How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I joined Second Life in 2006. I had been an avid fan of playing Myst online and was looking for something that had a sense of community and connecting with people online and found it via a random Google search.
You’ve been creating content in Second Life for many years, how and when did you get started?
I started creating content right from the beginning when I joined, so ouch 17 years. I got super lucky and connected with an inworld architect back in 2006 named Scope Cleaver who built me something called the Bartlett House. I was looking at it for more wider user cases (part of my RL world back then). We called it the Bartlett House and it was pretty unique for it's time and the limitations then. During this, I got to build for the first time using the prim tools and created the swimming pool water for the house (it was all I could be trusted with ha). It was like a light bulb going off. I was hooked immediately on being able to create things in real time and interact with them.
Do you have a background in 3D content creation and what kind of tools do you use to create your content?
Zero background (as you can probably tell!) I learnt using Second Life tools which gave me the ability to understand some basics. In 2012, I transitioned from Prims into creating with Mesh. I then picked a 3D tool that barely anybody else in SL used (why not!) and started to learn Cinema4D (C4D) for fun. These days I still prefer C4D along with Substance Painter and Designer. Anybody just starting out - pick Blender (far bigger SL community to learn from and it's free!)
How would you describe your virtual architectural style and what are some of your favorite items that you have created?
My style is a little fluid and to date I am still trying to figure my own "dream" build for Second Life. Hey I might figure it out by the time my avatar reaches 20! My favourite remains when I was creating more for Scarlet Creative in world, the modernist white beach houses back in 2007 onwards. They were simple but really were fun to build so will always hold a special place in my heart.
My actual favorites are not houses. My joy was always creating installations and interactive region experiences. It started back when I first joined. I created an Alice in Wonderland set for a SL birthday that had a full on interactive build behind it in a "secret world" through to builds collaborating with brands like Sports Relief, Vice TV, BBC and Adobe in my first few years in Second Life. I did a brief stint as Princess Mole and loved creating with the original small team of Moles. However, my favourite was back in 2008 a region sized secret handbag with adventure rooms and almost like an early style adventure room. My one wish is if I had more time I could use Second Life in this way again. Perhaps actually when my avatar reaches 20 I'll finally achieve another one!
Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
There is one person above all others. Her name was Jewell Lamourfou. On the very first day I logged onto SL and escaped the Newbie section (of course I never read anything so just started to press all the buttons). I teleported on to her head somehow. She had also just joined in 2006 and had set up her little plot on Mainland. We both spent the first few days trying to figure out why there was smog everywhere. We became fast friends, and often would create together in the pre-mesh days. She was a real-life highly successful artist and created lovely textures for Second Life called Distressed Textures and had a wildly successful texture app co created by another close friend we both had. Sadly in real-life we recently just lost her this month to cancer, but I know her texture and artwork have left a legacy within Second Life that will keep her memory and beautiful work alive.
Thank you Charlotte, for sharing your inspiring journey and introducing us to the beauty of your virtual creations.
Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup