There’s no denying that top SL jewellery designer, Alienbear Gupte has talent; not only does she make the most exquisite items, but she is constantly learning new skills to improve her ever-increasing bag of tricks. I managed to catch up with her between studying and designing, to find out what Alienbear wants to excel at next.
Harriet Gausman: For those who do not know, how long have you been in SL and when did your business begin?
Alienbear Gupte: I’ve been in SL since Sept 2005 and I started my business in Oct 2005. A waterfall was the first thing I made and then I started designing jewellery .
Harriet Gausman: From what I have read, you are a very busy lady. What exciting projects are you undertaking at the present time?
Alienbear Gupte: Yes, I am very busy indeed in both RL and SL. Well, right now I am working on my new Oriental jewellery designs that I custom designed for Miss Mui Mukerji (who is Miss Congeniality and the 4th runner up of the Miss SL Universe 2008), matching her National costume when she was in the competition. Then I plan to go into more ancient Oriental design after that. Sure, more Royal Style designs will be coming soon.
Harriet Gausman: You have had quite a few collaborations with other SL designers. Can you tell us a bit about these collaborations and what you gained from the working experience?
Alienbear Gupte: Collaborations with other designers – just tried once if you count the fashion show. That is the show organised by your agency, Ewing Fashion Agency. Yes, that time I really got more experience in how to show jewellery in SL. Since, as you know, jewellery is always in very tiny pieces & my own always includes many prims. Other than that, I mostly just design something to match some designers’ fashion that I love. But well, I will be working in partnership with two brand new SL fashion designers soon. And I bet we will have some special chemistry. Let’s see!
Harriet Gausman: You have been involved in the charity Shine recently. Can you tell us a little about it and how you contributed?
Alienbear Gupte: Sure! A generous lady, Alaska Metropolitan, the founder of The Metrol Model agency, sent me a notecard about “Shine”. I love helping people, so when I read her notecard and knew she was doing that charity show for Doctors Without Borders, I just thought it was awesome if my designs can help someone. So I started designing something unique and elegant.
They helped collect some money during that SHINE event. I am so happy.
Harriet Gausman: You were on the panel of judges for the Miss SL Costa Rica 2008. It must have been incredibly difficult to make a choice; I’m sure everyone was perfect. How did you manage to reach a decision?
Alienbear Gupte: Oh yes, that was my first time being a judge. It was quite difficult time to make a choice. It is hard to believe all of them can walk a straight line when I crashed like 5 times that night! They all acted professionally, but there was just one crown. So, according to their body shape, their face, their response to the judges’ questions, I finally selected one that I think can represent the beautiful place called Costa Rica.
Harriet Gausman: You also designed the crown and jewellery set for the winner. Where did you gain your inspiration for these lovely pieces from?
Alienbear Gupte: First, thank you so much for your compliments and I’m glad you love them. It was a hard time for me to draft the design of this because there was such rush in the time schedule. They contacted me to donate a custom made crown 2 weeks before the pageant, when I still had tons of designs I was working on. But finally, I took this challenge and started doing research on the internet to check out where Costa Rica is and what famous landmarks it has. In the end, I designed this crown and jewellery set according to the natural beauty of the place.
Harriet Gausman: It seems the jewellery in SL is becoming more detailed and beautiful. Have you had to learn many new skills in order to create your wonderful items?
Alienbear Gupte: Yes, I’ve seen that more and more people are starting to make jewellery in SL. That’s good, because we can have a selection. I am one of the jewellery collectors in sl too . Well, as far as my work is concerned, I just keep testing & trying all prims in different settings. I still have room to improve on this since primary prims in SL are just like some changeable legos – everyday you will find something new when you try and test them. It is really fun though!
I was thinking about learning some 3D software in making sculpties to apply more on my designs, since primary prims really have so many limitations. Some complicated designs are hard to make by using just the primary prims, to be honest. But well, I hate seeing a huge “Sphere” cover my head in every rez, so maybe someday in the future Lindens can fix this problem, LOL.
But well, I did do a short course in Multimedia Graphics design in real life, to enrich my poster presentation skills, my colour sense and how to make better textures so that the tiny prim look 3D and real. I am in my 4th month of that class. Did you see any improvement on my posters? *Smile*
Harriet Gausman: In terms of design, which piece has been the most difficult for you?
Alienbear Gupte: Rings I have to say. A simple ring is easy, BUT a clear, delicate and special ring design is really so hard to make. The prims on rings are really too tiny and it is much more difficult than making other pieces if you want it to be a very complicated design. I’ll tell you something funny, I did have a choker design in the early Jan 2006 – that was supposed to have been a ring design, LOL. I am still working hard on it. I wish that one day I can be like Random Calliope, who is definitely an artist and can play the prims like stepping on an ant.
Harriet Gausman: Which RL fashion designer do you aspire to?
Alienbear Gupte: Actually, I don’t have any specific designer I aspire to, I love all kinds of special designs. Sometimes, you will find something nice and special from a non – famous designer. Well, all I am looking for is something innovative.
Harriet Gausman: How would you describe your brand values?
Alienbear Gupte: Original, exquisite, delicate, royal, elegant, innovative, special and unique. And certainly, my high quality, primary handcrafted prims work. You can see my heart, my love and my passion in every piece of my designs.
Harriet Gausman: Do you have a favourite of your own designs?
Alienbear Gupte: Actually, I love all my designs, but as my prim work keeps improving I think that my latest design is one of my favourites. Not only the design but also the prim work. That is my Miss SL Universe Crowns and Jewellery that I specially designed for the Pageant, held by the Best of SL magazine.
Harriet Gausman: Ok, so you’re lost on a desert island, name five items you would not be without.
Alienbear Gupte: Umm.. crown, earrings, necklace, ring, bracelet … just kidding, LOL.
Well, for me.. umbrella, water, laptop with GPS, internet network, many fully charged notebook batteries, so I can find someone to save me!! I can’t live without these; it will be boring like crazy.
Harriet Gausman: Where do you foresee your business headed? Would you consider branching out into RL jewellery?
Alienbear Gupte: I wish everyone can wear and appreciate my designs. I look forward to opening a museum in Second Life to show all my designs, one day in the future. In the meantime, I also hope my designs can help to raise more funds for charity, just like the ones in Shine.
Yes, branching out into RL jewellery is one of my dreams. But it will need chance, money & many other considerations. I will take some jewellery design course in the future maybe to enrich my design skills first, because Second Life jewellery is totally different from those in real life. You can make tons of diamonds in SL but not in RL, while you can design every shape/ style in RL, in SL you can’t. But sure, I wish to see my designs in real life one day. I will be very happy if some real life company makes real life jewellery from my designs. But, please mention my name & send me one set of each, LOL.