I figured I should make a post regarding the new SLOCCA listings, since my store is listed as a place with 100% original content. While I’m on the subject, I’d also like to talk about the recently rehashed conversation of how people feel about designers using templates.
The Quick And Dirty
I’m listed as a store with 100% original content with the new organization SLOCCA, which is dedicated to listing merchants who sell original designs. Obviously, this doesn’t cover everything I’ve ever made. As of right now, mesh clothing I sell is typically done with the help of template mesh I buy on the marketplace. However, the skins I have created and sold so far, as well as my makeup, and texture clothing, are all 100% original. My doll heads are also original mesh, but the cute little cat avatars I sell are not. Everything is a mixture, but the art I brand them with is my own.
In the future, you will be seeing a mixture of mesh creations from me, that are both my own creations, and some I’ve outsourced (for example, a vehicle I’ll be selling soon was done with the help of templates, and some overhaul of design and extra mesh objects added into it).
So if I can make mesh stuff, why am I using a mixed source of products? Read on.
Should You Buy Unoriginal Mesh, Or What?
I don’t have a problem using templates, and I don’t particularly care if anyone turns their nose up at that. See the zombie shirt in the blog picture? I drew that zombie. I sell it on Redbubble as a real shirt, as well as in Second Life. It provides a bit of income for me and that’s cool. I have no issue whatsoever taking my designs, and sticking them on a premade shirt that suits my personal tastes.
My current roadblock in making clothing is time. Right now, I don’t have the time to learn weight painting, and I don’t want to spend days tearing my hair out over it, when I can just get a nicely done template and use that instead.
The doll heads I made, for example, took months, on and off between everything I’ve got going on outside of the grid, to get just right. If I create mesh, it’s going to be of decent quality. Until then, if I can’t make it very well, then I’m using a template.
My paintings, as well, are original, but sold on high-quality mesh canvases. So.. let’s see. Paintings I spent a ton of time creating in real life, versus the mesh template they’re sold on in-grid. Are they worth less than original mesh? Hell no.
This Isn’t The Way The Real World Works
Where I come from, everybody shops at the thrift store. We basically brag if we bought something from Value World (you can keep your Goodwill, Macklemore). I have friends who sell secondhand clothing that’s been altered, dyed, and printed on, and they sell all the same. In fact, because the shirts are all thrift, it makes their operation seem even cooler.
The idea behind a community where merchants can locally outsource labor and the need for goods, forms an economy where supporting one another and networking is encouraged, rather than becoming the one-man operation where you hoard all your resources and compete with everyone. I understand SL’s economy is vastly different from the way real-world boutiques work, but I think some of that feeling could explain why it might be hard for small stores to break in that provide original textures for their clothing and products. Who has time to learn Blender? Not everyone. it isn’t everyone’s talent, either. Inevitably, you’ll need to outsource something to make your operation work.
“But I’m Sick Of Wearing The Same Shirt.”
That’s a valid opinion, and presents a good problem. Why is everyone in fear of showcasing the same mesh template shirt/skirt/whatever on their blog? If you turn that question around, it’s actually an opportunity.
It means there’s a market for mesh templates, and more people need to jump on that market and make some money. If there were more people taking advantage of the mesh template market, you’d probably see so many different shirts in different stores, that you wouldn’t be able to tell what is what anymore.
The only way to move forward and make mesh templates more welcoming, then, is to introduce new mesh template designers to the marketplace, and make designers more aware of them.
This was a pretty long and rambly-ish entry, but I hope I touched on some points for people to think about.
I’m happy SLOCCA is here, but I’m also confident enough of a designer to know where I stand in my level of craftsmanship. Hopefully, people will use the SLOCCA website in the correct way, and not use it as a medium to insult others who outsource their projects.