Today we are shining a spotlight on KaidenTray, a virtual landscaper in Second Life whose landscaping skills have become renowned for their realistic detail and stunning visual appeal.
How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
Officially I have been in Second Life for eight years and seven months. However, I have taken long breaks in between that time. I was brought to Second Life by the recommendation of my real-life friend who told me about all the artistic and unlimited possibilities within the game.
You are an award-winning landscape artist. How did you get into landscaping in Second Life and where do you get your inspiration?
I have always been interested in art as a type of expression and used to draw when I was younger. When I came to Second Life initially, I explored many sims and was inspired to create different cities and locations from my mind’s eye. I was able to do so with the creative freedom that I was provided. After I completed some of the projects I worked on as practice, word of mouth created my landscaping business.
I find heavy inspiration from real-life cities that I become fascinated with, especially those that I would enjoy visiting or living in. The majority of my life has been spent in the United Kingdom, but I am heavily inspired by countries outside of my own, including the United States and Spain. My ability to generate these cities with as much realism and detail as possible allows myself and others to be transported to those areas in a virtual world.
What kind of detail do you look for when designing your landscapes and what are your favorite kinds of landscapes to design?
I look for small details that can immerse the person into the environment to feel like it is real, such as dirt over a road or slanted trees. It is interesting to me because so many of my clients prefer things to be perfectly aligned, clean, and straight. My mentality is very different. It is these types of imperfections of the real world that make the mind feel you aren’t in a virtual setting. However, my main concern is client satisfaction, so I make sure to provide whatever style they would like.
My absolute favorites are forests, woodlands, farms, and rainforests. However, what I adore more than anything are simply landscape challenges. I enjoy expanding my skills as much as possible with complexity.
Tell us more about some of the destinations you have designed previously and any current or future projects you are working on.
I have completed many destinations over the years, so there are a lot to list. However, my main pride and joys are those that I have opened for Halloween events, such as The Bates Motel (2020), The Freakshow: A Halloween Experience (2021), and Nightmare in New Orleans (2022).
Some of the popular destinations that I have completed upon commission are: The Atlantis Pemba Resort, Koyo Kyoto Resort, and the Dare to Bare Nude Beach Community.
My main current and future personal projects are my own community/destination that I co-own with my partner, which is Wandering, New York. We are expanding into the second sim, and it is our intention to keep the sims very active with events, performances, and activities.
Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
I have respect for all of Second Life’s landscapers because it is a unique niche that can often be stressful. I encourage and appreciate all of the art that can be brought into Second Life. There isn’t anyone I can name specifically and, I wouldn’t want to single anyone out from the hard work of others, per se. I can tell you that my favorite location and landscaped work in Second Life is the Elysion Sim.
Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
I have had many clients over the years where my work can be visible, but quite a few of them are on private sims and therefore not available for viewing. However, some of the easily accessible places where my work can be viewed are the following stores and locations:
Dare to Bare Nude (Adult)
Wandering, New York (Moderate)
Thank you, Kaiden, for adding realistic beauty to virtual destinations.
Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup
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