I have to apologize to any and all followers of my ToyTalks website this "Toybox Shouts" blog page.  I have been so busy in the 1st half of 2012 with so many real life activities that I have neglected to spend any time on this site to reflect some of the many artworks and activities that I have tackled in Real Life related to my art career.

So what is it that Toysoldier Thor has been doing all this time that he has neglected his ToyTalks website???  Well let me tell you ...

Started New Art Business in Real Life 
The biggest accomplishment in my real life related to my SecondLife role as an Artist is that I decided to formally start up an art website and business under my real life identity.  So basically, all my SecondLife friends and artists have already been exposed to my 2 years of artwork creation either in Flickr, Deviant Art, or in SecondLife at my main 8 floor art gallery or the many art exhibits I have been a part of.  Well over the past 3 months I have taken most of my SecondLife exposed art and I now sell this artwork onto fine quality stretched canvas & watercolor paper at any custom size!  

It took an incredible amount of time and effort to transform these photos to be ready for printing to canvas, converting them to be branded with my real name, creating the website design as well as all the content, developing a pricing strategy, figuring out how to process and ship and collect the $ securely from sales, and creating custom branded logo's and stamps for the back of all my prints.  

Well I got through all this work and the new art website looks amazing!  I successfully went live in early April.  I even have had some a few but very important sales and accomplishments related to my new real art site.  I have sold 2 of my artworks and created a very large ( 60" x 29" ) custom artwork canvas print for another customer who was amazed at the results!  Also, one of my artworks of a company branded water tower in Chicago was actually acquired by the owners of that company - my artwork now hangs in the Founder's office wall !

As part of my marketing of my art business & website in real life, I was completely humbled that I was invited next year to exhibit up to 40 of my artworks for 6 weeks at a very large corporate head quarters art wall.  I am so excited about that.

Started Creation SecondLife Mesh Artworks
I promised myself in 2011 that I would make it a goal in 2012 to ramp up my skills and learn how to create SL MESH models complete with custom model textures.  Well in early January I did start my road to learning SL Mesh and Texturing.  If you go to my inworld art gallery - on the first two floors you will be able to see several of my SL Mesh art statues / sculptures that are completely custom textured in the modeling tool and imported into SL.  Also, I have created 2D artworks of many of the 3D models.

It was an incredibly tough road to gain the skills I wanted to learn in creating these mesh models in the way I wanted them but I am now starting to get more comfortable with mesh creation.  I still have a lot to learn but the path is less bumpy and the creations are becoming much more efficient and advanced.  

I am just now starting to put several of these mesh models up for sale in Marketplace.

FLASHLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY - My Latest Art Form Passion!
Another new and exciting area that has interested me greatly and has taken up my time is the creation of a new form of still life photography that I started experimenting with and now I have fallen deeply in love with ... Flashlight Photography.

What is that? you ask?  Well basically its a style of still life photography whereby you set up your subject and the DSLR camera on a stand.  Then you turn out all the lights, open the shutter of the camera lens, and use a dim flashlight to illuminate the parts of the subject in creative ways which is all being recorded on the camera lens.  It is the equivalent to painting the subject with a flashlight.  Below are a few samples of my resulting works that have used this method. 
Petrified Petals
Midnight Orchids - Glowing
Mystic Mask
You can click on any one of them to see an enlarged image of them OR you can go into my SecondLife inworld art gallery and see all of my flashlight photography artworks on the 1st floors.

As you can see from the three examples I have shown, the colors and and shadow control and ability to completely black out the background makes this method of still life photography so exciting for me !!

More Things To Do!!
So those are my highlights of some of the exciting things that have kept me so busy in real life and unfortunately not as attentive to keeping this site up to date as much as I would like to.  Obviously many of the things I mentioned in this blog posting that have kept me busy will continue to keep me busy as they evolve and grow.  But I will try harder to keep this site updated with what I am doing.

Thanks to all of you for following my site and my activities in SecondLife and my art community.  


Toysoldier Thor

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