Harriet Gausman: When did you first start designing in SL?
Abbraxxa Anatine: I started creating the minute I got my own land which was I think, early July, about 4 or 5 weeks into my Second Life. I needed furniture.
Harriet Gausman: Did you have any RL design skills or did you learn in-world?
Abbraxxa Anatine: I’ve been doing professional graphic/web design for oh… 18 or 19 years, so I guess you could say I had a bit of a leg up here, but SL was my first venture into the world of 3D design. I developed a passion for textures almost immediately and found that luckily I have the patience for it. That’s typically where the bulk of my building time goes.
Harriet Gausman: What or who do you consider your inspiration for your designs?
Abbraxxa Anatine: I’m inspired by the natural beauty of our incredible planet and I just love the beautiful natural stones mother nature provides us. I’ve been collecting stone jewelry in RL for as long as I can remember and I still have a rather large collection of loose stones from my earlier beading days. So the types of jewelry I design in SL are very much the kind of things I would wear or want to own in RL.
Before going into business here, I was very much into the SL live music scene and spent a lot of time at casual outdoor venues. I dressed much the same as I would in RL and had a very hard time finding jewelry in SL that fit my style or my outfits. While diamonds certainly remain a girl’s best friend, I’ve always been mostly a down to earth “hippie chick” and accenting ripped jeans and tie dye tanks with piles of blingy flashing stuff… well, you could say that just wasn’t going to complete the look I was after.
It’s rare that I know exactly what I want to make when I sit down to design something new. Much of the time, I’ll start a project with a fuzzy notion of an idea and let the prims fall where they may. My RL design method has always been just to push pixels and let them lead me to what they want to be and it’s pretty much the same here with prims. I don’t plan or sketch anything, I just take an idea, start moving things around and see where it leads.
Harriet Gausman: How would you describe your collection?
Abbraxxa Anatine: Multifaceted? *grin* I don’t think my jewelry falls into one category. I try to have something for everyone and something to complete every look, from jeans and a tee to a red carpet gown, so EarthStones not only has lots of fun beads and casual pieces, but also a growing collection of classic and elegant diamonds and pearls. I guess if there’s one thing that all my SL creations share, it’s realistic quality. We literally have the creative world at our fingertips in SL and I think the biggest and most rewarding challenge is making our SL fantasies and dreams feel as real as possible.
Harriet Gausman: Who do you think buys your items?
Abbraxxa Anatine: I spend a lot of time in my store so I’ve had the opportunity to meet and speak with many of my customers. Based on the wide variety of people I’ve met in the store, I’d have to say my customer base is pretty diverse. There are many new age, bohemian earthy types (like me) drawn to my pieces, but I’ve also met lots of trendy fashionistas, wiccan/urban/goth folks, various role players and some of SL’s loveliest top fashion models.
Harriet Gausman: Where do you see yourself headed in terms of business and design?
Abbraxxa Anatine: Oh, I plan to continue designing, making new creations, learning new skills and expanding my offerings ’till SL runs out of prims. After nearly 20 years of corporate design, I’m ready for a big change. It’s impossible to predict the future but if my dream comes true, SL will become my full time (and only) business. The hours and effort are greater than any other job I’ve held, but it’s the most fun I’ve ever had working triple shifts.
Visit EarthStones today.