Ahh, they don't make 'em like this anymore!
The Living End
Actually, they do! And the people who "make 'em" are someone you know very well. Birthday boy Hard Rust has been a cornerstone of the adult entertainment community in SL for years, and Spirit, ah...well come on, if you ever just glanced at this blog and have been (secondarily) alive in the past couple of years, you surely heard of her and admired her fantastic artwork.
Now, this issue has some outstanding material in it: want names? Ha! ...
"Envy Watts, Red Aura, Mezza Freenote, Lara Sands-Dieterle and Laina Sands.
Special Appearance by: Cross Aura"
And you can see wonderful photography as always, with that very characteristic style that so beautifully replicates the Golden Fifties with all the flair and wit of the contemporary eye.
Ice cold cola, Red hot Aura!
So, what I did this time was: I sat down with Spirit and magically, it's as if the post magically wrote itself!
Well, of course not. Spirit actually went to the trouble of answering my NC, and sending me the appropriate material. So big props to her and Hard for the help.
- Let's begin: when did you first have the idea to start a magazine?
"Well, of course I love to take pictures, and love the feel of Retroville. As Retroville is really promoting role play for people who come into the sim, I thought that my "character" could run a photography studio, but actually produce a product to pass around. It is a great way to show off the sim as well as get people involved. We try not to take it too seriously, but we are very proud of it and just want to have fun with publishing it. We all know that sims are expensive to keep running, so I thought this would also be a good way to raise money to help keep the sim here for as long as we can. I ask for a donation that goes directly to help keep the sim going, for anyone who is coming to me interested in being featured."
Raw shot of the current issue's cover.
- Tell me a bit about the first, perhaps also unexpected, challenges you encountered putting the project together. After 4 issues you think you got the hang of those? Has experience changed your approach, and perhaps put different demands on you now?
"One of the first challenges was clearly defining what we wanted the magazine to really be, and look like. We wanted it to be something different, that stood out from other magazines. So defining the identity and purpose of the magazine is something that I feel is fluid...and changes somewhat from issue to issue, but the core of retro glam and cheesecake will always be what defines it.
Experience has changed how I approach it. The first issue took me a bit of time to put together, I did that one all on my own. I didn't want to burden Hard with a lot of work, but for the second issue he offered his help, so of course I took him up on his offer. Let me tell you, the magazine is so much better with him involved as well...he is a whiz with layout and very creative. I tend to take the pictures a little bit differently from the first issue, so I don't spend hours and hours on editing. I guess with anything, having some experience makes things go a little smoother."
Edited version of the same shot.
- I know you already mention it (and I duly report it) every time, but still tell us how does someone get to be in the magazine. As model, of course, but since I know from experience that people ask, perhaps also as photographer, writer, or to have a product or service of theirs advertised.
" If someone is interested in being in the magazine, they can pick up a notecard that explains how to submit a request. As I mentioned before, for people who come to me to be in the publication, there is a request for a donation. There is two tier donation scale. They really are minimal amounts, but every little bit helps to run the sim. I don't take a profit for any of it, it all goes to the sim. I try not to turn anyone away, if someone is willing to donate, I feel that they have earned a place in the magazine, but I do insist on a certain level of avatar, I do want the quality of the magazine to be of a certain level.
Laina and Lara from this issue: raw shot.
At this time we are not opening up the magazine to have contributors other than myself and Hard. That isn't out of selfishness, but not wanting to put "work" on others. That doesn't mean we won't open it up for contributions from others, but for right now we are just keeping it simple. I have added a fashion aspect to the current issue, featuring fashions from designers here in Retroville. I am more than happy to keep the fashion feature going, and anyone interested in having their designs seen in the magazine can poke me inworld. I will feature fashions from anyone who designs retro fashions that fit with our sim, set in the 1950's, you don't have to have a store in Retroville. People knowing where to go to get clothes that fit our theme only helps us! "
The photo has been edited, and it's now ready for the layout and lettering!
- If you have some fun anecdote about something happening behind the scenes of one of the many photoshoots you did , please share.
" Oh boy....this recent issue had one of the most frustrating shoots ever! I was shooting Laina and Lara, who are two of the most delightful people I have had the pleasure of shooting. Well, since this new Firestorm update, my viewer has been....difficult to say the least. I kept crashing....Laina crashed a couple of times...I had to remake a simple pose about a billion times. A shoot that should have taken a half hour ended up taking forever.....but we finally got it done. Laina and Lara were extremely patient and gracious and the pictures turned out lovely. I tend to get a little...vocal when things get frustrating...luckily I was only in Hard's ear so he was the one that got my rants. xD "
Finished version here. You do notice the artistically hidden hand in leg and foot in bed with some lovely flowers, right?
- I always enjoy showing practical examples of what is 'behind' a photo, and thanks for providing the examples I have included: the readers can see above a gif montage, for instance. The pictures tell just a bit of the story, tho: walk us through a Living End page from start to finish.
" Well I usually start with a location, or sometimes even just one item inspires a whole look (for your bondage shoot with Kei in issue two, the bondage rack was my inspiration). I started off just shooting in the studio, but that was limited. I have now branched off into the sim, a great way to show the locations. So, I pick a spot, then usually add more props to dress it up. I leave the look up to the model. I let the model know of course that the look needs to be vintage, I will point them to some looks or stores if need be. Depending on whether the model wants glam or kink...I will set up the location in Retroville. I ask for a dressed look, and then a lingerie look. I set my lights, my windlights and angle...then take my shots.
Since she mentioned it...Image from my bondage shot in Issue 2, with Kei Frequency.
Usually I make the poses as I go. If I have premade poses, I will adjust of course as needed. Once shots are taken, I clean them up, do some creative adjustments, then hand them off to Hard. He is great with layout, that stuff hurts my brain. He gets it all laid out, then we work together on the graphics to add to the pages, something different than what we have seen before, and our little quotes to add to them. We choose which real life vintage advertisements to put in, and done, ready to be uploaded to SL and published. I use photoshop for my pictures, as does Hard for the layout, and Intellibook Publishing for the inworld book. The Intellibook system is really great and easy to use. I have been debating putting it online as well, but I don't know how to go about that."
- And finally, obligatory question: what is next for The Living End and for Retroville in general?
"Retroville will have events coming up that are awesome. We have role play nights to encourage people to come play. People are welcome to come play however they wish, in the 1950's. We don't prescribe the role play, it is what YOU make it. We will also be having another Erotigacha coming up, and we are considering a sim hunt as well, with clues to the hunt in The Living End...so join the Retroville group to keep up to date with the notices! Any designers interested in donating a prize for the hunt, please contact me or Hard Rust inworld."
A little bit of celebration in order, for Issue 3 cover making the Official SL blog!
"Our future plans for the magazine are to keep improving it, making sure it stays fun and interesting. We want to still keep it relatively simple, but something that people will want to be in, and want to look at. There is the challenge of keeping it fresh and in theme, but we are up for that! Real life offers a lot of inspiration. So, as long as people are still interested, we will still publish it. We really do hope people enjoy is as much as we enjoy producing it."
Big thanks again to Spirit for all the help, and I have only to add the necessary bit of info: go to:
and get your copy of the magazine! Not to mention, the info to be in it. Enjoy!
If you are featured or produce a SL Magazine, I wanna know about it! Send me stuff about it!