Creative comfort zones
In general I think it is save to say we all live in our little box, no matter how many friends, contacts, attention and talks we have, no matter how much we travel and explore. Maybe not all little boxes are the same size, some have expanded throughout the years, but I think no one can say to not live in some sort of box with limits. I will narrow it down now for creative expression only. Each and everyone of us has visible and invisible rules of how we express ourselves. Even conscious and unconscious rules are part of our box. Let’s call this expression inside our little box our personal comfort zone in which we feel best. I do not mean STYLE, because one person can have several styles in creations. No I mean the borders we do not want to cross for ourselves, ever or hardly ever. I narrow it a bit more down now to creating pictures in SL and posting them on media like Facebook, Flickr, personal blogs etc.
I name a few genres we all know as being popular:
- Selfies (I consider SL selfies to have someone’s own face and/or body as main content with no other things of importance present in the picture)
- Portraits of others (paparazzoted or not)
- Landscapes/sims with photogenic content
- Functional nudity (no erotic intent)
- Erotic nudity (soft sex)
- Adult pics (explicit sex)
- Interactions (avatar(s) in a scene
- Action pics (sport, car, bike etc)
- Event pics (gatherings like concerts/ DJ evenings / openings)
- Pictures from all kinds of exhibitions and installations
- Animals, cute pets, fun and fantasy
- Real life related creations (RL photographs, Artistic works, Campaigns and cartoons for some cause that we want to promote)
I am sure I have forgotten a few, but to give an idea of what people like and how they will yes or no choose one or more categories for their creations. These choices often are simple. If we are not good at something we will not do it. If we don’t like something we also will not do it. So . . . when we do not feel comfortable or skilled enough we decide to have this limit for ourselves and our box stops expanding. If that is a good or bad thing, a normal or abnormal thing, or simply a fact that is based on logic and common sense is not why I write about this. It is more to challenge myself to also choose a genre outside my little box and comfort zone instead of thinking it is not suitable for me or whatever and see if I like it or will start puking after a while :)
Confession number 1
I have to confess to have a bit of an issue with selfies. When I see a photo stream on for instance Flickr with selfie after selfie for the new clothes, make-up or hair that have to be shown, it to me has the look and feel of wanting to show off and gain attention for virtual beauty. And since virtual beauty is a bit fake ( I mean it is very easy to be beautiful in SL), it makes me feel not very comfy. I do not mean bloggers that have fashion and home and garden to promote, that’s what I call selfies with a goal to promote other people’s stuff. I mean the ‘ Look at me and my pretty face’ addicts that seem to drown in self-adoration and need to show it for comments that confirm it every day or so.
Confession number 2
Adult pics with very explicit sex acts I never posted so far. I may have taken a few snapshots now and then for personal reasons, but that’s about it. It feels a bit too much to expose myself like that on a picture that will not stop to exist like an animation does after a while. Plus most of such pics are just boring because the sexual tension level is zero for the viewer. To show and know how many sex partners have been around also is not really interesting :)
Confession number 3
Nudity with the sole purpose to be seductive. I know it is difficult to tell what someone likes to show with nudity, but I think we all know that sex sells and nude pics always get more likes than other pics. So let’s be fair: many nudity is being posted with that in mind as well. But the boobs and asses of our mesh bodies all look the same (except some size differences) which makes it all a bit predictable. I adore the few persons that choose to show imperfect bodies (old, fat and ugly etc), because they do not care about being seductive, they care about the tenderness and intimacy they feel with a body that never will win the beauty contest. It is a bit like this: I want to express/impress with my perfect sensual body versus I want to express/impress with my mind.
There are more confessions, but I will leave those in their little box for now :)
Welcome at the other side?
Yes it is a hard and grumpy verdict looking at it that way and I am well aware it is not always fair. So now I will switch to the other side.
1. Faces have something that all other subjects don’t have. They are interesting when using all kinds of shadow play and can use things to make the face different (hair, jewelry, hats, make-up), plus since a while emotions (mesh heads), though these still are a bit poor and unnatural. Even so, with the right settings and light a face can look different many times and it is a joy to play with that. It makes a picture come to life when you see a face. We can connect with it, more than with a chair, landscape or other ‘dead’ object. It imagines and suggests soul. Maybe it IS soul, because the creator breaths it into the picture with a certain mood, emotion and feeling.
2. Sexual pics can be very sensual when done well. In such a case I do not feel bored or annoyed to see a cock or vagina, a fuck or other explicit scene. But it’s not an easy thing in SL, that’s for sure.
3. Nudity can be beautiful as well, even when it has the intent to seduce and show off. A picture can just be good for what it shows. And it is tempting to play with a mesh body that poses for you as if it is the world’s best athlete: no back pain, no muscle fatigue, no feeling cold and doing things you never would do with your RL body (share it with the public). Still I like the less perfect nudes more myself. Or the bodies with something special on it, a tattoo, a bruise, a shadow that covers parts, all to generate a more powerful or interesting picture. There also are the nudity scenes with more than one avatar. They add an extra tension to a pic because like that it tells a story and create a kind of ‘what’s going on’ element.
To create pics as described takes skills however and not all of us are capable to do so. I most certainly am not. But it should not stop me from trying and therefore I created my own challenge, No idea if I will be successful, but I at least can try.
Because it is too easy to stay in the comfort zone of my little box I want to take a field trip now and then to a genre I tend to avoid. I hope to be able to not care if it will be pics that do not even come close to what I like them to be and just appreciate the experiment and joy of doing it. I already started this week by the way. I made a selfie picture and I actually paparazzoted Second Life’s biggest paparazzo photographer ARnnO PLAneR.
And now you all wait for the adult pics of course, I know how your minds work. All I will say is . . . . who knows. First things first! :)