Saturday, June 18, 2011

close your eyes, all the rest will flow

It's always difficult to have an idea but not the means to execute it. We search for the right tools, the right medium, the right material, and when everything is almost enough, but never quite enough, it gets frustrating.

That isn't to say there aren't amusing moments in the journey. This for instance--on a random search through the Marketplace for insect sculpts. I suppose that qualifies, vaguely--they're insect parts, after all, and they are sculpted parts...but what I was looking for wouldn't look good on an avatar.

And I still haven't found one single snowy owl sculpt on the marketplace. I may need to talk to the sculpting types I sort of know and see about custom work.

So, I can't track down if I mentioned the stolen logo controversy--apparently, according to New World Notes, it's just Miso saying her logo was stolen, with zero proof to back it up--but it does sound from her own entry that she did have proof...and then things got stranger on her own blog, when she made a follow-up post about losing all copies of her design. Which, me being me (paranoid and a hoarder-OCD type, not a clean freak-OCD type), I simly cannot imagine doing, ever (though getting things lost in the clutter has and will continue to happen).

And then came this news of two more Linden departures (confirmed by Daniel Voyager), that seems at least tangentially, if not directly, related to the magic-hat business.

Okay, so what's the upshot of all of this?

1. Get it in writing. Record IMs/main chat if you are coming up on an important business meeting, or meeting with people in world on logo design or ANY commissioned design project. Even a notecard with details--from them, not you--will help. Save emails. If you don't like them cluttering up inboxes or inventory, print them out and have them notarized--it won't help a LOT, because such things can be faked, but it will help SOME.

2. Confirm payment, or lack thereof. If it's purely a charity thing, get that out on the table first thing. If it's not, discuss financing. This doesn't mean you're being discourteous, unfriendly, or "a pain"--it means you're thinking ahead.

I'll use Miso's words for this, because (while she's wrong) she puts it well:
Maybe I am just lame. I never viewed such work (esp solicited by a friend, who remains a friend) as a moneymaking opportunity. I never expected to be paid. I don't plan to be a golddigger; that is not a "business model" to me. I just thought it would be a nice thing to include in my portfolio.
And sure, I agree with that--who wouldn't? Design work for any major company reflects well on those of us who do it. But the part I don't agree with in that? That simply because she never expected to be paid meant she was free to discard all her work, and treat it like it didn't matter in the least. Especially if she had had problems with design work in the past with Linden Labs, she should have known better, and kept prototypes, initial designs, in-project work, finished work, and at least bcc'ed everything back to herself, if not cc'ed everything to herself openly.

Though I suspect--partially due to Courtney and Amanda Linden leaving, and partly due to her current listing as co-designer of the logo on the SL8B wiki page, that some confirmation of her logo work has in fact been found. Because unless things have radically changed, the Lindens tend not to cave in to these things if they're not actually discovered to be in the wrong. (And even then, sometimes they don't.)

3. This was addressed partially above, but ALWAYS KEEP YOUR WORK. It's worth reiterating. If I could make that sparkle and leap off the screen, I would. There are even several reasons why:
*it protects you with a date-stamp of digital creation
* it protects you with a "physical" (read saved) copy of your work for future reference/redesign (you need to know where you've been to know where you're going)
* it protects your client because then they know what's been contracted out (and in the case of the Lindens, Miso had presented to them, so they should have kept meeting notes at the least...oh, I forget, the Lindens meet in voice, and don't keep notes anymore.
So, what can everyone learn from this? Life gives you lessons. And while yes, that is a hoary old chestnut of a tired cliche, it's still true. It's our responsibility to learn from them, and if not never make the same mistakes again (how bad are the librarians and teachers twitching right now? Pretty bad? Okay, I'll stop), at least see those mistakes coming and turn away from them sooner.

Remember, the job of hindsight isn't meant to be a protective buffer for every future occasion. It's more meant to be a map, unfolding. If we do something stupid over here, chances are, when we reach similar circumstances over there, we'll do the same thing. Just keep reading--and updating--our maps, and we'll find our way.

Most of the time.

Last thing I want to mention, is something over on Crap Mariner's blog. Namely:
If you’re at Linden Lab, developing something that gets in the way of that experience or connection or enjoyment, I want you to stop what you’re doing and think about that.

If you’re a content creator or reseller of service and your approach to sales and service interferes with that experience or connection or enjoyment, I want you to stop what you're doing and think about that.
There's a damned good point there. Viewer 2? Interfered with that. (Though I think people are finally starting to adapting, now that the soul-killing bugs are--mostly--dead. And Inara Pey has some insightful things to say about overall viewer construction, and I mostly agree with the point that I might be willing to try Firestorm and see how it works for me.) The establishment of Zindra? Interfered with that. (Though again, I think people are finally adapting, but not in the way I think the Labs would best like.) And yeah, I think breedable pets of all stripes interfere with that. (But that's maybe just me.)

And that is all.


Serenity Semple said...

Well on the search for marketplace - it really sucks. LOL XD But I found you some sculpts - while not perfect you may be able to work with them in some way.

I found searching owl sculpt worked best.

Emilly Orr said...

Now that's fascinating--because I didn't find those when I searched.

My search terms (on General/Moderate/Adult searching, Building Components selected):

* owl sculpt
* snowy owl
* barn owl
* owl sculpted texture
* bird sculpt
* bird parts
* owl beak

Maybe you searched under everything? Gad, that might turn up more. I never thought of it.