Well, we all know that most of what I did in my degree was make logos and illustrate stuff. Normally I won't be posting a lot of my illustrations on here unless they're of the "artistically meaningful" and "Poetic" kind. Why? Because I still have a professional portfolio to keep up under my other name (while Kieran Somerville isn't my birth name, nor a legal name yet - it's the name I go by, it's my domain name and it's my portfolio name!). Kieran Stephens was my display name on SL because a lot of people in SL don't like real mixing with virtual. In fact, I think it's against Linden Labs Terms of Service to share personal information like that. It's a grey area because being that it's also my professional identity outside of SL - it mixes in and out.
But you remember how last night I struggled to write a decent blog post that wasn't full of self-loathing and ready to throw my ass under a bus? Tonight is just going to be a bit of a clear direction into what I'm doing from here on with my Second Life. I'll share a bit of a portfolio on what I've done for avatar portraits, as well as some other things like logo design, etc.
I am always available for design and illustration commissions, and while I'm slow a bit getting through one or two I said I'd do ages ago - I'm trying to get better at this. You can't charge real life fees in second life. I've always argued with friends about this. Yes, I'm worth more than a measly ten dollars. Yet art isn't EXACTLY about the money. In real life, I'd charge 50 dollars or more for a letter-sized illustration piece.
For a professional A3 sized example (which is like legal paper sized in the USA) - I am embedding a piece I did in 2019:
This is based on a real-life individual I know, and he's on Facebook and I've met him in real life. He's no A-lister celebrity, but he was in a play we took photography for and did design work for in the early parts of 2019. Watching a Shakespeare play in person is amazing, and I have zero regrets doing the photography and riding the high that our team had getting in the newspaper and everything with it. The director, the actors - it was a real joy working with everyone.
What else have I done? Why is it just illustration?
I've had a dream to do comics or illustrated works of some sort. I don't seek fame per se, I think I just want to complete something. I have anxiety and that prevents me from completing anything because my brain is like "If it doesn't make money don't do it". If it sparks joy, do it. Dani Smith, the author, and artist of Shale City and other wonderful titles scolded me for having the "MONETARY" attitude. She said do whatever makes me happy and go for gold.
(Don't worry if you can't read it all, I will put up a post with the whole description of this. It was a piece I made for the 2019 Autism Arts Exhibition (INDX) at Otago Museum.)
I've done large massive posters, I've done small logos. It's not just illustrations, it's not just the words to a page.
Hah, I've even managed to get my advertising art for the local pride community on the front page of the local weekly community paper. Frontpage ads cost money, and last year they were more than happy to drop that. Dunedin Pride has been amazing in giving me a chance to volunteer to develop different, brilliant, and sometimes rule-breaking designs.
I can't promise I'll be available for full-time advertising and product ad copy, but if you need a template to get your designs out on the marketplace or for upcoming productions - I don't see why I couldn't pull something awesome.
I've also done REAL LIFE photography for our own graduating class last year in 2019. You can see the photos of what was created HERE.
I injured myself making business cards last year, I managed to make the wrong sized poster last year and had to reprint at the last minute. I put my story into a small zine sized booklet, and I put my portfolio up on the web. I try and be a beacon for others, but sometimes that dries up and I fall off the wagon and hit my head on the sidewalk. Then my brain acts like Peter Griffin smacking his knee into nothing and going "OWW" in a whiney voice for days. Right now, is one of those times. I'm still not sure it's a smart idea to even HINT at how being a millennial is why I'm so self-loathing - because it's not LOL. It's more that I have had a few too many mistakes, lost a job or two and I seriously haven't picked myself back up NOR dusted off yet. My "JUNK STORY" is ever free, ever-changing - and sometimes if i say "with the wind" - you know i'm about to make a fart joke.
I like that i've started this blog format, because it gives me that cathartic need to spill my guts but yet be careful about it. I'm not doing it for anyone yet, but myself - i guess sometimes i'm doing it to show others what can be done in SL and otherwise. I have some tutorials to do and other things i plan on.
I did manage to make a comic book, and I tried to sell these comic book bubbles in my store but nobody understood what they were for. I have a habit of doing things backward when I'm not under some form of supervision. I was allowed to do Second life, and then use realistic and real-life photography as a mode of illustration. I did do a cover and front page illustration for it but that's floating around somewhere I guess.
One thing I stand by is that Second Life taught me how to do real-life photography. I never thought about it before until I did my degree and got behind a DSLR. The way you frame things, the lighting, and the way you perceive the colors - All of it started because of Second Life. I reiterate this because my self-loathing ass tends to forget WHY I return to second life and why i fight to not quit when things get hard. Because it's my escape, my art medium and sometimes my teacher. People there care about people just like real life - and While right now one of those friends i've made via that platform is on a "long term hiatus" from talking to me (TL:DR - It was my fault, and long term means I need the space as much as they do to work through my stupidity loL) - I still know people care. Just because I made a mistake so bad I keep thinking it over and over, and stabbing myself internally over it - doesn't mean that individual doesn't care. They cared enough to offer a future olive branch and i kept bawling my eyes out and batting it away LOL. I Don't know how to chill, and I literally don't know how to relax after these sorts of things lol.
Second Life isn't just a virutal world full of pixels and 3D mesh and the occasional bully or idiot. It's an extension of real life, depsite being a game for some - it's an extension. We mirror aspects of ourselves, whether we realize it or not. We gain family when we least expect it on there. Some people, don't enjoy it as much because they prefer to live in the here and now. These people aren't bad, they're just as valid as those of us who treat SL as a medium for exploration and artistic merit.
There's a story to this, and one day you'll get into it.
Let me just tell you I LOATHED doing logo design in my degree for some reason. I don't enjoy corporate design. I'm not "an artist" for the sake of saying "I went to art school" - I'm an "art school reject" of sorts lol. I did design because it wasn't just marketable, I did design because while I respect the white canvas textured minimalism - I also respect the freedom and the philosophy behind the design. There is form and function with design, but design also breaks a few rules. We're the rebels, while the art students sit and look at us like we're the weird ones.
So after all this blathering, what more am I meant to tell you? Ah, that's right I'll run you through a little on how to commission me in Second Life. Out of second life? You're on the wrong website, lol. This is my second life blog, and while it bleeds in and out of real-life - it's meant for my second life.
Basically, while I will still be logging on during the week to practice photography, go shopping when I get the chance - It will be difficult to catch me in Second Life. My time zone means I'm usually gaming if I'm not working during the day if I have a freelance contract for anything. Remember: I'm in New Zealand, so I'm on +13 GMT during our summer and +12 GMT for the rest of the year. Why we "SAVE" daylight in the summer, and "Standardize" it in winter, I'll never know lol.
So as usual, you'll want to contact me via email kieranxsomer @ gmail dot com Or via discord: https://discord.gg/JjrKCUG
Or via the messaging/contact system on this website. Preferably do not use my RL website for that.
If you're curious about what a discord embed looks like peek here:
That's about it currently, I will leave you to it. I am not sure if i'm going to go back in and blast things with a stick or find a TV show. I haven't had the brains to go editing photos yet.
Here's a better version of the Yungblud I put on Instagram. I forgot to finish his eyes. For reference, I used clip studio paint on my Samsung Galaxy Ultra Note 20. Now you know why I'm broke besides not having a job LOL. If you head over to my portfolio HERE you'll be able to see what other illustration I've done.
Have a wonderful night peeps, and wake up tomorrow at least feeling somewhat alive? Maybe I'll get this gut-wrenching feeling to stop after a while... Just maybe. Who am I kidding? I'm 37, this is like my life mission to feel this way LOL. (It's a running emo joke, being a Millenial XD)