Before meeting Yelena Istmal we just had to go and see her shops. We arrived at one location we were thrilled to find, grungy, old, gothicesque furniture and artefacts of the Victorian Era.
To us it was like walking into a Second Life Victorian Doll House, everything set was usable. There were stuffed birds, ticking clocks, writing desks, books to read. No wonder Madpea Games wanted Yelly to work for them on Sanity Falls Decor and furnishings.
We spent well over an hour just looking around and spending Lindens on Yelena's creations, time and lack of lindens brought the spree to an end but we went "home" with enough of her beautiful creations to furnish our homes. Its great to find something so beautiful, reasonably priced, carefully decorated...
|Testing the Bed Fell into Deep Sleep|
We spoke to Yelena briefly, as you know Madpea Games is very international and Yelena lives "down under" whilst we live "up norf" as Yelena said. We liked her immediately, but with talent and beautiful creativity we had a feeling she would be a likeable and extremely interesting person to meet. So because of the time difference we didn't really get time to chat about what she was doing in Sanity Falls. We did discover that we have a lot in common. We both love Bram Stokers, Dracula, the adaptation with Gary Oldman is one of our favourites. We both want to immerse ourselves in the Balkans one day and visit Transylvannia. We know what your going to say there are sims that are Transylvannian in second life. Really we must look them up.
|Getting Ready for the Ball should employ more servants! look at those cobwebs.|
The very next day, we caught a glimpse of her work in progress on Sanity Falls. It is gorgeous and she has worked extremely hard to make sure that the scene she is setting fits in perfectly. Down to a pair of ring rimmed spectacles for the cleric.
|Yelena contribution so far to Sanity Falls|
We found Yelly at one of her projects, its super and we have to go back there and take a look, when we have more Lindens. We love her buildsm we sat down on a bench and were joined by a frog from her neighbours parcel, for an sl frog he was adorable. The bench we sat on was very much in vogue with the New Orleans setting. Yelena is lovely she was wearing a vintage outfit in black which would look almost as good in real life as it does in second life, save for the unclement and changeable weather we are enjoying in England. Mild and pensive springs to mind.
|New Orleans shop|
We were chatting about Mardi Gras and sadly we had missed a Mardi Gras procession of floats at New Toulouse by a day, Yelly went there and enjoyed it. Mardi Gras is not common in Australia, its not common in England either. Until we had read Terry Prachet's Disk World we never even knew what Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras was, but the internet is great place to learn about different cultures.
We talked about our love of New Orleans and Bayou and all the cultures that lived and melded together there, of course we discussed Voodoo which seems synonymous to New Orleans, yet there is a lot more to the culture of the Deep South than Voodoo, its a place Yelly and I would love to visit some day. How uncanny that we share so many common interests and have russian blood in our real life veins.
|Fantastic array of Magical and Spiritual artefacts.|
We wanted to talk about her work, and have put some pictures here for you to see if for yourself, but do go to Yelena fantastic shops because if you love anything steampunkish, gothic, victorian, vintage, or just beautifully textured furniture Yelly has it all. You could probably furnish your second life home from top to bottom for under 2000 lindens. We did!
So how did Madpea productions approach Yelena, well first off they sent her and email and then an video of Madpea and yelly was hooked. We remarked that her work looks as if it had always been in Madpea and yet she was a recent discovery.
We talked about Peatonville Asylum which is/was a much beloved work of all the Madpeas, its a shame it "blew up". Yelena asked if it was an accident, but we think the ghosts came back to claim it, you know like in the Poltergiest movie directed by Stephen Spielberg. Despite the loss of our beloved Asylum it is probably for the best, because its kind of crazy to love spending time in an asylum is it not.
|Beloved Peatonville! shot be Kiana Writer.|
So we will console ourselves with Sanity Falls and all that entails and mourn our beloved Peatonville by getting the heck out of Sanity Falls as fast as possible to win the game perhaps.
Yelly admitted that when she saw the video she "loved the tone, the asthetics and the quality of it," we asked if she was aware of the subliminal cuts
in the video that tell the viewer to "join madpeas". Then we apologised for our "wicked" humour but Yelena didn't mind and we are honestly joking about the use of subliminal cuts
|We share a wicked sense of humour.|
The schedule is a tight turn around but Yelena is as enthusiastic as the rest of the building and decoration team to get it done and get it right. She admitted that even though her work is fantastic she is still learning, its hard to believe when you see her work its fantastic but she is right in saying we never finish learning.
'show me a man who has finished learning and i'll show you a man who has finished living'
In real life Yelena is a graphic designer, we mentioned the artist of The Order of Perception Harter Fall and suggested she should visit his exhibit some day. We need to go back there too. Its fantastic that second life brings such a wonderful selection of skilled people through its doors. People seem to think its just a game that "kids" play when we bet a high population of the second life "players" are well grounded adults who just enjoy the freedom to explore, build, create and make life long friends in world. Second Life really can open real life doors and avenues to even the most shy or introverted adult in real life. Not to mention that it can help people who are limited through either an illness or physical disability to live their dreams on the screen.
|Some great books, voodoo, spiritual and other.|
We talked about her building, textures she used and her furniture, like me she uses sculpt maps and ready made textures from a very good friend of ours. Twisted Thorn Textures the quality of these textures is second to none, from building the perfect bed, prim or sculpt her textures fit like a dream and she has some great fellow vendors in her store. We also have a fondness for Anthony Republic a brilliant sculptor along with Katelyn. It was strange that both looked at one of his fantastic products and are eager to buy but don't actually know what build we would put the item in. But the product we where discussing is a Weather Vane, its expensive, its gorgeous they provide all the textures all the fittings and its well worth the money but do you do with something you want but have no purpose for, its one of those items you keep on your "must buy" or "keep in mind" lists that we are sure builders and creators across second life have but wish they had a reason to buy the product.
We love sculpting but we are more into clothes creation and then when we make the clothes we go out and wear someone elses. A lot like making food in real life and someone else enjoying it. Yelly wants to make a victorian dress and when she does we have no doubt people will be knocking down the shop door to buy it. We talked about our preferences, again we have so much in common except I live "up norf" and Yelena is "down under"
Yelly also gave us some tips on mesh, just can't get the textures to fit on it so she told us that we are better downloading the texture and modifying it. She said mesh provides a lot more detail and as you know folks we are still very much undecided about mesh although we did go out and buy some mesh clothes to make so we are venturing nearing the dark black hole of mesh with intrepidation.
|Our Wicked sense of Humour could not resist this!|
By Rowanessque Whitewood
*subliminal cuts where used in the 1960's movie cinemas to encourage people to buy food and drink during the interval. They where banned from the movie cinema but some say they are still out there. You can read more here