You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye
~ Margaret Atwood
Eshi Otawara has a lot of fangrrls and fanbois. I happen to be one of them. Actually, I am more than a fan—I am her “stalker.” Almost every night I call Eshi on her home phone and leave her a message, usually in the vein of “Where are you? Pick up!” I “stalk” her because Eshi is a real life friend of mine, a great friend, one of the best I have.
So with full disclosure, I am showing you this stunning piece Eshi donated for auction for RFL named Kabuki limited. I modeled it and then snatched it out of the hands of another bidder because from the moment I first laid eyes on it, I had to have it. Besides Eshi, I have the only existing copy in Second Life. Lion Jonesford of Lion Skins was generous enough to make the skin for this ensemble, which is also a one-of-a-kind.
Why is it that Eshi is such a big deal? Well she has a big community of fans behind her—that’s true. One has to wonder how—she is outspoken, abrasive, rambunctious and obnoxious.
She also has one of the warmest hearts of anyone I have met. She has great integrity, generosity of time and spirit, and a real talent and vision for creation in Second Life. She is the genuine deal.
Her personality is clearly exhibited in her work. While there are billowing, almost airy skirts, brilliant saturated colors juxtaposed with black and white, shimmering curves and sweeping feathers, beautiful Asian-inspired birds and lovely floating petals, there are also signs of her bold, almost aggressive personality—an oversized hat pin shoved through the head (complete with ironically sweet anime flower), hair pulled back in a long exaggerated ponytail (but not one millimeter longer to push it from artistic into absurd), arms thinned and elongated by shimmering toruses, fish hooks emerging from a skirt and hovering around the body as a sort of armor. The tension between Eshi’s incredible goodness and her deep darkness imbues her work.
Eshi is a brilliant designer, taking the challenges of building in SL and making them seem like “features not bugs.” She combines tortured prims, sculpties, and flexis in ways no one has thought to do and does it effortlessly. And she echoes the true shapes that are now being seen on real catwalks. (One just has to look at the current roll of new designers to see Eshi’s toruses perched on heads and clustered on limbs, her feathers sweeping behind.)
Here’s the Fishook dress. (One of 30 in SL, and no longer available. Y’all should have bought it when she was a fledgling dressmaker!)
Eshi will be the first to admit she doesn’t have graphics training. Her Photoshop skills are still developing. This isn’t about skill (though the girl can do things with prims and textures on prims that the rest of can only dream of).
What Eshi has is a beautiful and unique vision and an ability to think around the normal artistic and design discourses we all fall into in and out of SL.
There is simply no one else like her.
Hair: Otohime Black Kabuki by Eshi Otawara for Eshi Otawara /Chambre du Chocolat
Skin: Eshi & LionSkins-Kabuki (one-of-a-kind) by Lion Jonesford of Lion Skins
Dress: Kabuki (one-of-a-kind) by Eshi Otawara for Eshi Otawara /Chambre du Chocolat
Hair: ::DK:: Rigel – White Black by Helyanwe Vindaloo for Deviant Kitties
Skin: Pulse Skin-Climax/Valeries T2 Venetian Red BLK by Lorac Farella for Pulse Skins
Dress: Fishook Dress (black)- Chambre du Chocolat (Limited) by Eshi Otawara for Eshi Otawara /Chambre du Chocolat
Eshi’s store is gone. If you would like to see Eshi’s work exhibited in a manner that befits it, visit her exhibit at the Locus sim designed by DB Bailey. Eshi’s pieces are shown with textiles from the Stanford University Library.