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WHIMSICAL

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events: perspectives

34

It all started by holding hands, and has grown into one of the most romantic stories of store creation on the grid. Follow the journey that led to RK Poses’ incredible success.

rk poses

The magic behind one of the hottest events on the grid comes alive when the Spotlight team has a chance to talk to some of the valuable contributors to this incredibly successful event..

events: whimsical

C O N T E N T S 68


The hottest trends in Second Life event culture are explored, complete with in-depth interviews of the masterminds behind them.

126

events: now trending

Rustic charm meets home dÊcor with this designer feature! Join us as we discover the secret behind Serenity Style’s great success.

110

serenity style

From original fashions to home dĂŠcor, join Spotlight Magazine as we delve into the achievements of [blissiere] and its creator, Alia Whitfield.

blissiere

Event coordinators, content creators, bloggers and shoppers share what exactly event culture means to each of them.

events: perspectives 92 140


Letter

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As the American Tha I have found myself group of people. Ma have had the opport specifically ECLIPSE to capture the conce events; rather, it is ab

I do hope you enjoy have a happy and he Happy Readings!


From The Editor

one of the most beautiful things about Second Life is de for dreamers, where the only limitation placed on any gth of their imagination and their determination to turn angible reality in this virtual world. For as long as I can dmired content creators for their talent, creativity and dd to my second life. With the rising popularity of events s, there has been a cultural manifestation where the ors, creators, bloggers and shoppers have converged. celebration of this convergence, as we shine the culture.

anksgiving approaches, heralding in the holiday season, grateful to be able to collaborate with such a dynamic any of our extraordinary writers and photographers I tunity and privilege to work with in other endeavors, Magazine. I am confident in their talents and their ability ept and vision of Spotlight— it is not simply about bout the community that surrounds it.

our inaugural issue, and it is my sincerest wish that you ealthy holiday season.


Letter Fr

We aren’t afraid to admit it right h love events. We love finding that homes that we never knew we ne longer live without. We love unb from the latest iteration of our fav boxes, only to discover they go p outfit in our inventories. And let’ they don’t love the thrill we feel w from a gacha machine on the ver excitement of Second Life events coming back for more. But that i event experience.

For some of us, events are a sourc place to imagine and to make tho through the tools provided in thi modeling. Organizers build envir tirelessly with creative and promo every event a place that people e Bloggers find inspiration in even creating pieces of art from a colle inspire others to create, decorate introduce new designs to the grid challenge convention, and excite Each of us share experiences with take from them something differ


rom The Publisher

here and now: we t perfect accent to our eeded, but can no boxing a pair of shoes vorite subscription perfectly with a beloved ’s face it, who can say when a rare drops ry first pull? This is the s that keeps each of us is far from the entire

ce of creativity – a ose dreams a reality is magical world ronments and work otional teams to make enjoy experiencing. the smallest of things, ection of items that e and design. Creators d that meet desires, e thousands of people. h events, and each of us rent.

The concept of Spotlight Magazine was born from this encompassing perspective: we are event culture. In this world where we can create anything we would like, be anything we choose, and live the adventure of our dreams. We are the idealists, the artists and the architects. We make events what they are, and we enjoy them for this very reason. In the wise words of Wendell Pierce, culture is the intersection of people and life. It is at that intersection where you will find Spotlight Magazine. As you will see in our magazine this (and every) issue, our incredibly talented team of writers and photographers strive not only to introduce an audience to events, but to do so in a way they have never seen before. Spotlight Magazine will consistently bring together the best events, the most talented creative and promotional teams, and the most dedicated shoppers that provide a comprehensive perspective of the culture that permeates the event community. We are thrilled to bring the dream of Spotlight Magazine to reality, and hope that you enjoy! Have a wonderful and happy holiday season,

Delicate T. Flower


PR & Ma

Welcome to the first feature packed is job is to work with Del and Trouble on grid as we build the reputation of wh Second Life’s premier resources for al

The purpose of Spotlight is simple...it events we love to visit and get to the together. My background is Marketin stores and events so I’m particularly in to stand out from the rest in what is a

Magazine promotion has been somet with the team here at Spotlight has b experiences. We cover in this issue th experiences brought to us by subscri a fascinating rise in popularity of. The and promotional opportunities for th bring shoppers a new way to engage

The shopping event horizon has chan years and Spotlight Magazine will be develop, shining a light on event cult issue as much as we have enjoyed pro


rketing

ssue of Spotlight Magazine. My n promoting Spotlight across the hat, I am sure, will become one of ll things event related.

t’s to dig into the detail of those nitty gritty of how they are put ng and Social Media promotion of nterested in the tools events use a bustling event marketplace.

Social Media

thing new for me and working been a joyous journey of new he relatively new shopping iption boxes which there has been ese boxes bring new challenges he designers and creators and e and purchase from creators.

nged greatly over the last few there as it continues to grow and ture. We hope you enjoy this first oducing it.

Kess Crystal

Click here to learn how to advertise with Spotlight!


CONTRI

ahn avion

cajsa lilliehook

writer

writer

isadora fid

wri

anderian sugarplum

Lessthen zero

photographer

photographer

tempest rosca photographer


IBUTORS

ddlesticks

iter

liat reina

novaleigh freng

writer

writer

miele tarantal

taylor wassep

photographer

photographer

wrennoir cerise photographer


wh


himsical Written by Cajsa Lilliehook Landscape Photography by Taylor Wassep


Page 36 | Featured Event: Cover Story


November 2016 | Page 37


Page 38 | Featured Event: Cover Story

There are upwards of a hundred showcases, fairs, festivals, sales, hunts, and other events going on in Second Life® on any given day. There are so many, that we are all pretty comfortable with the recipe for an event: define a niche, design a venue, recruit some designers, promote the event, open the doors. Some succeed, some fail, and it all depends on how well the event’s cooks choose, blend, and stir those ingredients and whether their ultimate concoction is a delight or half-baked. Whimsical is an event conceived by Skye Everidge and Catheryne Darkfury. In our first issue, Spotlight has shed its light on their particular recipe and a few of the ingredients, including designer Vix Nirvana and blogger Daeberethewen. To get an idea of how successful the Whimsical recipe is, Spotlight checked in with shopper Deadrella Resident for a taste test. Weaving their impressions together, we hope to give you a sense of the Whimsical buffet that awaits visitors to this uniquely delightful event. Whither Whimsical? With so many events, why in the whimsical world does SL® need another one? The answer are surprisingly consistent considering that each person asked represents a different role and experience with the event. For co-founder Skye Everidge, Whimsical provides “a shopping event unlike the others. We want everyone to be able to shop at Whims and feel as if there’s something for them.” Whimsical designer Vix Nirvana emphasizes the creative freedom afforded designers. As Nirvana described it, Whimsical gives them “a freedom of design with imagination. There is no box on if you make off-the-wall, fantasy, playful, or mainstream.” Blogger Daeberethewen expressed the same idea, that Whimsical “has the unique ability to be so engaging with the unfettered creativity from the designers that offer items that make every round interesting.” For shopper, Deadrella, Whimsical is about freedom and the ability to be who she wants. “For me, it fills my need to do new and imaginative things with my wardrobe,” she concludes.


November 2016 | Page 39

I consider whimsy to be carefree, often the result of unhindered creativity.

-Daeberethewen


Page 40 | Featured Event: Cover Story

Those will be welcome words for Whimsical’s co-owners and founders Skye Everidge and Catheryne Darkfury because that is exactly what they were going for. In fact, when asked to name three words to describe the Whimsical

event, Everridge listed fun, creative, and inviting. That kind of congruence does not come about by accident. Everidge and Darkfury first met back in 2007 on a Gorean sim. There friendship has outlasted the sim and keeps going strong. They also coordinate The Fantasy Collective, an event oriented toward role-play and fantasy in Second Life. With the success of The Fantasy Collective well in hand, Everidge and Darkfury discussed what they could bring to the grid that would not be a been-there-done-that event. In the end, they decided to create Whimsical, an event with different sales methods, including discounts, limited editions, and gachas. Many people praise Whimsical’s layout because the path ensures shoppers pass every store and they are easy to find. Everidge sought advice from friends on Plurk® and incorporated their feedback before approaching Tali Munro (italia. villota) who built the sim exactly as Everidge and Darkfury wanted.

Playful, fun, just for the hell of it. Like...if you had a coloring book, you’d need to use ALL the crayons and not necessarily color things their normal color...like purple grass and a pink sky rather than green and blue.

-Deadrella

Whimsical Shopper | Dreadella Photographer | Tempest Rosca

It is true that many events provide a theme and color scheme to anchor each monthly showcase. Whimsical eschews such constraints which is a strong incentive for Nirvana, whose Storybook is a regular participating store. Nirvana describes Whimsical as “Creative. Inclusive. Inviting. I know they might seem like odd words but each has a point. All of the designers are open to creating how they feel instead of being bound to a theme or color wheel. It is inclusive because of the wide spectrum of genres that encompass the event as a whole. Finally, inviting would probably be the most oddball choice but I find that because there is such an array of choice, style, and attention to detail by not only the owners but the creators, that it’s a very inviting place to shop and work with.”


November 2016 | Page 41


Page 42 | Featured Event: Cover Story Whimsical Owners | Catheryne Darkfury & Skye Everidge Photographer | Lessthen Zero


November 2016 | Page 43

Whimsical Managing For Everidge and Darkfury, Whimsical is a business. It must pay for its expenses and return enough on investment to be worth the hours they spend developing and managing the event. Success or failure, in the end, depends on how the public responds and whether they enjoy it and on the quality of the designers they can attract. Whimsical has been a resounding success in those areas. Using an anonymous plurk, people were given a chance to comment on the Whimsical event. The comments were unanimously positive and focused on a few key ingredients that made their event recipe successful. Sure, there were the funny comments such as the contribution from someone who claimed to like the “eventishness of it.” No definition of “eventishness” was provided. Otherwise, the key ingredients that people liked about the Whimsical recipe were:

- Creators are free to make what they want. - The event layout is easy to follow. - An organic lack of pretense. - That it is not all gacha or all limited editions or all discounted.

Everidge believes their success lies in their desire to manage their events “in the most open and supportive way as possible, to both the customer and the designer.” She admits there are challenges, “It’s difficult to keep up with everything and at times it can become a little overwhelming especially in that last minute time crunch before opening!” Nonetheless, she is thrilled with their accomplishment and proud of the event. It is telling that she finds greatest pleasure in other people’s contributions. The sign of a true organizer. “My favorite thing about Whimsical is seeing all of the amazing things the designers come up with and the beautiful posts that the bloggers put out. I really enjoy working with our team.”


Page 44 | Featured Event: Cover Story

Whimsical Creating Storybook designer and store owner Vix Nirvana would change nothing about Whimsical. She loves it just the way it is. “The event and owners are very efficient and strive to make it a smooth event for all involved. They listen to both the praise and criticism and diligently make it even better through each round.” She opened Storybook three years ago and believes her store and Whimsical are a good match. She described both the event and her store as “out of the box” which is exactly what you need when you are looking for whimsy. The first item she ever made was a pencil skirt that she consigns to memory, describing it as “ambitious and simple and overall not good. I didn’t know about proper UV’s or topology. It was just a good first shot but I stepped away for a while after it because I didn’t know about marketing it or where to go.” Fortunately for those who want more to wear more items from out of the box, she persevered. Storybook is a regular participating store at Whimsical. Nirvana finds it hard to describe. She does not like “the idea of being pushed into a corner of a certain ‘style’.

Whimsical Designer | Vix Nirvana Photographer | Tempest Rosca


November 2016 | Page 45

I want people to know they can have a pretty dress but can also dress up a Goddess from mythology. Fantasy and modern blended. Even horror and some post-apoc tossed in as well. Futuristic is even coming. Storybook, in essence, is about ‘writing your own story.’” Nirvana resists narrow classifications of the Storybook shopper, “I would never want to define those that shop my brand. Some want just the more simple, staple pieces and some want the more exaggerated ones. It is all about what they feel like wanting.” She believes Storybook fills a design need that was unmet. She strives to be unique, to find her niche by identifying trends that are not yet in the market when she does her release. She seeks to be on the lip of the wave, ahead of the crest. She mentioned a few examples, “I made a full body, rigged tentacle outfit. Even the Medusa set with the body snakes was fresh at the time. With that said, I also try and make sure that it is something people want to see. You can be unique and wild but it needs to be easily used.” This same desire to be fresh, original, unique and “out of the box” is a unifying theme in everyone associated with Whimsical.


Page 46 | Featured Event: Cover Story

Whimsical Blogging Daeberethewen joyfully blogs the Whimsical event for her Honey Junkies blog. In the two years she has been blogging, she has built a reputation for imaginative and artful photography and has earned a loyal and wide following among those who appreciate art and fashion. Her three word description of Whimsical is relaxed, enchanting, and limitless. The limitless part means a lot to her because the freedom given creators to create what they please translates into a wide variety of items to photograph and blog. She would like, though, to see a few more airy items, as she puts it, “Something a little more literally whimsical.” As a blogger, Daeberethewen sees her ultimate responsibility is to be true to herself. “First and foremost I have a responsibility to myself and my own integrity and well-being. Designers and readers who put their faith in my work will never have to worry as long as I make sure I keep integrous and true to my commitments.” She blogs for several events and that could make meeting commitments difficult, if those commitments were unreasonable. Luckily they are not. “It is harder for me to meet requirements during overlapping events,” she said, “but the requirements are extremely reasonable for whimsical and since I blog every day I never really have trouble with it.” Daeberethewen does not take herself too seriously. When asked about her mission as a blogger, she quipped, “I just want to make pretty things sometimes.” Even her personal style evolved organically, without artifice. “I just make what I want and when I don’t know how to achieve the vision in my mind for what I want to create I learn how I can! Through trial and error and education I learn how to make my art match my vision.”

Whimsical Blogger | Daeberethewen Photographer | Daeberethewen


November 2016 | Page 47


Page 48 | Featured Event: Cover Story

Whimsical Shopping Deadrella Resident is the unicorn of fashion reporting. A shopper free of self-promotional entanglements. No Flickr, no blog, no store. She shops. She loves events. She really loves Whimsical and describes it as vibrant, colorful, and surreal. “It’s just a really fun event. SL is food for my imagination I can totally go into a feeding frenzy at Whimsical. So many great things.” On a more personal note, Deadrella certainly encompasses everything that is whimsical in her personality. She likes eyeballs, roses, krakens and skulls, though she did not specify if in that order. She would wear white after Labor Day just to break the rules, but since she does not wear white, she is a reluctant rule follower on that score. “I have no idea why I don’t. It’s not like you can spill red wine on yourself in SL, though you can pour it into your eye socket. I think anytime is a great time to eat a cupcake...and there should be sprinkles

on said cupcake. You can never have too many tricorns...or too many pairs of shoes. Seriously though...in SL I’ve remembered what it is to play, to daydream and to be creative. We sometimes forget those simple pleasures.” She loves to shop with friends, though more often than not, she is on her own. “I wander and am very “LOOK SQUIRREL!” when I shop. It’s not unusual for me to poof, mid conversation, if I see something I have to have just that second.” Of course, there is still a method to her madness. “I almost always check for a gallery on Seraphim first. I’m one of those people that just HAS to get into the sim the first day to shop for all the things and that is a laggy shopping trip at best. I need to have a good idea of what I want so I can head in that direction once I finally get onto the sim. Sometimes, even when something doesn’t catch me in a shopping guide, a blogger who has taken a stellar photo will draw me in.”


November 2016 | Page 49

As a committed shopper, Deadrella has a few guidelines of her own for what she looks for in an event. “I really enjoy it when an event is themed with a creative, scenic sim to match. I do have a bit of a gacha addiction so I like events that have a combination of items for sale AND some gacha. Some my very favorite outfits include some unique gacha pieces.” While enthusiastic and approving of the variety and freshness of the Whimsical event, she would like the idea of whimsy to encompass a darker form. “Every now and then I’d like to see some darker whimsy, though I can almost always accessorize the most pastel, bubblegum or floofy of items to fit somewhere within my style. What I would absolutely change is for my inventory to be more manageable.” That desire for manageable inventory is universal. She urges people to not read too much into the name, not to prejudge the event as too “whimsical” and go check Whimsical out for themselves. “Even if you don’t see anything that changes your mind about what you’re willing to wear, you may find a new store to explore.”


Page 50 | Featured Event: Cover Story

Deadrella, the fashion unicorn and Whimsical, the carefree event, are a match made in that celestial bakery filled with moist, chocolatey cupcakes and rivers or sugary sprinkles. Daeberethewen is equally enthusiastic about Whimsical. As she asked, “Who could say no to an event that brings some of the best creators in Second Life together to create their hearts desire? The build is beautiful and easy to navigate and the designers are some of the top creators and up & comers in second life.” For her, “It’s a breath of fresh air. With a lot of events you go in knowing the sort of things you’re going to see, but I am constantly pleasantly surprised with releases at Whimsical.” For Nirvana, whimsy is fanciful, light, airy, gentle and different. She finds whimsy and success at the Whimsical event each month. She likes to work organically and

loves bright colors and fantastical shapes in an illusory creation that appeals to our sense of whimsy and wonder. Skye Everidge, whose vision, joined with that of Catherynne Darkfury, has brought the Whimsical event to life, nurtured its growth and celebrated its community, is grateful to the Second Life residents who show their support by showing up each round. All events depend on the residents whose presence or absence are the ultimate taste test for any event recipe. They have worked to make an event that everyone could enjoy, striving to make shopping as easy and effortless as possible. “Our entire team of staff, designers and bloggers spend a lot of time making the event everything that it is and we hope everyone enjoys it.” She is happy and fulfilled by being able to bring something to the grid that people value. “The feedback we get reassures us that we’re headed in the right direction!”

Name

Favorite Candy

Favorite Book

Favorite Song

Daeberethewen

Shigekix

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Time Hans Zimmer

Deadrella

Sour Gummi Worms Clockwork Angels All You Need is Now & Wild Berry Skittles by Kevin J. Anderson Duran Duran

Skye Everidge

Reeses Pieces

Vix Nirvana

No Candy Cake Please

Any Book by Neil Gaiman

Wild Horses Rolling Stones

The Illustrated Man To choose one feels by Ray Bradbury like a sin to the Gods

Teleport to Whimsical.


November 2016 | Page 51

Whimsical Owners | Catheryne Darkfury & Skye Everidge Photographer | Lessthen Zero


Page 52 | Featured Event: Cover Story


November 2016 | Page 53


Page 54 | Featured Event: Cover Story

Skye Everidge Check out the Whimsical blog. Check outThe Fantasy Collective website. Check out the Epiphany website. Check out her blog. Follow her on Flickr. Teleport to Whimsical. Vix Nirvana Follow her on Flickr. Teleport to Storybook. Daeberethewen Follow her on Flickr. Check out her blog. Deadrella I don’t have any links or blogs to share. I am too busy changing my clothes 807,979,878,970,987 times to do all that. Maybe one day I’ll be able to stay on task long enough to blog some of the looks that I love.


November 2016 | Page 55

Whimsical Owners | Catheryne Darkfury & Skye Everidge Photographer | Lessthen Zero


Page 56 | Featured Event: Cover Story


November 2016 | Page 57


RK


K POSES Written by Novaleigh Freng Landscape Photography by Taylor Wassep


Page 70 | Creator Feature


November 2016 | Page 71


Page 72 | Creator Feature


November 2016 | Page 73

Everyone enjoys Second Life for different reasons. Many of us like to chronicle our adventures in this online world of endless possibility…but often, snapping the perfect picture is a lot harder than it appears to be. Some will agonize over location, or lighting. Others will spend hours upon hours looking for the perfect pose to commemorate that special moment. Luckily for the residents of Second Life, we have hundreds of options at our disposal, which means that usually, after a little bit of searching, that special pose is within reach, and we can immortalize that moment— whatever it may be—in time. Keon Xenga is one of the men in Second Life who helps us to turn our photography dreams into a Second Life reality. Keon, who joined Second Life about six years ago, opened his pose store, RK Poses, about a year ago, after returning from a Second Life hiatus that lasted two years. One of his favorite things about Second Life is its ability to allow us to turn our dreams, especially the ones that may be limited by our real life circumstances, into reality. We all chase our dreams in Second Life, dive into new hobbies, meet amazing new people—and of course, we want to remember those special moments.


RK Poses & Neva Xenga Page| Keon 74 | Creator Feature Photographer | Tempest Rosca


November 2016 | Page 75

“I create my poses with love, as I see it and feel it.”

-Keon Xenga


Page 76 | Creator Feature

That is one of the many reasons that we take pictures the way that we do, and that, it seems, is why Keon Xenga started makings his own poses and opened his store last year. “I haven’t always been a creator,” Keon told Spotlight. “I started making poses as a hobby.” And it’s an impressive hobby, too. RK Poses opened up about a year ago and boasts many styles of single and couple poses perfect for just about any scenario you could dream up. In Second Life, the possibilities are endless, and it can be frustrating at times to try and hunt for the perfect pose. Keon was inspired to open his store because of his own love for photography in Second Life. As a photographer, he’s well aware of the struggle that many photographic artists on grid face when they’re trying to create the perfect moment.


November 2016 | Page 77

“My love for photography inspired me to start creating poses,” Keon said. “There are many talented pose creators in Second Life, but sometimes I had trouble finding the right poses to fit the mood in that moment, so I started editing and creating my own. It was my wife, Neva, who pushed me (literally) to open a store and share our poses with other photography lovers.”Anyone who has taken a photo in Second Life knows that struggle. RK Poses seeks to alleviate that pose-hunting pain. Their couple’s poses are full of drama, emotion, and a special sort of flair that really sets RK Poses apart. There’s lots of options to fit just about any mood you happen to be in. RK Poses has everything you need to take your photography to the next level. Keon knows all about telling a good story through a photograph. “My favorite couple pose is ‘Book of Love.’ It may not be the best one that I have created, but there are such deep feelings behind it, and it tells a story for me and Neva. It’s the first picture that we took together. It’s how it all began… holding hands.” Talk about telling a story with a photograph!


Page 78 | Creator Feature

Then again, that is what RK Poses specializes in. When you shop at RK Poses, each pose is special. Each pose is unique. Each pose is meant to tell a story, or evoke a strong emotion. If you’ve never visited RK Poses before, it’s a true experience in feeling and beauty. The displays are simple, which only helps to highlight the drama and the uniqueness of these wonderful poses. It’s definitely something that you have to experience for yourself. Stop by, test them out, and get inspired. “I create my poses with love, as I see it and feel it. I don’t create poses for commercial purposes. Each pose means something to me,” Keon told Spotlight. “If you want to discover feelings and emotions through my heart, all you have to do is visit the store.” Photographers in Second Life are constantly looking for the next great thing—that place, that wind light, that pose that will throw their photo into the next level. Something that will really give them the drama and the emotion that they yearn to convey. Keon Xenga is a photographer who understands that struggle, and who wanted to create something truly wonderful to share with the rest of the grid. These poses, born from his own heart, bringing life to his own emotions, are something to be admired.


November 2016 | Page 79


Page 80 | Creator Feature

The future is bright for RK Poses, and Keon is looking toward the future with bright eyes and big expectations. “I will continue to create different kinds of emotions and feelings through my poses,” Keon said. “I was inspired to create poses because of my love of photography in Second Life, and I will continue to create and improve out of respect for others like me, and the ones who have supported RK Poses in its first year—our loyal customers. Since opening the store, we have received such amazing feedback and support. We want to thank you for this, and we will continue in the future to try even harder to give you a piece of our world as we see it.” If you’re interested in striking a pose and allowing yourself to become a part of Keon’s world, you absolutely must check out RK Poses. Whether you’re just beginning with your photography journey in Second Life or you’re a seasoned professional, you’ll find something worthwhile at RK Poses.

RK Poses | Keon & Neva Xenga Photographer | Tempest Rosc


a ca

November 2016 | Page 81


Page 82 | Creator Feature

Check out RK Poses in-world.


November 2016 | Page 83

Check out RK Poses on Marketplace.


pers

In a world where anythin culture permeates the la Each issue, the Spotlight bloggers and sh


spectives

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 94 | Perspectives

event owner MelissaJeanne Flores Check out her event OneWord.

MelissaJeanne Flores is the store owner and event organizer of //elephante poses//, Bella Elephante, Oneword & Candy Fair. She shares her behind the scenes perspective of event culture with Spotlight Magazine. “When I started my pose store and organizing events in Second Life they were just getting off the ground. I never imagined that they would pick up as they have over the years. As a designer it’s completely changed how I go about making releases and sales. The majority of my profit comes from events. They are the new norm for many designers when it comes to sales. I think people enjoy the aspect of being able to not only shop for new items all in one place but also being able to find new stores they might have never heard of. As an organizer it’s tough, there’s so many events it’s hard to keep up along side everything going on. I think the event culture will continue to grow and evolve in ways we never thought. I’m going to keep trying to push the boundaries when it comes to releases and events. I hope others do the same in finding ways to bring sales back to main stores along with being able to continue enjoying all the events that everyone loves.”

Photographer | WrenNoir Cerise


November 2016 | Page 95


Page 96 | Perspectives

event shopper Carley Benazzi Check out her Flickr.

Carley Benazzi is a top model, stylist, photographer and blogger. She shares her perspective as a shopper of event culture with Spotlight Magazine. “The fashion industry has always had a strong element of fantasy in its presentation in media and on the runway. Making it a natural step in the virtual world of creating fashion in Second Life. As an avid shopper in both worlds I enjoy the unique aspects of the Second life shopping experience. The ability to wear current high end fashions that are sometimes unattainable in the real life world is part of my expanding and ever-growing love affair with fashion itself. As the years have passed the culture itself of the fashion industry has evolved and is influenced by the latest music , art and pop culture from real life. Top designer fashion looks are at high demand , but there is also the demand for role-play and fantasy looks. As the virtual demographic seems to change with real life trends I am looking forward to even more diversity in the virtual fashion world. Having the ability to discover new and unique ways to express my personal fashion style has been one of the most exciting parts of my Second life journey.�

Photographer | WrenNoir Cerise


November 2016 | Page 97


Page 98 | Perspectives

event designer Kalia Firelyte & Ashur Constantine Check out their store Jian.

Kalia Firelyte and Ashur Constantine are the creative force behind the brand Jian. They share their designer perspective of event culture with Spotlight Magazine. “Before Jian, we both had prior experiences doing many different events in Second Life, including helping build them. Because we already had enjoyment of doing them, it was easy to make events our core routine at Jian from the very beginning. There’s never been a time events weren’t core to Jian. What we love most about events is the benefit we receive from getting to see what other designers are doing round after round and how what we make can compliment what others do. We praise other designers often, and through doing many different rounds in succession with them, gain a rhythm with one another at times in successfully making things that fit well together. Jian isn’t a one stop shop to build out an entire sim with, so we love it when we see, in our Flickr pool for example, our products being mixed and match with our fellow event mates in different ways that please our collective customers. The many events we do mean much to us in their unique and individual different ways, and are our important glue to other designers and many of our customers that keep up with us outside of our main store. We’re happy that over the years events have only gotten more creative and fun to do, and look forward to what the rest of this year and the next holds for existing and new events alike. Keep it up, organizers!” Photographer | WrenNoir Cerise


November 2016 | Page 99


Page 100 | Perspectives

event blogger Dae Arbenlow Check out her blog.

Dae Arbenlow is the creative blogger and photographer behind Honey Junkey. She shares her blogger perspective of event culture with Spotlight Magazine. “Events and blogging are natural counterparts, and so the way event evolution occurs impacts the people who photograph for them on a large scale. We’ve seen so many changes over the years, from main stores to malls and finally to the event scene we have now. What I think makes events truly cutting edge is that it challenges creators to make new content and it allows shoppers and bloggers a like to have assured new content every month. Smaller events come and go, but bigger events - like Collabor88 for instance - have been mainstays for many years. Even though the events themselves evolve, it is only to meet their changing audiences. Event culture is demanding, as are the individuals who thrive in it, and it means bloggers, organizers and creators are constantly forced to improve and evolve lest they be left behind. The truth is that event culture doesn’t just evolve, it IS evolution itself.”

Photographer | Dae Arbenlow


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bl


lissiere Written by Ahn Avion Landscape Photography by Taylor Wassep


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The perfect day for a leisurely stroll through a park, happy times spent with friends and family, chocolate cake...these are the images I conjure when thinking about bliss. The concept of bliss, of unwavering contentment, is different for each individual. It is our unique perspectives that create the environments where we find unlimited joy, delight and euphoria. To experience the supreme happiness that comes when our needs are fulfilled is something we each strive for, and something that Alia Whitfield attempts to create in her brand experience. [blissiere] creator Alia Whitfield joined me to discuss her store, her brand, and her vision for creating unique products in Second Life. She said, “It’s rare somebody IMs me to talk about me and my brand - twist my arm. I would think it would be fascinating, yeah, to get to pick people’s brains about their process.” So onto brain picking I went. The first thing I had to know was what the word ‘blissiere’ meant. Not even Google could help me with that one. I think she knew I was going to ask because she was lightning quick with an answer! “It’s a made-up word. If I had to define it, I think I would probably say it’s something like a tailor or a cobbler or tinkerer of sorts, only for happiness. That’s a big part of the personality behind my brand. It’s almost overwhelmingly adorable and upbeat!”


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[blissiere] is not typical and it’s not just because of the name. The focus of designs isn’t on just one aspect of fashion. Hats, scarves, matching jewelry sets, nails, holiday displays, posing props, furniture. It is it’s own mini mall one stop shopping. When asked about her favorite designs, she said, “I’m definitely more into furniture and home decor than anything else. The fashion is more of who I used to be and I’ve been gradually phasing it out over time. I think probably within six months you’ll see everything here just furniture and housewares, maybe the occasional play-themed accessory.” That hadn’t been the first time I had heard a designer consider changing the focus of his or her designs and the answers vary with each designer. This inquiring mind wanted to know! “Honestly, that’s a two part answer. On the one hand, I was never that into fashion. I’ve always found furniture to be a happier design place for me but fashion and accessories were a great way to get my feet wet with mesh design. Also, I really hate rigging and with the constant added complication of mesh bodies and all the various sizes and stuff, that part of the process always really got in the way of just designing and producing for me, so I’ve been pretty content to focus elsewhere and I think it shows in the progression and quality of my work. I really like the gadgetry of props in Second Life. I like making things that work. Fashion is gorgeous but it’s just not my strongest suit -- I’m a better collector.”


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[blissiere] has been around since 2012 which is a long time, especially in terms of the ever changing SL markets and the increasing saturation of all things the same. That hasn’t dampened Alia’s spirit in the least! “It’s been a long road but I’ve learned a lot and I’m really proud of what I’ve built here. When I think about where I started -- texturing templates and building with other people’s mesh prims -- it’s really good to be able to say that everything around us right now, barring the event posters I built myself from nothing. I’ve started doing my own poses for furniture now, too, which really just makes my inner control freak sing with happy. It probably sounds sentimental to say it but this store has been a big part of my personal growth over the last five years. We’ve really grown up together, in a way. Luckily, I happen to exist right at my core demographic. I love cute things, so does most of the internet, but as a designer I’ve been in marketing for a long time in one form or another. It’s a dance but there is a learned choreography. Everything here is made with love. Sometimes tears and self-loathing, yes, but also a genuine love not just for the art of mesh and the creation thereof but for my customers, the people who enjoy them. I’ve always been a firm believer that the observer is an integral part of the artistic process and nothing makes me quite so happy as to know that I’ve made something that brightens someone’s space even a little. So this whole blisstailoring thing is definitely a shared experience.”


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If I learned nothing else about Alia Whitfield, it is that every aspect of what she is and what she does if full of passion. “Passion. or madness. one or the other. Or both. I guess it could be both,” she states. “I’ve always said that artists don’t always create because we want to. We also create because we must, because something is inside of us and it will scratch at us until we let it out. The need to create is a blade with two edges, that’s for sure. It’s gorgeous and it’s painful, it’s beautiful and grotesque, it’s failure and victory chronically and fatally interwoven.it’s life. That’s one of the reasons I love events -- they really push me to keep creating, even if I don’t feel like it. Mesh is like mental gymnastics.” [blissiere] is participating in the Jerky Turkey Hunt and twe12ve in November and December. Also in December, [blissiere] will also be sponsoring The Naughty List. Make sure to come for a visit to get your blissiere on! Check out the store in-world and their website.


Blissiere | Alia Whitfield November 2016| |Tempest Page 119 Rosca Photographer


seren


nity style Written by Isadora Fiddlesticks Landscape Photography by Anderian Sugarplum


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With the open canvas that is Second LifeŽ, its residents have the freedom to create things and recreate memories from the past, present or future. Teleporting around the virtual world can oftentimes feel like one is on a time machine, immersing you with feelings of nostalgia or awe and encouraging you to recreate spaces that feel familiar, or make your own future. For some of us, we tend to be attracted or drawn to the past. Want to recreate that feeling you got when you played hopscotch as a child? You can do that in Second Life. We explore the nostalgic, vintage and the shabby chic themes we find in Second Life. There are plenty of stores and events that cater to the whimsical and the vintage in all of us, and one such store is Serenity Style. It’s owner, Hanstrid Inshan, creates items that capture the past, offering charming recreations for the home and garden. A resident of the virtual world since 2007, her first venture into the virtual world was around Christmas of that year. She came inworld out of curiosity, and to find out what her real life company was doing in Second Life. She found she liked being here and decided to spend more of her time inworld. She found it so fascinating to be able to find and create content, so it was a matter of time before she’s bitten by the


Serenity Style | Hanstrid Inshan Photographer | Tempest Rosca

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content-creating bug. Having no experience in creating content, she took her enthusiasm for decorating into the task of learning how to create items inworld. She found a lot of videos and tutorials to help her learn. “The first item I made was a basic stool made with simple prims.” She recalls with a laugh. “I think I still keep it in my inventory.” She seems to have found her calling in creating cute, vintage inspired creations that she decided to give having a business in SL a try. “I would like (to be a designer) because I love to decor but decorating is not my actual work. Actually, I don’t have work in real life so my SL business is practically my income for RL. My real profession is Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations.” Inshan explains, revealing a bit of her real life. Nowadays, she spends more time fiddling in blender and editing textures using the Cycles Shading System, but would still use PhotoShop to edit textures. “Using Blender and other 3D software have a lot of tools and options. Maybe if you can go to school to learn, it is easy to work with and fast but I think when you learn on your own you find that there are always new tools and options to discover, and you improve.” She opines.


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Before Serenity Style, she had a fashion store that used sculpts and flexi prims. It was in the year 2012 that she started to work with furniture that involved full mesh. “I make my own original meshes, my very own mesh creation was a cute owl for a gacha event.” She says proudly. “I am inspired by RL items that I find in decor magazine, Pinterest, and other decoration sites.” Inshan is inspired by the opportunities that this virtual world can offer, and is delighted that she can develop activities that may not be possible for her to do so in the real world. She learns, laughs and has a lot of fun with her friends inworld that keep her pleasantly occupied when she’s not working on some new item. She shares, “What I love about Second Life is the opportunity to know lovely people, of course! I have a lot of very good friends here, friends


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who are my friends too in RL and the most importantly my husband in Second Life who is my RL boyfriend too.” Her significant other used to help her with running Serenity Style, but has since moved on to play console games, which he prefers. Nowadays, it is Kira Balestra, who she considers her sister in Second Life who helps her in managing the business. “Ever since he came to live with me, he has not logged in much,” She says. “He loves his Playstation and would only come here if I beg him to so that we can take photos inworld.” She adds, giggling. For Inshan, Second Life is not a game, “but an alternative way to do things”, and since she has been in Second Life for a while, she has seen and experienced the darker side of what goes into the virtual world.


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Check out Serenity Style in-world, on Marketplace, their blog and follow them on Flickr.


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“What I hate most in Second Life is the envy of some people, encountering insane people, and the ugly competition that sometimes appears.” She says. “Maybe others only log in to play a role or other but it becomes bad when people try to ‘play’ with people and that is, unfortunately, common here.” She adds sadly. Moving forward, Inshan will be busy working on her items to be sold in several monthly events and has also started doing some work for her items to be featured in some December events. This means lots of holiday themed items. “I define my style as a mix between shabbycountry and cute,” She says with a laugh. “I know it’s a typical mix. My main store has different areas where the customer can find little cute things, from country to rustic, and of course my gacha items. A lot of decor items but a lot of functional stuff.” It seems a lot of successful and productive people in Second Life have this growth mindset that is very invigorating to see in the people we see inworld. Hanstrid Inshan is one such person, as she always seeks to improve on her abilities and discover more skills to master. “I’m sure all of us are learning and learning each day.” She muses. With Inshan’s enthusiasm for what she does, one thing is for sure: she will never stop continuing to improve and create. It is in creating for Serenity Style where she finds herself happy, as it gives her an avenue to express her love for decoration and all things shabby chic and nostalgic.


now

Second Life’s hottest t Magazine provides a exclusive int

This month we take Octagons Yazimoto of L


trending

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 prepaid and subscription boxes, interviewing Luxe Box and Nicolias Sadoul & Jalynne Ohmai of the Treasure Chest.

Written by Liat Reina Landscape Photography by Taylor Wassep


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What is it about the mystery bag that never ceases to intrigue and delight? It isn’t a new phenomenon and yet this time honored concept with unfailing allure continues to reinvent itself to captivate the masses once more. For those on social media, it’s impossible to miss advertisements and testimonials regarding the new subscription boxes that range in content from produce to pet care to clothing and beyond. A small monthly fee gives one access to surprise delights delivered directly to their doorstep fulfilling almost any need and interest. Once more, that thrill of the unknown and the anticipation of discovery comes alive for the modern consumer. There can be little doubt that this latest incarnation of the mystery bag has found a place in the hearts of the masses. With new themes available all the time, there seems to be room for many more additions. Most people are familiar with at least one of these as the trend continues. Examples such as Graze, Birchbox, BarkBox, Citrus Lane, and Dollar Shave Club are represented on most forms of media these days and are clearly doing well. So with all this success in the real world, can it be any surprise that residents are now finding an option for the avatar as well?


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Second Life® now has their very own subscription events with at least two genres currently being offered to thrill the virtual world. The introduction of the Luxe Box in May of 2016 by Octagons Yazimoto left little doubt that the latest and greatest new event had arrived. Now the addition of the Treasure Chest in October of 2016 which has been received with such enthusiasm as to leave co-creators Nicolias Sadoul and Jalynne Ohmai beaming, make it clear that this type of shopping experience is the next big thing. The concept of both events is simple enough and follows the same principles as their real world counterpart. A monthly subscription is achieved by paying to join a group on or before the 14th of each month. Group access is then closed and the goodies are delivered via one amazing HUD containing the offerings from each of the designers for that month’s round. At the end of each month, the groups are cleared in preparation for the next round and a list of the participating designers is released. With some exclusive products, incredible discounts and the rush of the reveal, it’s become clear that virtual consumers are hooked on this new experience. Treasure Chest Owners | Nicolias Sadoul & Jalynne Ohmai Photographer | Tempest Rosca


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From the launch of the Luxe Box, which is geared toward female avatars, Yazimoto had a passion for what she wanted to offer to the grid. “I actually was yearning to do a subscription box in real life. At the same time, I had wanted to do something new and fresh in Second Life. I think both of those ideas somehow crossed paths in my mind and I figured maybe this virtual mystery box could be done. I talked it over with some friends and tried to feel out if they thought it would be a good idea or not. My sister from another mister, Alixxbella, really took to the concept and before I knew it we were in a snowball of ideas of how this could become a reality... We wanted something really girly that would be everything we’d want when we thought of the phrase ‘treat yo’ self.’ A fun unboxing experience with quality items from brands we love.”

The concept from the start for the Luxe Box has been indulgence and luxury for the subscribers. “Our designers put so much love into their Luxe Box creations, it’s really like unboxing a present. Some of our brands offer complete fatpacks, or even 100% exclusives. They absolutely love treating our members to something special each month.” That isn’t the only perk members receive though as Yazimoto points out when discussing her favorite thing about her work with the Luxe Box. “I love that it’s become a little community in and of itself. Witnessing the anticipation of Luxe Box members to receive their box is priceless. They are the best people! I think what I enjoy the least is the fact we have to make them wait, haha.”

Luxe Box Co-Owner | Octagons Yazimoto Photographer | Tempest Rosca


Treasure Chest Owners | Nicolias Sadoul & Jalynne Ohmai Photographer | Tempest Rosca

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There’s still much more to come from the Luxe Box and the designers working with them but Yazimoto is over the moon about how things have gone so far. “It’s been such a journey. I don’t think Alixxbella or myself ever thought it would become as big as it has. We’re so proud to see it grow and evolve. I think the moment we saw people were doing unboxing videos was when we knew people were really enjoying it. We all still get a thrill seeing everyone’s unboxing videos, they will never get old!” Unboxing videos are indeed such a delightful result of these events as to be a favorite feedback for the Treasure Chest creators as well. Nicolias Sadoul had never watched a Second Life vlog before but he couldn’t stop smiling as he watched each and every one from their subscribers in October. It was much the same for Jalynne Ohmai, “I never thought it would be something I’d be into but I love how much video brings to the experience and the excitement of each opening. Even the fumbling to figure out what things do and how things work is so much like my normal everyday second life sometimes I swear.”


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The Treasure Chest caters to the roleplay community offering items from over a dozen designers in fantasy, steampunk, sci-fi and post-apocalyptic styles. While the idea had been something the two had discussed for some time, the creation of scripts to power a subscription HUD really pushed them to finally make it happen. As Sadoul puts it, “Really for me, the idea of an event where designers weren’t competing against one another, but instead collaborating to create something awesome resonated.” It seems to be resonating with subscribers and designers as well and while Sadoul is cautiously optimistic following the first release, Ohmai feels her hopes for this project have been surpassed already. “Just the caliber of designers who have decided to take a risk on a brand new event from basically brand new event organizers has been at times completely overwhelming, and is a major driving force for me to try to keep pushing subscriptions and getting the word out there to get people excited and signing up each month. A lot of them are my personal favorites and I want to share them with the world or well the virtual world at least.”


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With a focus on maintaining diversity in each month’s offerings, Ohmai is eager to share so much more. “That sense of anticipation and excitement never knowing exactly what you’re going to get. We try to keep a wide variety of creators involved and creating for each Chest so it could be anything from hair to skins to full roleplay buildings.” At the same time Sadoul pointed out, “We have a great group of unboxers who did videos for the first round, some of whom aren’t roleplayers at all and stick to modern settings, but even they could immediately see themselves using a good few of the products in the Chest and got so much enjoyment out of trying them out!” It’s plain to see there’s a great deal of exhilaration surrounding the new Second Life subscription events for both the subscribers and the creators. With the holiday season approaching it’s a perfect time to join in the new craze and see what all the excitement is about. There are more surprises in store from each event and you won’t want to miss a thing, including a chances to win monthly subscriptions for free! Be sure to visit the Luxe Box website and check into the Perks page. Also you’ll want to go to the Treasure Chest’s website before you take advantage of the exclusive offer to Spotlight readers to win the December Treasure Chest. Just follow this super secret link, put your avatar name down and tick the ‘Not a Mimic’ option on the form before the 11th December 2016 to be entered into the drawing.


Luxe Box Co-Owner | Octagons Yazimoto November 2016 | Page 151 Photographer | Tempest Rosca


www.spotlightsl.com


Spotlight Magazine November 2016