MEMBERSHIP: Focus on MADD Modelz

Founded in April 2018, MADD Modelz is a group of some of the strongest, most dedicated and multi-talented professionals in the SL fashion industry on the grid. They share one mission: to “create moments in SL that make people smile.” With this mission in mind, on November 2nd they celebrated the grand opening of Modelz College where they will be sharing their combined experience and eclectic, honed knowledge of the fashion industry and beyond with anyone who wants to get the utmost out of their Second Life. Classes range from fashion to blogging and advanced PhotoShop skills. Patrick and I invited them to FOCUS to talk about their exciting new path!

Patrick: Thank you, ladies, for meeting with us and so early in the morning! I have my coffee in hand, so if you’re ready let’s dive right in. I’d like to direction this question to all three of you. How did you get involved in second life?

Adriel: I discovered it through friends I went to university with. When she moved away, we used it to stay in touch and I loved it! So 10 years later I’m still here. I get bored easily so I love that I can choose to do something new on a moment’s notice in SL. I think that freedom is why I stick around.

Chey: I came to SL originally for Gorean RP and then I started designing clothes, which kept me busy. And then I began modeling. And now I stay because Jess threatens me with my life. 🙂 I’m just kidding. I stay because I have lots of friends and I love my modeling and my blogging.

RedJess: I came here about 2011 when my late husband was working in Guam. A local friend suggested it because she knew I was social and home with a young child. My friend said “Oh I’ve got something for you!” Then, within 2 hours of logging in, I no longer looked like a noob because I met people and someone said I looked like a model and directed me to Costa Rica sims modeling academy and I never looked back. That’s how I got involved in the SL fashion industry.

Patrick: What are your goals in Second Life? What is it that you want to accomplish?

Chey: I find that some people can be a bit headstrong in SL and they don’t want to share what they know with others. My personal goal is to share everything I know about modeling, blogging or building – really anything I know and have learned. And that kind of goes with the goal of MADD Modelz. We want to give people a place where they can learn somewhat at their own pace and they’re not going to be limited to what people do and do not want to share. They’re going to get all of the relevant and up-to-date information we have to offer. There are so many people with lots of different things they are good at and we will combine all that knowledge into one place where others can come and learn.

RedJess: You know, Adriel and I don’t even have to say anything. Chey just answered it for us.

Chey: You’re welcome. LOL

Adriel: I just want to add that everyone comes to SL for a reason. It’s our little escape from the day-to-day of real life. So, my hope is that we are all more supportive of each other rather than separate from each other. I see it especially so much in the modeling world that there are cliques – cliques based on where you’re born, what country you’re from and who you know. I’d love to erase those lines so we are all supporting one another rather than working against each other.

RedJess: I agree. The cliques are quite established. And, let’s be real: we’re not going to be able to erase them. But that doesn’t mean we won’t try! We want people to feel accepted at MADD Modelz. We want to be trailblazers of a different path. We all came into fashion in different ways and different modeling schools, and we’ve all grown into our own niche. Like, Adriel is a creator and Chey is a serious blogger. I am very much into production and teaching MADD Modelz is very much about pulling all of these different talents together and sharing the wealth. And most of all, MADD is about having fun and making SL better for everyone who joins us.

Patrick: A big part of FOCUS, obviously, is photography and for me, that is my artistic outlet. Each of you have artistic outlets as well, like blogging and creating. Can you tell me what draws you to those particular interests and what you love about them?

Chey: Well, when I first started blogging, I followed a lot of bloggers on places like Facebook and I kept seeing comments from people asking “where is that hair from?” or “where are those shoes from?” and I’d say probably 80% of bloggers don’t credit that stuff. They’ll wear a top and pants and that’s all they credit. They give no information about what else is happening in a picture and that would drive me crazy. I am one of those people who would go searching for those things. So, there aren’t a lot of descriptive bloggers and when I started blogging, I knew I’d be one of them. I don’t just post a picture and give credit. I talk about what I’m wearing.

Adriel: For me, I tend to get bored easily so I love to have opportunities to create new things. I also came from modelling and I noticed that a lot of models take the safe route, and I didn’t want to. I wanted to be different and I wanted to stand out so I started to make my own clothes and my own accessories. I could get as freaky as I wanted to. Then people started to ask me “Hey, can you make me this or that” and eventually it turned into my store, Prey. I never liked to see people wear things straight from a box so a lot of my items had different parts that people could choose from and make their outfit unique. But Prey had to go on the back burner due to real life for a while but there just might be something coming in the future.

RedJess: Well, you know I am a recent graduate of Visionaire photography school, and Adriel was a graduate long before me. I really think that Visionaire is the best L$20k I have spent in SL. I highly recommend it. It’s been wonderful to have photography as my SL artistic outlet, especially when RL gets in the way of my RL artistic outlet of sculpture.

Patrick: Please tell me about the MADD Modelz Infohub, what it is and what your hope is to accomplish with it?

RedJess: Our infohub is our latest “brain child.” It’s a way to be a source of information for people and to offer learning opportunities not just from MADD but from other’s events as well. If someone has an event in the fashion industry, just contact Adriel and let her know and we will put it on our universal calendar so we can all plan our events so that they don’t coincide with one another. Also, we will have direct teleporters to events like fashion events, hunts, shopping events and more at the Infohub. And all for free! We have a good amount of traffic at our Infohub as it is, and we hope that more people will become involved and use the calendar as a resource. As a continuation of the infohub, we are also developing our idea for a school of our own that I really think will take off in the new year. We will of course have people teaching classes about modelling, but we will also offer other helpful courses like photoshop and blogging essentials. And there is no defined course path. Everyone can choose whatever classes appeal to them and choose their own path based on their interests. We are dedicated to being an ALL inclusive school – open to anyone from any walk of life who genuinely want to learn. And we’re looking forward to learning more ourselves from this experience.

We’re having a grand opening for the school on November 2nd and classes begin in January. We hope that as many people as possible attend the grand opening to see what we’re all about.

Patrick: Thank you all so much for this interview. You all – including the rest of your team – are good friends to FOCUS and Too Sexy for this Group. Can you tell us how being a part of TSFTG has affected your SL?

Chey: For me, TSFTG has connected me with a lot of new people who share a love of photography as I do. I used to be one of those who just snapped a picture in-world and then photoshopped the hell out of it for hours if not days and called myself a photographer. When I started blogging and got into chatting with others from TSFTG it helped me take more pride in the actual “photography” of SecondLife. Anyone can learn to manipulate photoshop, but being able to share and learn from others about what true photography is, manipulating those windlights, angles, focal points etc. That’s what makes a person a photographer. Photoshop isn’t photography, hence why it’s called an “editing program.” TSFTG has opened the door to so many photographers to come together and grow, share and truly enjoy a common interest.

RedJess: TSFTG is a group that we stumbled across and since we stumbled, it’s been nothing but a great experience. We have met new friends, expanded our circle, and included more into our Madd family, and overall, it’s just a fantastic and evolution of the new SL members. We welcome all! Thank you, TSFTG for EVERYTHING you do for the creative people in sl! We love you for it!

Patrick: Please don’t miss visiting the MADD college, and I look forward to taking a few classes at MADD College beginning in January!