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Monday, May 27, 2013

Spotlight on Elese Faulkes; An Avatar in Second Life- Vapor Paragorn Reporting…

Second Life is indeed a fascinating virtual platform, where you can meet interesting people from all over the globe. You can explore different lifestyles and can learn new things. Socializing is certainly the most prominent feature of SL, which allows us to interact with people in variety of ways. Our random and friendly interactions with people impacts on us in a number of ways, which helps us to better understand people and life as a whole.

Every interaction either short or long term, teaches us something and helps us to improve as a person. Every new person we meet is like reading a new book, a book that stores new stories for us, new experiences and sometimes new lessons too.

Through one of my random interactions, I met Elese Faulkes. Reading her profile I found her to be an interesting person. So I decided to talk to her about her Second Life experience and activities in the virtual world. Elese is a real life artist and exhibits her work in Second Life. She kindly invited me to her sim, which houses her gallery.

Interview with Elese Faulkes

Vapor: Firstly thank you very much for giving us your time and secondly please tell the SLE readers how you found about Second Life and why you decided to join the community?

Elese: I would like to say thank you for inviting me. I first found out about SL from a Thriller book I was reading called 'The Last Testament' written by Sam Bourne, a very talented writer, similar to Dan Brown. In the book, the clue to the killer was hidden underwater in the place called Second Life. I was intrigued. As soon as I had finished reading the book I logged online and searched for SL. My curiosity was at its peak by the way the writer talked about SL, so I had to join and see for myself.

Vapor: Being a new Avatar, what was your first impression about Second Life?
Elese: Oh this is really funny, VERY funny when I look back at it now. I arrived and walked around the welcome island, learning how to run and fly and grab items. A male avatar started to talk to me and asked me to be his friend, which I agreed to. I was not aware of how things really worked here then with social things so thought making friends with a stranger was what you just did. We parted as we both carried on looking around Help Island. The next day I logged on (I was hooked), and I received a Teleport offer from this man, and I accepted. He teleported me to a Turkish speaking sim, he was from Turkey in RL. That was the first time I had teleported, and honestly thought that this one Turkish speaking sim was all that there was in SL. I saw a lady with some nice hair, mine was the newbie horrible kind and asked her how do I get hair like that? She gave me a LM and told me to double click it. I did so and for the first time in a week since joining SL I left the Turkish speaking sim (Laughed). So in answer to your question of how did I find SL? I found it confusing as everyone spoke Turkish to me for the first week. It’s quite funny ( Smiled ). By the way I am from England and do not speak Turkish.

Vapor: What were first few things you wanted to do as a noob ?
Elese: After leaving Turkey, I wanted to find something familiar, so I looked around for things that were like Real life. For me that was London and Big Ben, then the Eiffel Tower in Paris and things like that. Oh and I wanted a different skin, the one they gave us back then was horrible.

Vapor: Do you feel SL is your escape or extension of your Real Life?

Elese: That's a difficult question to answer but I will try. I feel right now that it's an extension of my RL, but when I was a noob, it was sometimes an escape.....I had a few health issues that kept me away from the rl public for some time, so SL became my way to socialize and allow me to forget my rl troubles back then. Now it's totally an extension...I love it!

Vapor: How much time do you spend in SL?

Elese: This varies but on average I would say 6 hours a day in the week, and maybe 2-3 on the weekend days.

Vapor: What was the first thing you learned in SL?
Elese: I realized how people no matter where they are from in the world have similar desires, emotions, and feelings....there are no real barriers, only the ones we create ourselves. Everyone I met seemed to be searching for comfort of one sort or another.

Vapor:  What are the things you still wish to learn through SL?
Elese: I do not think I am judgmental per say, but realize it is within us all, so I would like to still learn to be even less so. Also more patience is something I would LOVE to learn. I am currently learning Blender with the help of a dear SL friend so I would like to learn that a little faster! ( Laughed ). I feel with everything that is thrown at us or we come across in SL, there is much to think about and much to learn.

Vapor: Tell SLE about your favorite activities in SL?
Elese: I am an Artist and that covers so many areas, and leads to lots of creative endeavors. I absolutely love to build, build just about anything at all I can think of. I do not script but other than that I try my hand at anything to do with building here. My artwork is my baby and I adore having it out on show in our 5 galleries here on Kona Island. I find it really enjoyable to go to different music venues, my tastes are very eclectic, and so that is fun.  I spend most of my time with my SL and  RL partner. He is so very supportive in all I do, and never ceases with his encouragement of all I wish to build, paint, or simply mess about with. It helps, he is an Artist also.

Vapor: Please tell SLE about your Art gallery and what genre of art it features ?
Elese: Our Galleries are named EleSyn Galleries. it’s a mix of our two names  Ele from my name and Syn from my partner's. We mostly show our own work but have the work of close friends and of course other talented people on show at different times. My partner synergistic Merryman shows RL Oil paintings, his RL photography, and also his 'poser' (3D avatar environment software), as well as his sketches. I show my RL photography, my digital artwork done simply with the paint tool in 'Painter', and now and again some RL Acrylic and pencil/graphite work. We cover many subjects, portraits, landscapes, flora & fauna, animals, and Erotic, oh and a bit of Gore too (that's from me..(laughed)) Nothing is 'off' our list to do with painting.

Vapor: What's your idea of having fun in SL?
Elese: This will sound like I am trying to give you a 'smart or clever' answer, but I LOVE it all. Meeting new people is something I love. Chatting with our friends of which we have many long term ones. Dancing and listening to music, building, creating anything. I love to take my avatar swimming, something I like in RL too. Exploring and asking questions to learn. Giving help, hardly anything is more pleasing than helping someone build or create or giving them a solution to something they have been struggling with for some time. Showing my Artwork brings me immense pleasure. I get all girly and silly when people come to view the work at our gallery.

Vapor: What are the things about SL, that makes you feel most excited?
Elese: Gosh.... this is a hard question. Syn and I met on SL so having a RL relationship is a very exciting thing to have happened to us both, and that would have to be top of my list. But add all of the answer from the last question too. Fun & excitement are very similar to me.  I am excited about our creation for the upcoming SL10B celebrations. We hope to get accepted to have an art exhibition there which will include a small version of our latest creation, a 7 level 3D maze, so yes that's exciting.

Vapor: Are you an explorer? What are the most exciting places you have visited?
Elese: I love the Golden Gate bridge sim. They give you horses to ride around the sim and over the bridge that was cool. The Grand Canyon was so well done. The people who own it were absolutely lovely to Syn and I when we went to visit. Oh and Da Vinci Gardens is a wonderful place to go visit. We have been there many times and there is still so much of it we have not yet seen!  The Africa sim is very calming and well done also. There are many wonderful Art galleries also, the Cube is fascinating. We love beaches and like to visit as many as we can. Having a Tan in SL is a good thing (laughed). I really enjoy doing Mad Pea hunts, the best in my opinion on SL. Also behind you on our sim is a Star Gate. I am never bored on SL but if Syn cannot get online or I am between projects, I will random Dial the gate and go exploring that way, it's an amazing thing to have here on Kona Island sim.

Vapor:  Which genre of places you are most interested?
Elese: Anything creative and artistic.

Vapor: Which places would you like to recommend for SLE readers?

Elese: Any place I have mentioned in this interview is well worth a visit, but I would like to add 'The Rose Theatre', 'Milk & Cream' (a build that has been made to true life scale (interesting), Dwarfins sim is so cute and worth a visit. Those and all others I have mentioned are all worth a visit. As well as Elesyn galleries here on Kona Island of course.

Vapor:  What is your take on SL relationships, and how serious you are about yours?
Elese: Very (Laughed). I am quite a private person when it comes to my personal matters, but I will say synergistic is like no other man I have ever known. He makes no judgments of anyone and enjoys every second he has in this life. For as long as I am able I will do the same by his side. I feel a very lucky lady to have met him and be sharing with him. Far be it from me to judge anyone else on how they behave here or anywhere for that matter, but it does and can seem way to fast when people are getting together as partners here. They meet and within a few weeks they are married, and then having pretend babies. For me it seems way too much, way too fast. For syn and I, we have known each other for over 5 years now, and have met in RL and stayed at our prospective homes, mine in England and his in LA, so we feel we have a good understanding of each other. More to the point we have a good understanding of ourselves. I know how I feel about my life, and what's important to me. I give my trust to Syn that he will let me know what's important to him, so we can both be better informed. We cannot read minds and people sometimes make the mistake of trying to. Lack of communication is the biggest reason for most breakups here. Also Vapor, why would anyone go to a shop and buy a tin of baked beans, only to get home and hope you find salmon inside and not the beans, that attitude does not work. If a man wishes to love me he has to love me for who I am, not for who he would like me to be. I know Syn feels the same.

Vapor: Are there any things you would like to bring from SL into your Real Life or Vise versa?
Elese: yes....may I show you? I am looking for Flippy my seal. I think I love him (laughed), and I am not joking. he is normally here with the rabbits but he is most likely swimming around. Other than Flippy I would love one day to have a gallery of my own to show my work in RL.

Vapor: You have been in SL for more than 5 years. During that time did SL affect you in some way?
Elese: Well with regard to finding Syn yes. And I do believe now I have more understanding of others problems and issues. Helping people here with trials really shows how lucky we are with what we have. I have also learnt more about different sorts of art, especially abstract. I had no real knowledge or understanding of that area of art at all. Now I have many friends from here that give me more insight to it, because they are abstract artists.

Vapor: Do you miss anything in SL that you had before and now you don’t?
Elese: yes, we had a homestead sim called Aladin Island. We shared with one other couple, it was beautiful. But they had to pull out due to finance and we didn't want the upkeep on our own so had to leave also. That was sad and I would love to have our own sim again one day. Here we have the whole west coastline and some of the north, so it's quite nice :)

Vapor: what are the things you would like to do, that you haven't tried so far in SL?
Elese: Being able to create and upload my own mesh would be fantastic and is why I am learning how to use Blender. There isn't much, apart from being a slave; I haven't tried in SL (laughed)

Vapor: In your opinion what are the things that if added, can improve SL?
Elese: Now what could I wish for? Ok, it would be good to be a little cheaper to have the premium membership, more prims per sim like in open sim you get 45,000 per sim unlike the 15,000 here. I think better communication between Linden Lab and its customers would be nice and help people to understand what's actually happening with the viewer and the world instead of us having to guess lots of stuff. I also think children should still be in a place of their own. This mixing in is causing some issues for people we know. They manage to get online and use mums/dads account on SL. So maybe some way of adding better security as we log on? I worry that children are seeing too much too soon, and let's face it there is lots to see here.

Vapor:  Can you describe SL in three words?
Elese: Home from Home

Vapor:  Do you have advice or a message for SLE readers?
Elese: May you all have a truly enriching time in SL, whether it be a long or short stay with us. Respect and share kindness, you never know when you may need a little back.


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