*RISING STAR* – TRAVIS VELDE

Travis Velde is really something special with his unique style, stunning fashion photography and a great personality. I came across Travis not too long ago whilst browsing Flickr and was really impressed with his work. I saw he had a fantastic styling ability, mixing and matching which really worked well. He is not afraid to wear female clothes/hair/accessories with his stylings and when he does, he pulls the whole image off really well!

I really wanted to share Travis with the readers here because I was surprised I hadn’t already heard of him, and I’m sure there will be others thinking the same. It is a pleasure to feature Travis as one of my personal Rising Stars here on the blog, showcase some of his work and spread the word about this guy! I hope you enjoy it and will check him out! I hope to see a lot more of Travis around the grid! He certainly has a new fan 😀

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✦ First of all Travis, thank you for accepting my offer to do this feature on you today! Travis, can you tell us how you began your Second Life and what brought you here?

Thanks for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to share something that has become a passion of mine with you and others.

Originally I created an avatar a year or so prior to the creation of my current one. I played it for a few days and was so lost as everything was so advanced, and I just couldn’t seem to grasp it. I didn’t even understand how to get dressed, much less how to use the inventory system or where I was even going. Eventually I gave up and decided that it apparently was not for me.

Not long after I had quit playing, I saw a True Life episode on MTV about Keiko Takamura, a singer in Second Life. The episode was about three people (one being her) who embody alter-egos online that are vastly different to who they are in real life. At that point, I was really into The Sims, but I had begun getting bored with it because you can only do so much when there’s only one “real” person playing the game. That being said, the idea of interacting with other “real” people in a more realistic but somewhat similar environment really appealed to me, and I decided that I would give Second Life another chance. As is obvious by now, I signed up again and really took the time to learn more about it. I was able to catch on a lot more quickly this time, thanks largely in part to my meeting some incredibly nice people that helped me figure my way around and showed me the ropes, so to speak.

 ✦ I have been following your Flickr Images lately and can see you are a great stylist! How would you describe your own personal Style to those who have not discovered your work yet?

Honestly I just wear what I like. I tend to enjoy mixing and matching the old and the new and just figuring out the best way to make it all come together. If I see a ladies’ top or hairdo that I love, I’ll wear it, assuming of course that I think it can work for a guy. Having said that, don’t expect to see me in a skirt and heels (though that’s not to say you won’t either *wink*). I didn’t start doing this to impress anyone, but instead to just find stuff I like and wear it, and now I have the opportunity to share some of my more “original” ideas with others via the blog.

 ✦ Random question time now. If you were selected as the new CEO of Linden Lab, what changes or improvements would you like to make to Second Life?

This is a tough question for me. I don’t pay much attention to the “politics” of Second Life, and I rarely do enough for that kind of stuff to affect me. One recommendation I have that is probably on a smaller scale (but is huge for me) is developing a better inventory management system. I hate having to try on every little thing just to figure out what it is, so an improvement with the closet feature such as making it more like a real closet would be a definite improvement.

Another enhancement would be to try and make the it more user friendly, especially for newer players. I was lucky my second time around to have people to help me find my way around, but most people are going to quit after the first frustrating 20 minutes if they don’t have something similar, and it’s likely they won’t. Advertising more for Second Life would also be a definite suggestion, as I believe it could be much larger and more successful if more people just knew that it exists and what it actually is (and is not).

✦ Throughout the time you have been in SL, what would you say is your fondest memory or achievement?

For me, it’s the little things that stand out the most, like the first guy I talked to in Second Life. He was so beautiful and so nice to me, despite the fact that I was wearing the standard Second Life hair that you make yourself (the spiky, Phillip Rosedale-Phillip Linden-style hair). He introduced me to prim hair, skin, and clothes, and even took me to my first club introducing me to all sorts of people, once there it was an awesome experience, and I’m still friends with many of those people today, even if I don’t get to speak with them quite as much as I would like.

Another fond memory would have to be my first boyfriend in Second Life, though that’s probably obvious, but the fondest of all was being asked to join a designer’s blog list after starting my blog and realizing that people appreciated what had started as little more than a hobby for me.

 ✦ Finally Travis, As well as continuing your fashion posts, what other plans do you have for your SLife in the near future that you can share with us?

Honestly I can’t say I have any specific plans or goals (sad, right?). I really didn’t have any when I first started my blog either, but just wanted something new to do that would keep me busy and interested in Second Life. Everyone I knew had something, whether it was building/designing clothing or owning a club or what have you, and I did nothing… except shop. A lot of my friends began telling me that I should try blogging, so finally I decided, “Why not give it a shot?” I never dreamed that I would be on anyone’s blog list nor have people ask me to show off their designs on my blog, or to have people approach me and talk about how some outfit has inspired them in some way. It has all been very humbling and incredibly flattering. I’m having fun and getting to meet some awesome people in the process, and while I don’t have any specific goals, I’m not opposed to trying anything, be it modeling, walking a runway, or even styling. We’ll see. 🙂

Thanks again for this awesome opportunity, and thanks to all of the people who read my blog and the designers for their amazing creations, without whom this would all be impossible.

Be sure to follow me:

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/travisvelde/

Blog: http://ootc-travisvelde.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TravisVelde

Tumblr: http://travisvelde.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/TravisVelde

Google+: https://plus.google.com/111838105362156558104/posts

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