• Kat Johnston/Sanu in SL: A gorgeous pink skin made with a hint of strawberry inspiration for Second Life.
  • So, for today’s image, I’ve decided that I’m going to put up another Second Life item. I know it seems as if I am doing that a lot lately, but I swear it isn’t just because my scanner had an unfortunate run-in with some unidentified liquid and isn’t scanning correctly… it is also just because I think that seeing Second Life from an outsider sort of perspective is fun.

    Today’s item is a skin I put together – one inspired, in part, by delicious strawberries. Mmm, strawberries… *drools*

    Skins are an incredible and popular item in Second Life, as you can well expect. As in real life, they form the whole basis for snap-decisions and first impressions about someone when you meet them in person. They range from the photo-realistic to the hand-drawn and detailed, from the avant-garde to the downright quirky.

    Now onto the interesting side of things.

    This skin that I’ve made here would probably not have been created if it were not for another content creator on the grid. A content creator who made an absolutely massive impact to Second Life by giving people a number of open-source tools with which to learn, grow and experiment creatively without the added barrier of starting from scratch in skin and avatar mesh texture production. Eloh Eliot released skins she had created full-perm in-world, with detailed Photoshop source files also available for download back in 2008. Since then, an incredible number of people have used those resources to springboard into content creation, from casual creativity to professional, from modding for personal use to setting up businesses to send the final results.

    So I guess this is what I’m getting at: creativity begets more creativity.

    In a creative economy, knowledge and creativity are not necessarily (or even often) diminished by sharing. There was some measure of outcry when Eloh released her skins and templates for anyone to modify and redistribute. They allowed even the most unskilled to lend their hand to giving skin-making a go. The sky inevitably did not fall, talented artists and designers were still able to design, market and sell their own lines successfully, and the ability for more people to access information and resources surrounding a particular skill-set did not cause the demise of the ‘high priced’ skin industry as we know it. Not only has it opened up the doors to anyone to try skin-making, but it has also given others the opportunity to step up their game and improve their own processes. Competition isn’t always a bad thing!

    I’ve found watching the evolution of the Second Life skin industry over the past couple of years to be absolutely fascinating. To me, the way people in Second Life have reacted to the release of those skins has mirrored the reactions I see around me to the creative commons movement – some have thought the sky was falling, and still do… others did, but have slowly changed their opinions… and still others have absolutely welcomed the influx of opportunities provided to both the casual and professional creatives to be inspired by and build upon what others have created. I, for one, am excited by it.

    So yes, that is my post for today – long though it may be. I hope I haven’t bored you to death!