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can you make a profit off art in second life?


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The more global question is whether you can make a profit selling anything in SL.  If your standard of comparison is RL, the answer is generally "no".  If you are talented enough to sell your art in RL, you'll earn a lot more for it there than you will in SL.  When you take the value of your creative time into account, the profit you make here is small. 

However, that's not why many (most?) creative people in SL do it.  We create because it's fun, because we like to make the world around us more interesting, and because we want to share.  Money is certainly nice, but I suspect it's not the biggest incentive for most of us. A small handful of people manage a comfortable income here, but most are happy to just make expenses and have a little pocket money left over.  If you set that as your goal and if you have a decent talent, then yes, you can make a business selling art in SL.

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You can only legally sell those things if you are the artist or have the permission of the artist to sell them in SL.  Otherwise you are violating the intellectual property rights of the person that holds them.  It is also against the terms of service.  Besides, you will make next to nothing ripping images off and selling them.  Anyone can do that so demand is very low.

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Sassy Romano wrote:

Upload your original work for L$10

 

Sell it for L$11

 

= Profit

What Sassy said, I mean if you don't include the cost of electricity or return on investment of your time, marketplace fees, or rental of space etc.: that is the basic equation. The ROI of time factor I mention is called "opportunity cost" and is kind of intuitive so maybe I didn't need to mention it really. I am sure someone in ecnomics or a MBA degree may be able to point out costs, such as the 3rd bottom line I have heard about, and declare virtual better or worse for the environment. Also, a sociologist may point out something about "community building" that is of benefit to humanity by providing a "third space" and a list of other factors impacting society. I am nobody, so...yeah....uh...ask some artists in world who have a rented space and create similar art to yourself as well. A Dr. may be worried about the ergonomics of you desk and a pyschologist worry of addiction and it's costs/tolls on your mind and opportunity costs incured from that. Some just want a cookie, really I don't know but figure if you like virtual worlds and have the time...why not check out SL and think like a business person a bit if you want to run a gallary of your own but talk to actually gallary owners in world if you can't get answers here. I just play with cars here and make some as well. /me shrugs. Sorry, I have no solid data or case studies lol.

There are art fans here, that I do know. Linden Labs also runs a LEA thingy, Linden Endowment of the Arts, I think that is what it means. Something to blog about and be connected to VR/Virtual worlds and possibly that is relevent to your fans/customers/purchasers? So, even without sales that generate profit you end up with some more memorable.

If you have digital art skills you may do products of some kind, some quick design lessons. Nice looking stuff seems to sell, things for avatars. I think I heard someone made hundreds of thousands on hands and feet, those where a complaint of many SL users. Poses had to be designed with the ugly traingles and odd lighting of wrists and such. Find a ugly problem, make a pretty bandaid or replacement and you may do well. If your art training has included the study of "baeuty" that is,otherwise: They say not smooth = ugly, make it smooth. Not realistic and ugly? Yup, make it more realistic and matching with other popular items and it is now not ugly to them! Not to much subjective/objective arguments to be had...maybe lol.

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