Today we have an interview with Shana
, a popular Poser clothing and texture 3D vendor over at Renderosity.
Could you briefly describe yourself?
Well, what can I say about myself? Let's see, I live in Portugal, I work as a freelance graphic designer/artist, although my main focus at the moment is Poser-related. In my free-time (when I get some), I love to read. I have a huge book collection, although I hardly pick up an actual book anymore, it's more iPad and Kindle these days, lol. I also enjoy watching a good movie. I'll watch almost anything, just not drama, there's already plenty of that in real life, but as long as it's a romantic comedy, action, adventure, mystery or musical, count me in! Other than that, what more can I say? I really like playing on my xbox and ps3, I love to shop, but doesn't every girl ? :D I LOVE music, I can't do anything around the house without having something playing in the background, especially when I'm working, and that's pretty much it, I wish I had something really amazing to share here, lol, but I'm just pretty much your average girl next door I guess
How did you get started making Poser textures and products?
It started about 8 years ago, maybe a little more, I remember that I had this game on my computer that that some people on an internet forum where doing renders of the game's characters and models using some sort of 3D application, 3DSmax I think. I started googling around about 3D Renders and I stumbled onto Renderosity, from there I got familiar with Poser and the enormous quantity of content a person could get for that, I eventually tried it out and it was so easy, I was instantly hooked, it was so simple to use and not that hard to get some decent results, Back then, when I was just rendering for fun, I started creating content out of necessity. When I wanted something that I couldn't find, sometimes I would end up making it myself. I was encouraged to try and start selling my own products, and so I did. I was working as a web-designer at the time and I didn't have much experience with 3D but I had been using Photoshop for the longest time, so texturing and creating texture based products seemed to be a nice way to try and see if I could have any success as a vendor, and the rest is as they say, history.
How long did it take you to get into the top sellers ranks?
I think it took me about 3 or 4 months, at first I thought I was never ever going to come close to that, but then when I got a few sales and I had a couple of successful products, I started thinking I might eventually make it to Top Vendor, like a year later or something, not 3 months after my first product. When I got an e-mail letting me know I had made it I was happily surprised, I hoped one day I would get there, I just never thought it would be that fast
Is this a full time job for you or mostly a hobby?
Back when I started I didn't think this could be become my full time job as it is now, it was more of an hobby than a job, just something I could do on the side to earn some extra income. I eventually got successful enough that it did become my full time job.
How long does it take you to create a product?
It depends on what sort of product it will be, for texture add-ons, on a simple one piece outfit, I can finish everything (Textures, Promos, Packaging) in a couple of days, if it's for a more complicated outfit, it will take me a little longer, 3 or 4 days. It really depends on what the product will require, for example, the SHOOT line I have going with outoftouch, those are much more detailed textures and promos, that takes me close to a week to have it done, when they have a character and I include python overlay options, that's at least 1 more day of texturing if not more. Then I have my new exPOSED products just with poses for V4, that can take me 1 or 2 weeks, but that's because I usually work on that when there's nothing else that needs to be finished.
Can you describe the process of making a texture add-on?
I would say the first part of the process is deciding what product to do them for, if the product is already for sale somewhere, I take into consideration how well it's selling, how long it's been for sale, what vendor is it from and on which website it is, personal taste also plays a part of course, I'm more inclined to work on something if I like the original product than I would be if it's something I don't particularly care for, or something I don't think is that well done. I take into consideration all of that, but there are always exceptions, for example I might do an add-on for something I don't like, if I think an add-on will be successful, and the other way around too, I might do an add-on for something that didn't sell that well or is already pretty old, just because I like it and I think my textures would bring something to it, as much as I like doing this, It ends up being a business so there are always things to take into consideration.
After deciding what to work on, then it's time to figure out what exactly I'm going to do, sometimes just looking at what it is I can sort of plan what to do, just because there's things I've seen before that I like and that I think I can recreate on this add-on. When you don't have a clear idea on what to do, then Google image search is your best friend, I look around for inspiration and things that I think look nice and that I can recreate with my textures, I get a few ideas together and start the hard part, the actual textures, I usually make about 7 different texture styles, that's usually about 30 textures in total (Diffuse, Bump, Transparency and Displacement maps). After that's done I start working on the promos to display everything, that's my favorite part, creating a cool logo for the product and getting a background to match, selecting a character and the accessories for the renders, while the renders are running I package the product and get everything ready to upload, that's about it.
What tips would you give to people wanting to get started in selling Poser products?
There's so much that can be said here, but I'll focus on what I think is the most important thing. This is what worked for me when I started out, and that was to be unique and original. This is an extremely competitive business. If you don't stand out from the crowd, then no matter how talented you may be, you'll end up being just one more and getting lost in the mix. Customers should recognize your work without even having to look at your username. Just think about it, there are a lot of amazing and talented artists working daily on creating digital content for Poser. The more you develop your own style and make it recognizable, the more you increase your chances of succeeding. Other than that, the only other advice I have is what can also usually be applied to everything in life, and that is to always try and do better next time, always put quality before quantity and just do what you love and be happy
You often pair your products with other vendors, do you find that's a useful strategy?
I think so, especially with texture add-ons, it only makes sense to have the add-on released at the same time as the product it's for, or at least as close as possible. That way I think it's more likely that the customer who buys the original product might also pick up the add-on and vice versa. Sometimes the original product is a really nice model but only comes with very basic textures, so a nice texture add-on released at the same time has a good chance to also get picked up by a potential customer, so it ends up working great for both vendors, people who like the textures will have to buy the original product they are for to be able to use them, and people who like the original product, might also pick up the add-on if it's released at the same time just to get a few different looks from a different vendor.
Any new product in development right now?
I'm always working on a lot of things at once, but, since I'm mainly a texture artist, I will always be working on more texture packs. Right now, I'm working on a couple of products with outoftouch. If you follow both of us on Renderosity, you have probably seen some of what we've been doing there, we have few upcoming products we made that I'm really happy with, those are coming very very soon ( or might be on sale already lol, depends on when you read this), but that's what takes most of my time at the moment. Expanding that line of products and planning our future releases for it is my priority right now.