An Avatar as an extention to our Art

I was reading the catalogue for Rinascimento Virtuale 2008 the other day and came across something Dan Coyote Antonelli wrote about how he sees himself in Second Life.

"Dan Coyote's costume is intended to be simple and low bandwidth, placing the emphasis on work outside the avatar"

I understand what Dan is saying and I think it makes a great deal of sense. He does not want to get caught up with distracting elements outside of what he is focusing on, which is his art. I respect Dan's opinion, however, I find that I see creating art in second life in a completely different manner. My Avatar is an extension of my artwork, not separate.

You see, in Second Life we have been given the unique ability to create what people see when they look at us. In real life we don't have the same flexibility. So when I created Bryn Oh I saw her as someone who will be tied to what I make. She is another canvas. But for me she goes much further. For example, when I create in Second Life I build off the colour wheel. For my particular taste I am fond of colour harmony. I like it when the vast majority of colours in my builds are variations of a set of colours. In creating this way I am able to create a more soothing atmosphere where there are few contrasting areas. But should I wish to make something a focal point for the viewer I need only make it of a colour outside the section of the colour wheel i have chosen to use. If everything has a bit of green in it and I place an object that is red.. the red will become a focal point because it is different and stands out to the viewer. The eye is naturally drawn to it. So when looking at the colour wheel we can create harmonic combinations using dyads, triads,tetrads and hexads off of the wheel. So what I mean by this is that when looking at the wheel two diametrically opposed colours are complementary. Creating shapes such as triangles and squares within the circle will create harmonious combinations. Anyway, this is probably quite boring to read so let me show how Bryn Oh lives within her creations.

In each case you can see that I fit into the environment. Should you look up to the colour wheel you will see the vast majority of colours i am using are found within the blue section. I also use alot of grey because its fairly neutral and will absorb surrounding colours into it.
Actually now that I am on this, I should mention a related problem with Brooklyn is Watching sim. It is a open gallery where people place their creations for a panel of varying artists critique them. The overriding colour on the sim is an almost neon green. If you work on a piece using this type of colour theory and place it in BIW then you are suddenly forced to include a very strong green into your composition. Suppose your composition is a sculpture of all subtle greens meant to be in a field of red roses. It was built by you to stand out due to its contrast with the roses. Once its placed outside this environment into BIW it will suddenly lose its strength and disappear into the green of the sim. So when building it is essential to know where your creation will be exhibited. What I always had to do if i put something there was to build a barrier around my creation so that the green didn't affect it. Whats the alternative? well go in a gallery and check out the walls. They are always white. White doesn't affect most colour compositions. Even better is neutral grey. Anyway, I seem to have gone off on a tangent. For me the avatar is an added canvas. It is something that you create specifically and talks about you as a person. It is not an afterthought to what I create but an equal part in some cases. I also don't want to be distracted by outside influences when I create. So I am not an aka. No matter how successful I become in second life I will never reap any gains in my real life. This means I wont create things in a quest for real life fame. Just some thoughts.


Scott Merrick said…
Hey Cousin Bryn,

Just wanted to share with you that your blog is in the running for "Blog-o-the-Month" at the ISTE Island Blogger's Hut in Second Life. Grab the "nominated" graphic at if you wish and encourage all your virtual friends to come visit! Congrats and good luck!!! And thanks for the ongoingly wondeful blogging!!!
Bettina Tizzy said…
This is just plain smart and well explained. I too feel overpowered by the green floor at BIW (a place I visit often... sleuthing for new blood - and finding it!); in fact, everything is overpowered there unless it is done in primary colors. Smart!
Anonymous said…
Oh Bryn Oh Bryn
What would SL do with out ?
IM so glad u call me friend !!!!
I am often reading here
often looking to see if u are on
and just cant never wait to see what comes next
Constance Maurer

P.S I still think every one is a alt !!
Anonymous said…
I too am a fan of your work and finally made it to your blog and was stunned. in both a good way and a 'i don’t believe it' way. You have in this blogpost referred to the subtractive colour wheel which is how the colour of paint works - literally removing light till you get to black- actually often grey because of the white paint - that is literally only half the experience of colour in SL, and maybe the small half. In-world and on screen are dealing with light as well as surface apperance and therefore the additive colour relationships over the top of the paint/subractive. We build up to white -if you place a red green and blue light very near each other the scene will seem white but what gets really interesting is how we perceive that colour. The grey matter really does matter in our seeing, responding and understanding colour. In the search for building images that seem real the artists impression in Architectural images often puts oppositional colours on the additive wheel to achieve a depth in the image -it is a probably a response to tonal difference evolved long ago. Therefore putting a white object in the middle of the triangle formed by the three lights means surfaces facing in different directions show different actual colours but the viewer sees the object as white –until you point it out. I bet you have been in a situation where you know there is something magical going on – but cant quite put your finger on it – maybe it is this kinda magic. SL lets us play with a strange mashup which is bringing the complete colour space to artistic practise. Viva la 3d while we respect la 2d.
Looking forward to this feed in my breakfast reading
JudyArx Scribe
Judy Cockeram

Wiki is a good start to understanding this light stuff –

The age of imagination is coloured by Light
Bryn Oh said…
Great post Judy. Its a funny thing talking about colour theory for second life due to the different rules for mixing colour in real life where adding all colours produce black. While in the computer world of RGB adding all colours create white. In the end though I think the base idea for both work fine when looking to create harmony, discord or whatever within a composition. Maybe a RGB post would be a good idea for the future so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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