Saiyge Lotus, the creator and owner of Balderdash and designer and builder of Fairelands Junction for many years, shares with us her reasons to return, what it is like to build Fairelands, how she began building and what is her favourite Faire memory.
Your Junctions have welcomed the visitors into the Fairelands for many years. What makes you return and build yet another world for us to enjoy every year?
Fantasy Faire and the team behind it are like no other event I have ever taken part in within Second Life. The artists that come together under its umbrella are amazing creators and such wonderful people. I have been honored to work alongside them.
How was Fairelands Junction born this year? What inspired it, what is its story?
My drafts for junction went through several incarnations before finally landing on one that I could make work in the amount of time I had. I tend to do a lot of organic spaces – usually forests – and we had not had a mass of water sims for a while, so doing an ocean sim seemed like a great way to change things up a bit.
Usually, I prefer to leave interpretation up to the individual. Junction this year is certainly a personal journey for me, but that is the great thing about any hunk of art. It will mean different things to different people, I’d hate to complicate anyone elses gut reaction with my own.
How many Fairelands have you built? Tell us about them, is there something that ties them together as a theme, as a development?
I believe I have done four Junctions now. Junction is the entryway into the faire – What pulls them together are the portals, which are probably the most difficult thing to do as they are a little window into each sim. It can be extremely intimidating, doing those portals and hoping to capture even a little bit of what these fantastic people have been creating.
It also contains the main memorial area for the event, which – if letters are any indication, has become a very important place to many people. All of junction is built around those two things in particular, the challenge is to create something that pays homage and respect to those two things, while offering hope and solace to those who seek it.
How did you begin building in Second Life? What inspires you to create?
I began building in Second Life like most people do I imagine – I wanted something and couldn’t find it. It became something more than that though. Where else can anyone just saunter in and take a place that only exists in your imagination – and not only paint it- but share it with others so they can wander inside a part of you?
Anytime I do anything, I pour whatever energy I have at the moment into the build. This can make things incredibly difficult or smooth and cathartic. Sometimes I am not even sure what special alchemy paves the way for me personally. I really wish I knew. In the end though – though I hate saying it – my builds are an emotional landscape. They will always be a combination of the things I love, and the things I feel.
What calls you to fantasy? When was the first time you encountered the genre and realized you enjoyed it?
Oof. I was raised on this stuff, there is no discernible starting point. Most of my growing up was around a combination of history buffs, poets and ren faire craftspeople. In my experience, it is stranger to run into someone who is not entrenched in the genre, than it is to find someone who is.
Do you have a favourite Faire memory? What are you looking forward to most this year?
This year, so far is my favorite. As much as I really DON’T like the stressful bits (Because so much of my stuff is purely landscape and you cannot really prep that very much, it has to be done on site – and quickly.) I do love those days before opening, where there is a flurry of activity, and things change day to day. There is a real team spirit and a building excitement. Sleep deprived chats with the other builders… where people I personally fangirl over become more human and even better – you learn what fantastic and fascinating people they are. Those are the times I love the most.
Thank you, Saiyge, for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you for bringing us the Junction year after year and with it the magic of wonder and awe, serenity and soothing.