I recently had the awesome chance to sit down and have a chat with a pretty cool designer, GryphElyse, who specializes in comfortable high quality clothing for women and also has selections for men as well. I was lucky enough that she replied to my letter of inquiry for an interview after she finally managed to get her shop up and situated. It was a pretty interesting conversation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I believe that you all will to! She gave some insight to her designs, lines, what it took to get where she is, and how she got started. She also gave some great tips to aspiring designers! Be sure to check this out and run, don’t walk, to her store to take a peek at her latest designs! You can check out here store HERE. You can also check out a sneak peek of some of her designs after the interview. Enjoy!
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Thank you again for agreeing to do the interview with me. I really appreciate it. -smile-
GryphElyse Wingtips: I really appreciate you taking the time to interview me! =D
GryphElyse Wingtips: I am always enthusiastic to let people know about my designs >.>
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Well from what I saw they are really nice. =D
GryphElyse Wingtips: Aww, thank you ❤ *blushes*
KaylenaMaria Destiny: What made you start designing?
GryphElyse Wingtips: Hmm that actually goes back to before Second Life
GryphElyse Wingtips: If you’ve ever heard of There, it’s a platform that was sort of SL’s runty little sibling.It’s long closed now, but that was where I started out.But my motivations There were really the same as here. I saw a lot of clothing that I didn’t want to wear xD so I decided to make some for myself.
KaylenaMaria Destiny laughs, “That’s usually the way of it I think. Hehe.Which I can completely understand. I’d be designing clothes myself if I had the patience. Hehe”
GryphElyse Wingtips: My very first design was a pair of boots – the Stomp boots, actually – they’re quite old now, but they’re in the Legacy section for sentimental purposes… all I could find for women were stilleto heels and bling… that was really how it went for a long time, was just me trying to fill the gap of clothes for SL residents who didn’t want to look… how do I say this tactfully… *cough* streetwalker-ish.
KaylenaMaria Destiny grins, “I hear you on that one.”
GryphElyse Wingtips: I’d still like to think my stuff is pretty sexy ^^; but that remains one of my main motivations, is to stay classy
GryphElyse Wingtips: …am I getting ahead of myself? >.>’
GryphElyse Wingtips: you were probably going to ask that xD
KaylenaMaria Destiny: LOL
KaylenaMaria Destiny: It’s fine. =)
KaylenaMaria Destiny: I love hearing about the inspiration behind a designers line and whatnot.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: I think that it can be inspiring to others that have the same view.
GryphElyse Wingtips: :3 I have one other motivation that’s very related to that.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Oh? do tell! :3
GryphElyse Wingtips: Well of course several other motivations including paying the rent xD but what I was referring to was that I want to make something a little different, something you can’t find if you just step into a random botique.
GryphElyse Wingtips: And of course that’s related to the, excuse my tactless…. I call them “Slutwear Emporia”… they’re everywhere.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: That’s certainly true from what I’ve seen. Your designs seem to have a bit of an outdoorsy and comfortable feel but they certainly don’t put aside femininity!
GryphElyse Wingtips: Thank you! That’s what I was going for. ❤ Well not always outdoorsy, that’s actually just the Altitude series
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Ah I see. So you have more themes available for different styles?
GryphElyse Wingtips: Yus, one of my favorite series that’s just starting is the Dawn collection…. inspiration from all over Asia… China, Thailand, India… that’s in the works, but you can see it in the Arum tunic.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: That sounds great! I’ve always loved cultural influences. They can bring something new to outfits :3
GryphElyse Wingtips: Yus! I’ve always been very interested in Asia, I even visited Thailand once… that’s where I got some of my inspiration for that series.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Oh now I’ll definitely have to check that line out! :3
GryphElyse Wingtips: There’s going to be silk involved, Mandarin collars, frog buttons… and I’m planning some sculpted harem pants!
GryphElyse Wingtips: But that’s not out yet so shhh >.>
KaylenaMaria Destiny grins, “Hehe. Your secret is safe. lol!”
GryphElyse Wingtips: Except to your readers! xD
GryphElyse Wingtips: *waves to everyone*
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Yup and I’m sure it will have them anticipating and salivating for it to come. haha
GryphElyse Wingtips: Exactly *wink*
KaylenaMaria Destiny: So I’m always wondering, did you come in with a graphical background to become a designer?
GryphElyse Wingtips: Yes, actually
GryphElyse Wingtips: I have a ton of RL art background
GryphElyse Wingtips: Even went to an arts-focused high school GryphElyse Wingtips: I love drawing… I have a few comics that I started… people are my favorite things to draw
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Oh cool. Your clothing really has an air of quality that I’ve seen takes some skill and knowledge behind it.
GryphElyse Wingtips: It was designing that really got me into digital art, though… I learned Photoshop as I went along.
GryphElyse Wingtips: Oh, thank you. 😀
GryphElyse Wingtips: It’s taken me a long, long time to build up these mad skillz. xD But yes, I would definitely say that the RL art background has been invaluable. Knowing how to shade, knowing what cloth folds look like, etc.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: I say that because I tried to design clothing with no knowledge or previous experience and well……they didn’t turn out so great. lol! So I definitely say kudos to you!
GryphElyse Wingtips: Awww, don’t feel bad xD
GryphElyse Wingtips: Everyone has different talents!
KaylenaMaria Destiny: lol. Oh I don’t anymore. My job now is to get designers’s names out there and help spread the fashion. :3
GryphElyse Wingtips: And you’re fantastic at that. 😀
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Thank you! I do try. *tries to look modest but fails miserably* lmao!
GryphElyse Wingtips: Haha Speaking of modest, have you heard the news? I’ve got the best jeans in SL. It’s official. *polishes fingernails modestly*
KaylenaMaria Destiny laughs, “Oh I can believe it! And you have clothing for men as well right?”
GryphElyse Wingtips: *nod* I try to do something for guys as often as possible, cause I know how hard it is to find decent stuff for men. All my jeans are unisex, there’s that.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: God yes. I try shopping for my male friends and want to tear my hair out. lol
GryphElyse Wingtips: And as often as I can I make a male version of a release. I can’t do it for most stuff, like this Theta top, but I do have a couple items planned that are just for guys.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Oh that’s a part of your line? I was admiring it. Gonna have to go pick one up. hehe
GryphElyse Wingtips: Everything I’m wearing is from my store ^^; Even the boots, as you’ll note their lack of stilletto heel
KaylenaMaria Destiny: better for not tripping and breaking your ankles in. *laughs*
GryphElyse Wingtips: and easier to sculpt *grin* that was my first sculpt, I was just learning the program. They came out awesome though. xD I tend to be kind of a perfectionist when it comes to… well, everything.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: So yo’d say it was easy to get into sculpting?
GryphElyse Wingtips: Uhhhh that would be a NO. xD
KaylenaMaria Destiny laughs
GryphElyse Wingtips: It still takes me days to make a sculpt. This knot on my shoulder, for example… tricky as heck.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Well they all came out beautifully I can say that
GryphElyse Wingtips: Really my fault; if I were less of a perfectionist things would be much easier. I won’t upload something if I haven’t spent at least 20 hours tweaking >.<‘ it makes for slower releases, but I consider it worth it for the little quality things like matched seams
KaylenaMaria Destiny: But being a perfectionist just brings the quality of your work to a higher level and people recognize that. 🙂
GryphElyse Wingtips: I hope they do! :3
KaylenaMaria Destiny: I know I have. Now I want to go get a pair of those shoes. lol!
GryphElyse Wingtips: they’re boots akshly… let me show you the rest. These are the Altitude boots, from *dingdingding* the Altitude series xD They’re from a few months ago… big customer favorite. Kind of a wintry look.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Wow. I didn’t even notice that! They looked like normal shoes. That’s clever and they look great. Makes me want to go somewhere snowy to wear them. lolz
GryphElyse Wingtips: You can’t see the laces too well, but I was thinking of eskimo moccasins xD
GryphElyse Wingtips: I spent hours getting the leather to look raw and worn and natural
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Yeah. That was the feel I got from them too. ^_^
KaylenaMaria Destiny: You succeeded!
GryphElyse Wingtips: Yay!
GryphElyse Wingtips: I think they go great with jeans *nudge nudge wink wink* especially jeans with a Seat Shaper >.>
KaylenaMaria Destiny: When I saw the photos you sent me I really marveled over them because while some would say they are simple I’ve seen enough clothing to recognize the workmanship. The textures looked really soft and natural
KaylenaMaria Destiny: *laughs*
GryphElyse Wingtips: Nothing in my store is simple xD
GryphElyse Wingtips: well, not in terms of how much time goes into it
KaylenaMaria Destiny: And I know there are plenty of women (and men) that enjoy dressing down in SL but want to keep their style. That looks like you’re not even trying.
GryphElyse Wingtips: Oh, yeah… and want to stay classy but still wear something that is unique, maybe a little unusual, attracts a second glance…. that’s what I’m going for
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Well you certainly did at that. I was actually going to inspect you to see wheree it came from but didn’t want to look obvious with my edit beams tagging you. LOL XD
GryphElyse Wingtips: O nooooes I’m being molestered by particle beams *writhes*
KaylenaMaria Destiny: lmfao!!!
GryphElyse Wingtips: Just a shoutout to anyone reading this… if you don’t like that crack in your SL av mesh, seriously, check out the jeans… you’ve never seen jeans like this
KaylenaMaria Destiny: lol!!!!!!
GryphElyse Wingtips: *forcefully shuts off advertising mode* Shush, Gryph!
KaylenaMaria Destiny: you’re a riot! lol
GryphElyse Wingtips: I gotta pay the rent! xD
KaylenaMaria Destiny: oh trust me I know that feeling. XD
GryphElyse Wingtips: ;_; Still trying to get a big enough customer base to break even on my massive rent
GryphElyse Wingtips: but my shop is oh so pretty D:
GryphElyse Wingtips: *waves arms wildly* I’m over heeeere! Throw money at meeee!
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Well I’m going to see what I can do about getting more to ya. 🙂
GryphElyse Wingtips: …you can edit that out >.>
KaylenaMaria Destiny: lmfao!!!
GryphElyse Wingtips: xD Thank youuu ❤
GryphElyse Wingtips: I’m also saving up for a scripted vendor and gift card system…. I know the current system is a tad annoying
GryphElyse Wingtips: Still got $5k to go, but it’ll be worth it if I can make things easier for my customers ❤
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Well they do say improvements take time and have to start with what you have. ^_^
GryphElyse Wingtips: Indeed!
KaylenaMaria Destiny: o.o wow being a designer is expensive
GryphElyse Wingtips: I started SL without a single cent >.>
GryphElyse Wingtips: I still haven’t bought any L$ in the entire time I’m here, I’m making it a game to see how long I can go.
GryphElyse Wingtips: (I’m a few years old now)
GryphElyse Wingtips: I camped to get enough money for my first texture uploads xDDD
KaylenaMaria Destiny: WOW
KaylenaMaria Destiny: I’m doubly impressed now
GryphElyse Wingtips: Xstreet SL has been a major help for me, although it doesn’t have my latest stuff…. I’m looking forward to the Marketplace
GryphElyse Wingtips: as soon as they take it out of beta… *grumble grr missing features argh*
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Well that’s an inspiration to anyone thinking they need to bring in big bucks from outside SL. It can be done.
KaylenaMaria Destiny: lol
GryphElyse Wingtips: Haha… oh yeah… but those people should know that it took me two years to even get enough L$ to rent a tiny parcel!
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Hey rome wasn’t built in a day. lol
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Do you have a website perchance?
GryphElyse Wingtips: Yups! Gryphon Wings Home Page
KaylenaMaria Destiny: oh i love wix. XD
GryphElyse Wingtips: It’s a lovely site…. I even have a page with a “sketchbook” of my designer process and some ideas I have for upcoming designs
GryphElyse Wingtips: I love showing people my process
GryphElyse Wingtips: I’m just so excited whenever I start a new design I want to share it xD
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Oh and I’m sure that they find that invaluable…especially aspiring designers and those interested in the thought behind the work
GryphElyse Wingtips: *nod* I try to take time to give tips to aspiring designers
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Do you have any last minute tips for them? 🙂
GryphElyse Wingtips: I’m also conducting a survey over a period of time, whenver I can find a successful designer, I have a notecard that asks things about their process… getting tips for me and for all the other up-and-comings… gonna put it on my site someday….
GryphElyse Wingtips: oh! Eheh sorry got carried away
GryphElyse Wingtips: Hmmm…. the most important thing when you design is that you understand shading and clothing folds… so I advise designers to study RL art… maybe do some figure drawing… learn to draw the clothes first, then paint them on an avatar
GryphElyse Wingtips: you don’t have to know proportions or anything, it’s all about shading and knowing how light falls
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Do you use any special tools? I know some people like to use tablets when they draw in pc programs
GryphElyse Wingtips: Oh heck yeah, I would not be able to LIVE without my Wacom tablet… I’m using a really fancy Intuos4, but you can get by with a $50 Graphire or Bamboo Fun tablet as long as it’s pressure sensitive
GryphElyse Wingtips: My dream one day is that I’ll be big, like people-know-my-name Big, like Maitreya or League… because then I’ll be able to afford a Cintiq tablet where you draw right on the screen 😀
KaylenaMaria Destiny: That’s probably best for those serious designers. You have to have the right tools to create great work. 🙂
GryphElyse Wingtips: Yup, and patience out the wazoo xD
KaylenaMaria Destiny: I hear ya!
KaylenaMaria Destiny: Thank you again so much for interviewing with me. I’m sure MPI readers and models will love your designs! and you’ll have more customers than you can handle!