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Second Life Spotlight - Shellina Omy

Linden Lab


Today we’re shining a spotlight on Shellina Omy, the creative force behind OMY, renowned for its unique, high-quality bento animations. Her work allows Second Life avatars to express their individuality in the most authentic ways imaginable.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I have been in Second Life for the better part of 10 years. The first few years I joined, I never logged in constantly enough to really feel part of the community. It wasn't until about my 5th year after having joined Second Life, that I became a regular resident who logged in daily. Ever since then, SL has become a part of my RL. I've always been sort of a geek about virtual worlds ever since I was young. I would join so many different virtual worlds and at some point, I would try to learn how to create in that world. I heard about Second Life while in another virtual world. Some people I met would tell me to go check out Second Life and learn how to create there too. I eventually took their advice and created my Second Life account...the rest is history.

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You create some of the most popular animations, poses, and couple’s HUDs in Second Life. How and when did you get started? 
I've always loved the beauty of the human body, studying art and design in school and always sketching, sculpting, drawing and painting human forms was a theme in any art I did. So it felt natural to me to want to create that in Second Life. When I would login to Second Life, I felt like that was something that was always missing for me. The animations and poses that were available to me then, never felt realistic/natural or allowed me to feel like I was expressing myself the way I wanted to through my avatar. I would search high and low looking for a store that would just make me feel more connected to my avatar the way I wanted. From this need I started researching how to create animations. Needless to say, I was very overwhelmed for a long time learning programs, ways of working, and all the technical information about animation. With no real world training or experience in animation and not knowing a single soul that had experience with animation, I felt like I was being swallowed up just trying to learn a few basic things. I was relentless however, spending much of my free time watching tutorials, reading anything to do with animation, trial and error. Spending countless days and nights staring at my PC screen with tears in my eyes shouting "Why can't this just work the way I want it to?!" Feeling defeated most days and then one day things just started clicking, making more sense. From that day on I was officially hooked and was unstoppable. That was almost 4 years ago now, and I'm still learning every day.

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What kind of tools and techniques do you use to create your content? 
There isn't that much information about creating animations for Second Life out there in the world and much of what is out there is dated or not the best ways to work. A lot of the techniques I use I've had to develop personally over time, trial and error and just seeing what works best for how I like to work. I do all my animation in Blender. I have tried other programs that are wonderful but I think because I learned most of what I do in Blender it has just become something I am familiar with and allows me to feel more unrestricted when I create. Most of my work is all manually keyframed. Basically that means that every movement, big or small, was created intentionally. The best way to describe what I mean by keyframe to some that may not know what that is, is like in school when you make a flipbook of still images and each image is slightly different from the next. As you flip though the book quickly you can see the still images come to life as if they were moving. Keyframes are points of movement that are set. To some that is a painfully detailed and boring process, but for me it gives me complete control over every slight movement. I could spend the next week talking about all the techniques I use to create, because there are so many, but I don't think I have enough spotlight time for that lol.

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Where do you get the inspiration and what are some of your favorite items that you have created?
Inspiration is literally all around me. It's when I walk to the park and see people living their lives or two people talking outside a restaurant. When I watch a movie or listen to music. The wonderful thing about creating animations is that there is an abundance of inspiration in everything. Emotions are in everything. Bodies speak their own language and much of the communication we have with others is non verbal. If you pay attention and look close you can see it all. Recreating that in my work is what I feel makes my animations realistic and provokes emotions. Some of my favorite things change all the time. Oftentimes my favorite thing is always something new I am working on or have just released because in the creation process you sort of become obsessed with whatever it is you are working on and other work you have done just sort of fades away temporarily, at least that's what happens for me. The HUDS I make are definitely some of my favorite things, much of the reason behind that is because people have told me how much it has affected their lives and how they connect with others in Second Life and that makes me so happy that my work has allows people to express themselves and show love and affection to someone that might be miles away or in an entirely different part of the world. All we really want in life is to connect to each other and I feel blessed and honored that I can be a part of that connection in some way.

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Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL who inspire you and whose work you admire. 
Oh my gosh! There are so many people that inspire me in SL. From random strangers I don't even know to people I have known for years. The amazing thing about Second Life is that you have the opportunity to be exposed to people you may have not ever had an opportunity to know. You can learn and be inspired by so many people from all around the world. Some of the people who inspire me are my small but mighty team at OMY which consists of Wolf, Veronica (Puddles), and unofficially Mulder. They are some of the best people I have ever known, ridiculously inspiring, creative, and talented. We are always bouncing ideas off each other, close enough to give constructive feedback and always hyping each other up. I wouldn't have the success I do without them in my corner and I'm very blessed. 

Some other people who inspire me and whose work I admire are Nata from Tetra, Vrutega, Jake from Fancy Decor, Masa from Deadwool, Tink from Never Sleep and co-owner of Anthem/Shotgun Popup Events, Coral from Miss Chelsea, Nova from Nova Hair, Marina from GBTH, Ara from Lelutka, Kal from Kalback, Ryan and David from Doux, Jay and Danna from Avarosa and Ken from Avi-glam to just name a few, I know I have missed a bunch of others too. 

The creator community is vast and they all have been so amazing and supportive. They inspire me with their dedication and love of their craft. Also, all the amazing bloggers who inspire me with how they use my animations in their content to create such amazing things, it blows my mind daily.

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Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts. 
I am most active on Flickr, Facebook and Discord. 
This is my Linktree with all of my socials. https://linktr.ee/shellinaomy   

I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported my work and OMY. Linden Lab for creating and maintaining this platform and creators and residents for filling it up with such amazing things for so many years. Being able to create and share my work in Second Life has opened many doors for me personally and professionally and without the love and support I receive, none of that would be possible.

Thank you Shellina, for enriching our virtual experiences and giving us a glimpse into your creative process.

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 

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