Ready To Leave The Nest?

vette · February 3, 2002 7:25 pm

As one of Renderosity's premier artists and merchants, it may have seemed like an easy decision. It was anything but that. During the past year as a brokered artist here at Renderosity and other sites, Syyd and two other modellers decided to form their own company. Where does an artist go from the community? How does one begin to develop a career that stays within and goes beyond at the same time? Not wanting to stray far from an established presence but to realize and exercise her own artistic and financial independence, she purchased the Bondware software and opened Runtime DNA. Runtime DNA's three co-founders were familiar with Renderosity through a long-term active membership and an established, strong business relationship. So subsequently trying Bondware seemed to them a natural progression. Runtime DNA consists of the talents of Syyd Raven, Colm Jackson and Jim Dowdall. They recently began developing relationships with many online communities, and have a very strong working relationship with Curious Labs and Right Hemisphere. Q. At what point did you realize you wanted to spread your wings and be independent? A. This is a difficult question for me to answer. I feel we made a progression in our work and with our marketing, combined with a need to present a professional calling card in order to create a career from our work. We felt that we were successful enough under existing circumstances, so what would happen if we threw something else into the mix? Not only would we become something else from a business perspective, but also as artists, modellers and texturers, we would begin to stretch our own boundaries. I believe that it was a combination of these desires that urged us forward. We sought the assistance and partnership of Jim Dowdall. Jim and I were friends a good long time before this, we traded ideas and products back and forth, and really supported each other. Jim has a mind that is full of explosive ideas, his approach can be radical and he continually works to expand his knowledge base. Colm Jackson has been on the Poser and modelling scene since it first started. Colm has grown with programs and has a head full of knowledge that is incredible. We all talked, first by e-mail and Net meeting, then we talked on the phone and it was a good mix. We were all individually moving in the same direction to varying degrees and we found that together, we brought three very different facets to the mix, creating one unique and totally different whole. Colm is a dedicated linear thinker and a great planner. Jim is a very creative and innovative thinker, and I am able to balance on that pinpoint between them so it works very well. Q. What factors did you consider? How did you come up with your business name? A. The factors we considered were many and at times, overwhelming. What were are start-up costs going to be? Did we have presence enough to stand strong on our own? Would we offend anyone? Can we create a niche for ourselves by ourselves? Can we stay within a community and go outside of a community all at once? What is it going to be like when the partner honeymoon is over and we have to start constructively criticizing each other? These are just a few of the questions we pondered and worked toward adjusting to, and achieving. The Runtime DNA name has a funny history, probably because it was about 12 different names before it was final. I wanted to keep "PosaNation," with its huge flash site intro with voice and visuals saying "WE ARE POSANATION", but the idea was to understand that our brand was three people, not just one. Since we were working in Poser, and the main path directory in Poser is Runtime, well known to users, Colm suggested Runtime. He was cleaning the basement one day and shouted up, "See if there's a domain using .com, that has runtime, if not, lets use Runtime". We found it, and I tacked on DNA, and thus we were born. Then I got the slogan in my head, "Tired of the same 'ol Runtime? Inject a little Runtime DNA". Jim loved the idea, and about two hours later he sent me up a DNA model to use for a logo and site design. Thus, we were born. Q. How did you get the nerve to do this? A. It took a lot of guts to stand up for ourselves and understand that we want to make a life from what we do. The opportunities for work truly abound for 3d artists, modellers and texturers. What saw us through was that very idea, that very concept. We love what we are doing, we are in love with what we are doing, and life has never been the same since we started creating, each of us individually before any of us came together. How to make that work? How to put out a professional calling card? This was what struck the nerve to propel us forward. Q. What steps did you have to go through to organize your business? A. We needed to secure sponsors, make affiliations and work with companies to establish a presence and for us, attending Siggraph 2001 was crucial. We had to find a visual and business presence through a program to build our site and have it hosted on safe and secure servers, as well as being easy-on use and quite understandable. We contacted several companies including Bondware to find out what was available and how easy it was going to be to do this. While one of us took care of all marketing, programming, finding a site, and building it, the other two were busy modelling and beta testing continually, so that when we opened we had at least a fair amount of work to represent us. We needed to register our business, file papers and take care of all the necessary steps to ensure we would be RDNA. Q. What obstacles did you face? A. The toughest obstacle for us was getting it into our heads that one of us had to program the site and do it well. We bounced in and out of programming and finally we decided that if it was going to work, we needed to reset the module, start from scratch, and have only one person in there working. We also had to understand that we would not have the same support safety net that we did as brokered artists. With brokering you can count on the company you are brokering with to take care of everything past your upload except for specific product support. Now, all of a sudden, you are fraught with a number of things you never before understood. Q. Did you have a good support system from others to help you? A. Bondware gave us great support setting up. We could not have done this without Jenifer Keeling and Bob Neal. We have a wonderful and diverse team of beta testers, who truly put our work through the grind. That input was invaluable. We were very lucky to have the support of professionals who had forged a career along the same path. They gave their time and vast experience to talk to us and share ideas that would help us. Q. How is it going for you? A. Its going very well. We are so happy with DNA. It is very busy and expanding so fast, that I can go to sleep and wake up and the world changes drastically. We are working so hard that our understanding of technology continually goes through an evolution. Gaming companies, medical professionals and the film industry have contacted us. So we just keep working. If you stop to ponder the success, you lose it. Q. What projects are you working on? A. We are just finishing up a dynamic package that involves one of the most digitally realistic skin textures that will be available, but not with the usual slant. I will say that being real doesn't always mean being beautiful in a picture-perfect sense. This project has been an extremely long and complicated one, but the effort shows in the final result. The name????? "The Dragonessa," something that has been in production since August of 2001. Q. What do you want others to know those who are thinking about spreading their wings as well? A. Do it! The only way you'll know is by spreading your wings and trying to fly. Whatever you have in your head is always worth going one step further. Always explore your options. Talk to many companies and artists and investigate all softwares and sites. Even if you are set on following a specific path, youll understand not only what is available, but it gives you a good perspective on what you gained by going in your own direction. Q. What are your plans for the future? A. Right now to just keep expanding our product base and knowledge. To gain recognition and success, to make a site for artists by artists in order to help other artists. We are creating interactive tutorials in a number of programs and specific discussion forums in order to facilitate a sharing of some of the experience we have so that we can help other artists push onward as well, be it a hobbyist or a very serious and skilled 3d artist. Q. Do you feel like you are living your dream? A. In many ways, yes. But dreams are dreams and reality is that achieving a dream requires more hard work and dedication than one could ever imagine. "We respectfully acknowledge the support and best wishes this community has given us, and hope to be a part of it for a long, long time" says Syyd, Colm and Jim of Runtime DNA. Thanks Syyd, Colm, and Jim **RuntimeDNA** What and who is Runtime DNA? They are a small company of modellers and texturers devoted to developing and creating original poser add ons of the highest quality in league with the best that is offered. Runtime DNA provides contest sponsorship with other communities, banner exchange programs, and mentions activities on many sites in their informative newsletter, as well as dedicating a note or two about their sponsors and sponsor activity. The DNA Site itself hosts a wonderful user gallery and forums, and its membership has grown enormously in the two months the site has been open. **Bondware, Inc.** Bondware, Inc., Renderosity's parent company, created software (Bondware 2.0) just for small businesses that couldn't afford extensive programming and technical support to offer their items for sale over the internet. For artists who are interested in "testing the waters" with a personal site, Bondware offers a 15-day free test drive of the webware. However, please note, because of Bondware's exclusive agreement with Renderosity, artist can only use Bondware to sell their own products. Contact

Article Comments

Wizzard ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 04 February 2002

Good interview 8 ) tis nice to see friends make it "outside" only the best of fortune to all of ye. see ye inside 8 )

Sacred Rose ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 04 February 2002

Way to go RuntimeDNA!!! You guys are truly an inspiration to ALL artists. Your work is amazing and extremely unique. May you prosper and strengthen the DNA injection you so beautifully bring into our lives.

ronmolina ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 04 February 2002

Great to see you doing this! Wish you and your partners the greatest of success. Ron

Deimos ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 04 February 2002

Congrats RuntimeDNA! I would also like to say this was a well done interview.

SPIRESMEDIA ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 04 February 2002

syyd, colm, jim...congrats on the success of your site! your work is refreshing and innovative...i'm always looking forward to what's next from you guys! congrats on this recognition, my friends!!! tam ;o)

magnet ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 05 February 2002

You all have done a wonderful job, and should really take a few seconds to be proud of yourselves.

I find that as an independent consultant in this field, it is very hard to transition from my primary work into 3d texture design as my primary profession, and I really respect that you were all able to pull this together.

magnet ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 05 February 2002

It is really nice to see you all pull this together into something so wonderfully successful. I find that as an independent consultant in this field, that it is very difficult to transition into doing this type of work on a full time basis. I respect you all for figuring out how to do it. Sincere congratulations you all!

Alpha ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 05 February 2002

It is truly a wonderful thing to see the hard work and dedication of devoted artists allow them to succeed in their dreams. You guys are truly beautiful people, and you deserve only the best. Alpha.

hardtwist ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 06 February 2002

An inspiration Syyd, Colm and Jim. People of your caliber dont need luck. Success is yours for the taking. Best wishes. HARDTWIST

Delrino ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 06 February 2002

Congratulations! It isnt easy to stand on the own feet. I decided to "fly by myself" almost 2 years ago and i won't go back in time. Have fun and success! It's a pleasure for the community to have you guys inside. Thank you!

Varian ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 06 February 2002

Congratulations Syyd, Colm, Jim and best wishes for your future success! :)

Pleiades ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 06 February 2002

That is a good news, good work and good luck guys. Success! Pleiades

nfredman ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 07 February 2002

You-all are doing a wonderful job. i've been both on my own, and part of startup companies and i know exactly how hard this is to do! You have the talent and the product, and i'm glad to see that the execution is right up there, too. Because, as one gent i greatly admire says, "It's all about execution." --Nan

Silvermermaid ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 07 February 2002

Wow, this has been a inspiration to me, I am so happy to read how RuntimeDNA really began. I am extremely impressed with your achievements, and I know great and powerful talent is at the helm! Congratulations on your success Syyd, Colm, and Jim!

mqshocker ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 08 February 2002

Syyd(shows A tear)I wish you all the success In the Big ole world and Colm and Jim too. Syyd you know being a big artist you have responsibilities to us small people ,lol.. Im glad we met at Siggraph 2001,You and your crew and the team have a brite future ahead,enjoy it, just Please come back and lets us know how your doing ,k..

Maygen ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 08 February 2002

Great interview! Nice job Syyd keep up the good work.

dragongirl ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 10 February 2002

A very interesting interview. Thank your for sharing your story and your experiences. It is a great encouragement to others. :-) -dg

ralphmanis ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 11 February 2002

Good luck to you all! if you need anything at all I am at your service!

Giana ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 13 February 2002

What a great interview! The respect you have for art and for others, and your vision & integrity are all very apparent in the reading. Great success to you: Syyd, Colm & Jim!!