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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SL11B: Now the Waiting Begins

Yesterday at noon SLT was the application deadline for exhibitors, performers, presenters and volunteers for SL11B. I submitted my application for my exhibit weeks ago. I had been debating whether to do a presentation in the Auditorium. I had been back ad forth on the idea. My decision was finally settled yesterday about 30 minutes before the application deadline when my cable company started work down the road and cut off internet access.

So now I wait to see if my exhibitor application is accepted. Unlike last year, this year it looks like the next few days are going to be a nervous time for many of the applicants, including myself. According to a post on the SL Community Celebration website last night, there were 426 exhibitor applications received and there are only 243 spots for them. Even if you exclude the duplicate applications  and applications for exhibits that are commercial or promotional in nature, that still leaves a lot of good exhibits out of this year's celebration.

While it can be debated whether that is a good thing or not, especially after some of the exhibits that were included in SL10B, it does mean that exhibitors have to make a choice. Assume that you are going to be in and start work on your exhibit or wait to start until you know that you have been selected. As for me, I have decided to start work on my exhibit this weekend. If I make it in, that will be wonderful. If I don't make it in,  then I may still use the exhibit at a future date. the sims open to exhibitors on May 30, so 9 or less days of waiting for all of those who submitted applications.

Good luck to all those who submitted applications for SL11B. I am sure that it will be amazing this year.

- Linsey

Monday, May 19, 2014

A new studio is coming... eventually

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been searching for a new place to put my studio and galleries. The search has been at times quite frustrating. Looking at the available land listed in SL Search and getting some tips from friends, has led me nowhere.

So yesterday as I roamed the streets of Bay City after the 6th Anniversary Party and Parade there, I began to ponder about putting my studio there. Since then I have started working out the pros and cons of having my gallery in Bay City.

Pros:

  • I know the people that I would be dealing with there. Whenever you go someplace new, it is always good to know that you have a base of support and knowledge of the area that you can draw upon.
  • Bay City is an active community. There are so many communities in Second Life that pop up and then slowly die off. Finding one that has stuck around and stood the test of time is always a positive.
  • Infrastructure. Bay City has a set of streets that you can use to get around the city. It is not like many places that can be accessed only by teleporting directly to them.
Cons:
  • Land Prices: The price of purchasing land in Bay City is astronomical compared to most other areas in Second Life. This make a very high barrier to entry for anyone wanting to live or work in Bay City.
  • Theme / Building codes: Can I make the vision that I have work in the 1950s era theme of Bay City?
  • Location, Location, Location. Can I find a good location to place my studio where it can be seen and easily accessed? There are a lot of places in Bay City where land is locked behind other resident's homes or businesses making it difficult for people to see or access.
  • Self-censorship. It is a question that I have been asking myself since I returned and started looking for a place for new studio. Can I make it work on a Moderate rated region? My answer has come up "Yes", but that is based on my interpretation of the ratings. Others may see things differently, which leads to a second question. Will I change my art to avoid potential conflict with other residents? That is a harder question, right now my answer is "Maybe".
These are just a few of the things that must be weighed as I consider placing my studio in Bay City. It is not going to happen overnight. My current goal is to reopen my studio by early July.  I have enlisted the aid of a long-time Bay City resident in my search. Hopefully, with their help, I will be able to secure a location sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An Ever-lasting Story

Yesterday afternoon, word came that Ever Dreamscape had passed away on May 8th. I will admit that Ever and I were not friends, barely even acquaintances. However, I did follow her posts to her SL Feed. The best way to describe Ever is that she was a storyteller. The pictures she posted usually told a story, Often these stories were humorous and sometimes, informative. Like a good skit comedian, she had recurring characters that appeared in her stories. There was the woman in the pink robe with curlers in her hair, the news anchorwoman for Etv, and the wide-mouthed promoter of events in Bay City, where she made her home.

While I did not know Ever, I did find the way she told her stories to be inspiring. I have tried to do the kind of storytelling that she did a couple of times. It can be very hard. I have no idea how long she spent working on some of her storylines, but it is clear form some of them that she did put a good deal of effort into them.

Probably the most memorable of these photo stories that she told was done early last year. A friend of hers (who is also a friend of mine) had been gone from SL for an extended period of time. Rather than make a post to the friend's page, telling her she was missed, Ever did much more. She made missing person posters and plastered them around Bay City, then did an Etv news segment on the hunt for her missing friend. I was extremely moved by the effort that Ever put into that story. I had never seen anything like it in SL and probably won't for a long time.

Ever was a very unique individual, even in a place like Second Life. From the costumes she wore to her penchant for blowing things up or burning things down, she was always changing and never predictable. From the posts that have been made on the SL Feed since news of her passing was announced, it is clear that her presence will be deeply missed.

Late last night, I went to the makeshift memorial that had been set up in Bay City. There were still a few people there when I arrived. While I was standing there, I looked at the SL Feed to see what others had been posting. One of the posts from a friend of mine was a link to a blog post my friend had made. On that blog post, my friend had included a link to a blog entry that Ever had made back in March. Titled "Hero's Journey", it was a story by Ever. In fact, it was her story. The story of her journey through life, with its ups and downs, twists and turns. A story about trying to find that elusive place called home. Through her story, I finally got to know about Ever.

When I finished reading, I looked around, and everyone else was gone. I was alone to think about what I had just read. Even at the end, Ever has given me a shining spark of inspiration. There may never be another one like Ever Dreamscape. Her journey in Second Life and the real world is over. However, the stories that she told may live on.  Stay tuned.....

Related Links:
"Hero's Journey" by Ever Dreamscape

Friday, May 9, 2014

Introducing... The Weekend Caption Meme

Yes, I know. You are rolling your eyes. Not another meme. Yes, there are tons of memes out there. But as the name of the studio suggests, one of the things that I hope to do is inspire others to be creative. this meme will be short and simple. It is a variation on Whiskey Monday and Botgirl Questi's Single Frame Stories" but a lot less abstract.

So here is how it will work:

1. On Thursday afternoon or evening (yes, I am late with the first one) I will post a suggestion for a caption for a picture. A lot of times it will be a fill in the blank or a phrase.
2. Take a picture and use the suggested caption for the picture or but it in the description of the picture if posting to Flickr  or some other photo-sharing website.
3. Drop a link to the picture in the comments section here or on the post on my SL Feed.
4. Have fun.

That's it. Now fir the rules.

1. The meme runs between the time that the suggestion is made until Sunday night.
2. Keep it clean. What you post is a reflection on you, not me. but please keep your pictures clean. I hate policing my SL Feed and the comments section of this blog.
3. K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Stupid). This is not a contest to see how abstract you can be or what you can do with Photoshop or GIMP. The idea is to have fun. The less time and more creative you can be in the surroundings around you, the better.
4. You may post links to as many pictures as you like as long as they have different and unique captions. Try to be different. Think outside the box and put a different spin on the suggestion.

So, let's get this started. In honor of Mother's Day this Sunday. the caption for this weekend is:

Mother said "__________" (fill in the blank with your own phrase)

To get you started, here are a couple of "inspirational" videos.






Have fun.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

When You Have Nothing to Say

I made a commitment to post to this blog once a day this week. I thought that it would not be a problem. I had plenty going on and a lot of things to discuss. Well, it is Thursday and the best that I can do is write a post about how I can't write a post.

Sure, there are plenty of things that I COULD discuss today, but most of those things still fall in the "Work In Progress" category. I have my potential exhibit for SL11B. I could go on about that for a few days, but I am going to wait until after applications for exhibits close on May 20th, to reveal the concept behind my exhibit.
I have destinations and designers in Second Life that I could discuss, but I need to get some pictures taken before I post on those topics. I have my studio that I could discuss, but I still have no land to build it on, so right now it is just a vision in my head of what might be coming. i have that other big project that I am working on. Right now, It is just a couple of drawings, a lot of typed notes, and a spreadsheet. Hopefully, I will be able to make it more than that in a few days.

So now I have wasted a few minutes typing a blog post but saying nothing. Well, at least, I can say that I kept to my goal and posted one today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Night at The Pen

Last night, I ventured into Bay City for the Espresso Yourself event at The Pen. This was the first time that I had made it. (I tried once before but got the time confused and arrived as it ended.) There was a good crowd there when i arrived (I was late again but only 15 minutes this time.) The format was an open mic (or text for some). The topics were wide ranging from poetry readings to current and past Second Life events to a small preview of what was happening on the Auditorium build for SL11B. Overall, it was an interesting and informative event.

Since this was my first time there, I just sat and listened. The next Espresso Yourself event is not until June. Maybe I will have something to say then? Who knows, I might even make it on time.


Hitting the Reset Button

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

This is probably my favorite quote from any movie. I find it so very true, especially in a place like Second Life. People and places come and go, flashing in and out of existence. In the everyday world, changes can take months or years to take place. In Second Life, an entire sim can be changed, literally, overnight. Now, that I have come back into Second Life, I find myself taking time to stop and look around. Some places are gone. Some places have changed. Then there are the ones that appear exactly as I remember them, seemingly immune to the fast pace of change going on around them.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my studio and gallery are gone. It is time to rethink the design of my studio and what I want it to represent. It is, also, time to rethink this blog and the purpose for it. In short, now is the time to hit the reset button on my creative endeavors.

I have the basic design of a new studio and gallery space in my mind. it is very different from most spaces and, hopefully, will tell a story in its own right about creation, inspiration, and the dependence of one on the other.

I have a few projects that I am starting. There will be the exhibit for SL11B, if my proposal is accepted. There is also a big project that i am dusting off and getting excited about again. It is a porject that I may even discuss at SL11B, but that depends on how much progress I can make in the next week. More on that project in a later post.

Finally, there is this blog. What to do with it? Well, for one, It is time that I made something of it. While the recent posts have been about me, that will soon change. I want this blog to be more than that. i want it to be a celebration of the creative spirit that fills Second Life. This will not be a fashion blog, destination blog, or, even, an art blog. It will be a blog about all of those things and more. I hope to not only show those things that are created in Second Life, but, also, give a glimpse of the people who create them. I did that during SL10B last year and will do more of that in the coming weeks and months.

Even with all these plans and projects, I will still take time to "stop and look around". There is a lot of things going on in Second Life, and I don't want to miss it.

Monday, May 5, 2014

SL11B: A Call to be Creative.

There was a post on the SL Community Celebration website a few days ago that caught my eye. It was entitled "To Potential Exhibitors". In it, there is a call for exhibitors to be more creative this year. To quote from the end of the post:

if you’re a graphic artist who runs a business, think of bringing in the art you haven’t shown. If you’re a builder, think of doing up the kind of exhibit that indulges your creative dreams. If you’re a photographer, tell a story with your photos rather than showing off your photos. This is a “once a year” party, and your submission should feel like it belongs at a celebration. Show everyone how the empire of the future is the empire of the mind.
Celebrate with your creativity this amazing space offers us. See you at the Celebration!"
With the number of sims being reduced from 20 to 11 this year, it is more imperative that those that are truly creative be featured. Last year, there were a lot of exhibits that were just smaller versions of exhibits that creators had done before. Along with that, there were a number of blatantly commercial exhibits last year that had nothing to do with the theme. This year, hopefully, will be a true showcase of two of the things that make Second Life great: Creativity and Community. 
For more information:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Coming Back After Some TIme Off

In my last blog post in December, I talked about the challenge of being original. While I was working on things, trying to do something new and different, I suffered a major case of creativity block. I had ideas all competing to get out at once and I just could not figure out how to bring them to life. In Addition,. I was dealing with thing in my RL as well that needed my attention. So, I left SL before Christmas and only returned to being resident here (as opposed to just an occasional visitor)  about 3 weeks ago.

Needless to say, the studio is gone, for now. I do have plans to rebuild it in a month or so. My project list has been pared way down so that I am only doing a couple of projects at a time. Most importantly, my creative juices are flowing again. I have submitted an application for an exhibit at SL11B (Second Life's 11th Birthday celebration). I have been working on the blueprints for a new studio and gallery.

The next few weeks promise to be quite busy. However, I do hope to have some things to add to this blog on a regular basis. I have one big project that has been sitting on the shelf for months. It is a project that has the potential for changing the way residents see things in SL. More on that in another post.

For now, it is just good to be back and creating in SL again.

- Linsey