Monday, February 15, 2010

The Bucket List

Contrary to popular belief, I am still alive and kicking.  Yes, while it’s true I haven’t blogged in quite some time, I am very much alive albeit it’s sometimes hard to tell being buried in photo shoots and Photoshop post production. However, I’ve really wanted to do this post for a long time and just now forced myself to “make the time”.  

My typical day begins early and consists of me waking, drinking or rather, mainlining about ninety six ounces of coffee before I’m able to move on to some more rigorous tasks such as personal hygiene. Then it’s right to work on my PC picking up wherever I left off the night before in post production. I don’t spend a great deal of time in world anymore and unless I’ve got a photo shoot or the increasingly rare fashion show I model in you probably won’t see me online.  Most of my time, up to 16 hours a day can be spent behind the screen processing one photo after another. Sometimes during this process and in order to keep my sanity I’ll stop and read the fashion feeds.

The other day whilst taking a moment and perusing the feeds I came across a blog posting where one blogger made mention she was under a form of verbal attack via Plurk or some other social networking place. She went on to say this attack now spilled over into Second Life gaining momentum and had quite the following of rumor rats. She didn’t really go into detail and while this is nothing new to Second Life and I’ve surely seen worse or at the very least more in depth public character floggings on the basis of “he said, she said”, it prompted me to do what I’ve wanted to get done for several months now. Giving me the virtual kick in the pants to write something I felt was important and make my “Bucket List” before I kick the bucket.  

I said above I forced myself to “make the time” because, as humans we tend to say, I can’t find the time, I don’t have enough time, a lot.  I’m no different. I am constantly battling the clock. And typically the clock wins and I lose. At the end of the day I usually find I wished I had done this, or that, had taken the time to do this rather than that. Many times I’ll fall asleep feeling pretty bad for not “making the time” for something.

So this is me now making the time for something I think we all should do more of and that would be, less bitching and more praise.

I have the great fortune to have a very long list of friends on my contacts list. Some you would recognize the names of, some you wouldn’t. Some quite famous for their in world creations and popularity, others you’ve probably never heard of they’re all equally important to me.

It’s from this list that I’ve been meaning to pull a few names, and give well deserved, long, LONG,  over due, thank you, good job, and attaboys, to.  And, I’m going to challenge each of you to do the same thing. Find those people in your list that are content creators, designers, scripters, builders that you know for a fact should be called out for being the great people they are and give them the praise they rightly deserve.

Seriously people, it’s just as easy doing something uplifting, inspiring and nice as it is to be disparaging and ugly. And trust me, it feels better to. So come on…make a list, pick your three, or four or however many you want and let’s hear why you think they deserve a pat on the back. Here’s my list.
1. Minnu Palen

You all know Minnu Palen and if don’t evidently you’ve been living under a virtual rock for a long time. The Lelutka brand is a driving force in the Second Life fashion industry. If you’re looking for top notch haute couture, you need look no further than the Lelutka brand. The people associated with and make up what is Lelutka have slowly but steadily built a major brand in the SL fashion market from clothing, hair, eyes, shoes to of course skins.  Now none of this was accomplished overnight. And certainly not alone. Minnu has been blessed to know and to work with some of the brightest most talented people in SL. And they are fiercely loyal to her and with good reason.  

Now I’m sure you all have seen her skin mentioned in just about every other blog posting of late. Her skinning creations are nothing short of stunning and continue to raise the bar with each new release. In addition, the creative forces behind Minnu are equally as talented and they all share a common thread. They’re all very quiet, hard working, unassuming individuals and some of the most bright, creative, talented people I know.

See while you may know the brand, the products and the names, what you may not know is what they’re like as people.

Minnu Palen by far as got to be one of the kindest people I know here in SL. She is always there for a friend and if she is your friend, you’re a lucky individual indeed. Minnu Palen is always ready to lend support to a cause. She never boasts or blows her own horn in what she does for others; she just steps up and does it. She is a strong woman with great determination and mad skills to boot. She’s kind, funny, wicked intelligent and not afraid to be original in thought and design. She is at the top of my SL hero list and all I can say is I am so very lucky to know her.

I had the good fortune to take part in the fashion show a couple of months ago releasing her most recent fashion line. I’m here to tell you that after countless numbers of shows I’ve been in and in working with dozens of modeling agencies and production companies, for the past three years, I have never been associated with one as comprehensive as the one Lelutka put on.  By and far the most well organized and perfectly executed show I’ve had the good fortune to be in.

Minnu thought of everything. I’m not kidding. Everything was provided to the models from hair, shoes, accessories, to poses. Fittings were done individually to make sure each design was a perfect fit. When we walked out onto the stage there was no question every detail had been prepared for and thought of. Even the audience had special costumes to wear in order to keep lag to a minimum; it was awesome to say the least.

In addition to that, and I hope not to embarrass Minnu, this was one of the best compensated show’s EVER in the three years I’ve been modeling here in SL.

You see, that’s Minnu. She doesn’t look at the people working for her and think, “They should be happy to work for me simply because I am who I am”, that is so not her. Minnu values the people she hires and treats them in such a way as there is NO mistaking that fact. I will say it again, she is by and far the most generous person I know here in Second Life and truly I am a lucky person for knowing her.

I know by now Minnu is probably covering her face reading this but I wanted her to know how very much I value her not only as someone I work with on occasion, but as a friend. I want everyone to now know what special individual she really is.

I’ve asked Minnu time and time again  if I can have her prim babies but to date she has yet to agree. I’m going to keep asking. And Minnu just so you know, I love you like pie and think you’re the greatest thing since flexi prims.  ;) 

2. Austie Pegler-Reasonable Desires

Ahhh... Austie… what can I say about her other than I just adore her. Well let’s see what more I can come up with.  ;) You may not know her name but I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with her brand Reasonable Desires.

Austie and her partner Martini Joliat  have been creating cute costumes and outfits as long as I’ve been here, I’m not certain exactly when they opened but at least since 2006.  Together they’ve created a niche in SL costume work and more recently have secured a big following for their beautiful, sexy and sultry lingerie.

And while I love, love, LOVE their work, that’s not what I’m here to say.

You see Austie has been sending me review copies of their Reasonable Desires creations for a long time. Back in the day I had time to review and blog some of those items and had a blast doing so as they were always so fun to review. It was sooo clear they had a blast designing things like their version of Little Red Riding Hood, or Alice in Wonderland.  But sadly since my photography business has taken off in leaps and bounds I have been unable to keep up with reviewing items. That hasn’t stopped Austie from sending me things. You know why? Because that’s how she rolls. She’s just that way. She’s a friend on top of being a creator. She knows I’m out of my mind busy. She has not once made me feel bad (although I have) about not making the time to blog a review on her items. She’s an amazing person, an amazing creator and a good friend. It’s never about how much someone can do for her; it seems it’s always the other way around. Again we’ve got a person here, a designer that is quiet, unassuming and hard working. She doesn’t ask for or have anyone blow her horn. But they should.

Austie and Martini create some of the most well designed comprehensive outfits on the grid. Their costumes are so all encompassing, providing every little detail to make the costume as complete as possible in every way, easy to just throw on and ready to go to whatever event you bought the outfit for. These two people must think exhaustively for every detail that goes into their designs.   If you’re looking for something completely unusual and totally cool, then check out Reasonable Desires you may just find it there.

Beyond the great designs, past the longevity of the brand Reasonable Desires is my friend Austie Pegler. If you’re lucky enough to be able to call her a friend you’re a very lucky person. Kind, generous to a fault and funny Austie is one of those people you hope will never leave SL because you know if there’s anything she can do for you, she will. And without her here the grid would shine less brightly.  She’s not just a pretty face mind you, she’s a great business woman and a talented designer. But more importantly, at least to me, she’s a great friend, one I admire greatly and someone I want to know.
Austie, I think you’re doing a great job, I love your work, I love you sweetie and I think you’re just the bees knees.  J

3. Gospel Voom -Gos

You may not know this name or this brand yet. But mark my words it won’t be long before you do. While Gospel has not built a huge following for his brand quite yet, as he is another slow but steady achiever, he has some seriously mad sculpting skills and I’m going to say, put this one on the radar.  

Gospel has a great profile. It reads like a who’s who of Second Life and moreover a wonderful resume. Gospel is a builder first before anything else. And the things he builds or creates are so awesome its just mind blowing. His 3d sculpted work is some of the best I’ve ever seen. The textures and clean designs he creates are simply top notch.

I don’t believe he’s gotten the recognition he deserves quite yet. But mark my words, if he keeps up this pace it won’t be long before every one has several Gos products in their inventory.

 Gospel Voom makes things. Things like killer realistic watches, sunglasses and amazing Doc Marten boots. See the picture. These are seriously, visual eye candy. Just the most stunning boots. Each detail more precise than the next. I’m going to go with a guess here; he’s the OCD man of my dreams as far as working on something till the very last pixel is perfection. Truly, this guy is mega talented. There is no question he can build and texture at the top of his class. In addition, he’s also lucky to have people that work for him that again are quietly unassuming and possess mad skills such as scripting. Take a look at what you can purchase for the boots. A little can of shoe polish (and its soooo cute) that allows you to change the texture and color of the boots, the trim, the eyelets everything. He credits his scripter for helping to make these truly cool and fun creations.

Gospel and I met by some fairly funny means that I won’t go into here but suffice it to say he had no reason to trust me, as he didn’t know me from Adam. But after a few conversations and yes even some heated debates, it was clear that while we may not have a standard friendship in SL, we do have mutual respect and value one another’s opinions.

Gospel here you go buddy, you’re number three on the list of people I wanted to send a virtual “pat on the back” to. You deserve it and I hope others will come to know you and your creations like I have.

Well, that’s my list people. Let’s see you post some of your own now. Pick some people... blog em... tell us why they’re special to you, give them the pat on the back they deserve and pay it forward. 

PS As always please forgive any and all grammatical errors. Thanks!