When I first found Second Life two and a half years ago, my best friend Jordan, had a show for me in her gallery. We titled it “The Secret Lives of Gracie Kendal.” It’s funny, as you grow up and mature in Second Life, you start to think about who you are and what you want in all lives. I am finding that it isn’t so ‘secret’ after all. And really it never was. Of course, we all have parts of ourselves we don’t share with anyone…and in that case, we do have secret lives… but for my part, my life as Gracie is as much real and public as my life as Kris. In fact. I consider Gracie my pen name or pseudonym so to speak. Sooo many great artists and writers have/had them, so why not me. (Ugh..we won’t go into facebooks recent banning of alternate names…LOL)
Anyway, as most of you know, I am working on my Graduate degree in Art. I plan on graduating in May of 2010. Yes finally for those of you rolling your eyes…LOL This next year is going to be a great time for me. I am working on my thesis project. I am still working on and thinking about what it is going to involve. I do know for sure it is going to involve Second Life and Gracie Kendal and “my so-called secret life” there. Which isn’t going to be so secret anymore.
I wanted to start by telling you how I got involved in Second Life. But actually before that, I wanted to explain something. Whether I talk about Gracie or Kris in the first, second or third person, which I may do, they are all the same. It is all me. I am Gracie and Kris all the time. Someone called out the name Gracie the other day at the grocery store, and I instinctively turned around…LOL And, when I see the name Kris in Second Life, I have to take a double take. Although some of my friends in Second Life do call me Kris. It’s quite intriguing and funny at the same time. But really… I was born Kristine, and ever since, my parents and family call me Tina and of course my friends call me anything from Kris to Kristy to Krissy to Kristine… Soooo what is the difference??
Ok, so the story begins…
In October of 2006, my aunt and uncle told me about Second Life. A month before, they had read about the music scene in Spin Magazine. They told me I really had to check it out. It was an amazing place for Art, music and so many other things 🙂 So on October 2, 2006 I joined Second Life. I was very very lucky. As soon as I got in, I gave my aunt my name, she IMd me and tpd me to where she was. She took me shopping that day, where I bought my skin, shape, hair and clothes. Which to be honest, I still have. So many people change their skins and shapes all the time, but I like mine so much, I don’t want to change. Although I’ve tried..I always go back 🙂 So I explored, going to all sorts of malls and even Archan (If you remember what that was..LOL). Actually In Archan, I met a friend who I am still friends with to this day. Within the first week, I had a condo, furniture and had started an art collection. It was amazing.
The next week, I had established my own little art gallery “Gracie Kendal Designs” where I showed my own art, paintings that I had created for the past 8 years. I uploaded digital photos of them into Second Life and exhibited them. It was sooo exciting. I started realizing the potential. People from all over the world were actually seeing my art. Art that up till then had only been shown and sold to friends and family. While I was at my gallery, I made many amazing friends who I will cherish always.
Within a couple months of being there, I was offered a solo show at Enigmatic Artworks to be held in December 2006. I will say, that experience set the bar high for all of the shows in Second Life since. I will always remember and hold a high regard for Amie Collingwood and Whisker Ophelia. I thank them for opening so many doors for me. My career in Second Life has only become more successful because of them. Thank you so much.
I have had many more solo shows since then, as well as being named in 2007 one of the top 10 best creation artists in Second Life.
Since becoming a part of the art community in Second Life 2 and a half years ago, my life has changed. I have made some amazing life-long friends all around the world. I have grown as an artist and as a person. My experiences here, all of them, have shaped who I am today and who I will become…and I am soo excited about the endless possibilities for the future.
More next time…