Today I met with the lovely Astoria Luminos. I wanted to interview her because I knew she did lots of different things in InWorldz . We’ve been friends for a few years so I knew she did dj’ing, but wasn’t quite sure what else she did. 🙂 I figured that doing an interview with her would not only be of interest to those wanting to know more about InWorldz and it’s residents but would be of interest to me too!
Moonrise Azalee: Hi Astoria! First off I’d like to thank you for taking the time to meet with me.
Astoria Luminos: It’s my pleasure. :smiles:
Moonrise Azalee: So, how long have you been in InWorldz for now?
Astoria Luminos: I arrived in August of 2010 so, about 6 1/2 years.
Moonrise Azalee: Oh! Wow, You have been here since almost the beginning
Astoria Luminos: Lots of people arrived that summer
Moonrise Azalee: What brought you to InWorldz originally? How did you find out about it?
Astoria Luminos: A friend brought me here. Within a couple of months we had a group of 5 partners sharing the region that eventually became Axis Mundi.
Moonrise Azalee: What were your first impressions of InWorldz once you got here?
Astoria Luminos: I liked it. There were still some fun bugs back then, every so often you would get the technicolor swiss cheese avatar or something like that. But there were a lot of creative people and I loved being able to build and live in an environment that was not cost prohibitive.
*Astoria passes me a photo from the first party she DJ’d at six years ago*
The first party I DJd was for Halloween. It was supposed to be in Victoriana, but the mayor had disappeared without deeding the land where the venue was, so my client couldn’t change the stream. We ended up having the party at my Meadow parcel, in a Four Winds victorian house. Most if not all of the guys were wearing the same green starter elf avatar *laughs*
Moonrise Azalee: There was a starter elf avi?
Astoria Luminos: Well, it was a freebie costume, IDI (the name of InWorldz starting zone – InWorldz Desert Isle) at the time still had those huge freebie stores. I think that one was from Aria’s
Moonrise Azalee grins That is something that has improved at least a bit. I took a guy friend around shopping not long ago and was happily surprised. I myself hadn’t looked at men’s clothing in a while.
Astoria Luminos: Ah very good! Yes lots of new things have come in with the mesh and all, sadly some things have left also. That dress I was wearing was a halloween gift from Evie’s Closet. I still wear it during that season but Evie has mostly shut down her virtual businesses.
Moonrise Azalee: Oh Evie’s!!! I have many of her things also. She was my favourite store I found when I first arrived.
Moonrise Azalee: What did you find the most challenging about InWorldz when you arrived, other than the odd glitches here and there?
*Astoria grabs some coffee for us*
Astoria Luminos: Hm well, at the time I was going about as drow in SL, and there weren’t really fantasy skins here. And though I had found a few really good clothing makers, selection was limited. So, I looked into finding templates etc I could bring here to create things for myself. Once I had done that, it seemed like others might like to have them also, so I created AlaZ and built the first version of the mainstore. I think it was early to mid 2011 by then
Moonrise Azalee: What does AlaZ stand for?
Astoria Luminos: heh well. My friend who owns Rotten Apple has some things here. The A was supposed to stand for me, and the Z is her last initial – but then I realized much later that the Z is only for her SL name, she uses a different name here. ::facepalms::
Moonrise Azalee *grabs her coffee, takes a sip and laughs*
I had always wondered how your store got its name- now I know.
Moonrise Azalee: So you have the store, what other things do you work on or do in InWorldz?
Astoria Luminos: Well primarily I DJ. I have also been helping out with InWorldz events for the past few years. I have had to step back from some of that lately due to increasing RL time commitments, but I still help out with grounds management and in an advisory capacity.
I also have another more obscure boutique where I set out some of the things I’ve made that are not avatar related. That’s tucked away in the Axis Mundi skyshop and has odds and ends. Or maybe they are both obscure :laughs:
Moonrise Azalee: I know you have some lovely lands, and a pub, skating area and such.
Astoria Luminos: I have built several venues here, mostly not in use lately. Club AlaZ where we are grew as a basement to the mainstore, which used to just float in the sky.
Now I have the pyramid and steampunk fans below keeping it afloat. And then walkways and elevators grew, it’s a multi-level complex now.
– Oh yes the skating area started out trying to be a building platform, but then I didn’t like that sitting there so I stuck some mountains around it. Suddenly it was a skating pond.
*Astoria digs around for a photo*
I have added things every year, and once this converted to 2×2 the winter level became multi-region.
*Moonrise takes a photo Astoria passes to her and smiles* That looks lovely
Astoria Luminos: The current version is much the same- Lexxy and I have done our New Year’s Eve party there the last two years. http://places.inworldz.com/Mare%20Sireni/218/191/8702
But now there is a stairway over to the next region, which has another winter landscape. Another venue I put together is the Greenman tavern. Originally on a parcel at a friend’s estate, I used to hold regular Celtic/folk music events there. It has moved a few times and now has a home as part of a cross-region bay on my estate.
Moonrise Azalee: I have been there to a few events.Not long after I arrived. I think it was one of the first things that came up back when i was always searching for Celtic places
Astoria Luminos: The newest venue is the one where Lexxy Moore and I hold our monthly “Pawsome Friday” events. It is called Cloud 9 and started as literally just one of Julia Hathor’s clouds that I popped into the sky.
Moonrise Azalee: That seems like a suitable name!
Astoria Luminos: There was a build I liked from a party where I DJd in SL very much, and I decided to try to create something similar here, so now there is a building there also, sort of floating almost above the cloud.
Although there used to be more than one club called “Cloud 9”, all of them seemed to be defunct, so it seemed ok to use the name. Mine is not affiliated with any other one in any grid.
There is also the Meadow. It used to have a large bonfire in the center, but I have moved that along the bay so now it sits between the original Meadow and the new tavern location.
Astoria Luminos: We did the initial testing for the Pas de Deux dance system there and later testing here at Club AlaZ.
We also did some early performance tests of grid software here.
Piled a bunch of folks here in the club and they went to town with their particles etc. Fun times :smiles:
Moonrise Azalee: I thought this place looked familiar! I was at two region test/crashing parties myself. And I could have sworn this place that we are sitting at was the place!
Astoria Luminos: :nods: To see how many avatars could be on a loaded region before performance started becoming an issue. I also still have the original fae cabin I built when I first arrived in 2010, meshified a couple of years ago along with my store/club builds when I was reducing prims to fit into 2×2 configuration.
Moonrise Azalee: Now that you have settled into InWorldz… being 6+ years *grins* what do you like most about InWorldz?
Astoria Luminos: Well, it is always a happy surprise when a customer buys something :laughs: I have made some wonderful friends here through the years. Oh! I guess I should mention the Lilliputians.
Moonrise Azalee: Yes!
Astoria Luminos: Back when mesh was first coming in, the Yabusaka petite avatars were very popular in SL. A few miniature avatars were becoming available here, but, what I really wanted was to be a small version of my own avatar. So I churned through some tutorials, bought some extensions for Blender, and made a “mini me”
Once I had done that, I have all these clothes and skins and things here, so I thought, well I could make “mini me’s” for other people too if they want, so, I set up a system that people can use to buy a custom avatar with a couple of variations and also with a modifiable “blank” version so that they could create their own looks if they have their own templates available. And that was the start of the Lilliputian Studio.
Originally I only offered the custom ones (not cheap!)
Moonrise Azalee: They are beautifully done. I love yours, and I believe our mutual friend Simone has one also.
Astoria Luminos: Yes I think she might! :grins:
Later I went into a sort of partnership with the awesome designer Fayre Scribe. I came out with Lilliputian versions of her excellent mer avatars and she has made some Lilliputian fairies. I also had designed a regular Neko avatar and decided to also shrink that, since I had already made the shape and everything. So now there are a few “standard” avatars that can be had. People can order custom outfits for those.
Moonrise Azalee: Oh wow, I had no idea. That’s awesome!
Astoria Luminos: I like the little nekos, because with a mesh avatar, the two eyes can be different colors so I made some sets of non-matching eyes for them.
Moonrise Azalee: Now, it sounds like you have a lot going on already, with a busy real life and lots of endeavours here – but do you have an future projects you are going to undertake or other future goals in mind?
Astoria Luminos: Hm well… I like to do performance, was involved with a performance group here for a couple of years but sadly that has gone…. but…. hmm… perhaps you will see me later this year doing something along those lines :winks:
Moonrise Azalee: Oooh…. you tease! *grins* now I’ll just have to wait patiently to find out! *laughs*
Astoria, I want to thank you so much for having me over this morning to chat. It was great to learn more about you and all the awesome things you work on. Do you have any final comments or mentions or anything?
Astoria Luminos: Well let’s see. I am always forgetting something :laughs:. Another thing people can find here is the Pulse of InWorldz group’s freebie store. I sort of fell into being in charge of that group from doing tech support, and when the region that the freebie store used to be on went into the mists, I moved it over here. ::passes over yet another LM::
Sophia kindly let me play with one of her great shop builds to create that one.
Moonrise Azalee: Well that is very, useful. Freebie shops are very important for newcomers and anyone on a budget.
Astoria Luminos: Other than that… :laughs: Thank you for the opportunity to chat about my activities here, it has been fun to share about them.
Moonrise Azalee: It was absolutely my pleasure. I enjoyed it a lot . It was really nice learning more about you. *and with camera in hand off I went to take some pictures of the places she shared*