Saturday, August 02, 2008

I Need Opinions - Shite or Not Shite?

I started work over a year and a half ago (maybe 2 years now, not sure) on a version 2 of all my Neko products. The original skins were some of the first products I released way way back at the end of 2005 or so I think and I have always felt they needed updating even though they used to sell well. Used to being the important part of that sentiment. Nothing of mine sells well now...but that tends to happen when you go crazy, disappear and don't release anything new for over a year or more - People forget you exist. And of course, I am no longer the only person in SL selling neko skins the way I used to be. That probably doesn't help. So...what the fuck was I writing about anyway/ oh...right...the version 2 shite.

Well, I started on updating those old neko skins a long time ago. I redid the tabby housecat stripes from scratch, added a lightened belly fur to the skin, and made adjustments to the face, eyebrows, makeup, etc to be more in line with my newer skins. I also tried a quick test for some tiger stripes, since people have always seemed to confuse the tabby striped skins for tiger skins and complained the stripes weren't prominent enough. The idea was to update the whole line. Add more options to the ears and scripting, throw in lots of interactive stuff and new features and release the whole new line when I designed a new store for more space.

Well, I did eventually have Teiko make me a new store...which is open now over 2 years after starting that idea. I also did prototypes of the new neko skin idea back then and then I didn't follow up. Like so much junk half-finished in my inventory. the prototypes are still sitting in a folder, but I spiraled out of control, went crazy again, and lost all motivation and ability to work or think straight for a year or more and here I am now looking at these old prototype version 2 skins and asking myself...are they shite or not? Should I continue with em or start over yet again?

Now...I am making a massive assumption here. Namely that even if i do decide to do anything with these or start over, that I will indeed complete something this time. That is a huge if for me right now at this stage of my recovery. Huge if. But...assuming i may be able to pull that off and I might actually work on a new set of neko skins...should I use these prototypes? Are they good enough, different enough, updated enough and simply not shite enough to be worth it?

I have a hard time answering that myself. I am my own worst critic, and I always hate my own art, my own work. That's hate. As in it fuckin' is trash. So it's hard for me to look at any of my stuff objectively. So, I decided...hey, while I have enough guts to post a blog today, let's just ask anybody out there still reading this what they feel. Shite? or Not Shite?

To that are some images of the prototypes:

The Leopard Version 2 Prototype -

The Tabby Version 2 Prototype -

The Tiger Version 2 Prototype -

No, not the best pictures, but the ads are the same style as the old skins, so you could compare against the old look if you wanted to. They still need work even if they aren't shite, but the question I bother with em at all? Hell...while you are at it and taking the time to comment (assuming anyone does), let me know if I should just scrap the neko stuff completely from my list of future works. I mean, honestly...when i did the original neko skins it was because no one was making any that I could find. they were rare, unique and new back then. But now nekos are so common you can't avoid stepping on a tail anywhere there are more than two people together, and seems every store out there has and makes neko parts and skins now. Is it time to move on to other stuff? If not, do I use these and continue with version 2? or scrap them and work on version 3 all anew?

Anyway. just some rambling, musing, and a cheap way to make all of you answer my questions and make up my fucked up mind for me. Yeah, I am lazy. Wanna do the actual work too? >_>

P.S. - Please, please, please don't ask me when these will be released. I get enough of that already, and seeing as I don't even know if I will do anything with them at all, I sure don't have any timetable. Hell, I don't have timetables for anything in my life just now, let alone new releases and stuff.


Alyx Sands said...

Zoe, first of all, you didn't "go crazy and vanish". I totally understand what you're going through and it's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy...
And secondly, as a fan of your neko stuff (I still love those sweet ears!), I would like you to continue with V 2.0 of the skins. I would love to have the new tabby one when it's finished. They're not shite. Just one thing I noticed (as I've got a tabby cat right here)-the stripes on the forehead-they would, with a RL tabby, be vertical, not horizontal. Other than that-love the belly fur!

Sakuradawn Lei said...

I would say keep working on these ones. Yours was the first Neko skin I ever bought and to this day I have seen more people wearing yours than others. Take your time, play with them, do what you feel is right with them. I do like the belly fur on them, kinda breaks up all the spots and stripes that sometimes made the chests of the other ones a little flat looking. (I have that problem with furry skins too)Perhaps give the male versions a bit of definition too. Just my suggestions ^^:

Oh and the tiger stripes rock!

(>_> I totally volunteer myself to be test subject material. ^-^)

I do agree with you on the neko thing, seems to be a ton of them around now, not like when I first became a neko. I have been spending most of my time lately as an elf. So maybe some fantasy style skins too? I don't know I'm bad at suggestions and I'm really lazy myself ^^:

Ann Launay said...

Not shite, but they are a little...I don't know, cartoony? for my taste. Don't get me wrong, I know we're talking about fantasy creatures in what amounts to a cartoon world, I just like something a little softer, with more color gradient in the markings.

I wear the Nomine skins when I go full Neko, if that makes things any clearer.

Bianca Bender said...

I currently use and love your tabby golden version. It's a great skin, I was just at your store recently to see if you had any additions to your line. Was looking for more makeup options and possibly some pubic area alternatives..mainly just bare. I mean a kitten already has furr why would she need pubic hairs...anywho. I think you should definatly continue with your newer editions of your skins. It's definatly time for some new neko skins and you have such wonderful color choices as well. That's my two cents. Take it for what it's worth.

Kesseret Steeplechase said...

Not Shite.

Also, I really am glad to see you back!

Your neko stuff is the best.

*Helix Rehula said...

i really like them..and i`m not a neko.. =)
can you make a black panter skin also?
i think you should try them again!

Zoe Llewelyn said...

Wow. o_o I really didn't expect anyone would reply, but thank you all for the wonderful comments and your opinions. They really are appreciated.

I suppose this means people will expect me to actually do something for a change now? >_> I am so in trouble...

Meryet said...

I'm not a neko but I think these are beautiful! Definitely keep working on them.

Ashia Tomsen said...

Please, please, please don't stop!! Your skins are the reason I started making skins a year ago. Your work is amazing, inspirational and gorgeous. And while there may be other neko skins in sl, none even come close to yours, so there!
<3 Ash

Marissa Goodliffe said...

Definately not shite!

I don't wear Neko skins yet, but have thought about it since helping a friend open his new Neko sim. Yours are first choice. Have you seen what is out there? One set I saw I swear is a stolen skin with dots and stripes colored on.

Like someone said earlier, your skins are the most worn among serious nekos. Don't give up, you don't even need to begin again, go with what ya got.

-Marissa G

Willis said...


I am so glad your back *pouncehugs*! I've missed your releases tons!!!

As one of the best fantasy skin makers on the grid, I would say you still have it, maybe bits need tweaking here and there (I dunno, i'm not a cat!) but I would definately keep at it, no scrapping them!!!

Great to see you back :))


Lisa L. said...

As your skin was the first neko skins that helped me on the transition to neko. I look at the new releases and think they are very cute. The tiger stripes were well done, also the tabby stripes the lightly done one. If these are the look of the new set then definetly continue along. I still have friends that are taking the first steps into neko that I suggest to go for JV skins. These would give them more options while still looking cute.

Lisa L. said...

Oh also a side question for you. I have noticed a lot of the more modern neko skins, the only ones similar to yours in style of the full neko look (not being very common). Now they seem to offer the markings in a tat only layer as lots of neko's love to wear their Tuli, whatever name it is RAC is now, or whichever as the real skin with their stripes on the underwear layer. Is it a option you have thought of using as well? Just releasing your very well done stripes and dots as a tat layer?

Neome said...

Yours are the first neko skins I ever bought in SL and they are still the ones I wear most often when I decide to go cat. There may be a ton of others out there now, but very few of them are actuallty *good*. The belly fur on your new versions is very well done and I absolutely *love* the tiger skins. I very much hope you continue on with the idea.

Emilly Orr said...

And, not that you may want to hear from me, Zoe, but--I'd say go with it. To the point that I've already been in the store, sighing over how much of my hard-won Lindens are going to go to completely refit the full stripes pack I have now, the three spots I have now, and to fund some few skins into the tiger territory.

I'm neko at least half the time in world. I have skins from you, from Hybrid, from a couple smaller designers. I was contemplating at least one of Bastchild and LaPointe's 'nekobilly' skins. But who do I keep coming back to? You. I have ears and tail sets from virtually every ears/tail maker on the grid at this point, including OMFG's steampunk machine ears and tail. Who do I keep wearing for ears? Yours.

About the only complaint I've ever had on your skins, the first neko skins, was the mint green was a tad too dark for everyday wear. But even with that, I had people who liked it, liked me in it, and I wore it for them.

I'm not going to try to pressure you for a release date. I *am* telling you that if you release them, I will buy them. Because I think the refit, the white belly, the new striping, is wonderful.

Screw the other neko designers on the grid. When people ask me about neko stuph, I still send 'em to you.

I always will, unless you discontinue the line. :)

Anonymous said...

So glad to find your blog. I love your stuff & hope you'll keep working on these skins. They're beautiful. I've been drooling over your work for a long time. I just wish there was a gray tabby (with a white chin).

Anonymous said...

What a coincident! I was JUST at your store in Temenos after a looong absence. I was showing a friend your leopard skins (she eventually bought one). I have had and loved the leopard skin for a long time now and have steered several people your way. So of course I'm very excited about v.2.0. They look fabulous in my opinion.

Oh! but i really loved your old store! It was so natural looking and mysterious with the rope bridge and all. I was really disappointed to see the corporate buildings that are at Temenos now.

But the statue of the woman breaking the chains is brilliant, whoever made it...

Teagan Blackthorne said...

I cannot wait for this to be a reality. Your work is fantastic and the only neko stuff I own. :) I have both skin styles in the cream. I agree with the one comment about the pubic hair. It would be nice for options when it comes to that but not necessary. I first saw your skins on someone's picture on flickr and they did not list where it came from. It took a hair trip to your friend QuietlyCharmes to find your skins. They are beautiful and graceful so keep moving forward.

rorowe said...

They look amazing, especially for being "not done" in your eyes.
For all three of my avatar's, Temenos was my first stop for skins (2 tabby, 1 boneflower "human" skin).
I switched my main character to a Hybrid calico (only decent-looking calico I've found so far).
I would LOVE to see especially the tabby released. If I don't switch back on my main, at least you can count on me for my two alts. =^.^=

Blaze said...

For what it's worth I've been waiting for your 2.0's to come out since I first went neko (OK... to be fair that's only about two months). But I saw them on like my third day and I've been checking back ever since!

(And yes... I didn't find the blog until today. Sometimes I'm slow.)

Obviously, you need to take care of yourself first. FL comes first, we all get that. BUT if you ever do get back to making these skins, I can promise you there's at least one person who'd buy them. (Heck, I'd totally buy a prototype tabby one, today!)