Welcome back to another installment of ‘Meet the Truthies’. This week we have one of our previous subjects, Koura, interviewing Selenity Rose Kayne Raymaker (ithilwenrose), who I affectionately call Sel. Enjoy!
Koura: Hello Selenity, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for agreeing to chat with me today!
Sel: It’s a pleasure to be here today. I’m very excited about this and also more than a little nervous. I’m usually on the other end of the pen/quill so to speak. Though being here with you Koura is actually rather relaxing. I remember a few instances where it’s felt like I was tag teaming with you in answering questions of others. I was like oooh one of the nice helpful people I kinda know! (sorry I’m a hermit)
Koura: Aww, that’s sweet! I’m glad you feel relaxed around me, I was looking at your profile and I noticed that you have been here since May 2011, is this your first/only account? What brought you to Second Life?
Sel: This is not my first account, it’s actually not even my second or my third. My first account rezzed in on June 20th 2009. What originally brought me to SL was an RL friend/mentor mentioned it’s existence in regards to a community we’re apart of having a virtual presence here. I was told to stay away from Second Life at all costs and not given a full reason why. I am one of those people that if you do not give me a I’ll explain why at a later time… or a reasonable explanation and just stop with telling me not to do something, well, it is a surefire way to get me to do exactly the opposite. Though as far as this avie is concerned, I left SL for a time and it was my sl Dad Dragon who convinced me to return. I had met him in another virtual world and he and my SL Mom convinced me to return so I created Ithilwenrose and began rping on SL as an elven child. When I stopped doing elven rp i began using display names and became Selenity Rose.
Koura: Wow so you have several alts and do a bit of role playing! Speaking of role playing the first thing your profile states is that you are “Miss SL Australia 2018” can you explain to those of us who are not familiar with modeling/pageants in SL what this means and how you obtained this title?
Sel: I am currently participating in the Miss SL Pageant. I applied for the pageant because I had stumbled upon their Miss & Mr. Youngstar Pageant meant for kids, teens, and young adults. I had to withdraw from that for illness after having an amazing WOW moment in my audition. I hate leaving something unfinished so I choose to try doing the Miss SL Pageant before fully understanding that it was for the the modeling world. I applied, submitted a head shot, and then passed my audition and went onto the country selection. I was allowed to submit my top three choices and it did not have to be the country of my birth. I am rather sensitive to the subject of cultural appropriation and normally I would have selected the United States as I am American however, when I told my SL Parents that I was going to audition I asked my SL Dad if he thought it would be okay if I selected Australia as my top choice. I wanted to honor the years of him adopting me as his daughter because in all honesty, he’s been like a father to me and supported me with not only efforts and dreams and goals in SL but also my RL ones. This has been my first experience with the modeling world and I am continuously awed by what I’ve found out about this side of Second life and the generosity of the Pageant Organizers as well as my fellow aspirants.
Koura: That sounds like an interesting hobby within sl. I noticed that like myself, you blog a bit and enjoy photography within SL. When did you first start blogging and what was the reasoning for it?
Sel: I first started blogging on a facebook page that was meant to be the social media account of one of my SL Role Play characters back in I want to say 2010? I love role play, and it’s one of the things that kept me in SL. Taking pictures, and including journal like entries for the character has since evolved into making stories using the intelli system and sharing that with friends and family. None of my photos were very good to start and I started to get discouraged. Thanks to supportive people around me (I’m looking at you Amber, Luna, Middles, and Ellen) I kept learning and with each success or noted improvement I started to believe that I could do this until I’ve evolved to what I’ve become today.
Koura: That’s something I never could get into, Role Play. I enjoy character building and I’m constantly doing that with new shapes but I admire those that do it. Since you mention your photos were not very good when you started, are you happy with your photography skills now and how long did it take to learn the ins and outs of SL’s phototools?
Sel: I am very happy with my current skill level. I see the marked improvement and I’m happy to say that it is very much in part to the encouragement I received from Amber that had me pressing on. I still don’t know all the ins and outs and am constantly learning. My recent exponential growth is very much in part to Visionaire Institute in teaching me how to take my real life photography skills and showing me how to utilize the tools in Secondlife to my fullest ability. Not only that I learned about a few techniques that I hadn’t learned in my photo classes that were more art techniques I hadn’t ever seen.
One thing that I feel is currently holding me back is that I do not have very much knowledge on photoshop and I am looking to learn. Currently all of my photos are done completely RAW and Unedited and while I’m happy with my current skills, I want to see just how far I can go and am still learning more. I’ve found some great tutorials by Anya Ohmai and Foxcity as well and have been enjoying the free classes that bvn have been offering as well. I also hope to start going to some of their bvnU classes.
Koura: You seem very dedicated to it, I like that. I’m too lazy with my photos hahaha. Bringing it back to the group now, you are obviously a fan of Truth hair like so many others, can you remember when you joined the Truth VIP group?
Sel: I joined the Truth VIP Group on the very first day it was opened. Cassandra Middles told me about it, I think she even me messaged me out of SL and encouraged me to come and join the group which I promptly did. I remember being shocked to find out that Truth Hair was still around. When I first returned to SL I had been told that Truth had closed their doors and I’d been very sad to hear that news.
Koura: Oh my gosh, could you imagine if Truth had really closed his doors? My head would have been devastated hahaha! Which group gift so far is your favorite?
Sel: That is really tough, I really enjoy Ambriel, Tinsley, and Teanna… then Bewkie is also really amazing. I feel half obligated to chose the vip gift that shares my rl name except it’s a short style and my heart just gravitates to Truth’s longer styles. I’m going to have to go with Bewkie at the moment. I’m really enjoying playing with this style but if I go by most used I’d have to say it’s tied between Ambriel and Tinsley. The styling huds have been simply amazing especially in combination with the bang add ons.
Koura: I really love the styling huds, when that started showing up in Truth’s hair I was over the moon. I really feel like we get way more then we bargained for on top of the group gifts!
Do you participate in the group often or are you more of a lurker with the occasional “hello” like myself?
Sel: I do my best to say hi and help out when I see questions needing answered. At the beginning I was far more active though I’d have to say I’ve tempered a little in my activity.
Koura: I can understand that, there are times when I’m quite chatty and other times I rarely say a thing. What do you like most about the group?
Sel: How empowering and encouraging it is. How quick the group is to be protective of each other when someone makes a harsh comment unprovoked. I remember a time I had shared my flickr link of an image I’d done that I was extremely proud of involving a truth hair and I’d been over the moon with how it’d turned out. It was one of the first images I’d done after becoming an official blogger for Truth. (I was honored to be apart of the blogging team for about a year.) I had wanted to push myself to show Amber that her faith in me wasn’t misplaced in selecting me for the blogger team and I’d immediately shared the flickr link into the group. Someone in the group made a comment that I was trying to just get more faves for the image and I remember feeling like I’d just been slapped in the face. I immediately deflated from happy to near tears and then… an amazing thing happened. Other truthies immediately stepped in and said that was not the case and that it was very clear that I was sharing the image because I was excited about it. A few people had even messaged me privately to make sure I was okay and reassure me that they knew I hadn’t tried to do that. Seeing the kindness from others and these people, many of which it was my first time talking with them that night, rallying around me… it was very empowering. I view the Truth VIP group as a place of empowerment and truly like my family.
Koura: Aww, there’s always going to be the ones that try to tear you down, it’s so nice that you have found so many people to lift you up within the Truth VIP group, speaking of people, is there a specific person who stands out to you, and why?
Sel: Amber, Ellen, Luna, and Cassie (cassandramiddles). Amber for always being there and encouraging me. Ellen and I became friends through this group and when she joined the chat mod team it was simply amazing. Luna always had a hug for me when she was around and Cassie for alerting me that Truth was still here and had not in fact closed down. Lately I’ve been seeing more people i know from other groups talking in truth vip and have had more than one reunion in the past few months with people I haven’t seen in years. Including people I’d known on my original avie and I’d pounced them not realizing I wasn’t my original account anymore and then im them and go hey I’m not crazy you knew me on my original account.
Koura: That’s really great, there are some special people in this group for sure. If you could be Truth himself for a day (this includes his talent and skill to mesh and texture) what kind of hair would you make? Describe the style as best you can.
Sel: I love long curly hair. I joined the military in real life and one of my biggest regrets was having to cut my extremely long curly hair, nicknamed the Princess hair, in order to go through bootcamp. Despite showing them that i could put my hair into standard, provided I went to bed with my hair braided, and do it in under two minutes if I had to. It would be amazing to have my curls in SL as my hair does have varying curls, from ringlets, to waves, to kinky curls, to softer curls as if it can’t decide what sort of curly it wants to be. I would love to design that hair and have it be in my original length which was to my mid calf. I’d love to do the textures in a similar style to what he did for Febuary’s group gift, that hair looks so SOFT that despite my aversion to short hair I do wear that one periodically because i love how touchable it looks. Of course with special attention to the different white textures. I remember very much identifying with Lady Amalthea from the Last Unicorn the first time I saw her as a child and then later the manga version of sailor moon and noticing how her hair had gone from blonde to white after becoming the moon princess. Even though I’ve always been more of a tomboy I remember telling my Mother that I was going to be her Unicorn Moon Princess and have white hair someday.
Koura: Hahaha that was my answer! Long curly hair, I have long curly hair in RL but I could not deal with curly hair at that length! I am sorry you had to cut it though. Last and hardest question I have for you, if you could only keep ONE of your Truth hairs, which would it be and why?
Sel: Ophelia. Something about that hair just calls to me. It is definitely my favorite hair. I always find an excuse to wear it if I can and it is my normal default. It toppled cinnamon from this spot previously.
Koura: Oh wow, I honestly didn’t expect an answer to that question, I couldn’t give one myself because it was too hard to choose. Well, thank you Selenity for hanging out and answering my questions. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and I’m sure our readers will be glad to know a bit more about a fellow Truthie!
Sel: Thank you for your time today. It was an honor to be selected and I’m looking forward to returning to my normal side of the pen. Or quill so to speak, when I get to interview the next member.