Friday, February 22, 2008

The Magic of Julia Hathor

Over the past months in Second Life, again and again I have been captivated by utterly magical creations that I have encountered here and there... and again and again, I have discovered that the creator inevitably is Julia Hathor.

Darks Adria has placed many wonderful constructions by Julia Hathor at Castle Row... I do not know if that was the first place I ever encountered this marvelous artist, but it may have been. Many of her creations are almost interactive, with sound effects and animations. The gazebo displayed here includes a squirrel and peacock, both of which move. One can hear the rather strident call of the peacock from time to time. The morning glories and other plants and flowers sway gently in the breeze. Faerie stars appear to fall periodically from the lamp in the centre of the ceiling.

Julia Hathor has many different sims that are devoted entirely to a concept or season. One can stroll through a Winter sim or a tropical sim, depending upon mood or needs.

She is one of those artists who goes beyond what I would consider ordinary 'amateur' status in building, although there are many, many extremely talented 'amateur' artists in Second Life. When I regard one of her creations, I feel that I personally never could even begin to aspire to her level... For a start, I do not think I have the dedication required to learn what she obviously not only knows but has mastered in terms of technical achievement. The fact that she represents an unattainable level of expertise in my terms is neither good nor bad in itself, but what it means to me is that she demonstrates a very high level of technical knowledge and skill coupled with an exquisite vision that is both admirable and awe-inspiring.

The other component to this realisation is practical in nature. I would like to be able to share Julia Hathor's vision of Second Life to some extent. As one explores the virtual world, one begins to realise that one must choose where and how to spend Lindens. It may be a virtual world, but real money is converted to create the currency of Second Life. Perhaps $10. in U.S. currency can purchase a fabulous castle in Second Life where it barely provides enough money to pay for a day's worth of food in reality. Temptation to own fantastic buildings and clothing, not to mention wings and other supernatural accoutrements may be great, but ultimately any money spent in Second Life creates deprivation in the 'first' one if one is not careful.

Nonetheless, a creation by some one like Julia Hathor may be worth a small sacrifice I think.