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Feeling guilty!

Basically I am having a whale of a time furnishing the shop. I have decided to give my old clothes (I mean the ones that I had designed in my newbie days, of course - not my personal old clothes!!! hhh) an airing too and have been photographing them and rezing them on the small platform across the tracks. Aaaah yes! We have the subway there you see... Anyway, I am going to be selling the "old" clothes at vastly discounted prices. Considered dollarbies for a second but then upped up the price a bit. I mean they are perfectly ok, just not appropriate to what we are working on at the moment. In fact I put some on and they don't look at all bad with my tail. Why on earth did I not wear them I wonder?

Oh and today I also rezed a piano. It is a clutzy old freebie - only 16 prims - and I had to really re-work it. Changed all the proportions and everything and even added a prim here and there. And then a bit of spit and polish - and off I was. I have to say they have really extended the sheet music collection at Xstreet SL and I found something really wonderful to play... Nope - won't say what it is!
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So that was all of the good news. Here's the bad news then: I am feeling dreadfully guilty about having such a good time playing doll's shop! What the hell is wrong with me? I keep getting this nasty feeling that I should be elseways engaged. Doing something "serious". Now, admittedly, there are a few things that I am procrastinating upon - like the metaverse journal and establishing all of the contacts and bla bla for that. And I want to submit something to the Siggraph art gallery which Grapho is supposed to be working on. I still have almost a month for that one but...

But anyway!!! Where is all this bloody guilt coming from I would really like to know? I am more horrified about my feeling guilty than whatever it is that I am feeling guilty of.

I am playing! And why should I have to justify that to anyone, starting with myself! It was perfectly ok to play before  - so what exactly is it that has changed now? Could it be because I am setting up a shop? Guilty about potential avariciousness or something? Afraid of turning into some kind of a rapacious businesswoman? I have no idea, I really and truly don't. All I know is that I am feeling bloody guilty about... What?

What?
:-\

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My many designer person(a)s

Once the alts start interacting within a parameter, such as a joint design venture, it really all starts to happen. No longer are they lost and disjointed entities wandering the grid but suddenly they are, in fact, the diverse parts of me. They now have to learn to live with one another, they have to make up some kind of a psychic Gestalt, whilst still retaining their identities. And what better opportunity than whilst they are engaged in design work, given that they are all parts of a designer to begin with?
One good example would be the actual shop itself: I initially designed it very much along my usual lines - dark shiny surfaces, sort of Syncretia stuff really... It is what comes naturally to me - or should I say the Alpha part of me? Who is, of course, the predominant partner here, the one very much in control. Stuck in her ways with all of that. Tenacious and obstinate!

So along comes Xia, and after hanging out there for a day or so, she starts putting down huge red flowers all over the place. Now, I, Alpha, have yet to put down a huge red flower anywhere - Real or Second Life! And yet... What are all those bright colored Asian shawls that I tirelessly buy and never ever wear, all in aid of then?
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Only Xia and I have been designing so far and we are in fact wearing our own outfits in the photo above. Furry and Grapho are still waiting for their turn. Furry's output I am really looking forward to. I was intending to design full Furry avatars but I am now beginning to wonder about that. Working with sculpties, which full Furry avatars really do need, is unbelievably difficult and I have a horrible feeling that my building skills are nowhere near being up to that level. So, what I think Furry will do is design garments and attachments around other designer's Furry avatars, such as the wolves of Leben Schnabel, and then put landmarks of the stores into the purchase box. At least initially, this is how I think it will have to go. And later we will see.

And Grapho? He is wearing more or less normal garb here but actually he has some strange ideas also. Such as designing a biological avatar.
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And Xia? Well, she is sticking to the floral theme, as you can see here. She has worked for almost a full week on this one and she has called it "Bonsoir Monsieur Labisse" - after a French surrealist painter whom my mother liked a great deal and who painted women not clad in flowers like Xia did with her skin here but the faces are similar somehow. Well my mother liked him - I, Alpha, cannot stand the guy's paintings. And yet, here is Xia, paying tribute to a painter whom Alpha does not care for at all? How weird is that? But then (thankfully) she has another one in the works and this one she wants to base on Rousseau, who is a favorite of mine as well. So, again, if I am such a dark/shiny surfaces person how come I love Rousseau? Ah... But Rousseau is dark too isn't he? Don't let all of that foliage fool you for a nano second... And so, of course, is Labisse.
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So, one way or another I can see one undercurrent of me both in her and myself (Alpha) - but two very different ways in which it materializes. One is the one I already know, that I have worked with all of my life - "my style", if you will. The other one is as yet unfamiliar to me. Highly so, in fact.
Yes, this is beginning to become a very bizarre journey indeed. And a good one too, I think.
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This is quite a steep learning curve...

I am now up to my eyeballs in designing outfits for alpha.tribe. And it is really not very easy.


The skins are based upon a template, so thanks to the generosity of Eloh Eliot, that part has been OK up until now. (I do have a project in the works though, where I believe I will really be up against the wall with the skin layer as well :-\). The Eliot skins have beautifully detailed features as well as subtle shadows and highlights, onto which I have been superimposing my own tattoos. And then I play around with the make-up colors and the skin color and Bob's your uncle pretty much.

When it comes to the garments it is a different proposition altogether. Needless to say, I have been educated through enraptured observation of the output of the likes of June Dion; the mistress of the perfect hem and seam, the utterly aligned texture, where everything is wonderfully crisp and sharp, the colors well defined, the shadows and highlights perfect. Of course I am not presumptuous enough to aspire to that level of quality - at least not without months of hard graft. But I do want to have a modicum of the finesse, which the high caliber clothes designers of SL display in their work, in mine as well.

So, I keep wandering back and forth between AvPainter, Photoshop, and Second Life trying out and trying out and trying out. And I hate to admit this but nothing that I have made so far even comes close to the quality that I would ultimately like to see in my clothes as well. It isn't about ideas here, those I have. It is entirely about craftsmanship.


Point in case: This one here. From a distance it looks more or less acceptable I suppose. Now zoom in. What do you see? Very bad distortion on the upper ends of the boots for one thing. How do the "pros" get this to work I wonder? Where their textures do not become distorted upon the avatar's geometry? Second boo boo? Well, the texture on the prim collar is way too small in comparison to what is right next to it. I did fix that after I saw it in this photo though... Next? Well, the texture on the inner side of the skirt segments is not aligning to the hem, is it? It is off by just a tad, but that was certainly enough to make me run back in and re-align it. I am thankful to be able to say it is now aligned. Phew... So, some of the errors I could fix but the boot tops keep me befuddled still...

And yes. While we are speaking of boots:


These are all perm boots which I purchased at XStreet-SL. The actual designer is called SusieQ Inglewood. So, all I did was add the "spurs" and re-texture them. I think it took me the better part of a day to get this far and looking at them I can see that I still have a ways to go... Big time. I guess if I had had a solid texture it would have been easier, but the ensemble calls for a pattern.
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Although it does frustrate me I am enjoying the learning process. I have never really worked with anything this highly detailed before. And it feels really really good to be challenged. To acquire a new skill. More than a skill really - an attribute. Patience, I believe it is called...
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as alpha.tribe slowly comes into being...

And what a collaboration this promises to be folks!

The good news is that I seem to be finally coming out of the creative slump - and about time too! The bad news is that Furry, Xia and Grapho are pissed off with me because I have sort of pushed them to the side and gone straight ahead with making my own stuff. We have agreed amongst ourselves that I will be designing "ominous" stuff, Grapho will be responsible for the men's line (which may turn out to be somewhat ominous as well - I did catch him snooping around an all perms gas mask that he was thinking of downloading from SL-Exchange - cost a bloody fortune it did too!). Furry will be designing stuff for Furries - predictably enough you might say, but then of course you don't know Furry. She is very heavily into black lace. Lola Montez is as nothing to her and she has been making some pretty bizarre amalgamations with the things she has purchased already, I have to say. And, last but not least, Xia will be going for the more floral, feminine sort of apparel. But I told her one Laura Ashley lookalike thingy and I am going straight over to the Lindens and closing your account. Just one puff sleeve or bow, or anything else even vaguely reminiscent of any girly-cutsey nonsense and that oh so gorgeous derriere of hers is toast! I mean, I do have a reputation to live up to, don't I? But then again, she may yet surprise me: She has been known to come up with some pretty bizarre combinations before, putting together spiky arm braces and tulle ballet tutus... So, in that department too - at least for now, one tries to live in hope.

I do not have any pretensions as to only creating outfits that cannot be made in RL: Tattoo artists here in Istanbul are absolute wizards. I see tattoos on the street that blow my socks off - and yes, even on people's skulls! And basically tattoos, at least for now, seem to be my main premise. I want to do what I enjoy doing the most, which is designing stuff - and not paint myself into a corner with resolutions... But I may do some truly NPIRL stuff nonetheless: Like re-creating the Syncretia power plant as a wearable. Or maybe a jellyfish skirt? This last one I have even sort of started to work on...
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So, will these be for sale? You betcha! The skins I will be giving away for free in separate boxes, in respect to Eloh Eliot - whom I consider to be the actual creator - not me with my piddly little additions over here. I will be charging 1L$ for them just so that I know how many people are actually buying them. But the outfits I will be charging appropriate amounts for, if for no other reason than that the upload fee does add up terribly. No matter how many times you double check with AvPainter (and what an application that is!), and no matter how much you do of whatever it is that one does in these types of situations, you still end up noticing misaligned things hours if not sometimes days later...

The shop has been set up but isn't completely done yet and also I want to get these 3 clowns (Xia, Grapho and Furry) to put some of their stuff there as well before I go and start giving out slurls and things. And no, the shop is not at Syncretia, which as an educational island is strictly not to be used for commercial purposes but someplace else entirely. Big secret for now... hhh ;-)
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