The Second Life Art World Isn’t Pushing Hard Enough

Paying It Forward

Listen–we need to talk. You aren’t going to be happy about what I’ve got to say. You probably have your defense ready and that’s great, I’m happy to have this discourse with you, but I would like for you to consider what I’m about to say first.

Yes, I love participating in LEA programs. I can’t praise the idea of allocating sims to artistic endeavors enough. But there’s something going on that I’ve noticed and needs to be addressed. Are you ready? Let’s do this.

There’s way too much self-importance and too little forward thinking in the SL art world. It isn’t groundbreaking enough, and focuses too little on the very culture that makes up this game. It doesn’t warrant the attention it gives itself, and is over-saturated with elements that ignore what the outside art world even celebrates about us.

Second Life is a place of unlimited potential. For a community of creators to miss the train on this again and again is a damn shame. This is a virtual world, where anything is possible, and yet most of the art produced and put on gallery walls are little more than selfies and headshots.

Yes–selfies are a valid point of work. Some artists’ entire careers cover evolving selfies. But this is something our art world is positively bloated with.  When you have an art gallery full of headshots from various artists and this is the best you can present to anyone, you know your industry is in trouble.

Exhibit A: Second Life has missed its own honorary party in the mainstream art and fashion world. When’s the last time anybody pursued some still life shots like this? Or this? That’s a serious callback to SL and our snap-to grids. When’s the last time you saw a virtual body of work like that? This is the kind of aesthetic we’ve seen with vaporwave, with past fashion collections, and nary a fuss was made on the grid about this at all. How? And why? When did we become so blind to what the rest of the world was doing that’s clearly inspired by us?

Exhibit B: Most of what is considered fine art and put on a wall is not fine art. Blogging pictures are great and can still be art, but that’s like visiting a gallery, expecting to see fine art, and seeing a bunch of Annie Leibovitz shots and no paintings. That’s what we have. A lot of Annie Leibovitz and Vogue editorials. Where’s the work commenting on the culture of the game, the administration, making fun of ourselves and talking about how we relate to one another? We can’t call ourselves a proper society until we have art like that.

Exhibit C: The best machinima artists are designers who have never had major participation with a LEA sim, much less the SL art world in general. We need to be trading more notes with each other, and this is one aspect I’m focusing on for the next six weeks to even learn more of myself. Machinima has got to improve, but there are definitely people willing to try that out.

Exhibit D: What’s with the drama? What’s with this? Are you serious? You guys act like thousands of people are going to your shows, because that’s the kind of egos I’m seeing pop up a lot. Tone it down, have a seat, and chill out. Let’s get somewhere better with our overall scene first, and then we can talk about how much bravado we should be sporting.

No, I’m not saying every artist is guilty of these things. But I am saying it’s the majority and it should start to change. Stop and ask yourself–what is this art I’m creating, and why? And then ask how we can push a bit harder to create something more thought-provoking.



“What failure? Where?” you ask, because the title of this post is certainly intriguing, isn’t it? There’s no failure in this picture. But ah, that’s where I’ve got you. It’s on my face. Look closer.

You probably recognize it–a style of skins I’ve attempted before. I released three in the past, plus one mesh head that didn’t sell too well. Would you like to know something else? There were seven more skin attempts I went through that never saw the light of day. I never showed anyone anything because I was afraid of people laughing at me.

I worked on this one after creating an amalgamation of my failure skins together, blending each face until a new one appeared from the combined Photoshop layers. I kept working on them, and then put them on several different mesh heads to see what spots on the face needed improvement and what didn’t. When I was done, I showed my friends. And many of them liked it! I was shocked because–all that failure. All that failure. What made the “no” finally turn into a “yes”?

Passing that threshold for a lot of people also means crossing a line of fear. You are not used to “yes”. You’re used to “no”, “stop”, “wait just a little longer”, which after a while you accept future notions of rejection and stop putting in so much effort. You accept yourself as less-than, you stop reaching so high. When a “yes” finally appears, it becomes you that is hesitant. What if you proceed only to find another “no” somewhere down the line? What if someone doesn’t like the idea of you doing well and tries to make that happen for you?

If you think I might be using the progress of creating a skin as a larger metaphor, you’re right. I might even be talking about another area of my life right now, a parallel story in rl that I may never tell you.

Life is full of secret skin failures. Each one held a lesson for me in what mistakes I made in the past. And I think it’s funny that by combining them, I created a skin that works. Maybe not everyone would like it, but certainly a lot more than in the past. And that’s a good enough starting point for me. I can build from there.

You can, too, with whatever you’re doing. Sort through those failures. Collate them and think about what lesson each one held. There’s a “yes” if you combine them. It’s all in the arrangement.

What I’m Wearing

Skin: My own! Coming soon.
Shirt/Vest/Pants: Azuchi – Archer set*
Neck/Collar: Peqe – Royal Neck*
Hair: Moon – Boa
Cloak: Peqe – Monster Vest (Black)
Scratches: Skinnery – Markings*
Pose – !bang

*available at We <3 Roleplay this month.

Song: Eduard Artemyev – “Siberiade” Theme
(which was later remixed into a popular version by PPK)

Autumn Dreams

Autumn Dreams

I love autumn landscaping in SL so much! It’s so beautiful, cozy, and colorful. I hope that residents in SL don’t rush towards snowy winter landscaping too early this year, so we can enjoy a longer virtual autumn season and not rush right into Christmas. I’m at KiLu, if you want to visit this gorgeous sim!

My sweet outfit today consists of the Annabelle Dress and Leonie Cardigan from The Secret Store, for Collabor88. My hair is the Looking Back style from Exile, for We Love RP, accessorized with a headband. I am wearing the new Sydney Booties from Ingenue in Nutmeg color, which matches perfectly with my belt! I love when I’m able to match colors from different brands together.

Autumn Dreams

What I’m Wearing:

Pink Fuel Skin
Exile – Looking Back @ We Love RP
pr!tty – Enchanted Headband Branch Wrap Lights (Double)
The Secret Store – Annabelle Dress (Chalk) @ Collabor88
The Secret Store – Leonie Cardigan (Coral) @ Collabor88
Ingenue – Sydney Booties (Nutmeg) @ Collabor88
Birdy/Alchemy – Spring Babes – Fawn RARE

Join The Masquerade!

Vivara Masquerade Gala!

So what are you doing after Halloween? Don’t look at me like that! You mean you’re just going to get dressed up only once, go to a party, and that’s it? Nothing else you’re doing?

Come to the Masquerade Gala on November 4th at Vivara Events! As I wrote before, Vivara is a giant gaming resort/shopping mall/art gallery that also features parties and a fancy atmosphere worthy of your best cocktail dress and suit. For this event, however, we’ll need you to dress up in your finest gowns and tuxes. And bring a mask!

There will be giveaways, prizes, contests, even complementary masks at the door for you to wear. The party starts at 5pm SLT and doesn’t stop til 10pm.

Featured stores at Vivara for this event include Pink Fuel, 22769, Jack Spoon, and [ a.e.meth ].

We’ll see you at the gala! It’s going to be a blast!

The Volcano

The Volcano

Just some moody shots as we approach Halloween! Are you already going to Halloween parties in RL or SL? I haven’t yet, but I have decorated my house with lots of pumpkins and string lights! I also think I might attend the official Creepy Crawl on Friday.

From 10-3pm on October 30th, users across the grid will visit selected haunted spots in Second Life while dressed in costume. So far the official haunt list isn’t up yet, but I’m sure it will be by the time the event starts! For more information about the Creepy Crawl, contact Xiola Linden.

The Volcano

I’m wearing the new Verve skin applier with my Logo head today! I’ll take a better shot for my next blog, but I wanted to show it off now because it’s so gorgeous. I love how there are several shades of red lipstick included in the applier package for me to pick from! You can buy the new skin and appliers here. For those of you with Catwa heads, yes, Verve has made appliers for that too!

What I’m Wearing

Verve Skin
Logo Alex mesh head
Exile – Sugar
TBF – Space Helmet

Song: “Moon Sequence” by The Herbaliser

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