June Monteiro, of JUMO, is a multi-talented and multi-faceted designer, creating skins, clothing, shoes, and jewelry. Her designs are modern, bold looks that demand your attention. Her jewelry is distinctive and unique — occupying its own niche with its modern forms and generous use of gems. There is an extravagant simplicity to her designs, that self-contradiction making them ever more fascinating. From the rich colors and exuberance of her designs, you would expect a loud and brash personality. In this interview, however, Monteiro reveals herself to be more quiet and introspective – as though she channels her energy into her designs.
It’s Only Fashion: What was your first day in Second Life® like? What made you stick it out through the learning curve?
June Monteiro: My first day was hard, I did not know anybody and also did not know where to go. But I started researching blogs and sites about SL® and I started to see many of the wonderful designers we have here. It awakened in me a desire to be on their side, to also be able to make beautiful fashion as they did. After that I never stopped: to learn, to seek, to conquer.
JM: I think I have not done any crazy thing, haha, but there was a moment of great fear that is so funny today.I was talking by IM with a client. He wanted a special texture and we were talking for long minutes, when he asked me to go where he was. Note: i dont know his avatar, when I got to his land and came across him, I see an avatar of almost three meters he was half goat and half-elf, I do not know well, I was so scared I did not know if I was or was leaving, haha it was a paralyzing sight! After that I did not know whether to laugh or cry, I laugh hahaha today of my innocence!
JM: The first thing I did was a skin, my passion! It was clear that it did not work, everything became gray I did not know what to do. Until I found a wonderful person Trinity Yazimoto from Petit Chat, from SL Forum asked for help and she came to my rescue. She is very talented and is my friend until today. Im really grateful for that.
JM: JU – MO is the junction of June + Monteiro. The name I chose for my avatar is because my real name is Julia, then “Ju” would be easy for people to call me and I answer haha. I think the meaning of JUMO is because the stores are extensions of myself, always worked with fashion all my life in SL would be no different.
JM: The challenging part is to put what we have in our imagination in the SL world, we have to learn techniques with which we are not always familiar, some things are very simple while others are quite complex. But the rewarding part is when a customer feels happy to use one of the creations, when our dream is part of someone else’s dream.
IOF: Where do you get inspiration for your designs? What is your process like?
JM: I think that life inspires me, other cultures, other people, other colors, I am constantly stimulated to create in SL, but much of my research is done based on international fashion trends in real life. The creative process takes place at the junction of the two worlds RL and SL, start looking for the textures then set the forms and supplements.
IOF: How do your first and second life design aesthetics resemble and contrast with each other? How would you describe your design aesthetic? Who is your customer – the person you are thinking of when you design?
JM: I always worked with fashion RL doing prints for fabrics, the store textures in SL was as a consequence, an extension of my RL work. The fashion store has been growing along this process. Everything in my life has always been linked to beauty and sensuality, this very aesthetic translates into my clothes. The vast majority of my clients are models, virtual misses, among others, women who seek beauty and fashion icon.
IOF: One of the challenges of creating is Second Life is dealing with IP theft and the DMCA process. Many of those problems are due to flaws in the DMCA legislation itself. What changes within the control of Linden Labs that you would like to see?
JM: They have all the information they need to exercise control over the copies nothing enters or exits in SL without a registration number which is the UUID. I do not know what Linden Lab is hoping to hold copies, this is not a difficult task.
IOF: How has your second life changed your first life?
JM: With hard work, haha
Today I work about 15 hours a day including weekends. Made me grow as a creative mind, exercise creativity every day faster and be more assertive. My English still needs improvement, but I’m growing it too.
JM: It is not easy to create in SL, as it is not easy to grow, but I think nothing can stop when you really have a keen desire in your heart. What I leave to the readers is that every fight is worth it when your heart drives you, then go ahead, follow your heart.