I had a conversation the other day with a designer friend about art in Second Life. Well, art and design actually. Ok, art, design and content creation in Second Life; and technically it wasn't a designer, but they work for a designer. Whatever. There was a conversation anyway. Basically, we ended up getting to the subject of how important commerce was within the artistic community in Second Life. Would content creators create if there was no profit incentive.
His response was kind of cynical: "No," he said. Now, I'm not a business owner, and so I know there are a lot of technical things that probably go into it. 'No' is probably not as cynical an answer as I thought at the time.... sooo, of course I posted the question on Plurk. There I got more of a 'yes, kinda' list of responses, but of course things like covering tier costs were mentioned and I get that. I think the whole point of my original conversation actually was just to explore the idea of art for art's sake. I'm not anti-capitalist or anything... and of course I think there are a LOT of designers in SL who certainly deserve recognition and even compensation for their work and contributions. In that group, though, I think there's love too.
Twyla Tharp said "Art is the only way to run away without leaving home", and I think that's a pretty good definition of Second Life. If SL was only an artistic forum, who would be left? How can you tell?
Quality, basically. Anyone can find a way to make a few $L in SL, if you work at it. The designers that go a little bit above what they need to I think understand that it's art. Faery Sola from Studio Sidhe falls into that group. Not just happy to make accessories and jewelry, Faery makes quality accessories and jewelry. Not only that, it's work that is so unique and detailed, it's more than just something to buy, each piece is a little story about the designer herself. YES it's for sale... but it's more than just products. I think this would be something we'd see whether or not there were bills to pay.
Studio Sidhe's Silver Nose Chain with Bells is a gorgeous, quality piece made with obvious attention and just screaming Faery. Easy to accessorize with her Silver Filigree set I blogged back in December (see it here), the work is beautiful, and the detailing is something totally amazing. It's art.