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Working in an artistic field can be difficult, especially in today's economy. Fresh faces out of art, tech, and even major universities ...

Second Life - #02: Setting Up Shop

By 10:29 PM ,

Working in an artistic field can be difficult, especially in today's economy. Fresh faces out of art, tech, and even major universities struggle to pay off their student debts, pay for a roof over their head, all while fighting tooth and nail for a job in their desired field. A lot of them can go for many, many years before finding something, bare minimum, in the field they desire. This is especially true in the realm of 3D art and gaming design. Everyone has that friend who wanted to go into that particular field, worked their butts off, and are still struggling to find good paying gigs, or have horror stories of terrible companies that overworked them and treated them badly.

Why start off a post like this? Well, because Second Life is one of many options that these artists are taking to make money off their creations. In certain cases, this has developed into creating their own teams of designers under a brand name, and making upwards of six figures USD a year selling virtual goods on this platform. They already have running and active platform, many tutorials available to get them familiar with the settings, can use the programs they're already familiar with, and the customer base is already very accepting towards paying out money to get content they want.

Lemme start with some base knowledge: On Second Life, the currency is called "Lindens" or "Ls". Because Linden Labs runs the show and they're creative like that. Nearly all known currencies can be converted into Lindens, and Lindens can be used to buy anything. Right now, $10 USD can buy you about 2500L to spend as you please (you can also earn this in game, but I'll cover that in later posts).
The important part of this post is that you can sell your Lindens back to Linden Labs, and they'll deposit it over to you in various ways, one of them being Paypal for instance, in the currency you desire. You take a small hit in fees to sell it back, about 2500L sold to Linden Labs will gain you $9 USD. ... That being said? Artists who put their creations into Second Life can easily cash out into real money to help them pay bills/debts/loans/bartenders.

Instantly a better payoff than all those internships offering "experience".

Popular tools to create content in Second Life include: Blender, Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, DAZ 3D, and many others. Everyone has a difference preference, but all of them create quality content when in the hands of a talented artist.

Artists also have a variety of ways to sell their creations on Second Life. Most have in-world stores, on rented pieces of digital land where they set up and decorate for customers to walk around like in a real life location.

Larger creators take part in cooperative monthly events, where anywhere from 10 - 50 designers come together, releasing a new item that fits the theme or feel the event asked for. Thousands of people pour into these events, pockets loaded with Lindens, eager to spend. Many creators have remarked on how helpful the events are to keep their creative juices flowing, especially those that use themes. Some of the top popular events include Collabor88, uber, The Men's Dept, and Fameshed. Many have been running for years.

In addition to this, any creator - and I mean ANY creator - can upload and sell their creations for free to the Second Life Marketplace. Think of it like Amazon, but for Second Life users. Anything you purchase on the website will be delivered to you in game, instantly, for no extra charge. This allows you to have a search engine, filter results, etc, without having to get lost in the gigantic realm of Second Life trying to find something that suits you. The option to sell your creations for free provides a lot of stability for up and coming content creators, and all the purchases are instantly credited to their account.

Now, I would like to give you an idea of the kinds of creators that have made it pretty big on Second Life, and the quality of content they make. It's essentially just me gushing over the amazing creativity of these artists.

Creates beautiful hair that sells - easily - hundreds of unit per day
Priced from 250L to 1250L

Gorgeous highly-detailed homes that reinvented the housing in game
Priced from 100L to 5000L

Creates hyper-realistic furniture and homes that make me hate myself
Priced from 50L to 1400L

Makes highly-detailed bodies, feet, hands, and heads for next-gen graphics
All their creations work with sliders to get the exact look you want
Most skin-creators, shoe-creators, and clothing-creators make stuff to fit their bodies
Priced from 450L to 2250L

Leading the industry on the new "Bento" system
Bento allows for far more skeleton point movements in animations
Such as invidual finger movements... VISTA was the first to release this tech
They also offer motion captured animation overrides for walking/idles/dances
Priced from 1L to 1999L

Trompe Loeil
Creates furniture and beautiful homes with incredible detail
Ranges from modern to fantasy
Priced from 75L to 2400L

Mish Mish
Makes super cute pets/attachments, along with home decor and fashion
Priced from 50L to 1500L

Created the wildly popular Kemono avatar system, used for both anime and furry avatars
Also makes a ton of other anime-themed avatars, mech/armors, etc
Priced from 100L to 1500L

Priced from 499L to 5000L

Arella's holy place
Makes home decor, fashion, and everything perfect
Priced from 50L to 1000L

As you can imagine, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands more. From interactive HUDs, to fashion, to avatar bits, to home decor and landscaping... the possibilties of creations are endless, and the level of creativity is truly impressive. What makes it better is knowing that so many of these creators found a way to sell their art in a world that makes it difficult to do so.

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