Auryn Beorn: Hi Joonie, welcome :-)
Ansel Artful: Hi Joonie, nice to meet you.
Joonie: Thank you! Oh this is beautiful!
Auryn Beorn: I thought this could be a nice spot for it. :-) Have a seat!
Joonie: Thanks so much so sitting down with me today.
Auryn Beorn: Thank you, and all the staff, for bringing the Expo yet one more year to SL. :-)
Ansel Artful: Happy to be here!
Joonie: Oh we love it. We have such a good time. But it wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of sim sponsors like you. What made you decide to sponsor?
Auryn Beorn: Anything that helps improve people’s health is worth working for, and sadly, cancer is one of those big black beasts that one way or another, enters in your life. Even if you never suffer it, I feel the right thing to do is helping to find a cure.
Joonie: It does seem to affect a lot of people. So thank you so much.
Auryn Beorn: It does. Not only those who suffer it, but the family, friends, all the caregivers.
Joonie: Auryn, you came to SL in 2009. How did you learn about SL?
Auryn Beorn: I learned about it in 2007, thanks to somebody I know in RL. This person told me about SL, and invited me to look over what he was doing, showing me places, and asked me if I wanted to join. I told him “oh my, that looks like a terribly complicated program to use, I don’t think I can ever learn it!” and let it go at that time. I had quite some things to take care of in RL, and I couldn’t even consider it at that moment. But it is true that what I had seen from SL was in the back of my mind for some time. I felt some sort of “attraction.” He showed me more things in time, and I was more and more curious about it.
Joonie:You came back in 2009?
Auryn Beorn: Yes, that’s when I started. I was kind of “hooked” to facebook games then like Yoville. That one was especially amusing to me. All I had to do was decorate the house doing some “jobs” every day. And that was his perfect excuse to insist once more. This person told me “instead of losing time in YoVille decorating, you could come to SL and lose time creating your own furniture instead!” And I finally cracked and came in here!
Joonie: And here you are! Ansel, you joined shortly after that?
Ansel Artful: Yes, just a little after Auryn. I can’t believe it’s been four and a half years!
Joonie: Oh I know! Time goes by so fast! How long after you joined SL did you begin building?
Auryn Beorn: Actually, I had started creating before meeting him. I could say I did from the first day I joined, but that table and chair were SO misaligned that I do not dare call that “creating”! More seriously, I started building when I was here for three months.
Auryn Beorn: What first called my attention in here was photography. I liked exploring, I started liking more and more taking pictures, and I found out I liked photography. So to make a long story short… I went for SL photography -> wanted to make props -> learned to build -> found a building school because I looked for textures -> found out they had classes -> later I started teaching there -> we met at class.
Ansel Artful: I met Auryn through her teaching.
Joonie: Oooh so you two met in class? That’s awesome. Was it SLove at first sight?
Auryn Beorn: Yes. Somehow he endured with four hours in a row the first time he came to my classes. =) I noticed though that he was coming more and more to my classes.
Ansel Artful: Yes, and I was immediately attracted to her wonderful mind.
Auryn Beorn: But he didn’t tell me.
Ansel Artful: As I say, she fascinated me.
Auryn Beorn: He asked me out to dance… and he was quite a gentleman!
*Ansel Artful blushes* We hit it off right away. I’ve been a photographer in RL all my life, and was quite fascinated by photography in SL.
Auryn Beorn: After that, we found out our common passion for photography. And many more things that we continued to discover, many more things that we share.
Joonie: Hence the name Ansel?
Ansel Artful: Yup, I chose the name in his honor.
Joonie: What would you tell other people who might want to sponsor Christmas expo but just haven’t made up their minds yet?
Auryn Beorn: I would tell them to go for it. They know they’ll be collaborating with a good cause, and it’s always fun to participate too.
Joonie: Do you collaborate on Black Tulip?
Ansel Artful: As far as our collaboration, I’ve never been much of a builder, but I do try to provide support in other ways.
Auryn Beorn: Black Tulip started as my store. I began with furniture, then because people at class asked, I added material from classes. Then I went for scripts. Nowadays I make scripts, books and mesh, mainly, and yes, he helps me, quite. He reviews the books and all the scripts documentation. Whenever he can, he helps me beta test, and as for mesh, he also tells me how to improve the models, because at times I can’t get right proportions to make things realistic. I have issues visualizing in 3D, and he helps me with that.
Ansel Artful: Only the little bit she’s taught me. :-) I mainly contribute by editing the textbooks she writes.
Joonie: Are you from the states?
Auryn Beorn: No. And it seems I can disguise quite well where I am from, because people normally ask me if I’m from NY, Germany, Italy, Japan…
Auryn Beorn: But I’m from Spain! :o)
Joonie: Really? You write English very well!
Auryn Beorn: That’s partly his fault because I try to learn from all his corrections! :-)
Joonie: So that’s why Ansel does the proofreading! Lol!
Ansel Artful: Yes, I love her cute ways of saying things, but I try to make the books read a little more like a native English speaker.
Joonie: Ansel, are you from the states?
Ansel Artful: Yes, I live in Southern California, near San Diego.
Joonie: What is the time difference for you two and do you find it’s a challenge?
Auryn Beorn: 9 hours, and it is a challenge. When his day begins, I’m already tired, and what I want is to relax… but since his day begins, he has to do work.
Joonie: But you make it work.
Ansel Artful: We do :-)
Auryn Beorn: So I continue working until near my 10 PM until we have time to meet.
Joonie: Where did the name Black Tulip come from?
Auryn Beorn: From my favorite flower the black tulip. :-) I always use names that mean something to me.
Joonie: Sponsoring isn’t new for you. You’ve sponsored in the past. How generous of you!
Auryn Beorn: Yes, this is my third year. That’s why I want to continue, while I can. I think I’ve been in all of them. In my first one I was very nervous, the store was still small.
Joonie: And now you’re like an old pro!
Auryn Beorn: Old for sure. Pro? That’s still to see. :o)
Joonie: LOL. Well you’re part of the Expo family now! I noticed on your marketplace site that you sell classes as well as your items. How do the classes work?
Auryn Beorn: I started teaching at Builder’s Brewery, and I did for two years, three months and six days. Students that couldn’t take the classes asked me if there was another way of getting the material, and they who suggested I make boxed classes. At first, they were on notecards, basically the material from class, put in order, with added comments, but notecards are difficult to read when the material is as long as I tend to make it, especially when many pictures are required. So I started exploring book engines in SL, to make books. None of them convinced me because I could make a simple book engine in one morning. So I went with my own, and started reworking the “class in a box” sets in book format. Once I started writing the books, I felt more freedom to add more comments and extras than I explained at class, expanding information, etc.
When I resigned from Builder’s Brewery, I still had a lot of material to prepare in books. But a group of students wanted that we continued anyway with our Thursday classes. That’s how I continued, and why I always have more and more material for the books.
Joonie: What are the different topics you have in your classes on marketplace?
Auryn Beorn: I have two scripting courses. One is designed for builders, so it covers basic topics they need to use one or another time in their life as builders. Then there’s another scripting course, focused to people that want to learn scripting as a scripter. But then, since I can’t avoid to be curious about how everything is done, I ended up having books for QAvimator, Music with Audacity (and the help of a script), MLPv2, Particles, Animated textures, assorted building tools, GIMP… and this year finally came what is being my longest course ever, Blender. I think that since I started I may have written more than 150 classes as of today.
Joonie: Omg Auryn! That’s amazing! I’ve heard designers talk about Blender.
Auryn Beorn: Yes… Learning how to model mesh is nowadays basic for builders. We can still of course continue with our prim builds, but mesh gives us a lot of detail with very low Land Impact cost. It’s worth it to learn it. Nowadays I make my poses in Avastar. I love that plugin for Blender.
Joonie: You make poses? What do you NOT make Auryn? Lol! You’re like a one stop shopping girl!
Auryn Beorn: Shut up! Lol!
Ansel Artful: She’s really amazingly prolific.
Joonie: She is! We need to be best friends, Auryn!
Auryn Beorn: It’s the curiosity. It tells me “you have to learn how to do this.” :-)
Joonie: That’s amazing. I so admire that. I’m like…. who can I buy that from?
Auryn Beorn: I can’t help it. My parents had a name for me because of that. Ms. Why. I was always chasing them asking why everything. I still ask a lot of questions.
Joonie: So what would you tell someone who is newer, has been here a while and is interested in creating in SL but is scared or unsure how to begin?
Auryn Beorn: I would suggest that they begin looking into the several schools that exist in SL, join help groups and they check out in Google and in the SL wiki + knowledge base, because those pages contain *a lot* of information. Once they feel more confident with the basics, then never stop trying to improve, and keeping abreast of the changes in SL. If they are introvert, as I am, then Google and the SL wiki is their friend as a start. I was very shy as to ask.
Joonie: What was one of your favorite creations?
Auryn Beorn: I’m quite satisfied with how the Blender books are coming out. Honestly, I never thought I could ever learn Blender, and nowadays I feel confident enough as to teach it. As for scripts, my favorites nowadays are the updated door scripts, and a script for fireplaces.
Auryn Beorn: Builders have a lot of issues with the basic full perm scripts that work with doors, because when you need to modify one, you need to understand what that script is doing, and it is intrinsically complicated because door scripts involve working with rotations and some maths. Even many scripters hate that part, so for builders, modifying one of those scripts can be a nightmare.
Auryn Beorn: So what I thought was in making a tool that took all the complications for the builder. For a builder, it’s easy to decide “this is a closed door”, “this is an open door” if they can just move their prims to those positions. So my tool begins with an auxiliary script that allows them to do exactly that. Builders only have to worry about telling the script “this is closed, this is open,” and then the script outputs all the data for them. They just have to copy it in a notecard, and use the main controller. They don’t have to mess with scripts at all, nor do they have to be bothered with changing values in calculations. The update gives more options, backup tools, and several features that people asked me for.
Ansel Artful: It’s really amazing.
Joonie: It sounds amazing. I had a door in one of my first houses that had a door in the ceiling. I was forever messing it up and then trying to fix it. It was HORRIBLE. The more I tried to fix it, the worse it was! Lol
Auryn Beorn: I know what you mean. When I started, back in 2009, I also did things like flipping a whole house while modifying a script! =)
Joonie: Lol. If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now…. what would you like to try in SL that has nothing to do with teaching, building, or scripting?
Auryn Beorn: It would be difficult that it had nothing to do with building and scripting. SL photography was my first love. This year I’ve found in SL photography a help to inspire me writing short stories from the pictures I take. I have specific ideas, and at times I realize that I have to make the poses and props myself. So all the building and scripting skills are relevant there. Let me show one…
Auryn Beorn: Actually, a few…
Auryn Beorn: This: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aurynbeorn/9805370075/
Both were to illustrate a text I wrote about “Life and Death.” I needed specific props, like the dagger, or the question marks. Instead of looking for something like that, I made them myself, as well as the poses. The idea was very clear in my mind, but I had no ladder, so I made one in Blender. Then I also released those poses and props for the store. But normally, one of those releases comes always accompanied a story.
Auryn Beorn: This is another: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aurynbeorn/10250696696/
Joonie: Those are awesome! What are you most looking forward to at Christmas Expo?
Auryn Beorn: Well, this year I hope I’ll be able to visit entirely all the stores in the four sims! Last year I almost made it, and I sure hope I can it this year, because I’ll be taking that week off. The talks with designers are always entertaining, and if I can, I’ll join several. I’m more shy for parties.
Joonie: Me too, Auryn. Well thank you so much for being a sponsor this year. We couldn’t do it without your generosity.
Ansel Artful: I lost my Sis to cancer last year, so it’s a little too close. We need to find a cure.
Joonie: Oh Ansel… I’m so sorry.
Ansel Artful: Thanks.
Joonie: It’s a difficult disease… hard to watch someone you love go through it.
Auryn Beorn: Yes and hard to see them go in such pain. It’s terrible.
Ansel Artful: Yes, so true.
Joonie: Hugs you both.
Joonie: Thank you both for your time ㋡
Ansel Artful: Thanks for the opportunity.
Auryn Beorn: Thank you, for your time :-)