IsabellaGrace Baroque


Hi…Trin, here. Just wanted to say why I chose to interview Bella this time around. I meant to get this out before Thanksgiving, but as you can all see, that didn’t happen. I am very thankful to have Ms. Baroque as a part of my life. She ALWAYS makes me laugh; she knows how to pick me up and tell me to go have some wine and not eat the cake; and she understands all the crap and awesomeness that I go through being a mom. These are just some of the reasons that I am glad she’s in my life. She’s pretty dang amazing and I hope, after reading this, you think so too.

How old are you?
I’m 31.

Where do you live or where are you from?
I live in Sherwood, Oregon; near the Portland Metro area. This is actually the fifth state I’ve lived in, and was born in Colorado. In between, I lived in Georgia, Washington, and Montana. No, I was not an Army brat. The Army part came later.

Care to give your personal background? Married, single, partnered, kids, etc.
I am a married lady in real life, going on 8 years. We have two kids; Jackson who is 6, and Eliza is 3. Plus, we have two furry giant Ragdoll cats named Piper and Dexter. My purely platonic old lady in SL is my best friend, Annunziata Macchi. You probably know her as Anna, or even Tegan Serin of the awesome store Floorplan. My proposal went something like “I f*@$in’ love you girl. Chu doin? Marryin’ me, that’s what!”… we’re weird.

bella11When did you join SL and why?
I joined SL in… *counts back on fingers*… 2007? Maybe? Sounds right. I remember my son was an infant and I was having that mommy crisis about how I’m going to work my hobbies into this new motherhood gig and find some balance. I have a B.A. in Music, and found an article on the internet about artists performing in this new-fangled game called Second Life. I joined, and hooked up with a music manager, Circe Broom, worked on a sim called Venezia as the Music Director, and still never found time to get my act together to actually perform. I branched out from there and found other interests.

What do you do in SL?
Now day? This might be the part that your readers wonder why I’m here, sorry! I don’t do anything at the moment. I was the owner of a pose and props store called Olive Juice for about 2 years. I also got into animations. I sold some with full permissions for furniture makers, and did a lot of custom work behind the scenes. It was an amazing experience, and I feel honored that it was so well received and grew beyond anything I imagined. I connected with so many great people through my store, met the best of friends and had the most fantastic and creative customers.
I decided to close earlier this year, as my kiddos weren’t babies who napped anymore and had early bed times. Yet, they weren’t school age yet either, so I had to make a choice between working or shelving it for now, and being 100% there for my munchkins. It was a difficult decision, and I miss Olive Juice, but it was the right one. That said, I still get teary thinking about all the well wishes from people. There are some very kind souls in this virtual world.
Olive Juice is Closing

Describe your style in SL. Does it differ much from your RL? How?
Well, like I said, I’m not in world really anymore. But I’ve always modeled Bella after my real life self, even if unintentionally. I just gravitate to a clean, classic and comfortable look. I have pretty much the same green skinny jeans in real life that I own in Second Life, which is kind of strange. One day I instagrammed my real life outfit, and said something like “Whoops, wearing my Maitreya colored jeans and Mon Tissu lace top out in RL today”. I think in my earlier SL days, I dressed a lot different. I think I wanted to play dress-up dolls more, and wore retro clothes and gowns.

Do you still have a home/workspace in SL?
I did, but not anymore. I used to be a co-owner of a sim called Hide and Seek, along with Anna, who owned Molto Bene! at the time, and Aranel Ah, owner of *BOOM*. I’m so lame, I just had a giant platform, photo backdrop, and pose stands for a workspace. I was never great at creating a home for myself. I usually “crashed” at Anna’s!

bella8How did you get into creating?
I first dabbled in pose making, after getting pretty into photography. Now, by no means would I consider myself an SL photographer, but there was a time period that I played around with it a lot. I liked exploring the darker side of things, maybe because I’m a huge horror movie fan, I don’t know. Back to the point (I ramble a lot, whoops!), I would get these ideas from a song, or movie, or whatever and have a distinct picture in my head. The most time-consuming part of piecing these pictures together was finding a pose as closed to what I had in my head as possible. Eventually, I just started making my own. I was blogging at the time with my two friends at “Who Let the Dorks Out?”, and we had a build for Burning Life in 2008, which I made all the poses for. I gave away poses there as a gift, and it went from there. (This photo is of our Burning Life build, tacky poseballs included with my early attempts at poses)

What was the first thing you created? Will you share it with us? (link, pic, etc)
This is a photo of my very first store. I didn’t even know what pose packs were, until a customer came along and told me I need to sell them. It was just a couple of pose stands in a room with a 50 prim limit.
Olive Juice is now open in world!

My first poses I created for the store were gifts. They were modelled from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie. I apparently wasn’t too bright with the whole copywriting thing, whoops.
The White Queen Pose by Olive Juice

And these were my first poses in those newb looking stands. They were all inspired by songs… and Chuck Norris? *Facepalms*
Now Available by Olive Juice!

What have you created that you are most proud of?
Gosh, there isn’t a particular pose or set that stand out in my mind, but I would say probably the animations I made for KittyCats. Making poses became second nature, but animations were a different beast. It was challenging work, and I was proud of the end result for the ones I was asked to make for the breedables brand. It was pretty cool to see avs walking around, holding their cats with the hold I created and playing ball with their pets using my animation.

bella2What is the silliest/craziest thing you’ve ever done in SL?
Oh man, blogging with the “Who Let the Dorks Out?” girls was one big silly/crazy experience. That was the whole point of the blog! But probably the random hangouts behind the scenes were crazier. There were a lot of griefing machines, floppy penises and saggy boob attachments, and more silly things that made for late nights of laughs that left my abs sore the next day.

What would you like to do in SL that you’ve never tried?
What I originally came in world for, to become a music artist in world. I have classical training with a focus in opera, so it’s not exactly the kind of music you want to dance to! There is a community out there that is involved in the classical arts, and I’ve attended an opera singer’s performance in world. But, yeah… probably not going to ever happen.

When you’re sitting at your computer playing SL or on Plurk, what do you usually wear?
I primarily worked at night, after the kids went to bed, so I’d be in my comfy uniform: black Gap lounge pants (I have 4 pairs, yikes) and a t-shirt or hoodie. Sexy, right!?!

Describe your workspace.
I started on my iMac, so at my desk, but about 6 months into creating, I bought a MacbookPro. So, my workpace was wherever I could plug it in and use my wireless mouse. If not at my kitchen table, then I used a laptop desk that had an attachable mouse pad platform thinger. That’s the technical term.

bella6Has anyone in SL inspired you? Who and in what way?
Oh constantly by my fellow posers. For some reason, it seemed like our little corner of the SL Market had some not only incredibly talented creators, but amazing and kind people as well. Adorkable Peapod and Dove Swanson are two that stand out in my mind. Their work is original and creative, bursting with life and personality. Anyone can download Qavimator for free and make a pose; true. But not everyone can breathe life into that pose in such a natural way, and be so familiar with how the human body moves, as well as how that translates to SL and the limitations of the avatar mesh. It’s not an easy craft, and takes practice. These women make it look easy, but that sure doesn’t mean that it is!

What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you wish more people could know?
Well, I already touched on being a singer. I had the time of my life being in a professional opera chorus, an active member of my local theatre company, as well as studying voice in college. I might be cheating by sharing another thing, but I was also in the Army Reserve almost 9 years. I joined when I was just 17, and opted to be honorably discharged when I became pregnant with my son. It was an experience unlike any other, and I wouldn’t change it for the world; good or bad.

bella4Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do now that you aren’t in SL?
It’s hard to have hobbies that aren’t centered around my children for now, so a big one is being a member of my local MOMS Club chapter. We are very involved in the community and local charities. I’ve been offered the VP of Services position on the board, but I’m still thinking about it. I’m also working on a plan for a possible popsicle business venture next year. Hobby-wise though, I’d say running is a big one. I really got into racing this year and plan on a half marathon next year. I also am a pinterest addict and do a lot of crafty DIY stuff for my house and gifts.

If you had to choose a movie title or song to describe your life so far, what would it be?
All that running talk, made me think “Run Lola Run.”, lol. But no, probably the song “Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio. I’m not even a country fan, but that song has been my husband and I’s anthem since we were dating. Originally, it was for the lyrics and how we fell in love, but now the title is a good description of the life we’ve built. We’ve had a lot thrown at us, and sometimes it seems chaotic, but it’s a beautiful life and we cherish the family we’ve made for ourselves.

bella9What would you like to be doing in 5 years? 10? 15?
I would love to be singing in a choir at least by 5 years, but hopefully less. But by 5 or more, my dream would be singing in the Portland Opera Chorus, as well as teaching private voice lessons. I also hope to get my little business venture up and running by then.
What things would you try if you had no fear?
My biggest fear is going through the audition process for adult choruses or choirs and not making the cut because I’m not talented enough. That I’ve been out of the game so long, my instrument is weak. If I could just get over that, and remember the confidence I had when I was younger, I could do anything.

If you left SL today, how would you like to be remembered?
I’d like people to remember me as a kind dork who put her heart into her poses, and made people laugh.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Well I’ve often had Teal Deer (TLDR= Too Long Didn’t Read) associated with me, so I’ve probably said enough!

We’ve also asked her fellow plurkers if they had any questions and here they are!

From Sookie Triellis: Will Olive Juice ever come back into our lives? We miss it so much!
Thank you, Sookie, for saying so. I miss you guys too! I can’t say for sure either way really and know that is like a non-answer answer. But I do miss it a lot some days, and I haven’t ruled out at least some random releases and collaborations. My good friend, Anna from Floorplan, is always encouraging me to get together with her on just that! So, look out for a collab or two or three in the future, at the very least.

bella3From TrinityBelle Meriman: Why are you so awesome, Bella??
Lol, you dork. Why are YOU so awesome? HMMMM???

From Douleur: Since OJ is closed, what other endeavors do you have your fingers in?
In SL? Not a whole lot. (Most boring answers ever!) But like I mentioned above, I do have at least one finger in plans for collaborating with Floorplan.

From Adorkable Peapod: Did you know your picture is next to the term “Suzy Homemaker” in the dictionary?
HA! Ok, so I guess this is the other endeavor I’ve gotten myself into? Just kidding, but I do enjoy having the time to do some extra special things with my kiddos now days.

From Laurenza Republic: Where has she been?
I wish the answer was the Bahamas, Laurenza!

bella1From Sasypants: I would like to know what advice she has for people considering starting a pose store, and if she was starting out now again herself, would she do anything in particular differently?
This is an excellent question! When I started out, I think the entire market was a different beast. It was okay to have no idea what you’re doing, no idea what a pose pack is, and think 2 stands can pass for an official start to a store. Now everything is faster paced, there are so many events and the market has really boomed with the number of pose stores on the scene. My advice to someone just starting out is try not to get overwhelmed and worried about “competition”. My roots may have seemed naive, but I always made what inspired me, what made me laugh, and what I couldn’t find myself on the grid. If you stay true to yourself, and you’re just having fun doing it, then you are creating for the right reasons. Would I do anything differently now? Yes, GET ORGANIZED! I always told myself I’d organize my pose stands and have clear departments in my store. In the final store, I did do that… somewhat, but man I wish I would have had a clearer plan early on. Ya live, ya learn!