I’ve recently become obsessed with the different poses available in Second Life. I know this probably seems strange seeing that I’m not a model or photographer, I have never tried to be, and have no intentions of moving down that road. I guess, for me, it is about creating as much realism as possible, in a place that many from the outside consider a “game”. As I’ve had fun sampling poses, I’ve run into more than a few pose-makers and I’ve got to tell you, Dove Swanson’s poses are top of the line. Long Awkward Pose is an SL giant and Dove, the owner and creator, took the time to answer my questions. So here it is, straight from the woman herself!
For starters, I’d like to talk about your experiences in SL. What brought you to SL in the first place?
DS: Originally I saw a news brief on MTV. They were covering a U2 concert that was done in SL. I thought it looked interesting so I signed up; but, at that point in time my computer couldn’t handle SL. I couldn’t actually sign up and play again until later in ’06. I’ve been here ever since.
What were some of the things that made you fall in love with SL?
DS: I have to admit, when I looked it up and found out you could “make the sims have sex” I really, really had to see that. LOL. But, after that amazement wore off, I became entirely in awe of the fact that the possibilities really are endless and limitless. You can do and be anything, pretty much, all while never leaving your computer.
Those are some the things that made me fall in love with SL as well; although, you and I have matured into different roles. What made you decide to start designing poses?
DS: I dabbled in photography in SL, mainly because one of my only usable skills at that time was Photoshop. I went to school for programming (in short) but I got so burnt out that I didn’t even consider scripting when I entered SL. I avoided it like the plague. So I went with my mediocre skill of Photoshop, played at photography for awhile, and, as is the natural progression with photographers in SL, I then went on to poses. Mainly because, believe it or not, they ARE quite easy to do; also, because you almost always need a pose when you are doing photos. You need it to look a tiny bit different, or need the hand here, or the head there, so why not start making your own? That’s kind of how I stumbled into it.
Yes…it is a pretty natural progression now that you say that; though, I hadn’t thought of it until now.
DS: Mmmhmm. Tons of pose makers in SL started as photographers, or if they weren’t professionally photographers, they were photo-taking addicts.
*laughs* How long have you been doing the poses then?
DS: I believe it was around June of ‘07 that I opened up my shop the first time. I probably started a little earlier than that, though. I spent a month or more creating a nice collection and testing them on friends and volunteers to see what people thought.
Well, you have created quite a collection now! Long Awkward Pose has become one of the most well known pose shops in SL, how do you handle the pressure to stay on top of the game?
DS: Oh Lord, is it? Dove Swanson hides.
*laughs* Well, it says something when I can say LAP, and everyone knows exactly what I’m talking about.
DS: Hmm…I’m not sure I’m staying on top of any game. LOL. I just keep doing what I do. I make poses to fit an inspiration, a mood, an idea, a theme, a holiday. Whatever I feel like doing mostly. I also get great suggestions and ideas from customers and friends. I don’t think I feel any pressure really, probably because I don’t really look at it from that angle. If I thought I was on top and needed to stay there, I’d probably be ripping my hair out right now. There are amazing pose creators out there. I think it’s important that we all just give each other a respectful creative space and just keep on keeping on.
Darcy Earnshaw smiles.
That’s what SL is all about, right? You’ve got to have fun even when you’re doing business.
DS: Oh yes, absolutely. If I wasn’t having fun at this anymore, I wouldn’t do it. I feel really lucky that I found something I enjoy and I’m supposedly pretty good at it too.
Have you taken this on alone, or do you have others that are helping to keep things running smoothly?
DS: Alone. I started it alone, and for all business-purposes, I’m still alone in it. But I have to give credit to my friends who constantly come when I yell for bodies to fill pose balls for testing and who help with inspiration and ideas. And my guy, he is so patient. He keeps me sane, helps with all of my male pose releases now, from inspiration, creation, to boxing them up. Other than that, it’s all me
Tell me, which of your poses is your favorite?
DS: Well, if you had asked a few months ago …I’d say it’s this pose in my ‘Casually Chill’ collection called ‘Swagger’. I’m not sure why, but I have always loved that pose. I believe it was also in my original opening collection too, so it has been with me awhile. But, of late, one of my more recent pose releases, the ‘Slippery’ set, probably my all time favorite and some of my proudest work.
Do you gear your creations towards a specific audience?
DS: Sometimes, yes. Every few months I try to make sure to release male poses because I hear from them often about the lack of poses out there for boys. From time to time I will also hear a number of requests from other types of audiences. Models are a group I created for recently. I did my pregnancy set for the avatars that enjoy the family side of SL. I also do freebie poses that I release from time to time for the larger avatars, ‘chubby’. They’re just my normal poses adjusted so that hands don’t stick into hips or limbs don’t swallow one another.
So really, you create where you see a need.
DS: Yep, when I’m not off in la-la land doing something totally random and weird for my own amusement. Yeah.
Is there anything new happening at LAP that we should know about?
DS: Well, I’ve been working on a huge wedding collection for months now. Delays and computer issues (one of which I’m dealing with yet again) have kept pushing it back, though. But I have that and a ton of couple’s poses I’ve been sitting on as well, just waiting to get boxed up. I have some ideas in the works for more prop stuff also. I’m pestering here and there to find builders who will put up with my whims, though.
That’s exciting! We have a lot to look forward to then!
DS: I hope so.
Long Awkward Pose has a pose for everyone and it won’t take long for you to see this for yourself!
The main store is located at:
BelleStar (215, 29, 21)