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Thursday, August 22, 2013


Textures in Second Life are not only a big deal to builders but they play a huge role in creating the atmosphere for any location in the virtual world as well as aid in personal style. 

Everywhere we look, there are textures used to add character to any object. From detailed builds to the clothes your avatar wears, textures make it all possible.  Mauve Binder is a seasoned texture creator that has been in Second Life for over 6 years. Her creative designs are proudly displayed at her shop; Sick Bubblegum Textures. The SL Enquirer met up with Mauve to talk about her textures and what inspires her unique designs.

Interview with Mauve Binder

SLE: Hi Mauve before we get into Sick Bubblegum Designs, I’d love to know what brought you into Second Life?

Mauve: A good friend of mine in real life had joined SL in early 2005 and spent the next 1 ½ years urging me to join. He kept telling me that I would enjoy it; he never told me that I would become addicted to it.

SLE: I can understand a Second Life addiction! Would you say SL is an extension of your real life or an outlet for your creativity?

Mauve: Second Life has become both an extension of my real life and an outlet for my creativity. It is an extension in that I have creative outlets in real life so it is only natural to have that carry through to my Second Life. It is also an outlet in that I can create items in Second Life that wouldn’t be possible in my real life. Creatively speaking, it really combines the best of both worlds for me.

SLE: I can certainly relate to that. So, what inspired you to be a texture designer?

Mauve: I had dabbled with making textures to customize my own builds. It was literally one song, a video, that inspired me to seriously consider going into textures; Rob Zombie’s song “Sick Bubblegum”. In the video he wears a pair of denims decorated with skulls and a striped shirt under a matching argyle vest combo; totally rock and roll.

SLE: I’ve seen that video and I must say you pay great attention to detail. It was hard for me to get a good look at his outfit because the scenes change so fast.  I have to say, inspiration comes in interesting ways! In 5 words, how would you describe your style?

Mauve: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Okay, that is more than 5 words, I have never been any good at math. I like that phrase because if someone were to judge my work simply on the appearance of my avatar, they may not come and find “THE” floral pattern that they are desperately seeking, or “THE” little girl print… or whatever… I pride myself on offering unique work, so don’t judge the experience based on the name I chose for the shop.
If I need to seriously need to provide 5 words… diversified.
See? I’m terrible at math.

SLE: lol I like your candid style. I think diversified sums it up. Is this solely your business or do you have a team that helps you?

Mauve: I create all textures and look after all aspects of my business. I have no employees or representatives. That said, in striving to offer the best support possible I would like to think that every happy customer to pass through my doors is part of my advertising team. Without them, I would have nothing and because of that, I am incredibly grateful.

SLE: Great insight on the importance of a happy customer base. You have been in Second Life a long time and it is impressive that you have remained at the same location for over 5 years. What is the secret for your success?

Mauve: I strive to always provide the best customer experience possible, challenge myself creatively and work cooperatively with others in the industry. I have always been of the belief that the worst thing a person can do is to view every other individual who does work in the same area as “bad” competition. Ten people can create textures but because of different personalities, backgrounds, artistic tendencies and skills, you will not get 10 identical works. I am not embarrassed to admit when something is out of my ability nor am I hesitant or concerned to suggest other shops. If people are familiar with my work, I am confident that they will return because while I may not have what they want today, I may have it tomorrow.

SLE:   Mauve your success is because of a great attitude and work ethic. Sick Bubblegum Designs has 2 floors of textures on display. Can you walk me through what type of textures you offer and what they can be used for?

Mauve: The shop has recently undergone a massive redesign to make room for products and things are still slowly being organized to make finding things easier for visitors. I have attempted to organize the store into sections of “themes” to make finding specific products easier. No system will ever be perfect but I am hoping this will enhance customer experience.
I also carry the full line of Trendy Templates Clothing Generators. I love Stella Gravois line and currently am the only affiliate in Second Life carrying her items. Her personal style is as diversified as mine is and I think that having her generators in my shop is the ultimate coupling.

The majority of my textures are geared for clothing and home interior design. That said, I have seen my wood textures used in jewellery, fabric patches used as rugs, embellishments turned into sculptures to adorn floral arrangements. I love how people interpret my work and find ways of using it that I would never have considered.

SLE: Nice, your work is very versatile. Is there a difference between mesh texture needs for hair and clothes and standard textures used for build objects?

Mauve: The textures in themselves are the same regardless if you want to use them on mesh, sculpted, regular prims or clothing layers. The difference lies in the wrapping (or mapping) of the texture.

SLE:  Oh that seems simple enough. So how often do you release new textures?

Mauve: I am constantly creating and lately I have been creating over a dozen sets a week.

SLE: Wow Mauve you are a texture making machine! Do you offer any specials or custom orders?

Mauve: In terms of specials, I am a participant of CoLab Creations which is a group where products are designed around a specific theme every 2 weeks. This is a great way to save a lot of money and try out new designers simply because prices are not to exceed L$60. My kits are generally valued at over L$180. I also participate in Steals & Deals sales weekly by offering selected sets with at least a 50% savings. I always have a Midnight Mania board offering a free set if the board “locks” and offer the last prize at a reduced rate (I charge anywhere from L$10 – L$30).

 I also regularly participate in Les Sucreries de Fairy L$2 hunts, which is a great deal because I still create a full texture set worth at least L$200 for the hunt. I also make the hunt prize unique to the hunt and do not offer it for sale under any other circumstance. I will do custom work but frequently after discussion will find out that the product specifically being ordered isn’t so much “custom” as it something that an individual would like to see in-store. In regards to requests, I generally require at least 3 days but will advise beforehand if I need less or more time.

SLE: You have the right idea by participating in these different groups and activities, it certainly helps in marketing. Are your textures copiable and transferable? If so, how do you protect your work from being resold or used in other virtual worlds?

Mauve: By the nature of being a builder tool, textures have to be copiable in order to be of use. My textures are not transferable between avatars, I do not permit texture sharing and I do not allow reselling of my work by any individual for any purpose.
While it is virtually impossible to prevent work from being resold, I have been very fortunate in that there are many eyes that advise me when there is suspicious activity surrounding my work. I do not permit my textures to be transferred to other virtual worlds but when approached, I am willing to work with individuals so that they can use my textures legally. As a few individuals have found out over the years, I do take copyright and legal use very seriously.

SLE: Ooo It sounds like you protect your creations well.  Builders and clothing designers are the ones that use textures the most but for those just starting out, do you have any special advice on how to make textures work together?

Mauve: The single most important piece of advice I can give is what was offered to me when I began… the only limit is your imagination and you will learn your own individual style through trial and error. I can’t stress enough though, when starting out you can obtain most of the resources you could possibly require for free. I highly recommend The Mermaid Diaries. It would appear that the blog itself is no longer being updated however it is an incredible resource for individuals just starting out and wanting to learn how to build, script or create clothing.

When anyone is considering working with any new “technique”, I urge them to spend as little money as possible, and if they can get pieces for free, even better. There is nothing worse than spending a great deal of money and then discovering that “this” isn’t “for” you. There are many free resources available to learn from and get your hands wet before you drop a single linden.

SLE: That is some sound advice Mauve.  You are right. No one should have to spend big Linden bucks before they know what resources are available.  I would love for our readers to contact you if they need to. How do you preferred to be contacted by clients?

Mauve: I can be messaged or contacted by note card. However a person chooses to contact me, I advise that if they have not heard back from me within 48 hours to message or note card me again. While I get notifications to email, even that system has been known to fail.

SLE:  Ahh we all know the pleasant tech issues lol. What group should people join to get the latest release info?

Mauve: I have a subscription board in my shop above the Midnight Mania board, through this board I send 1-3 note cards per week. Joining does not take a group slot and you may unsubscribe at any time.

SLE: Do you have a Facebook or twitter?
Mauve: Unfortunately, I do not have the time to Facebook or twitter. I have a (sadly) neglected blog which displays all of my licenses. When time allows I will return to posting however I won’t try and kid anyone though, the best way to stay on top of news is to join my subscribe board. I just don’t have the time it takes to blog like I should.

SLE: Mauve, I wish you another 5 years and beyond in Second Life. Keep up the great work!



  1. Another gem from our CEO Lanai.
    I shall visit Sick Bubblegum shop next time I log in.
    Thank you


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