This is one of my more altered photos. I usually like to take my photos and publish them raw doing most of my work in the setting up of the shot within Second Life itself. However, I have been playing around in GIMP (1) a lot recently. I like it as image manipulation software. I like that I can customise it so many different ways and that it is open source. I don’t find it more difficult to use than Photoshop and in a lot of ways, I actually find it easier. It is certainly cheaper! Anyway, I digress…What was I thinking when I took this photo? Hmmm…
I’ve been playing around with avatar attachments recently. Wings and cyber components. I found this amazing arm attachment at the Shu stall at SL15B and knew I had to have it. In some ways, I feel like the cyber attachments are more ME at the moment. I feel like when I’m online, that I am neither this nor that. Like some parts of myself are disappearing into the machine. The tools I am using are transforming who I am and the art I make. The parts of my avatar that I am choosing to replace are the parts that I use most frequently in my art making…my arm, my hand, my eye.
I wonder if this is something that is speaking to me from a subconscious level or whether I’m just choosing this because I find it aesthetically pleasing. But then again, isn’t that which we find aesthetically pleasing partially the work of our subconscious? I think both things play and feedback into one another and that another day, I may have to examine that thought a little more closely.
But for today, I’m just enjoying the effect and playing with editing my pictures a bit more to get the effect that I want. I use the Wacom Intuous Art tablet (2) and stylus combined with Gimp. I like the feeling of drawing onto the photo directly, but there are some things I find difficult to adjust to. The discrepancy between where the hand draws and where the image is for instance. I am drawing on the tablet, but the image is on the screen. I find it takes me a little while each time I do this to get used to that mental turnaround. Also, when I draw with paper and a pencil, I turn my paper around frequently depending on where on the page I am drawing. I can’t do that with my monitor. I know there are ways to turn the page in GIMP, but it’s really not the same.
It’s all just a part of my getting used to working with digital art and online worlds. The learning curve is still steep, even 2 years on. But the journey is still fascinating and eye opening and I can’t wait to see what I will learn next.
The original and the altered version.
Location: Prime 3D
Body: Maitreya Lara
Head: Akeruka Lulu
Hair: TRUTH Halona
Left Eye: Buzz Gleam Eyes – Avada
Right Eye: [NeurolaB Inc.] Cyber Eyes EX-5
Left Arm: N.cc Nuada Arms implant -Shu Mesh-
(1) GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) https://www.gimp.org/
(2) Wacom Intuous Art Tablet https://www.wacom.com/en/products/pen-tablets/intuos-art