You two have grown to become a part of the Fairelands with your realms that are perfect for arts and entertainment, as a stage for performances and as inspiring exhibitions in their own right. Do the realms you’ve brought to life connect to each other in any fashion, is there any lore or story or theme that they share, or are they all their own separate worlds?
Haveit: Our use of the mythological centaurs once again return to Fantasy Faire this year. By revisiting previous themes, it gives a sense of ongoing history to the sim. We also like to expand the mythological cast in the sim’s story, and this year, Lilia has introduced her harpies who have their own tale.
Lilia: With the expansion we try to achieve a working balance of the known, like meeting an old friend who makes you feel comfortable, yet also bring in new aspects, the unknown, like a new acquaintance that makes you feel excited and curious. Somehow we feel you need both, in life it might be the reliability and the challenge.
What is new in your Second Life, what have you been up to the last year?
Lilia: My SL life changed quite a bit since last year and I needed to cut down my time in the virtual world. I am still trying to figure out what to focus on here and what changes to make but the road to take is beginning to show itself. Somehow Fantasy Faire was an eye opener in many ways. It felt wonderful to work for a good cause and with likeminded people who give their best to make the Faire a special, unique event. And, life presenting its strange twists, shortly after the Faire a family member got diagnosed with cancer which came like a shock, as to everyone. I guess I don’t have to describe what it means for the family and how it affects our lives. So this year I am not just working for a good cause, I also do relay and the work for Fantasy Faire definitely has become my priority in SL.
Haveit: For the past year, I have been very busy working on two RL art projects and creating exhibits in Second Life. Presently, I am showing my exhibit “Bleeding Books” at the Split Screen Installation Space. Ironically Bleeding Books will come down at the same time as Fantasy Faire, so I will have to say farewell twice.
How was Opal Flight born? What inspired it, what is its story?
Haveit: Shortly after Fantasy Faire ended last year, and we’d received a warm invite to return the following year, Lilia had an idea almost immediately and most enthusiastically. She told me her idea of huge garden plants dominating a mostly white surface world, and drew out a simple plan to show me. I gravitated to her idea right away. She knows how I love to build under water, and suggested we make it a fun place for the Second Life Mer community to explore, and that I bring back my centaurs into the sunken civilization. Having the story clearly laid out, the next step was to share in the building and creation of textures, which we both shared above and below the ocean. Lilia would describe the story best, as it is hers.
Lilia: The long version of the story is already published on the Fantasy Faire website, on the Opal Flight page. The short version is that this is a story about mourning a loss, craving what you never had and how to come to terms with both. It includes the various ways of help we get on our journey, the good and the not so good. All this is clad in scales and feathers as the main protagonists are fish and harpies.
Do you have favourite Faire memories? What are you looking forward to most this year in the Fairelands?
Haveit: Last year, a group of fantasy avatars as well as centaurs, surprised Lilia and I at the sim we built. Our story was about the lost centaurs of the ancients, but through the magic of the virtual world, and many real hearts, the sight of a group of marvelous creatures flooding into the sim brought both Lilia and I to tears – no exaggeration. She and I were on Skype at that moment, and shared our deep delight with each other. There are many fine memories from the past, Fantasy Faire’s community is ripe with all kinds of wonders. As this year’s Faire begins, I’m already having lots of fun. Our neighbors have been great! While the sim builders were setting up, at about the half way mark, I noticed a rather amazing colossus on Fallen Sands. This is a mechanical bird, craning its house-sized head well into Opal Flight, displaying its grandeur in many subtle tones of rust. This metallic visitor needed sustenance, for its belly was plainly empty. I transformed one of my little birds into a like sized giant, as it offers a tasty rusted cog, large enough to satisfy the hugest appetite. On the other side of Opal Flight, is the border with Mudrana. Their green cliffs open into a mysterious path, with fine landscaping tempting the eye just paces ahead. I love working on sim borders, blending them in, especially when my neighbors have such original ideas! The Fairelands is full of creativity no matter where you venture. Certainly this is true of the performances as well. From plays, dances, story readings, fine art in the galleries, sim tours, particle shows, and on and on, the Fairelands provide visitors with ample fine entertainment and education. Once a year we all have this opportunity to enjoy the rich content of Fantasy Faire, knowing well that it’s impossible to see it all, yet anything you catch will be superb.
Lilia: I guess my most favourite memory is that of the centaur stampede too. But actually I have so many fine memories of the past event that they weave a colourful picture, almost like a unique quilt with its own history. I miss last year’s builds and wish I could dwell there one more time and I welcome this years’ new treasures which I will keep in my heart together with the old ones. And I love the performances. Of course we also watch them as sim builders to see if the stage we designed works and what needs change or improvement were we to do another event. But I am always totally floored by the passionate creativity of the shows. And I guess being a sheep in one of them might become one of our favourite memories. After all we stick to the animal tradition: from centaur to sheep… To finish my collection of wonderful memories I have to mention one encounter this year that was very special to me. When I entered Faireland Junction, I felt flung back into childhood. I grew up in a forest and to me as a child it was full of magic, life and beauty. Its serenity filled me with awe no human build ever since could. Seeing the Junction, it suddenly was right back and in front of my eyes, that special atmosphere only huge forests possess. I am very grateful for the time jump I experienced and felt reconnected, as much as I feel grateful for the numerous positive experiences Fantasy Faire offers each year.
Thank you, Haveit and Lilia, for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you for bringing your worlds to the Fairelands and sharing their stories with us, year after year!