This week we are shining a spotlight on Kurimu Kuma (MiruBani), a fashion and lifestyle blogger whose carefree style is often influenced by her deep interest in fantasy and cosplay.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I’ve been in Second Life for over eight years. The first time I heard about Second Life was through an invite by a friend. She invited me to come and see her store inworld, and I remember trying to wrap my brain around the concept of having a real store in a virtual world. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like but I was very intrigued. In the end, the store was but one of the many wonders {to be discovered}. I clearly remember being excited about the novelty of being able to run and fly in such an unconstrained fashion. I was used to a completely different 3D environment in which such free movement wasn’t really a thing. I couldn’t find the end of this room, it just went on and on. {There} was a learning curve, definitely, but one I enjoyed getting around.

I still really love flying, it’s not going to get old. I do it less now because I’ve learnt “some” etiquette along the way. However, if it wasn’t quite so rude to, I would fly through and over everything I possibly could. Walking is so terribly pedestrian now. If only I could really fly like my avatar.

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There is an element of fantasy and cosplay in your avatar’s style. Where did that come from?
It’s definitely seeping in from my real life; fantasy and cosplay do feature quite heavily. {They are} but a few of my favorite subjects. I absolutely adore cosplay and it’s something I like to indulge in my everyday life. I’ve just never outgrown playing dress up. I really enjoy the whole process of trying to put together an outfit and if I can sew it myself, even better still. In Second Life I get to do that on an almost regular basis every time I log in, but with so many more things available to me. My first thoughts once I’ve pressed the button to log in are usually along the lines of “What shall I dress my avatar up in today?” And, even better, I’m less likely to go broke from it.

Fantasy has always been something I’ve loved from my first interactions with it in books, and I have an overactive imagination to boot. Writing and creating characters, outfits, and worlds for them to live in has been something I’ve done since I was little. The idea of escaping into a fantastical world even for a moment is something oh-so-magically exciting. Most of my hobbies are creative in some way, shape, or form; my imagination is always being fed in different ways. My avatar herself is just a fantastical creature I made a story about.

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Your in-world photography is amazing. Can you tell us about your setup process for taking a great shot?
I am very much my own worst critic so I’m not always satisfied with my images when they come out. I’m always thinking of things I could have done better. However, there are a few things that I do every time I take an image in Second Life.

I always like to tell a story, even if I am the only one aware of it. It’s how I get my ideas for what I want the picture to be. I think a lot about what the focus items are and build the story around that. I decide what the mood will be, and I find that lighting really helps with that, but ultimately the items that go into setting up the scene will reflect that also. I rely a lot on windlights and inworld lighting to help me. I love playing with shadows too, I find it always makes a scene look so different when added. Working with larger scenes can be a bit daunting for me because I worry how I’m going to fill it, but I’ve found that focusing on a small area first and working outwards helps keep me focused instead of getting overwhelmed.

Now I also have a bad habit of being very nitpicky with setting up, and I’ve slowly just come to accept the fact that I like to take my time about everything that’s going to be in the shot… Turning it here and there numerous times only to later decide I don’t want it in at all. Funnily enough I do this with the camera angles from which I take the shot. I do try out a few angles and then pick the one I like the most before going in to take the final shot. The aim is always to get as much from Second Life as I can so I don’t have to change too much in editing. If I don’t accomplish what I want completely? Well, there’s always next time. I try not to let it get to me too much and instead take away from it the things I would and wouldn’t do next time.

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Tell us about your blog and what kinds of topics you like to write about.
When I set up my blog it was made to be like a picture diary of my avatar’s Second Life adventures. The pictures I take and its subjects revolve around decorating, food, fashion and friends. It tends to be done in the style of me writing about my avatar as a person in her own right, though we are both in firm agreement on many things. In most cases it merges a lot with my real life and I end up hijacking her story for a while, but we eventually get on track and find a balance between ourselves.

There is something about decorating that is even more satisfying than putting together outfits and taking pictures of them. It’s the feeling of accomplishment that comes with turning an empty space into something decorated, then sitting in it and existing uninterrupted for a while. I adore decorating so I always cover decor shots. Food tends to fall into this area too but sometimes I just like to focus on the food itself. The more edible it looks the happier I become. It’s like indulging sans the calories. I’m one of those people that loves to take pictures of her meals before eating, and I love cooking so much. It is strange because at one point I hated cooking. Now I love it and the level of excitement that occurs when I find beautiful virtual foods is unreal. I have a bad habit of putting it in almost anything I can.

Fashion is another topic you’ll find on my blog. My own fashion tastes have been projected onto my avatar, for good or bad, and I tend to lean towards girly fashion with a lot of light colours. Florals, frills, ribbons, and cute adorable companions. However, there are times when I go outside of my norm, because where’s the fun if you don’t? At the end of the day if I try on an outfit and I’m feeling very happy with it, chances are I’m taking a picture of it and it most definitely includes magical girls and costumes.

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Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
My blog and Flickr are the two places that I use the most.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Kurimu. Each weekly post will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here:

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I love communication in all its aspects. I like to share my experiences, explorations, and knowledge with the Second Life community. I created the VIRTUALITY blog and 360 GRADI Magazine with this goal in mind.
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