Hello everybody! I am so excited to get to introduce you guys to LUMIPro's newest gallery artist... Jake Frost! He is not only an amazing talent but a great person as well. I had the pleasure of sitting down with him for an interview this week, and I wanted to share it with everyone.
I am so excited to not only get to interview a friend but an amazing artist. ! So first question… How did you hear about Second Life, and what got you started?
Yay!! Me too. I hope it all translates well for reading...
I think 2006 I created my first av to do a virtual social experiment on color of an av and perception bias. “Way back in MY time …” before there were skins and stuff. What was crazy back then (before Lumi) is, I had someone create a projector script to change the intensity and light color. So I got the photo bug early on.
That is so cool. I have thought about going around Second Life as a man just to explore a different experience. What are some of the things that you love about Second Life? What keeps you coming back?
I feel like Second Life is Purgatory for those who are sometimes stricken with something physical and can’t get out … and socially awkward. Specifically, I fall into the latter category. It allows you to be anything and afford things you couldn’t in RL. Even with all the saga that can happen, I LOVE the beautiful places here, and how much has changed (bling:rip). Also, I’ve made friends over time who have supported me through some rough stuff. It’s a place to learn and grow and create.
I totally agree! I never would have guessed you struggled to be social. You are so much fun to be around, but back to photography. You know how much I love your work. What got you started in photography?
Light. Also, I had people encouraging me to do more when I just started doing snapshots. When shadows got added to SL it was over for me :) A friend of mine in my Master’s program was selling digital art and had a gallery. I started tinkering. I also got kind of a mentor named Cienega Soon, and she showed me galleries of all the amazing things people were creating. Finally, if anyone knows the story of Colin and Melodious Source that’s what serves as a little seed of inspiration even now.
I have always said photography is a journey; it is not about being the best, but about where you are going. Why do you take photos? Are you trying to say something to the world?
I take photos because I can’t NOT take photos. That bit about being socially awkward... photos are how I connect with people. It takes time to get to know someone, find their specific light, angles that work for them. It’s this gorgeous puzzle mixed with a treasure hunt.
As far as where I am going … I’ve just started diving into erotica. It is NOT easy, and there is lots of, ‘Hey sit on the pose. Nope. Crap. Up please. Nope. This light sucks.” I do not want porn. There is enough of that to gag a cow, so I’m doing my best to set a better precedent for what art can be.
What’s great about art in SL is I’ve reached out to people who I feel are crazy beautiful artists and they’ve given me hints along the way. I have note cards collected from conversations that I read from time to time to help me remember basic things. Right now I’m trying to share my knowledge to help someone close to me get their skills up, so teaching is also a “give back” thing for me.
That is awesome. I love it when people are open enough to share their knowledge. When you decide you want to do a new photo what is your creative process like from start to finish?
That’s a massive fuckin’ question. It depends on the context. There are times I’ll see something someone is wearing, and say “don’t move” then start snapping. Others, I have multiple “long term” ideas in my head. One specific image I’ve been trying to re-capture for 10 years. I’ve gotten close, but still hunting for it. In general, it’s always a collaboration, and whomever I work with can say ‘what this really needs is…” then put that in the photo stew too. Sometimes, you just have to back off of an idea and come back to it.
I work in Black Dragon mostly, so I have maybe 100+ windlights I’ve created for specific people or for a specific mood. There are maybe a dozen I start as a base, then just move sliders around. My “vibe” is adding a bit of haze to an environment and love of shadow. I used to be rather monochrome but trying to branch out and bring a bit more color to things I do now.
What advice would you give to new photographers in Second Life?
Don’t force it. Surround yourself with people who encourage you, and respect the haters. Haters have something to teach us too. Take what you can, then dust those fuckers off and move on.
Admittedly, I struggle with that last bit. So that’s why I’m sharing it :)
Do you have any photography inspirations in either Second Life or Real Life?
William Weaver, Anya Ohmai (content creators and teachers), Eripom, Jinxy Jinx, KimB, Sonic, Lam Erin, Nekotto, Jeff Montgomery, Arnno Planar, Prophet, Loverdag, Swain Craven (mild drool) Samanda (who helped me way early on in the journey) …B. Tombstone, Bytedreams Slade… on and on. Also, I have to give a shout out to Coco (owner of Ilcocoli) who when I got frustrated would say “call me” and just show me things at the drop of a hat.
That’s just off the top of my head. I only follow those who inspire me. So, if I follow you on FLICKR you inspire me in some way.
So how about we talk about the hud that brought us together, LUMIPro! How did you hear about LUMIPro, and what made you decide to take the plunge and get the HUD?
Pondering. I think I was searching for a pose stand on MP, or maybe it was light scripts? Anyway, I can’t remember how it began, but I remember that immediately there was a community to ask questions with people who were having the same struggles making a vision happen. I think a combination of the Lumi community and the product itself is what made me a fan from the beginning. I also remember, waaaay back when, you and Stefan actually dropped by my little spot where I was learning. I felt like such a big deal lol. So that was a memory that kept me committed to the Lumi as well.
I remember when you first got started with LUMIPro! I love watching people grow in their artistic journey. Watching you explore new freedom and creativity has been awesome. Do you have a favorite LUMIPro feature?
Sitball. And let me think… sitball. Then there’s the sitball. When you showed me how to do that, it elevated my ability to make a vision happen. The lights and such are cool, but to me, the entire package of what Lumi provides (pretty much ANYWHERE you want to shoot), is well worth the cost. Also, you never stop learning with it. Mixing between Lumi and windlights gives me photogasms.
That is why I love helping people watching that “light bulb’’ moment when they learn something new just makes me happy. If you could pick a new LUMIPro feature what would it be?
If I could directly manipulate the skeleton on someone posing, I’d pay another 3k for it.
So tell me something else… Maybe share something our readers won’t know. What makes you who you are?
I love storms and creating experiences of interaction. So, the gallery setup is designed for direct interaction with the art, and spaces to just sit and be. We’re testing all the diff pieces right now, but I like doing things that make folks think about something differently for themselves and go create.
I have no doubt people are going to love it. Last but not least what are your hopes for your future in Second Life?
It’s cheesy, but to remember how blessed I am and to remain joyful. I think each person deals with the “I’m not good enough for this vision that I have for my life.” You are. I am. The person next to you is. What I am learning in SL about relationships extends into my real life as well.
So … whatever it is you are going through as you read this, I hope you heal if you need healing. If you are radiating with good vibes, share them. Be kind.
I hope everyone enjoys getting to know the man behind the camera. Here is Jake's Flickr if you would like to give him a follow. The show will be on May 23rd from 5-7PM SLT. (We will put out the landmark the night before.) DJ Xenon will be keeping us entertained. It is going to be a great time! I hope we will see you all there!
Until next time... Happy Shooting!