The Looking Glass
Special Thanks to Dagmar Haiku for doing this Wonderful Interview with The Looking Glass and for Photos …
Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen are impressive artists. Together they own “The Looking Glass” a store which sells a wide range of things from clothing to flowers and much more. It’s not only worth to visit their store because of the well textured items they sell, their sim is fascinating. It is covered with magical plants, a small village and a stunning villa. In short words “The Looking Glass” is the perfect place to explore and to take pictures. This year “The Looking Glass” is the sponsor of the Dark Mirage Sim at the Fantasy Faire, a good reason to interview Sharni and Marcus.
1. How would you describe your store The Looking Glass?
Its an ecclectic mix of all the things that inspire us. We feel that people in Second Life are always exploring and trying new things- so we didn’t feel a need to pin ourselves down to just one genre or style and instead we mix it up and do whatever takes our fancy. Its all done with love and we hope that it shows in the sim and the work we’ve put into it.
2. How did you begin as a creator in Second Life?
Marcus: I’m a creator in real life- so in a sense I never actually stopped. In fact- the ability to create was initially what drew me to Second Life.
Sharni: I started by making particles, after being mezmorised by a particle show at Inspire Space Park and was lucky enough to be mentored by my great friend and particle master, the late Evets Igaly.
3. Do you remember the first item you ever sold?
Sharni: Yes :) was shocked and amazed that when using my particles in a show, Evets had requests for them to be sold.
Marcus: No. Honestly I don’t. I just keep building and keep looking forward- so things like that seem to fall away into the past for me.
4. Did you always work together?
We actually don’t work together very often. We work along side each other creating for our joint store The Looking Glass, but on our own items. Our art pieces are completely separate and we guard this passionately to make sure we both have our own identities and projects. For charity projects as the Fantasy Faire and RFL we merge our ideas and items and enjoy the giving together.
5. Do you do other things than creating in Second Life?
Sharni: As much as I can I love to help out at Inspire Space Park, it’s kind of my home away from home and Earth Primbee, Grafx Newbold and Raph Cremorne are some of the most genuine and beautiful people u will ever find. It’s amazing to find people in s/l that you love as r/l family. I also love to visit others art installations and sim builds, always totally in awe of the incredible imaginations within Second Life.
Marcus: As much as I can I like to explore and be a part of the art community in SL, but I have to admit I have very little time for it- so mostly I’m just building.
6. What attracted you to Fantasy/RP?
Sharni: I have a very demanding and stressful job in r/l.. to be able to come into s/l and create or immerse in something totally impossible in r/l is an incredible stress reliever a great escape and expander for the mind.
Marcus: I’ve always been more interested in impossible things than possible things- so that aspect in a way feels more “me” than I could otherwise.
7. You are both known as artists in Second Life, for example Marcus created the Utopia 4 sim for the World expo in China, Sharni has had much success in the UWA art competitions* and you both belong to the creators of the Inspire Parks.
As builders of the Sim you sponsor, What will the sim look like? We were lucky enough to be blessed with a perfect name for our sim. The name they gave us was “Dark Mirage” Which we couldn’t possibly improve apon. The sim is a dark, nighttime magical and vaguely Persian look. Kinda like Arabian Nights or Prince of Persia but with a more magical side. Its a dark magic- but not necessarily evil. Ancient and wise and utterly unknowable. The way magic should be.
8. Is this your first Fantasy Faire? ,How did you learn about Relay for Life?
In 2009 we were both involved in the Inspire build team, helping to create a mini Space Park. In 2010 we jointly created an Avatar inspired sim for Fantasy Faire and were asked to recreate it for the main RFL event later that year. We Have know of Relay for LIfe in r/l for many years and jumped at the chance to be a part of a team and create to help in S/L when asked by Ember Farina.
9. We all have our own reasons to getting involved in RFL. What is yours?
Marcus: I lost my father to cancer a few years back and it came as a bit of a shock. He never smoked, drank, did drugs and rarely cursed – but still cancer got him. Made me realize the indiscriminant nature of cancer and opened my eyes to the need to find a cure.
Sharni: I relay for my Nanna and Aunty who both passed from Cancer and personally as a survivor of Cervical Cancer to try and support the research to fight and spread the word on the importance of health checks.
10. Fantasy Faire is an excellent way to educate and inform people about RFL. What would you like to see people take away from the Fantasy Faire?
A greater understanding and awareness that there are many, many people that are willing to help and support in the fight against Cancer. Its an amazing feeling when you realize that, truely, we’re all in this together- and that spirit of cooperation helps us know that together we can accomplish anything.
Thank you very much for this interview
*The UWA Art competitions are held by the University of Western Australia (http://uwainsl.blogspot.com/)