PHOTOGRAPHY: An Interview with M8TY

“I know you are thinking, ‘now there’s a guy with a sexy accent who will pick me up, throw me on the bed, flip me onto all fours, pull my hair, grab the back of my neck, slap my ass.’ I am not that kind of man. Well maybe I am that kind of guy, but I am so much more than a hot piece of man meat, so back-off, missy! Lift your eyes up to my other head. I also have something between my ears.” – M8TY

Patrick: I can’t tell you how excited and honored I am to interview you as FOCUS Magazine’s feature artist! Your artwork has been so incredibly inspiring to me, as I know so many in Second Life and far reaching into real world digital design and art! You have a careful eye for details and creativity that so many younger artists hope to achieve. Thank you for spending a few minutes with us this evening.

Just so we can get to know you a little better, as is our tradition at FOCUS, let’s begin with fun icebreaker: Tell us about an embarrassing moment you had while on holiday – where were you and what happened?

M8ty: Well, not sure if I should admit this, but I was out camping and got caught short without toilet paper! It was a very awkward position to be in, and needless to say, the walk back to the camp felt funny wearing just one sock. [Editor’s Note: TMI! But now I can’t help but wonder if you left the sock behind or stuffed it in your pocket! Update: He said he left it in the woods! hehehe]

Patrick: Your art is quite expansive with genres that go far and wide into digital art! What leads you to make certain decisions about theme and composition? Where do most your ideas come from and do you have a favorite?

M8ty: Ideas come from the world around me, what I see, other people’s work, and different photography styles I have tried to replicate. And many ideas come from other creators in Second Life. I have friends who love gatchas and end up with freaky costumes and make ups, and I love incorporating these into my art works. I have even been known to ask people I see to model for me, and some do.

Patrick: Which artists do you enjoy, from real world artists to even musicians and authors that might have had strong influences on you and your work?

M8ty: When I was learning how to use photoshop, I came across a guy called Andrei Oprinca. He had some tutorials on YouTube, he also has a web site called PSD Box. I subscribed to his web site for a year, following his tutorials and adapting SL images in to them. Before I knew it, I was competent in Photoshop.

I use Deviant Art for stock images and like to look at the many collections they have there there. I found art by a guy called JUDAS Art and have tried to emulate his work. While nowhere near his standards, I managed to make some images that I am proud of. Some SL artists would be people like AyE | 4му and Skip Staheli. There are many.

Patrick: What excites you about the creative process the most?

M8ty: The ideas. Then the making of poses and building of props. Then trying something new.

Patrick: You use so many amazing techniques, from set design, poses, lighting, props, to post-production edits. What processes do you look forward to experimenting with?

M8ty: Very hard to say, I don’t always come up with new ideas for my art, but I do take a lot of commissions, so I try to produce what the customer wants.

Patrick: I’m really curious about this next question, as I was also recently asked, and it took me a few minutes to formulate a response. Why do you create? And, what need in you do you think it satisfies to create artwork?

M8ty: Hard one. Well, it is a good way to express feelings and emotions. One example of this is this piece I did after the death of my mother, called “Mourning.” ( Also, I like to do a pic for a friend or family member that captures something of character and personality as seen through my eyes. And I guess I would not be human if I did not admit that being told that your art is appreciated stokes your ego and brings pleasure.

Patrick: I’m really challenged with this simple phrase, and this is true from Second Life extending far into my Real Life: “Less is More!” Following that idea then, when do you know your work is done?

M8ty: This is so true, I often work on images with someone watching in Skype. I could spend a lot of time painting hair, for example, when all I need to do is paint a little for some effect and the result is as good. The live feedback has shown this to me, also if I find myself thinking what else, it is normally time to do my final adjustment layers and finish.

Patrick: If you can sit down with a new artist (raises my hand as 1st in line) and share with them a few pieces of advice, what you tell them?

M8ty: Don’t limit yourself. Keep trying new things. Work on new ideas. Look for YouTube tutorials. Search Deviant art. Study the images you like, and try and work out how they have been done. If you find that hard, reach out. There are many in SL and Facebook groups that are happy to help. I have started my own YouTube channel with tutorials specific to Second Life photoshopping. I am also a member of a Facebook page committed to helping people with Photoshop – Photography Help Tips & Tricks SL Edition. I would suggest all these things.

Patrick: How has “Too Sexy for This Group” influenced you? Have you met other artists and those who appreciate sharing their passions?

M8ty: I have worked with Rachel Magic trying to help her get started. She has come a long way, mostly credit to herself! I would love to work with any artist that reaches out with an idea that inspires me, I enjoy helping new artists hence my YouTube channel.

Patrick: Once again, M8ty, we’re thrilled to spend the time getting to know you and share your visionary work at FOCUS Gallery for August! Cheers, my friend and thank you!

Published by

FOCUS Magazine & Gallery SL

FOCUS Magazine is a photography magazine in Second life, a virtual reality platform. We feature creative, artistic photos taken in Second Life featuring such things as avatars and virtual landscapes. We also have a gallery in-world that features a new artist every month. We also have themed events and a lively group chat. Our 'focus" is creating friendships, and enjoying supporting each other's artistic pursuits in the virtual world.