We all get in ruts in SL, I think. I know a lot of bloggers and creators who admit to spending most of their SL time alone on a platform in the sky. Maybe that’s you. Maybe you’ve just been doing the same thing every day for a while now- same people, same things, same places. Some days (or weeks on end) I see no more of SL than the stores I shop in, the places I take photos and my own skybox. My communication is limited to IMs while I edit photos and type up my oh-so-eloquent (lolright) blogposts.
One thing that gets me out of my antisocial zone is music. I love going to a good DJ set or seeing live musicians in SL. I always feel a little less awkward joining in conversations and meeting new people in those atmospheres. If not for music in SL, I would probably have no friends at all to be honest. Every place I call “home” in SL, I found while using search and TPing around randomly. I popped in and there was music and cool people and I stayed.
TPing randomly is actually what brought me to The Inkwell. I was immediately charmed by the building and decor. It’s very eclectic and open. There’s a coffee bar and comfy chairs and a dock and a lovely scenic lawn. (You can see all these photos larger on my Flickr)
After camming around, I got to meet the lovely Jessyca Teardrop! We are actually friends on Plurk, so it was like, “Hey! Don’t I know you?” We got to chatting and she told me all about the place. She snagged her partner, Jennifer Python, as well, so I could get the whole story! I love to know the people behind the places. I hope you do, too. I decided to do this interview style, so read on!
Jennifer Python: Owner
Jessyca Teardrop: Manager/Builder
How long have you been in SL?
We have both been in world about 4 years.
What made you join SL?
Jessyca: Curiosity. One night after work I had seen this episode of MTV’s True Life – I live another life on the web. One portion of the story was about a girl named Amy who is a singer/songwriter but had extreme stage fright and used Second Life as her medium to get her voice out there. It definitely grabbed my interest. I downloaded it,logged in and hated it lol. I didn’t understand the concept. I was a Sims player, this didn’t really make sense to me. I found a mentor and he kind of showed me that there was a whole world outside of Help Island. Four years later… here I am.
Who is working with you on this project?
Jen: I was lucky enough to enlist my unbelievably creative partner, Jessyca Teardrop, to help. We work really well together and where my ideas and concepts stop is where her creativeness and ingenuity begin.
How did you meet?
Jen: We met nearly a year and a half ago while working in the same club. We knew of each other but had never had a conversation. I struck up one and the rest is history.
Have you had any previous occupations in SL?
The both of us kind of jumped feet first into the music/club scene. I DJ’d my first gig 2 months in world. I was extremely shy and refused to talk on mic (I thought it was weird!). Now… you can’t get me to shut up when I DJ. I enjoy interacting with the crowd, creating special mixes/playlists and knowing the crowd was ultimately enjoying themselves. These days I tend to keep myself busy by building or landscaping. Occasionally I’ll pick up small jobs helping out friends here and there with ideas of setting up a club or sim design. Jen went on to do more authoritative roles within the club scene. She was an assistant manager at a pretty well known all women’s resort/club (where we met). After a while we grew tired of always being at the same place,hearing the same music… and decided to leave that behind us and move on.
What made you decide to open a club?
After years in the SL club business, dealing with drama, staffing issues, and what seemed to be a revolving list of cliques and cattiness, I think it was time to grow up a little bit. We no longer want to spend hours upon hours, dancing at clubs and listening to what seem to be the same songs over and over again. We discovered this small but growing population of people who just want a place that feels like family. We want The Inkwell to be that. So we took our love of building, landscaping and decorating and ended up with the cafe concept.
What is your vision for this venue?
For a couple months we tossed around ideas and thoughts on what we felt would be the perfect spot to open up. We wanted to make a place that felt cozy and homey but different and eclectic. When we were tossing around ideas for names and the layout and ultimately the design of this place,I tried to draw my inspiration from places I’ve been or places I used to hang out in real life. I think that’s really what we wanted to create, a place we would want go in real life and try to emulate that in world. I’ve been lucky to live in areas with an overwhelming amount of coffee shops and cafes. Years ago I used to hang out at this artists collective in Winter Park,FL. It was this beautiful bohemian,open air converted warehouse. People lived in all corners of this little piece of land. When Jen started constructing the base of the building here, I immediately saw what she was going for. We work extremely well off each other… she’ll toss out and idea and I’ll try to create that for her or vice versa. After about a month of work… here we are.
What music have you been listening to lately?
Jen: We both absolutely adore music but our tastes vary. I am more of a top 40 listener… hip hop, r&b, dance… but I love exploring new genres and discovering new artists and finding remixes and covers of old beloved tunes. Lately I’ve been listening to Drake, P!nk, Emelie Sand, Ellie Goulding, Fun, Walk the Moon, and Karmin, just to name a few. Whether it is for the beat or for the lyrics, music is a huge part of my life and it is always playing in the background.
Jessyca: She’s right, I do love all kinds of music… I more or less have an underlying respect for any true artist. After DJ’ing in SL for the last 3.5 years you kindof adapt to what people like to hear, it sort of grows on you. Music that goes right to my heart though… would definitely be more Indie inspired. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Fun, Jem, The Black Keys, Belle and Sebastian, Florence and The Machine, The Donnas, etc… I could go on and on. I’ll always have a soft spot for 80′s and classic rock. I was brought up in a musically sound house. One of the first records I ever owned was Led Zepplin Houses of the Holy. My love for vinyl kind of over took my spare bedroom. I have about 45 milk crates full of records I can’t seem to part with.
Who & what inspires you in SL?
Creative people inspire us. People who don’t necessarily fit into the “norm.” People that aren’t afraid of trying something different or being silly or thinking outside of the box. Those kind of people can be found in every area of SL… creators, bloggers, sim owners, DJs, live musicians, or just people that you meet tping around. People take out of SL what they put into it. If you put nothing but drama and anger and backstabbing into it, that is what you’ll get in return. On the contrary, we get inspired by people who help others, bring awareness to those less fortunate and maybe even raise money for charities.
What do you do in your free time in SL?
We love to explore beautiful and unique sims, spend time with friends, go on hunts, and shop a little TOO much. Some of our most memorable nights have been dressing up in strange avis and tping into a random sims, making new friends and having hilarious conversations. The last month of our lives have pretty much been this venue though. It is something we’re really passionate about and have tweaked it for endless hours until we were both extremely satisfied.
When do you officially open?
The venue is officially open now but events start Thursday, October 11th. As of right now, the goal is to be staffed with events in the evenings every Thur, Fri and Sat, including live musicians, occasional DJs, game nights and open mic nights. Tuesday evenings will eventually have kid focused events. My daughter, Spring Shelter, will be coordinating that and with the expanding kid avi population in SL, hopefully it will be a really great time. Other than the specific scheduled events, the cafe is available any time to just kick back and relax with friends, play some games or even for renting out for your personal events.
How can we find more info about The Inkwell?
Jen and I are extremely accessible. We can both be messaged in world,offlines go straight to our emails. We are currently working on a blog/website/calendar listing events.
Paste this link into local chat for a group invite to keep up on events!
This weekend’s event schedule (starting today):
Keeba Tammas 6-7pm SLT
Games and other fun stuff 7pm – whenever
Phemie Alcott 6-7pm SLT
A super awesome DJ 7-9pm SLT
Samm Qendra 6-7pm SLT
Open Mic/Silliness 7pm – whenever
I hope you had as much fun learning about The Inkwell and its owners as I did! I know I will be making sure to get out of my skybox more often and making some new friends and seeing some awesome musicians! I hope to see you there! <3