Interview by Dagmar Haiku
Those who love enchanted builds and fantastical plants most likely have heard of or visited Cerridwen’s Cauldron, the sim and store, of the same name, belonging to Elicio Ember. Lush and pulsating with life, Elicio’s sim is a showcase for his beautiful builds and offers the visitor many wonderful nooks and crannies to explore.
This marks Elicio’s second year as a Fantasy Faire sim designer. Last year he took was the creative genius behind the Exotic Worlds sim. This year two of the Faire sims will reflect Elicio’s artistic vision, Nu Orne and Siren’s Secret. We are honored to have the opportunity to speak with Elicio and learn more about his experience as an artist and builder of worlds.
1. This is your second year as a sim designer for the Fantasy Faire. How did you originally become involved with the organizers?
Ember Farina had seen my work around the grid and contacted me last year, and introduced me to Elizabeth and Zander. And I am really glad she did, the Fantasy Faire was a wonderful experience last year, and I was looking forward the whole year to this one. Besides, it’s a really wonderful opportunity for making friends and meeting talented people, all while working for a great cause.
2. The Nu Orne and Siren’s Secret are both names which create an image in mind. How would you describe the image they create in your mind?
Nu Orne is Tolkein’s elvish for Under Tree. It’s no secret I like fantasy environments. So I wanted to try my hand at a jungle fantasy lost city. Something exotic and a little alien. As for Siren’s Secret I had always had a thing for the sea…and I wondered where a water-dwelling being would retreat to. Where do Sirens and Tritons go to when not dealing with the land-dwellers so to speak.
3. Building two sims in a short amount of time is a lot of work. Do you prepare the builds before the faire so that you only need to rez them as soon as you get onto the Faire sims? Will you build everything alone or will you have a friend around who helps you?
Heh – indeed. Saying it’s a lot of work is about right. I started working on the buildings a lot ahead of time, nearly two months in advance. Otherwise I would not have had time to finish and be satisfied with it. I wanted a little spare time also before the Faire, and to say the truth I almost didn´t have any of that. That is because I indeed work alone and built everything for the sims, except a few items I bought pre-built from other designers. That is not to say I design all the textures or sculpts I use. I do most, but I also buy a lot of designer kits from the best. It’s been somewhat insane. But its worth it, I am very satisfied with the results, but of course, the visitors will have the final word on that.
4. Your own sim, Cerridwen’s Cauldron, consists of very versatile spots which are all fantastic. What inspires your builds in general? Does Second Life offer a possibility to you to give your own dreams more reality?
Hm, I take my inspiration mainly from Real Life nature. Most of my work are slight modifications of things that already exist in our wonderful world. It pains me at heart to see so much natural destruction and massive extinctions under way. But I also take inspiration from all kinds of Fantasy and Sci-Fi sources…books, paintings, movies, even music. For me Second Life is like a canvas where I can create interactive paintings. So it’s a perfect means for giving body to dreams. I am excited at the creative possibilities of virtual reality worlds, like Second Life.
5. Do you remember how you got into Second Life and how you started building?
Yes. Very well. I was looking for free computer games on the web, and constantly found links to Second Life. So I finally gave in and started researching what it was all about. Soon I found that it was not precisely a game, though it could be if you wanted. But I immediately noticed the potential for creative work (me being a RL painter). So I came in with that purpose in mind; to learn how to build and create that is. I spent my first year on Second Life learning the LSL language, the way building works on SL, sculpting, 3D modeling programs and such. I already had background in painting, color theory, ecology and sound editing, which has been extremely helpful. And I continue learning of course. Well, I try to, heh.
6. What triggered your interest for Fantasy ? Are there any books which really draw you to this theme?
Hard to say. From a very young age I have been drawn to Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I am a geek at heart and have always loved the possibility of different worlds and forms of life. I was a Dungeon Master for Dungeons and Dragons and had a running campaign for about 10 straight years, that helped a lot. Told you, geek. As for books, well, there is the Lord of the Rings, the Neverending Story, Dune, Earth…
7. Your builds often can be found on Roleplay sims. Do you sometimes get invitations to have a look at how people use items you have created?
All the time. And I love it. I can’t always go to all the places I am invited to; keeping the shop, designing and releasing new sets, and my sim usually keep me dead busy. But I love going to see what my patrons do with my work when I can. Its something an artist can’t usually do. A painting, for example, is something finished where the viewer can only decide where to hang it and how to frame it. Virtual art allows so much more freedom to re-interpret and customize.
8. As we mentioned, this isn’t your first Fantasy Faire, what do you remember best about last year’s Faire? What are you looking for the most at the Fantasy Faire 2012?
Last year, when the sims were open to the designers. It was amazing to feel so much creative energy working together. So powerful. Everything, the designers, the organizers, the Faire team, the bloggers. It was amazing. And then, when everything was ready, a day or two before opening…and everyone quietly walked the scenery, amazed and expectant. And at last, most Faire team members silently stalking the grounds when the Faire opened, to see what people thought. And, I met wonderful people who have become good friends since.
9. Fantasy Faire is an excellent way to educate and inform people about RFL. What would you like to see people take away from the Fantasy Faire? And why do you Relay?
I Relay because I think generosity is the only thing that can improve our world and our species, and it is sorely needed. We have been taught that for someone to win, someone has to lose. This is not true, it’s only one model of being. One state of mind. And, in my point of view, one that has to change. It’s not true that someone has to lose. There can be many ways of doing win-win situations. The Faire is an excellent example of one. Everyone has a beautiful land to explore, designers get to do and experiment, sponsors and shop keepers get publicity on one of the best events on the grid, shoppers get rare and great builds and designs, and all the while benefiting a great cause. Everyone wins! I hope people take away this from the Faire, that we can all win, as well as a sense of wonder, and that they remember that all the wonder we create is based on this wonderful world we inhabit, and that we need to learn to be better stewards for it.
10. Is there something you would like to add?
Only to express my thanks to the whole RFL team, the Fantasy Faire team, sponsors, designers, patrons, shop keepers, visitors and bloggers. Together we create one of the best events on the virtual realms.
Thank you so much for your time Elicio. It was a pleasure to learn more about the way you see the world and what influences you creatively. To see more of Elicio’s work visit Cerridwen’s Cauldron.