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I make builders supplies in Second Life – sculpts and textures. The raw materials of content creation. Most of my stuff is for land and sea and sky. Tigger Genira and I set ourselves to figure out how to make plant sculpts because I wanted some very badly, and we adore figuring out HOW to do things.
I wanted to landscape my little gardens just so. Then I realized I needed textures, plant textures. I had found some nice ones, but too many were icky blobby ones with white halos and blocky alpha clash.
So I started to make plant textures, from photos I took of plants in my garden, plants at work, anything that struck my fancy. And with the help of Miriam Donogal, I slowly learned to work in Gimp.
At first I was going to sell made plants in Second Life – you know, copy / mod or mod/ trans plants already made for people to landscape their homes with. And I did for a while. But then people started asking to buy the sculpts and textures, and almost all my friends are builders – so I totally understood why people wanted the builders bits and not the already made things. That is what I, as a consumer wanted as well.
Well and two confessions:
1) I am not a great builder – I love to build, don’t get me wrong, I’m just not that good at it. I get distracted easily if there’s more than a few prims involved, I wander off if I get to a tricky bit. I am constantly astonished by what people make with my stuff – its much better than what I would have come up with.
2) I am a lazy, lazy otter. To me, making a texture or sculpts is a relaxing solution to a defined purpose or a perceived need. And when a texture or sculpt is done, its done! There is no “will this door script work right for all my customers?”, “will this skirt fit on all avatar shapes?” or “do I have enough bling in these shoes?” (kidding! kidding!).
So I am spoiled – my customers for the most part are builders, and builders are awesome folk. They understand the vagaries and limitations of Second Life, and they are usually patient with the typical merchant mistakes – say incorrect perms, or forgetting to pack an example. Because they will probably turn around and be selling their builds, so they know what all goes into the process.
My customers who are mostly builders also help me by defining a perceived need. One of my customers bullied me into making sunbeam sculpts, noting that the sculpt form wasn’t all that different from my plant forms. Most of my plant sculpts are from very specific builders requests that were just plain good ideas.
My friends all make things – be it music or buildings, clothes or jewelry, and of course, sculpts and textures. And we actually all work well together – offering ideas, setting up in each others shops. Lots of us collaborate, and they put up with me leaving them little presents 😀 I hope to drag some of them into this crazy blog idea that I am percolating.
Yesterday I had a customer tell me that they wished they “were artistic too”. I was a bit taken aback by this. Like when my husband bought me a drawing tablet “because I was an artist”. I don’t think of myself like that – I don’t have an artistic vision, I don’t have an aesthetic like some of my friends do that can take your breath away. I see myself more as a facilitator – I make useful bits so that people can make their artistic vision come to life. To me, that’s what makes Second Life so much fun – all of us creating together. Like we did in the Second Life 8th birthday exhibition:
Five of us collaborated in that build. Tigger made the atrium build, with the tunnel entrances and tubes that went through the underwater bit, and a lovely little tree and garden patch inside. Beautiful Shamen made the amazing tree islands and waterfall that flowed into it. Thane Woodford made the dancing Pan sculpts, and decided that we needed all 4 elements present – earth, water, fire and air. The animals made by Thane and I were strewn about, and I put in a couple little meadows. Miriam Donogal made some amazing stained glass textures, and the slate seen on the floor of the atrium.
See? The sum is greater than the parts!