Lokii Violet, the world builder and sponsor of Blackmoor and the creator and owner of .Arcadia. shares with us how it has been working on a Faireland, how Blackmoor was born, what inspires her to create and the reasons why the Faire is important to her.
You are both sponsoring and building a Faireland: Blackmoor. This is your first year as a Faireland world-builder. How did you become one, and how has the experience been like?
It’s been a surreal trip, and started when Elizabeth contacted me about it. I honestly have to thank Alia Baroque of Fallen Gods Inc. for this and the great BunBun extraordinaire Sonya for being my silent champions on this. Alia’s always been my cheering corner and best teddy bear visigoth friend a person can ask for when I build venues from my past work with Cursed Events. I thought it was a joke at first, that an opportunity like this would never come across my IM box but – here’s April… and here it is.
It didn’t really ‘click’ until when I saw .Arcadia. on the site, and when the world builder information came in. What really sealed it was getting to the sim and seeing this giant blank canvas and being able to say ‘This is mine. I get to make something immersive out of my head into a (virtual) reality.’ The experience has been.. humbling. Being able to create a world side by side with some of the most talented people I’ve seen, followed (bought from like a fangirl) and be able to stand beside giants in the SL building and creator world and feel welcomed among them.
How was Blackmoor born? What inspired it, what is its story?
I didn’t quite have a direction at first for Blackmoor, mostly shooting some ideas back and forth with Elizabeth, and then just doing… what I’m notorious for. Playing it by ear, cobbling some pieces together, and see where the mind goes. What she wanted was something more dark… more of an edge to it. To me – nature in all of its beauty, is equally the most dangerous creature we as a species know. We live among it, we dream about it. We see the raw power it has and humans are only a speck in the grander design of it. It’s why I find some odd solace in creating more prominent landscapes with the use of garden pieces, and why my own home sim often gets a face-lift so often with new elements I find. From a small idea came something… something that I imagine would be found in one of my oldest known loves and additions in roleplay – the World of Darkness and White Wolf’s original gaming system.
I’m a goth at heart, and I love the dark in all of its form and definitions. I had tossed the idea around of something that might’ve fit if snippets of some Old London voivode met the unbridled strength and unpredictability of the Wyld and the Umbra.
Here was where Blackmoor rose to what she is. . .
A place lost in time, where the Veil is so thin between the skinlands, and where the aethereal nature of the Umbra can so delicately wrap its way around those that slumber unaware of what prowls the night, or those that choose to stay blind to the dangers knowing the full fury of what waits outside their doors. What lurks in the tangled woods in the howls that cry out in the night. Where the Wyld tries to greedily consume what’s left of once grand buildings are now just shadowed monoliths that try to touch the moonless skies. Gaslights chase away the dark, and the power of fear fuels the nightmares. . . fuels the hunger of the nameless ones. Where candelabra lights flicker-flash all about the place trying to ensnare those that dare to walk her cobblestone streets, lead them stray off the paths and become just another drifting wraith that one might see in the corner of their vision, or mistake it as just the fog. A fog so prominent one swears they can hear disembodied whispers and promises of power and infamy never to be fulfilled.
Blackmoor is alive. And she is lost in entropy at the same time. The greatest puzzle of nature – organized chaos. The true nature of the Wyld shown to those it chooses to let see it. And she’s quite hungry…
What are you bringing to the Faire this year?
Like my roleplay love of WoD, my favorite unsung heroes often capture my imagination the strongest and I never devote enough to them. The nomads. The restless ones. The Romani. The Silent Strider werewolves. The Ravnos vampires. There are so many faces and backgrounds to them from what the old mythos tells of the Romanichal people, to those that live among us in every day life. It’s a beautiful story, both the fantasy world, and the sorrows that an enigmatic people go through having to lie on the outskirts, that are so horribly mistrusted on ugly words like being called gypsies.
Bit by bit I’ve been trying to bring a spark of that into my creations, one release at a time. It started out small, and the more one’s released, the more I start to develop a story behind them. The dancers are often the ones you can’t help but have your eyes pulled to in their outfits and colorful patterns, just like nature bold. Enigmatic and dangerous. Tattered skirts and diklo scarves and tops. Phuro became another chapter in these designs.
The other, my other original love of Egypt and the stories of a civilization so strong and mesmerizing; it was always the one part of every Art History class I drug my way through I actually focused on the most, learned of the ancient gods and goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon and the reference humanity had for both life -and- death. Sehkmet is often shown as this fierce goddess of a lion’s head, something raw and primal, and then you see the royals of the time and the images we see depicting what they once wore. I wanted something to do a little bit of homage to that in four variations of the heavy textiles and the gold embellishments of the gowns.
How did you begin building in Second Life? What inspires you to create?
My first times learning how to build on Second Life was like watching my friend’s nephews and the like playing with blocks. You try to put pegs in holes and scratch your head a bit like ‘how does this even work?’ I still to this day have something I build out of much prim torture and cobbled together for a grid hunt out of nostalgia; it’s been a hook ever since.
Building ‘worlds’ kind of exploded after that for help from anything from breedable sims for friends, roleplay venues.. and I have an unhealthy addiction for landscaping and different fantasy genres. It became my title later for World Goth Fair and other events through the year as the Build Director. It’s the perfect drug – taking something you dream about in your head and make it happen in front of people. See them walking around in it, letting them take a walk through what was once only in the mind’s eye and becomes something tangible in a sense. Makes the mind open up to a world we often only have the power to dream of, or see in some our most fantastical nightmares.
Music. Music is the end-all of inspiration. I’m almost always listening to something when I work; I’m the nondescript goth kid. EBM, Darkwave, Aggrotech, Industrial, Future-Pop, Hellektro… music has a way of speaking to all of us over language barriers. It inspires, it makes the mind race over a single stanza, a verse… a line and limerick, and it’s never failed to give me ideas or that last push when I hit a creative roadblock to overcome, or a texture I’m trying to shape up for a new piece of clothing.
What calls you to fantasy? When was the first time you encountered the genre and realized you enjoyed it?
The ability to break away from reality, if only for a couple hours. I’m a Gemini and it feeds the duality of what’s real, and what lies in the unknown for me. From gothic horror, to supernatural, paranormal, even future horror and sci-fi.
I’m an 80’s kid, so cartoons were the start of it, and an art studies background too gave the opening door to the rest. What stuck out for me was (gonna sound like the bandwagon jumping here) the Matrix, among so many others. Bladerunner. Virtuosity. Tron both old and new. Event Horizon. Repo! the Genetic Opera. The idea of the future is terrifying. That one day the things we see in cartoons and movies might very well head that way, washed over from Technicolor to the pulse of neon. That cities rise up in glass and steel and everything flies. Everything is basked in shades of cyans and pulsing vermilions and hypnotic purples. The future and sci-fi is terrifying. And I can’t get enough of it.
Do you listen to music while building? What kind? If so, does Blackmoor have a theme song?
Oh god. -laughs- All the time. -ALL- the time. I go stir crazy without music, I’ve gone through so many headphones over the years because I can’t be without it, or from DJ’ing.
I don’t have a favorite genre, every time I think I do I find something new. My heart will always belong a large part of Industrial, Aggrotech and EBM, from the likes of anything from Aesthetic Perfection to BlakOpz. Then the guilty pleasure of Steampunk. Abney Park, Steam Powered Giraffe, Vernian Process… the list is ginormous for me.
I think if Blackmoor had any themes, it would be two things. Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s Red Right Hand, and Mourning Ritual’s cover of Bad Moon Rising featuring Peter Dreimanis.
Do you have a favourite Faire memory? What are you looking forward to most this year?
The first year I was in it, 2013. I had launched .Arcadia. at Faire, and it just adds to the surreal idea that this year I’m sponsoring it. This year it means so much more. My Step-Father is in Stage 4 with his battle with cancer and it’s been a very uphill battle for him and the strength my mother has staying by his side through all of it. So this year… means so much more being able to design a sim, and the central park is my place of reflection for him. That no matter how much the darkness tries to claim those around us we love.. a single spark of light still shines among the sea of candles on those shelves.
I think the one thing I’m looking forward to has happened. Seeing messages from those that come through Blackmoor enjoying it. I’m my worst critic with my work and it’s so fulfilling to know that those doubts, can for a time be put aside when people, even absolute strangers enjoy it. It just makes me hopeful for next year. There’s no looking back after this year. Just forward.
…well, that and trying to abscond off with Alia’s sim. 😀 The one damned year he does Egypt and I’m on my own spot.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Lokii. Thank you for joining us and giving us a new dark Faireland!