCullough
For Barb, Fifty Linden Fridays is distinct from other events for several reasons. She laughed, “We’re old as fuck. Hahah! But really, longevity and stability I think are nothing to shake a stick at. I’m proud that we have been doing this mostly non-stop since 2009...We also have some fiercely loyal customers, their passion and support of what we do brings a smile to my face on even my worst days.” But Fifty Linden Fridays is more than old and stable, it’s constantly refreshed with new guest designers and by an active, vibrant, and very passionate community through its inworld group. Cassandra loves to see the group chat pop up in her window, “with people chatting about this week’s sale, or even helping each other with topics that aren’t always FLF, like where to shop or ideas for photos.” In her words, they are “So,so, so friendly. Especially the coordinators and moderators.” For Melinda, it’s the social aspect of shopping, “The designers always come up with creative items and it’s fun to teleport around from store to store and run into people shopping.”
January 2017 | Page 43
Everyone has different elements of Fifty Linden Fridays they like the best. For Cassandra, it’s shopping at mainstores. This is good news for store owners since it means people see their other products, not just those made for the event. As Cassandra enthused, “I end up looking around and checking out new stores I might not see in events or know about, and end up finding new favorites.” She also appreciates how much easier it makes the shopping experience because the mainstore sims are seldom full, “I can go easily with friends, TPing together and not needing to use tp hammers every time,” she added, laughingly. For Melinda, the bargains are her favorite element. She loves she can find special items from favorite creators for less. She also loves when she discovers new creators who soon become favorites. In fact, there is only one thing she would change. “I know it’s Fifty Linden FRIDAYS, but I always secretly hope things are still out on Sunday when I go out of town on weekends! Sometimes I get lucky.”
Page 44 | Featured Event: Cover Story
Events are now the focus of most store creation, most blogs, and most shopping. They focus attention. As Cassandra points out, “They’re so good for getting stores out there in the public.” Events are what started her blogging career and her blog focuses on new releases and events she loves. “I was shopping at so many, that it became worth it and fun for me to take photos and showcase them, instead of just buying and hiding in my inventory, haha.” For Tegan, it is simple. “Events are my business! In-store releases are few and far between for me as I’m in regular monthly events and focus on creating for those deadlines, which leaves little time for anything additional.” She points out that for her and other creators, events provide exposure that is invaluable, not just at the event, but in event catalogs like Seraphim. For Melinda, events introduce her to far more stores than she would ever find on her own. “I was in SL before we had events a lot and one thing that is nice about them is that you can find items you may have never seen without the event.” She does regret that it draws people away from main stores, which is one reason FLF is important to her. She misses shopping regularly at main stores. Cassandra loves that FLF sends people out to the main stores. “It’s so good at showcasing main stores instead of just one or two items in an event, though I also do visit tons of the larger events, for that retail therapy, haha.”
Fifty Linden Fridays Blogger | CassandraMiddles Photographer | CassandraMiddles
January 2017 | Page 45
Page 46 | Featured Event: Cover Story
Barb wisely knows “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is a worthy, but incomplete maxim. After all, if it ain’t broke but you don’t do maintenance, it will be broke soon. In this case, maintenance is about finding the optimal blend of core stores and new guest stores to infuse new energy. “I absolutely LOVE when I can introduce FLF customers to a new-to-them store. I have always tried to inject FLF with brand new or up-and-coming brands, or under-the-radar places that deserve more props and attention. I never forget what it feels like to stumble upon a store while shopping and just totally lose your shit because it’s SO good. I want everyone to keep feeling that way about shopping in SL.” Finding new stores can be fun because it involves shopping. Yes, Barb finds new stores by shopping. She also asks creators she knows or respects. She asks the FLF in-world group and people on Plurk® for suggestions, as well. “I don’t accept applications - I have in the past and honestly feel like this doesn’t work as well as just hunting for a cool store, so I prefer to DIY it a bit,” she noted.
January 2017 | Page 47
She also sees room for change and would love for FLF to include more genres and other types of stores. She would love to have more stores for men. “I have a hard time recruiting men’s brands to the event, and I’m always trying to convince them to give it a shot.” Fifty Linden Fridays is more than two very lovely “F” words with an “L” in the middle. It is a community, an experience, and a legacy. It has supported and sustained many creators, introduced new creators to an eager public and survived some difficult and turbulent economic years. Born in midst of recession, when store failures in our first and our Second lives were common, it was a catalyst that transformed SL marketing and fundamentally altered the commercial landscape. Whether it was serendipity or brilliant marketing skills, Barb identified the potential of group marketing over individual marketing and the power of regularly repeating events to build a loyal and abundant customer base.
Page 48Fridays | Featured Event: Cover Story Barbecue Fifty Linden Owner | OMGWTF Photographer | Lessthen Zero
January 2017 | Page 49
Meet Barb • Describe FLF in three words: Best.Day.Ever! • One thing she would change in SL: Really wishing for the return of the ‘experience’ type shopping sims, like Starlust, Drowsy, Trilogy, Albero etc. I loved places like that where you can wander around and just discover things! Tableau is one of the only places like that left, and I think the grid could use more! • What she anticipates for 2017: Fresh blood! I will be updating the roster to include some really cool new stores that I’m sure everyone will love. • How Second Life and FLF has affected her first life: On a personal level, it was a catalyst that changed everything. It essentially grew my store into something that could fully support me during a very dark, sad time of my life when I was unemployed in RL. It kept me in SL, working and being social on a full-time basis, which is how I met my best friend Redd Columbia, who introduced me to my RL fiance. Thanks, FLF! I’d say that was worth it.
Page 50 | Featured Event: Cover Story
Meet Cassandra • Describe FLF in three words: An amazing deal • Favorite Color: Red and black, though I always seem to love yellow as well. • Favorite Quote: “Please others and you please yourself”. – Bangambiki Habyarimana
• Describe FLF in three words: surprising • Favorite Color: Blue
• Favorite Band: Any band wit
• Favorite Band: Red Hot chili peppers, cky, Blue Oyster Cult, or Skindred. • How do you think your blog fits into FLF: I think my YouTube channel is what fits best. Every Friday, I’ll go to all the stores and shop, talk about which stores are set up, who had what, and showcase all the items, including land impact, try everything on, and talk about rigging and sizing. I do always blog the items as well, since I use the photos for my thumbnails, trying to showcase it in multiple ways. Hopefully I do it decently! • One thing she would change in SL: I’d love more reasons to get off my platform and to make more friends! I don’t think there’s much I’d change. Second Life is luckily a really open sandbox where we can really change what we want if there’s something we want. • What she anticipates for 2017: I’d love to keep improving on my photos and videos, and to meet new people I can get to know and chat with. I always love getting an IM from a new friendly face! • How Second Life has affected her first life: It’s pretty normal. When I was also role playing often, I was on more than usual. Now I enjoy relaxing, I’ll blog and do a video and take breaks often to spend time with my real life. I live a bit in the middle of nowhere, so Second Life has always been a good way for me to still be a social bunny without having to drive two hours away every time. • Anything she thinks people should know: If you’re ever shy about starting a blog or YouTube channel, definitely don’t be. We all start off somewhere and everyone is nervous at some point. SL is all about creativity. Embrace it and show the world your virtual world.
• One thing she would change the whisper function so that I whisper things I say!
• What she anticipates for 201 finally win the lottery and mo life, I look forward to having m continuing to find new styles
• How Second Life has affecte opportunity to make some re years. The bad part is that som time in Second Life and avoid done in RL!
• What does she think people to Second Life to have fun, so in. Don’t be a butthead. Befor someone, ask yourself if it’s so you were face to face with the then keep it to yourself!
: Affordable, well-organized,
th Dave Grohl
e in SL: The ability to disable I don’t always accidentally
17: This will be the year I ove to Maui forever! In my SL more fun with my friends and s from my favorite designers.
ed her first life: I have had the eally great friends over the metimes I spend too much d doing things I need to get
e should know? People come o just try to relax and join re you say something to omething you would say if em in RL. If the answer is no,
January 2017 | Page 51
Meet Tegan • Describe FLF in three words: Bargain, refreshing, innovative • Favorite Color - Turquoise • Favorite Quote - “There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” - Calvin & Hobbes • Favorite Band - Tegan & Sara • One thing she would change in SL: Bring back Greenies! • What she anticipates for 2017: I’m both nervous and excited for Project Sansar! I’m interested in learning the ropes there, but I’ll still continue to create in SL, too! • How Second Life and FLF has affected her first life: SL is my sole income and has been for years- it’s been amazing to be my own boss, set my own schedule, and provide for myself and my two dogs! I’ve also met amazing friends throughout my years heremany of which have crossed over into meeting in RL. • What does she think people should know? Without FLF, I don’t know where I’d be as a creator at this point, if at all–I was still brand new at mesh when Barb kindly offered me a place in FLF–she had faith in me as a creator while I was still learning and unsure of myself–and because of that exposure, because she helped to introduce my store to the mainstream shoppers, I’ve been able to own sims, co-own an event (Summerfest), participate in the best events on the grid, co-create with other amazing creators, and I have become a self-employed, self-reliant person. Everyday I’m thankful that I get to do this for my job, and I’m also thankful that Barb has become one of my real-life best friends- she’s incredibly generous, supportive, and caring, and I couldn’t imagine either life without her.
Page 52 | Featured Event: Cover Story
OMGWTF Barbecue Fifty Linden Fridays FlickrÂŽ Group Fifty Linden Fridays Inworld Group Tegan Serin Follow her on Flickr. Check out .floorplan on Marketplace. Teleport to .floorplan. CassandraMiddles Check out her Youtube channel. Follow her on Flickr. Check out her Blog. Follow her on Instagram. Friend her on Facebook. Add her on Plurk. Check out her FLF Playlist.
January 2017 | Page 53
Fifty Linden Fridays Owner | OMGWTF Barbecue Photographer | Lessthen Zero
berusxing] Written by Trouble Dethly Landscape Photography by Taylor Wassep
Page 64 | Creator Feature
January 2017 | Page 65
Page 66 | Creator Feature
January 2017 | Page 67
“There is hope and a kind of beauty in there somewhere, if you look for it.” -H.R. Giger One of the most extraordinary and beautiful things about Second Life is that everything is one hundred percent user created and driven. With this power of creation and innovation, the only true limitation placed on anyone are the limitations they place on themselves. If it can be imagined, it is the strength of the residents drive and determination to realize their dreams on this virtual world platform. Communities have been forged. Roleplays have been engaged. Creators that cater to fashion and other markets have prospered. Almost anything and everything anyone could possibly want is on the cusp of our virtual fingertips. [CerberusXing], from the talented and creative mind of Cerberus (Kamayari), illustrates how a unique brand catering to a niche market has gained mainstream success and recognition. Cerebrus discovered Second Life from a friend who told him that it was a fun way to pass time and meet people. While his initial start on the grid did not involve creating things, he shares, “I used to roleplay for a few years but even during that duration I was already very engrossed with making sim designs.” Often, many aspect of the life we lead beyond the realm of our virtual lives trickle into both. Although he does not consider himself a professional designer or artist in real life, “As a hobby I do consider myself as one. I have been into Graphic Design for about 15 years now and 3D Design in particular for about 4 years now.”
Page 68 Owner | Creator |Feature CerberusXing Cerberus Photographer | Leah McCullough
January 2017 | Page 69
Eccentric, mature dark fantasy and roleplay accessories...
Page 70 | Creator Feature
“To wear something like that your whole life is the largest compliment someone can pay to you as an artist.” - H.R. Giger Perusing his mainstore, the eclectic and diverse range of his products is undeniable and impressive. The foundation of Cerberus’ roleplay foundation is also indisputable in the conception and evolution of his store. Furthermore, it is also easy to wonder what influences his creative process. “I think the biggest inspiration of my works are artists such as H.R. Giger and Ito, Junji. Their works have always intrigued me and made me sit there for hours just trying to interpret what their works could possibly mean and what may have inspired it. The more eccentric the more it interests me.” When asked to explain the significance of his brand name, he reveals, “Cerberus Xing is a shorter way of saying Cerberus’ Crossing. Cerberus being the guard of the gates of the underworld and the store being the crossing to it. Most of my items are of a darker theme,
January 2017 | Page 71
as if they came from hell.” For those unfamiliar with [CerberusXing], he describes his brand as, “Eccentric, mature dark fantasy and roleplay accessories. At least that is the main idea but we do stray from the theme at times depending sometimes on event themes.” This general motif is evident throughout his various products. His latest release, the Sacrosanct Set Gacha available at The Epiphany, is a consummate example of his work. Original. Fantastical. Sexy. Wicked. It is ideal for roleplay endeavors or simply more mature activities. From makeup, to accessories like scarves, belts, jewelry, headpieces and everything in between for both male and female, to even decorative items, if Cerberus has made it -- it is very likely there is no other item quite like it on the grid. As Second Life continues to evolve, designers must learn to adapt and grow with it. For Cerberus, “I think the biggest obstacle was the major transition that happened when SL introduced mesh. I started out as a designer that did not make his own mesh. I used to buy sculpts and put them together to create my own items from it. But with the growing popularity of Mesh, I started losing customers and whatever I was making was simply not good enough
Page 72 | Creator Feature
anymore. Working with full perm meshes was very limited compared to sculpts. I started getting frustrated and unsatisfied with my works so I decided it was time to learn mesh, so I did and I finally overcame this obstacle.” His dedication to his work is one of many reasons why [CerberusXing] continues to thrive. For Cerberus one of the things he loves most about this shared virtual world is, “I always say that SL is what you make it, and that is what attracts me to it.” On the opposite side of that very same spectrum is the slight disconnect he sees in the creator and buyer dynamics. “People that do not realize or have an understanding on why creators hire others to do their customer service and expect the creators to do -everything-. This may be applicable to smaller, new stores but once a store already has a lot of items and a bigger customer base it gets harder.” For him, the frustration is that he utilizes others for customer service to ensure his customers can get the best service. Although he acknowledges that for him one of the most beautiful things about Second Life is the ability and possibility of learning and improving, he is quick to say that it is also the people. He explains this further, when specifically asked what he values most. “The people I met
January 2017 | Page 73
Page 74 | Creator Feature
CerberusXing Owner | Cerberus Photographer | Leah McCullough
January 2017 | Page 75
and have put up with me for years now. I can’t imagine not being around them on a daily basis.” In the same breath, the gratitude he has for his customers is unmistakable. “If any of my customers are reading this, I just wanted to use this chance to say that I am thankful for all the support and love for my items. It really helps a lot and makes me continue to do what I do.” Since his customers are his motivational force, the future shines brightly for [CerberusXing]. Cerberus intends to continue participating in various events, and also shares, “We currently have a new Mainstore build coming and hopefully up and running by February 2017.” [CerberusXing] Teleport to his store. Visit his website. Follow him on Flickr.
Page 76 | Creator Feature
January 2017 | Page 77
In a world where anythin culture permeates the la Each issue, the Spotlight bloggers and sh
ng is possible and dream often become [virtual] reality, event andscape, providing each individual with a unique experience. Team creates a dialogue event coordinators, content creators, hoppers who share their perspective on event culture.
Page 82 | Perspectives
event owner Aisha Convair Check out her event Designer Showcase.
Aisha Convair is the event owner of Designer Showcase, which celebrates its sixth year anniversary this month. She shares her behind the scenes perspective of event culture with Spotlight Magazine. For more information on her event, check out her website and Facebook group. â€œFirst I would like to say thank you for featuring me in your magazine this month. January 2017 is special to me because the event I own, Designer Showcase, celebrates a proud 6 years in business this month. Owning Designer Showcase is my passion as well as a privilege to manage. I am proud of the continued exposure I can give to designers both as a well respected long running event and through various social media and other advertising. I must be honest in saying managing an event is very competitive, which balances out with what I bring to the table and the honor it gives me to make my designers more sales. My designers, bloggers, staff, customers and the encouragement of my friends play a big part in my longevity and the success of my event which humbles me.â€?
Photographer | Leah McCullough
January 2017 | Page 83
Page 84 | Perspectives
event shopper Magenta DeVinna Check out her Flickr.
Magenta DeVinna is an avid shopper. She shares her perspective as a shopper of event culture with Spotlight Magazine. â€œMy feelings on events in Second Life are very mixed. I flow between loving the convenience and comfort of new things being available in the same place at the same time every month and continual sadness that there are little to no mainstore releases anymore. Knowing that each month you can go to event venues and drown in a tsunami of new releases is exciting but I find the constant string of events overwhelming and I miss being able to go to a mainstore and browse. Visiting main stores now is mostly disappointing when almost every item displayed, I have already seen at the event it originally appeared at. If a magical shopping genie appeared to grant me one wish in SL, it would be for designers to find a balance between releasing new things at their main stores and taking part in events. Or an event every month dedicated entirely to glitter. Iâ€™d take either. â€œ
Photographer | Leah McCullough
January 2017 | Page 85
Page 86 | Perspectives
event designer Cortez Brandriss Check out her store [ free bird ].
Cortez Brandriss is the creative force behind the brand [ free bird ]. She shares her designer perspective of event culture with Spotlight Magazine. For more information on her brand, check out her website and Flickr. â€œAs someone whoâ€™s been on both sides of the event culture -- not simply creating items to be sold at events from my store [ free bird ], but also behind the scenes organizing and managing them, I can absolutely say they have been a huge part of my Second Life. As a designer, the themes and overall creativity brought by my fellow creators have inspired me to produce items well beyond the range of what I might release strictly in my store. As an organizer, they have allowed me to be a part of what I think is really, the greatest thing about them -- providing a communal platform of inspiration that brings together so many creative minds across the grid. In Second Life, nearly everything from content, to entertainment, to places to explore or gather are user created. Events bring together so much of what Second Life has to offer. From the beauty of event builds, to the items created specifically for purchase, to the games and prizes available at so many, to the very experience of having somewhere to go and look forward to, to visit and meet new people, to the artwork and blog posts dedicated to them -- they are more than simply for the shopping. They are a community collaboration. A community myself, and my store, are proud to be a part of.â€? Photographer | Leah McCullough
January 2017 | Page 87
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event blogger Mericat Ireland Check out her blog.
Mericat Ireland is the creative blogger and photographer behind READMERI. She shares her blogger perspective of event culture with Spotlight Magazine. For more samples of her work, check out her Flickr. “I love how the increase in shopping events has encouraged creators in Second Life to achieve greater heights of creativity and to some extent, has made them more competitive. The fact that some events are themed adds spice to the mix and it’s great to see the perspectives of each designer, focussed around one idea. One of the most interesting developments that events have brought to us is that designers are more likely to work together on collaborative pieces, which is always a big draw for me. While I love shopping at and blogging clothing from events, I also think it’s very important that each of us retain our individuality through styling with a combination of current fashion and those things we already have in our inventories. After all, who wants to look exactly like everybody else? As a blogger, when I receive an item, I like to settle into it for a little while, see how I feel while I’m wearing it and use that as a springboard to present it with imagination – and the next best part of that is seeing how other bloggers present the same item through their own filter.”
Photographer | Leah McCullough
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en from the p
nchantment: pages of fairy tales
Written by Xandrah Sciavo Landscape Photography by Taylor Wassep Landscape Photography by Xandrah Sciavo
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Across the grid, themed events have taken Second LifeÂŽ by storm. Any given month, residents look forward to exploring events for new finds, and the opportunity to immerse themselves in themed environments and experiences offered by these events are among many favorite pastimes of Second Lifers. There is one particular event that has become especially favored by many event devotees: Enchantment has made its mark on the grid as one of the largest and most anticipated quarterly event, offering an inclusive, innovative and magical adventure to all who visit. Enchantment was the brainchild of former owner Voshie Paine and made its debut in 2013 with the first installment. Early Enchantment events were themed after tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. When Paine decided move on to other adventures in 2015, Enchanted changed hands to the current team whose growth has blossomed in tandem with that of the event itself, and today includes team members and Enchantment Co-Owner Duchess Flux, CoOwner Sorchiee Pearl, Builder and creative leader Divine Paine, Promotions and Blogger Manager Anabelle â€œBelleâ€? Marquis, Hunt Moderator and Social Media Guru ArwennEventarUndomeil Resident, Event Coordinator ColeMarie Soleil, Lady Garden Cabaret Lead Dancer and Organizer Chandra Mehan, and Lost Unicorn Gallery Owner Natalie Mantagne. Handling everything that ranges from the inner management to the build,
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The Enchantment Team Photographer | Tempest Rosca
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and entertainment to social media and public relations for the event and all things in between, this dedicated and fun group of very capable women comes together four times a year to spin the magic of fairy tales, the result of which is a bewitching adventure for all. Offering an immersive event experience begins with the creation of an imaginative build that captures all of the nuances of each tale in living color and grabs the visitor, pulling them into a fairytale world as they step over the threshold. This is where Divine Paine, Enchantment’s chief builder and creatrix, comes in. “Divine Paine builds each fairytale from the foundation up and breathes the initial life and magic into the fairytale,” Co-Owner Duchess Flux describes. “Her work is instrumental to Enchantment, as it is her vision and creativity that first greets the customers and causes them to fall head over heels with the event.” As Paine begins her creative process, she says that she aims to “enchant” each visitor, creating a world where they sense that they are a living part of the story being portrayed. After researching all versions of the chosen tale from books to the big screen, she puts her ideas to work, building her interpretation of a world based on the chosen theme. Paine has been praised as Enchantment’s “gem” by owner Flux for the unending creativity and the tireless work she pours into the sim each and every round, a contribution that has become an important mission to her. “Enchantment means a lot to me
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for many reasons, but in a nutshell, if I can reach out to just one person through my creations, to where it takes them back to happy memories, then I have done what I have aimed to do,” Paine says. An impeccably built set creates a stunning backdrop for the event itself, and one of the major draws to an event for many residents is the shopping experience available there. Designers for Enchantment are handpicked by the management team based upon many factors, including the relevance of their creations to the round’s theme. While the team strives to include new designers every round, Enchantment seems to weave a spell that also has many designers asking to return again and again as they enjoy being a part of this popular event. Approximately eighty of the grid’s most sought-after and talented designers are invited to sell their wares at each round and offer products ranging from apparel, accessories, hair and skins to builds and decorative items to bring a touch of fairytale brilliance into each shopper’s second life. A glimpse of designers in the upcoming Enchantment round can be located on the website. As a creative event, the forty bloggers who have been selected to join the Enchantment family are led by promotions and blogger manager Anabelle Marquis, who mentioned to Spotlight that she looks for a creative flair in the imagery of potential bloggers to may be chosen to cover the event.
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The Enchantment team is eager to share that their labor of love is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill Second Life shopping event. Flux explains that there are many different aspects to Enchantment, and all of these pieces contribute something that makes the event unique and special among other events. “Everything from the magnificent builds by Divine Paine, to the handpicked designers, to the Enchantment Hunt, to the artists of The Lost Unicorn Gallery, to the dancers of The Lady Garden Cabaret, to the various entertainments during the event, speaks to the inner child of everyone. Second Life gives us a unique platform where we can turn a fairytale into a living breathing representation of the tale,” Flux tells Spotlight. Enchantment’s other coowner, Sorchiee Pearl, agrees, adding, “Enchantment isn’t just any old fantasy event. It’s special. It’s meaningful to us and to others. Every round, we donate to a charity we believe in, and we make sure everyone involved, including the shoppers, receives a little something special from us. We believe in giving back and showing people that we are truly grateful for their support.”
Enchantment Owners | Duchess Flux & Sorchiee Pearl January 2017||Tempest Page 103 Rosca Photographer
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Enchantment isn’t just a shopping event. It’s a show! We have an art gallery, live performances, games, and hunts!
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Pearl also elaborates on Enchantment’s many facets: “Enchantment isn’t just a shopping event. It’s a show! We have an art gallery, live performances, games, and hunts!” The Enchantment team has worked hard to ensure that there is a little something for everyone to enjoy at each innovative round. ColeMarie Soleil, renowned Second Life performer and Enchantment’s event coordinator, contributes to this residentcentered experience by coordinating a range of entertainment performances and parties based on the theme. Soleil’s spectacular show of dance and lights fills the sim each time, and aside from this talented glitter fairy’s own personal performances, she works hard to ensure that other dance and music performances are coordinated to the theme and add to the overall event atmosphere. Chandra Meehan and the Minxettes
of Lady Garden Cabaret, for example, participate in each round of Enchantment by providing a meticulously planned performance complete with elaborate sets, seeking to immerse the audience into the entertainment aspect of the event. Enchantment offers opportunities for the art enthusiast, too, with Natalie Montagne’s Lost Unicorn Gallery. “Every three months, our in house family of artists works hard to prepare artwork for the events. There’s a special area that’s designated within the shopping event where we place all the pictures,” Montagne explains. Photography lovers should not miss the opportunity to participate in the photo contest, also hosted by the Lost Unicorn Gallery each round. In addition to making sure news of Enchantment’s many performances are known across the grid, ArwennEvenstarUndomiel coordinates a hunt with amazing finds for all eager hunt lovers who visit the event.
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Second Life residents won’t have to wait much longer to enjoy a new installment. Enchantment is making its return to the grid on Saturday, February 11, 2017 with Cinderella. Event aficionados can look forward to the same magical experience they’ve come to expect from all past rounds of Enchantment, but some team members think that Cinderella is shaping up to be one of the best rounds so far. Flux tells Spotlight, “The build is by far Divine Paine’s best work to date, it is truly magnificent! The designer line up for Cinderella is impressive and I cannot wait to see what unfolds for the event. The amount of talent these artists have is awe inspiring, and we are so grateful that they put their hearts into their creations for Enchantment.” For more information about Cinderella, presented by Enchantment and all of Enchantment’s other upcoming events, interested residents can check out the website.
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rfish poses Written by Cajsa Lilliehook Photography by Tempest Rosca
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Model | Tempest Rosca Eclectic Set Poses | Gingerfish
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Gingerfish, just so you know, is not named after the explosive drummer, though its founder Tracy Redangel does prefer Rob Zombie to Marilyn Manson. In the end, so did Ginger Fish. But our Gingerfish, the pose store in Second Life® is named for the color of Redangel’s hair and her boyfriend’s claim she has the memory of a goldfish. She will have to inform her boyfriend that contrary to belief, goldfish do not have a threesecond memory and experiments have demonstrated goldfish can remember things for months. We should be grateful for the myth, though. Ginger Fruit Fly would be a terrible name for a store. Redangel certainly remembers how to design poses. Moving on from co-owning a pose store in partnership, she recently struck out on her own with Gingerfish. The store is relatively new, so she is still building an inventory of poses. The ones she has released, though, are distinctive in their emotional appeal. She defines her pose-making niche as “Crazy, sexy, cool!” Her personal favorite collection is the one called “Sultry” and it is easy to see why. The “Sultry” set of four poses is sex on a stick! Her “Flutter” pose prop is very reminiscent of Botticelli’s Venus
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with butterflies instead of roses. “Curves” are boldly sensual, the sort of poses they might have used for a ten cent mystery novel during the heyday of pulp fiction. The “Euphoria” set is sassy, as sassy as the wind lifting your hair (or your skirt!). The “Get What I Want” set of floor poses range from kittenish to cool seduction to frankly sexual. In addition, she has a couple’s pose called “Magnetism” that will overheat your core processor. She also has one very saucy set of poses that work with Bento hands. The set is named Birdy. You get three guesses why. With single poses, couple poses, and pose props, even her small inventory has plenty of variety. When you add Bento-poses to the mix, that is even more exciting. The static pose sets also come with mirrors for maximum flexibility. Redangel was introduced to SL® at the suggestion of a friend. It was nothing like what she expected. It appealed to her and she stuck with it. When speaking of the SL community, she enthused, “I love that in this space we can meet people from all over the world. I have met friends whom I love very dearly.” For Redangel, Second Life has enriched her first life by giving her another creative outlet and amazing friends. Gingerfish Poses Owner | Tracy Redangel
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She’s equally enthusiastic about SL photography, whether candid snaps in the moment or meticulously executed scenes. It is that enthusiasm that animates her love of pose-making. Her goal is to create poses that bring an emotional current that electrifies our photographs. Redangel is also inspired by her competition. “I like being inspired by other pose-makers. I still enjoy shopping for poses and seeing what other creators come up with. I particularly love Del May poses for their artistic expression, and I really love oOo Studio poses as well.” As an experienced pose-maker, she is pleased with the advances in SL technology. She explained, “I think mesh, particularly mesh bodies have actually been beneficial to pose making, because they simply look so much better.” Though she is excited about the new Bento skeleton with all the extra bones, she thinks it will be challenging at first for pose-makers to learn to create Bento poses. She is more excited by the opportunities than daunted by the challenge. As she clarified, “I think it gives pose makers more creative opportunity not only through more expressive hands, but facial expressions, wings, and tails. I hope it’s more positive than negative.” Explaining that to create Bento poses, pose-makers may have to learn to work with Avastar, a Blender add-on specifically engineered for animating and posing the SL skeleton. “The Bento bones themselves aren’t any more difficult to pose than the rest of the SL skeleton,” she continued, “but there is quite a learning curve to becoming familiar with the Blender interface and using Avastar. But I would encourage pose creators to not give up on learning. There’s lots of tutorials available, as well as in-world support groups.”
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Gingerfish Poses Owner | Tracy Redangel
I think it gives pose makers more creative opportunity...
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She also intends to be supportive of other pose-makers. “I enjoy helping others whenever I can. I don’t consider myself an Avastar/Blender expert by any means, but I understand how frustrating navigating and learning can be sometimes. So if per chance someone messages me and asks “Hey how did you do that?” or “What program did you use?” I enjoy helping people out if I can.” Unfortunately, Bento will not make shoulders any easier to work with. According to Redangel, “The Bento bones are just added extra bones that don’t affect any of the previous bones. The best way to combat distorted shoulders is to avoid poses and animations that cause them.”
Looking to the future, she hopes that Linden Lab™ will continue to improve performance. She believes they have done a lot, but even with a good computer, SL is still needs more reliability. For her part, she is working on an in-world store that will be opening soon. She also plans to create Bento poses (hand poses) geared towards men. She assures us, “As long as people continue to enjoy what I make, I’ll keep making poses.” Check out Gingerfish Poses on Marketplace, their Facebook page and follow them on Flickr.
Model | Tempest Rosca Eclectic Set Poses | Gingerfish
Second Lifeâ€™s hottest t Magazine provides a exclusive int
This month we take a Contr
trends are often found at events all over the grid. Spotlight an in-depth review of what is new and trending, including terviews with the masterminds behind the craze.
a look into frivolity and fun, interviewing Faust Steamer of raption and Redd Columbia of â€“RC- Cluster.
Written by Liat Reina Landscape Photography by Miele Tarantal
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-RC- Cluster Owner | Redd Columbia Photographer | Leah McCullough
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“It is a happy talent to know how to play” - Ralph Waldo Emerson How strange it is that we who reside upon the grid of Second Life® can sometimes forget this very important bit of wisdom. After all to much of the world our beloved virtual home is, in point of fact, a game. Many a resident has found it to be far more than a simple past time though. The sense of embarrassment when our digital selves wanders into someone else’s is very real for most of us. There is a constant craving to surround our avatars with the most authentic and realistic items content creators can provide as well. Finally, our commerce system is not only alive but thriving! Perhaps this is why it is so important to have people such as Faust Steamer of Contraption and Redd Columbia of –RC- Cluster offering their creativity to our world. These two artists bring not only their unique vision into each creation they share, but also weave in a reminder to see the more whimsical side of our second lives. From tiny trinkets to fully designs sims, both of these creators enjoy providing something unique for their customers.
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Columbia shares her passion for her work best in her own words. “I love the feeling that I can give someone by creating an environment for them. I love making a space, an ambiance, adding mundane aspects to an area and making it come to life. Putting someone in that environment, they can take the smallest details that you’ve added and get to know the space as it’s own character. A house is just a house until you start looking at the pictures on the wall, you realize it’s a family home. You see cigarettes on the side table, you can imagine then what the house would smell like. You learn about the people in the house by exploring their rooms and understanding their hobbies, likes and dislikes. This is my absolute favorite part of creating things in my brand.” For Steamer it is similar, “‘Oh, that’s kind of nifty.’ would be a nice little little thought I would hope my customers would think for first impressions. Other than that, I hope my work helps with their need to create a character they’ve been wanting to make. While not quite realistic, I do also hope that people who collect some of my gacha sets notice a pattern and an on going storyline embedded in both the name, description, and the music portraying a few recurring themes in different emotions.” Contraption Owner | Faust Steamer Photographer | Leah McCullough
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In fact, stories are a common inspiration and theme for both of these designers. Steamer goes on to share, “...everything in my store tends to be driven by an ongoing, personal storyline as well and keeps me at work… Some may think it’s a wasted effort putting all of these hidden stories into my items, but it really isn’t since it is a way for me to keep me on the right track with my creations.” For Columbia, there’s also a tale being told. “I get most of my inspiration from my characters that I’ve created over the years that have eventually become part of my brand. It features Redd Columbia and her Nana, who live together doing mundane things with very unexciting adventures. I incorporate the stuff I make into their world and share it with others using my story blog, where you can learn a little about their lives. They inspire me to create things for everyday activities from the real world - with some very surreal touches.”
They each have a unique approach to their inspiration for new creations though. For example, Steamer explains, “My inspirations come from my fascination towards oddities and curiosities found in books and strange history, as well as antique stores and industrial design as a child. Gothic literature and dark stories also fascinated me, like the works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Charles Perrault, Sheridan Le Fanu, Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allen Poe, and more.” While for Columbia it is rather different. “Usually coming up with ideas is fairly easy, I tend to live with my brain partially in SL these days, always finding things from RL and thinking ‘I need to make that.’ As a bonus of SL being limitless, I can add weird stuff to the animation or to the item to make it just a little bit funnier, or a little bit weirder, which is the fun part for me.”
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My inspirations come from my fascination towards oddities and curiosities...
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Both stores were first opened in relatively the same way despite the two different sparks that lead to their content. For Steamer it was one item that began it all, “In my first half a year or so in Second Life, I spent my time holed up in a skybox building and creating outfits for my characters. With the help of a few friends dragging me out of the sandbox into a roleplay sim coupled with a lot of encouragement, I made the first set of monstrous teeth and decided to open up a store and sell them.” Columbia found her start thanks to friends as well. “I’ve always loved creating stuff in SL and. I would make things for myself and for my friends. They kept telling me to create a store, but I had no theme or direction for the traditional SL store. Eventually I just decided to put all my random stuff for sale *just in case* anyone wanted to buy it. Turns out they did!” The talent of these two artists is not limited to simply the items offered in their stores, they’ve each found delight in crafting full sims as well. Steamer explains, “As of right now, my greatest accomplishment was building SL13B’s ‘The Automaton’ Sim, which involves a gigantic, moving automaton of a man looking down on the people settling on the surface of the box he comes out of. It’s also my largest music box item ever, and I think that’s pretty neat.”
January 2017 | Page 133 Contraption Owner | Faust Steamer Photographer | Leah McCullough
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-RC- Cluster Owner | Redd Columbia Photographer | Leah McCullough
For Columbia it is a new project that has her excited. “I am opening a new sim! It’s generally a realistic environment with surreal elements that have been part of the -RC- Cluster brand for many years. There’s a lot of weird stuff from the fictional -RC- Cluster world which in the past has been called “Salchicha Harbor” to “Salchicha Township”, and the upcoming “Salchicha County”. The residents, or “Salchichans” of this world proudly claim it as the “Salchicha Capital of the World”, where all sausages grow from plants. This is just one example of ridiculousness to come, I’ve just began planning as the sim is projected to open by Late March.” From the random, to the fantastic; Contraption and -RCCluster provide both fun and frivolity to customers across the grid. With new projects on the horizon for them both and an endless virtual world of limitless possibilities and freedom, it’s anyone’s guess what they’ll be releasing next. They are both eager to continue providing fascinations for their customers to enjoy and enrich their virtual experiences with. Columbia invites her customers to share their stories and pictures with her in her store group which she keeps very active. Steamer sends his thanks to his loyal supporters and wishes that those just discovering his brand enjoy what he has to offer. Let us never underestimate the value of play in our Second Lives.
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[ContraptioN] Teleport to mainstore. Follow on Flickr. -RC- Cluster Teleport to mainstore. Check out their Marketplace. Follow on Flickr. Check out their Blog.