Anya Ohmai is one of the most beloved creators in Second Life® for very good reasons. All of her creations are full of joy, her playful wit and quirky humor part of their DNA. Despite her unquestionable talent, she remains humble about her skills, seeing herself as a perpetual learner always striving to do better. She is also a person of character whose kindness goes to the marrow. She does not produce a lot of hair; but every year at Hair Fair, there is a crowd of eager fashionistas waiting to see what flight of fancy she has come up with this time.
Ballerina Solitude by Anya Ohmai
Ohmai’s personal style is very soft and feminine, youthful and sweet. The humorous motifs in her creations lead people to adopt a more kawaii sort of style with her hair. I thought it would be a fun challenge to go in the opposite direction, showing that her hair works just as well for high fashion styles. You will have to decide if I succeeded.
It’s Only Fashion: What’s the craziest thing you ever did in Second Life? Most exciting? Silliest? Is there a story you can share that captures your Second Life experience?
Anya Ohmai: The most exciting thing that has happened to me in Second Life was actually one of the first few weeks I joined the grid. I was such an avid explorer back then because I was a blogger, so I made it a point to go to many different sims. I came across this little Japanese cafe owned by Amika Jewell and she was there to greet me as a newbie in Second Life. She asked me what I had wanted to do in Second Life and I told her I wanted to be a creator. Mind you this was an avatar that was a few weeks old, so Amika most likely thought I was completely insane. She did however give me some tips on how to do that and said if I ever made a store, maybe someday we’ll meet again.
Flashback to a year later, I actually met Amika at another Second Life sim and she asked if I had remembered her from back then. She proceeded to tell me how proud she was to see that I finally did make my Second Life wishes come true and that she owned so many of my creations. We proceeded to befriend each other and talk occasionally. I think that was exciting because no one else was too friendly with me when I started out, and for someone to remember me even though its been so long was just a lovely experience!
I think that captures the essence of Second Life’s warmth very well, there is a very human quality to it that you don’t find in many other games. I know that little gesture of kindness she showed me was probably not a big deal, but it did help solidify my love for Second Life.
!Ohmai Salon Uni. You can change the crown to a band with the accessories HUD.
IOF: What drew you to designing hair? When did you start? What are some of the changes that were most significant for you?
AO: I actually started out thinking I wanted to be a Hair creator. Before Second Life I sold Ball Jointed Doll wigs in real life, so that background actually made me wanna do it in Second Life too. I started with a small store in creators pavilion back in 2009, with 2 hairstyles and a random array of clothes. I stopped doing hair after because I wasn’t very proud of the way I did hair. When I heard about Hair Fair, I thought it’d be awesome if I created hairs once a year for it – just to challenge myself and also try to fulfil the ‘want’ to make hair. Sasy was kind enough to offer me a position in Hair Fair even when i was new and that was an awesome opportunity!
The biggest change from the first time I made hair to the way I do it now would probably be the thought process that goes into it. Hair making works very differently from other creations. You start with a texture that you work around in, whereas other items start with model ling before you bake and texture. Thats a huge struggle in the beginning to switch my brain gears to operate that way. My experience in working with all other types of mesh creation has helped me understand and figure out that process more. I think the work I do for Hair now is more deliberate than it used to be – in the past i’d lay out a bunch of strands and hope it works somehow, now I actually visualize the end product before going into it.
!Ohmai Salon Tako comes in three pieces, the pony tail, an additional cluster of curls to augment the pony and the tentacles. Each comes with a rigged and unrigged version.