Being a Real Artist in a Virtual World

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One of the pitfalls of being a real life working artist in a virtual world filled with people pretending to be artists is that just by being who and what I am I intimidate the hell out of everyone.  Add to that the fact that I designed and built my own Gallery and it’s website– which just throws more gas onto the fires of intimidation.

There is a very large art community in Second Life. Several Gallery Directories, an In -World Magazine specifically about Second Life Art Galleries … and all of them refuse to list my Gallery, DesignHaus.

They also refuse to invite or include me as an artist to any of their group shows. I recently attended a Gallery opening – the only Gallery besides my own to hang any of my work. I stood at the reception for 2 hours and not one person, besides the owner who invited, me talked to me. My partner gets angry over this and believes these people are all very rude. She may be right, but I do not get angry about it. I think because I see through that thin, insecure veil of faux superiority they hide behind.

Many people go to Second Life to pretend to be something they are not or cannot be in real life. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you “don’t fall for the fantasy” as a very dear friend warned me about 10 years ago.  Unfortunately, once one gets a taste of public critical acclaim and virtual fame I imagine, if one is not conscious of it,  it’s pretty hard not to let one’s newly bloated ego take over, especially if one belongs to a clique with a solid feedback loop of ingratiating flattery – suddenly one begins to believe that fantasy and all the ego stroking hype that goes with it.

It wouldn’t be so bad but the ‘Top Echelon Second Life Artists’ all keep incestuously copying each other and repeating the same work over and over and over ad nauseum – I dubbed it  “Varying Degrees of Distressed Dystopian Ennui.” In one of the funniest examples I’ve seen recently, the “artist” actually takes photos of other artist’s art works in Second Life, runs them through a Photoshop filter and then sells them as their Own Original Works of Art without any attribution whatsoever to the actual original creator. It’s downright comical. Of course, if someone tried that in the Real World they’d be receiving a Copyright Claim and Cease and Desist letter pretty damn fast.

Since I now find myself a complete outcast in this part of virtual society I choose to play with it, have some fun and also play to to my strengths and design the 2020 ad campaign based on this salient fact – I’m Different. My Gallery is Different.  (thank god) LOL

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Until next time …