Sunday, 24 April 2011

Crossroads: the future of Vent du Sud (huge whine, scroll at will)

OK, I am just looking at what I made since 20 April, when I said I would give my revenues from Vent du Sud to Doctors Without Borders for a month.

Somehow, it is "not done" to say how much you earn in SL.

Fair enough.

Considering I sell stuff at 1L (decor) or 50L (builds, like the lighthouse above), I am never going to make a lot and that is fine. My choice.

So I am going to round it up a little, and will be paying in 100 dollars any day soon, or more if I can negotiate with Mr RL (I know I can: he's great, even after 28 years of marriage). I am happy with that (and YES I will post the receipt). 


So everything should be is fine. Doesn't matter that I will never be in the weekly specials such as FLF or humpdaywhateveritis or the 'in feeds' because hey, 1L or 50L... doesn't qualify.

Or does it matter? 

I enjoy building, and can just about keep my (homestead) sim going thanks to friends who take some prims and Mr RL who tolerates what I normally have to put in to make ends meet.

I'm a frugal shopper, too, but even that is getting me down as I feel like a SPREE (favourites being Mimikri, Fishy Strawberry, Coco, Maitreya, Elikatira, Shiny Things, J's,  Aoharu, Baiastice and more recently, Ayla and Oyakin and discovering smaller designers too).

But the budget doesn't run to it.

I can (sort of) live with that, mostly.

Again, I made my choice.

I am a BUILDER, and proud of it, but in SL that also means advertising, networking, marketing in general... I should do more of that. But I can't do everything in the limited SL time that I have.

But I don't do enough. I build a bit and socialise a bit, and most of the time I don't care about lots of Lindens doing the kerchunk.

Sometimes, though, I do.

When I see makers of clunky, badly-textured stuff selling stuff for a hundred times what I sell for, and getting on all the feeds and 'in' blogs, that makes me roll my eyes, of course I get ranty.

Human, no?

But I made my choice and will live with it. Really, I will.

For how long, though? I don't know.

Stupid pride makes me WANT to be with the cool kids, selling for 'normal' decor prices (no false modesty, my stuff is really not clunky or badly textured).

But another side of me just wants to continue to enjoy making stuff and for people to come grab it for (virtually) nothing to ease their SL budget. It has been a wonderful period, seeing people come on over and IM things like 'wow this is WAY better than I expected for 1L / 50L'.


Some people who come to Vent du Sud also leave incredibly generous tips (or my contribution to Doctors Without Borders would be way less, believe me).

I am so grateful to them. Thank you, guys, seriously.

Oh dear, is there a point to all this?

Not even sure. But I feel I'm at a crossroads.

Not sure if I have the energy to go on.

Part of me really, really wants to keep building (dammit, I have sort of conquered basic Photoshop, can modify even complicated scripts and can wrangle with prims and texture up a storm).

Part of me wants to keep on sending subscribo notices, grinning at the 1L 'kerchunks'.

Oh shallow me?

And another part of me says 'to hell with it... sell up, move on, take a tiny plot of land, put up a little cabin for myself, build in sandboxes, forget about Vent du Sud'.


(Apologies. This post may get deleted, and blame part of it on a long, leisurely, somewhat alcohol-heavy RL Easter lunch with friends, but yes, crossroads. Normal blog posts will no doubt be resumed soon)


Family Attic said...

I am a fan of your work and sincerely hope you don't decide to close, but I can understand. There is no where in SL where someone can get the quality you do for just 1 L$. When I log on later today I will pop over and contribute to your cause, and I'm sorry I didn't before now. Again, I hope you stay :-)


Thank you, really.

El Firecaster said...

Dear Ari,
Being married to a builder, I have sat by and watched this same dilema rise to boiling over in my own precious V's life. He too is extremely talented and LOVES to build, but hated all the time and trouble it takes to try to make a "business of it" His own long journey has been chronicled on our blog at . To try to sum it up; he finally decided to go somewhere that did not charge the exhorbitant prices in tier that SL does and found that many of the constraints that builders put up with on a daily basis (mega prims being just ONE of those things) were no where to be found in open sim. It is a "raw" place. It does not have all the glam and glitz that you can find in SL, but it allows him to do what he loves without costing him a small chunk of our life AND HE decided that he wanted to do it for free. He can afford that now. Not everyone in OpenSim worlds has chosen to do that, but a large portion of the population seem to have that mindset. And guess what? The fulfillment that has come from seeing people really, truly grateful for what he does...and seeing his builds in MULTIPLE worlds, has been more gratifying to him than all the money he ever made trying to sell his creations.

I am NOT saying that this is what you should do. I am merely sharing that you are not alone. That others with like talent have experienced the same things you are feeling...and that is just one way that one person dealt with it. If you are interested you can read some of it at: IF you take a look at PartI of that same title you will see that V was still considering selling things at that time. He has evolved...:) (And we are no longer on OsGrid...not that we did not love it there, but V decided to do his own standalone after some time) Just thought I would share this with your "plight" sounds slightly familiar...:)

Monica said...

I think your items are great. If you feel good about your prices, don't let anyone else tell you differently.

Any time when someone tells me that all cheap stuff is "bad", I just shake my head because they don't realize that not everything expensive is of good quality, and not everything low priced is of the bad variety.

If you want more publicity, you will probably have to find a group that allows you to price items the way you want. I can go on, but don't really think this is the right platform to do such :)

Big hugs to you, and please don't leave :(

Anichka Savira said...

I, personally, would be heartbroken to see Vent du Sud go, I use your products all the time and they are one of, if not THE best deals in SL in terms of price and quality.

SL is a frustrating place though at times though, so I can understand your concerns. Mainly just wanted to voice some appreciation of your contributions in world.

Thank you for all you do!


Thank you people too... I am really grateful for the feedback and it has cheered me up a bit. I just had to cancel my vacation because of SO MUCH WORK so everything was conspiring against me this week or so.

(and no, NOT fishing for sympathy now either... at least I *have* work!)