For this round of our “Faces of Inworldz” interviews, I talked to Tiana Genesis. I would argue that about 80% of all InWorldz residents know Tiana and her work. She is an artist and builder extraordinaire. Apart from traditional paintings, drawings – both on canvas and digital – Tiana creates amazing builds and jewellery.
I popped over to her exhibition at Teal Freenote’s gallery and managed to get hold of her for a little chat.
Tiana Genesis: Really, this has been an enlightening experience.
Leanna Caerndow: In what way?
Tiana Genesis: Seeing these pieces out… done at very different times in my life, looking at them all together. I see my own growth – as an artist and as a person. I never thought my art would show me my own journey.
For example.. this piece over here.. All is Beauty
Tiana Genesis: This is one of the very first pieces I ever did on the computer.
That was back in 1998. I don’t use filters really when I do digital art. Just smear, blur, the brushes and the eraser. And of course layers. I work in photoshop for digital stuff.
Leanna Caerndow: It’s gorgeous. In a dark way. The colours are very Gothic, I love it.
Tiana Genesis: It is interesting that you say its Gothic…One of the main passions of my life is in labels – how we see and label things. I get called Gothic a lot…or punk.
The way I dress. However,I am not… ->☠ LOL ☠<-
Leanna Caerndow grins, it’s one of the things I love about you 😛
Tiana Genesis: Oh goodness.. thank you so much 🙂 I think of myself more as a space pirate time traveler… if one had to put a label on. I love to challenge labels. Labels to me can be caging and I can’t stand that feeling
Leanna Caerndow: They can be very limiting, yes.
Tiana Genesis: We are all gifted. It is very difficult for me to make something very real. You are gifted with that ability.
Leanna Caerndow: I love organic things but I’m horrible at it. I can’t even make a rock. I tried in blender [3D] and I kept obsessing over the edges until it looked like an artificial thing.
Tiana Genesis: I know what you mean. Right now I am trying to make a spot in the water look like the ocean with corals. I know nothing about corals.
Leanna Caerndow: Oh wow! I would love to see that when you’re done.
Tiana Genesis: Oh feel free to pop over any time. Quite often someone will give me a tip while I am building or point out something I had never thought of. I think that is part of the gorgeous process of building – helping each other.
Leanna Caerndow: I remember when the library was new to InWorldz, a couple of years ago, you built a gorgeous tree house for story telling events.
Tiana Genesis: Oh yes.. one of my favorite builds and very challenging
Leanna Caerndow: I can imagine! It looked so intricate and beautiful.
Tiana Genesis: It was pretty intricate. I was playing around with how to torture prims and I think I ended up with some unusual designs. I like to see if I can create shapes that go together in a certain way. That has been a fascination for me since I was a kid.
Leanna Caerndow: Did you play with lego?
Tiana Genesis: I used to get these coloring books that was nothing but geometric shapes and I would make designs in them. And oh yes.. I played with Legos. Still do.
Leanna Caerndow: Yay! And colouring books for adults are very popular at the moment. I thought of trying it, it sounds meditative.
Tiana Genesis: Oh it can be. The trick is though…don’t judge what you do. Just do. Whatever comes out – just enjoy it.
Leanna Caerndow: I bet that’s hard for many people, the no judging part. I imagine it’s twice as hard for artists
Tiana Genesis: It is, even for me. I will go see someones build and think, “That’s it. I should quit.” No joke, sometimes that is my first thought. But then I remind myself I am on a journey, not at the end. There is so much yet to learn… to try. And then I literally hug myself and say, “It’s ok”.
Leanna Caerndow: That’s awesome! People should do that more often.
Tiana Genesis: It’s just those small moments of judgment that we all have and I agree. They really should… they should also sing love songs to themselves.
Leanna Caerndow giggles!
Tiana Genesis: Another of my quirks. But its like saying, “I love myself… deeply. Who I am. For if I can’t love me, how can anyone else?
Leanna Caerndow: Very true.
So, you’ve been in IW for almost 4 and a half years. What made you come here and what made you stay?
Tiana Genesis: Oh wow… 4 years? Gosh.. I hadn’t even thought of that.
Leanna Caerndow: Time runs! Or flies. Whatever. It moves quickly!
Tiana Genesis: ->☠ LOL ☠<- That it does.
Well lets see… I initially came here cause Carnage (Genesis), my partner, had come over and he was trying to get his combat meter going and we were offered a place to stay by Jillian and Hondo Newie. We never really intended for the combat system to be so difficult to get going but our main scripter was deployed overseas. And Carnage…well he has had two strokes now.
Leanna Caerndow: Oh no, I am so sorry.
Tiana Genesis: yeah.. its been rough on him and his family. Though we are partnered it’s not a lovey dovey thing. More like mutual respect and admiration. And I stayed over here… because, well, I love the people. I love that the founders are so here. I feel like a lot of folks know each other and a lot of them are willing to help and I like being a part of that. If the founders were stand offish or not involved… I don’t think this place would hold the heart it does for me. Like what they do for toys for tots – that says a lot.
Well, our whole community does but I am glad that they donate the sims to do that. So that is what keeps me here. Though i have been asked many times to go to different grids.
I tell them no. This is home.
Leanna Caerndow: Was there anything you found particularly challenging when you came here?
Tiana Genesis: Finding animations. It is still a sore point with me. I love to dance. In fact…I dance when I build. I park my avi on a quark [dance system for single and couple dances] and dance. When I look back at myself I see I am having a great time even if that dang mod on a script keeps compiling wrong. I don’t write scripts, I mod em.. 😛
Leanna Caerndow: And that’s what it’s all about – to have a great time.
Tiana Genesis: Oh definitely. I mean heck, if you are not having a great time here, then why be here?I know there are small frustrations but they are small in the grand scheme. And InWorldz is growing and it’s learning and that is important.
Leanna Caerndow: Here’s the question artists get asked all the time…What inspires you?
Tiana Genesis: Feelings, music, a passion and desire to make others feel, and what’s around the river bend, what will this look like if I do this or try that?
Leanna Caerndow: That sounds interesting – and brave. To just try things.
Tiana Genesis: Oh wow…yeah it is. I guess I never thought of it as brave but that is what I throw myself into all the time. When I did the build for InWorldz’ 5th birthday I was given a whole sim and was told, “Do what you want.” I panicked. Normally someone will have some guidelines.
Leanna Caerndow: So,this is your first exhibition in InWorldz?
Tiana Genesis: Well, I have shown my stuff at Cataplexia’s. But not like this.
And I did show some pieces for Jeri. The twisted art fest.
Leanna Caerndow: Yes, I remember.
Tiana Genesis: But this is the first time I have put my art like this. I was inspired by Teal and Quadrapop. They have a way of showing their art so you can see it and enjoy it so the focus is on the piece, not the surroundings. And I really like that.
Leanna Caerndow: Ahh, I see, yes. I really enjoy that. I don’t like art that is displayed in such a way that I’m distracted.
Tiana Genesis: Exactly. And also keeping it at eye level with your camera so you keep it in view. Quad taught me that. And here in Teal’s gorgeous gallery it is easy to keep a uniform size of art and easy to set up. And I just love showing it here.
Leanna Caerndow: It’s a “clean” gallery. No distractions 😉
Tiana Genesis: Oh yes. Teal is always so professional and awesome.
Leanna Caerndow: She is one of the most excellent people I’ve met. Wolf, too!
Tiana Genesis: I totally agree. They are two of my favorite people here. It is a long list though. I have a lot of folk that I adore.
Leanna Caerndow: I’m admiring your golden scarab and it makes me think of your jewellery. I have quite a few of your pieces. What made you create jewellery?
Tiana Genesis: Well, I make jewelry in Real Life but not like the stuff I make in here. I do have a jewelers diploma but I don’t have a place to make it.
Leanna Caerndow: Do you have a shop/website? >.>
Tiana Genesis: I bead, make chain mail and no, not as of yet. But one of my dreams is to bring the stuff I make here to the real world via 3D printing. I have started to take Blender [3D] classes so I can learn how to prepare stuff for that. My hope is that someday, through our virtual world, what we make here or vice versa could somehow be advertised and really help folks make a living. I see a potential in here that way. Not just as a game but as a marketing platform.
Leanna Caerndow: That would be neat. Some people do make a living with their virtual creations but it certainly isn’t the norm. And I’m actually surprised that it’s not used in that way.
Tiana Genesis: I am, too. I have wanted to talk to the founders about it. But I also get nervous talking to them. Silly, I know. But I admire them a lot so it makes me choke up. So to answer your question.. I just wanted to see if I could make jewelry here.. and I found out I can.. but still a LOT of learning to do.
Leanna Caerndow: I love that many of your pieces come with texture changers.
An Mathair was my first, btw. I saw it on someone and “inspected” to see the creator.
Tiana Genesis: Oh yes. It’s because for me… how can I choose just one?
That was my first one. “The Mother”. Named because I hoped it would give birth to something wonderful for me.
Leanna Caerndow: I hope it did.
Tiana Genesis: It did. Though I will be honest. I don’t get many sales.. ->☠ LOL ☠<- And I have never taken money out of here. I have a passion for spending so whatever I get goes right back out
Leanna Caerndow: Tell me about it…
Tiana Genesis: Yeah, I have put more in than I have ever made but I know a lot of folks do really awesome and … I suck at advertising
Leanna Caerndow: …you kinda do, yes…
Tiana Genesis: Then I have also been ill a lot. So if you’re not here managing your store you don’t get sales. So I know its my own fault for that. And for someone who has taken marketing I know better.
Leanna Caerndow: Oh no, I hope you’re better now.
Tiana Genesis: I am… but that is the reason for my long absences from IW. It wasn’t cause I didn’t want to be here. I just couldn’t be here.
Leanna Caerndow nods. And when you’re away for a while it’s hard to get going again
Tiana Genesis: Yeah. Building up a customer base is not easy. But then… I just enjoy making the stuff. Seeing what I can do. I was told recently that my jewelry is fantasy stuff and I was kinda insulted. I just see creations, not genres.
Leanna Caerndow: Ahhh, the labels again.
Tiana Genesis: Yep 🙂 I am reworking my jewelry store though. New logo, new look, and reworking a lot of my pieces. I have learned a lot since I started
Leanna Caerndow: So will there be two version of the pieces? Or are you going to retire the older ones?
Tiana Genesis: Oh I will keep the old ones out also. They are part of my growth. I don’t like to get rid of things. I am a hoarder when it comes to that.
Leanna Caerndow: You know what, talking about labels again… “All is Beauty” is the only piece I would describe as Gothic.
Tiana Genesis: ->☠ LOL ☠<- yeah.. it was done in a very dark time in my life. Most of these were born through my emotions. This one dealt with loss of my husband’s love. He left me for an online romance… and our three kids.
Leanna Caerndow: Oh shit, I’m sorry.
Tiana Genesis: Totally ok. I have another here that shows when it was final. Footprints in the sand, a left behind wedding band. I see it as… so that is done… and on the footprints go.
Probably one of the deepest for me here though is “My Soul”. I did this one after being raped. I wanted to hold onto what was within. I have had a challenging life and it pours out through my art.
Leanna Caerndow: I don’t know what to say. That’s just horrible.
Tiana Genesis: Actually, it was a blessing. I got out of a terrible marriage – it was the final straw – and I grew. And I discovered Second Life™. And then I ended up here. So you see… when awful things happen they can lead to good.
Leanna Caerndow: So would you say virtual worlds were like a kind of therapy to you?
Tiana Genesis: Definitely. I know others who use it as therapy
I used to be Christian but after the rape I questioned the protection of god. And then I researched and I found that religion is another label. That is what birthed this piece [Maztican] and the writing. It’s my concept of gods.
Leanna Caerndow: I love that
Tiana Genesis: Thank you 🙂
Tiana Genesis: Maztican is free for anyone. I actually am considering putting out a couple more gifts of my art in appreciation for everyone who has complimented me. It has moved me deeply what everyone has said.
Tiana Genesis: This piece over here is a lot of folks favorite. Past, Present, Future.
We are only who we are in this moment… regardless. I love to play with the windlight and take pics of my avi. Not as an ego thing but I want to create an image of emotion
Leanna Caerndow: I love playing with that, too, I’m just too lazy. It takes a lot of time (for me).
Tiana Genesis: ->☠ LOL ☠<- Yeah it does take time. I will spend hours changing windlight and all are different on each pose until I get something that makes me go, “Oh yeah, that one!”
I think the hardest piece for me to put in, but I felt it showed my journey so I put it in, is “My Shadow”. I allowed myself to love someone in SL -a virtual love. But he affected my path and was part of the reason I came here. That was our first romantic moment together.
Leanna Caerndow: Oh wow, that’s a very intimate picture.
Tiana Genesis: Yeah, it was an intimate emotional moment for me. I had a crush on him…and to finally have his attention was like… wow. It would be wonderful to have that again someday but have it lead to or be real 😛
I also delve in photography though I am no expert. No idea on filters etc. These were all taken with the auto setting and they are untouched. All I did was shrink the image size down so I could upload them.
Leanna Caerndow: I know nothing about photography other than that I recognise a great pic when I see it and these *are* great
Tiana Genesis: Thank you. It was a great time though a bit unnerving knowing you are walking around in a super volcano – Yellowstone. The trees die there from the acids but some thrive
Leanna Caerndow: Nature is fascinating like that.
Tiana Genesis: It’s an interesting view of life and death in a very hostile environment.
Tiana walks over to other exhibits:
All of these 3D ones are digital images I “painted”. I was curious to see if I could add more to them to make them… more emotional. It’s amazing to me to be able to do this with my art. I also have a love for ancient Egypt. I swear I must have had another life back then. The back ground is a digital painting. I really love how this one turned out. I even put it in one of my peek a boo sets and danced with it in the set.
I think that is another art form for me here.
Leanna Caerndow: I love the Peek-a-Boo [Burlesque Theatre on the sim Underworld] performances, they are very artistic
Tiana Genesis: Oh gosh yes. What the gals build is amazing. I have so much fun doing that. I have to express myself that way and have the freedom to do it however I want and let other gals do what they want. I think that is important.
Leanna Caerndow: Do you have any projects (big or small) upcoming?
Tiana Genesis: Oh gosh yes. I am doing a four sim rebuild for JstChrmn for one.
And I am not sure what they need my help with for IW7 but I hope to have something in there. And I plan on getting my store redone. And we have a huge Peek-a-Boo show we are doing for InWorldz 7 [InWorldz’ 7th birthday]
Leanna Caerndow: You’re such a big part of the InWorldz community, you have to! Everybody knows the “chick with the peg leg” 😀
Tiana Genesis: Roflmao. Yeah, I get razzed when I take it off. No one wants me to change how I am.
Leanna Caerndow: Oh HELL no!
Tiana Genesis: Still, for some artistic performances with Peek-a-Boo I sometimes do. It just depends on the mood I want to evoke.
Leanna Caerndow: What made you decide you want a peg leg, though?…Oh wait, it’s the pirate aspect.
Tiana Genesis: Yep. It actually started out as a joke and I just left it on. My first leg had an arrow through it. I have a few now! I love to make people laugh. I laugh. So, it’s great to laugh!
Leanna Caerndow: How long will your exhibit here be open?
Tiana Genesis: Oh ya know, I have been meaning to ask Teal that. I have no idea.
Leanna Caerndow: Is there anything you’d want me to not share on the blog?
Tiana Genesis: Nope, you can share whatever you want. I am who I am. 🙂 My art is my life’s journey.
Leanna Caerndow: Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview!
Tiana Genesis: You are so very welcome 🙂