For those who are involved with Second Life, they are aware events and locales tend to happen at a blazing quick pace. Sims rez, change, or disappear, as do individuals. I've heard (through passing discussions, mind you), that often times a person involved in SL will at one point become "burned out", or have pressing RL issues, and withdraw from the virtual Steampunk world, sometimes dramatically, sometimes quietly. As I was busy planning future entries on the Steampunk Travelogue, to my surprise, I came across some disturbing clues which indicate one of Second Life's premeir Steampunk builders, Sextan Shepherd, has quietly left Second Life, for destinations unknown!
For those who may not know, Mr. Sextan Shepherd was one of Second Life's most innovative Steampunk builders. His ground breaking "Nemo I" build (the first video above) became a stunning example of the potential of genre building in the virtual Steampunk worlds. Prior to Nemo I, he had been known for his breathtaking textures, which were not only iconic in its Art Nouveau influence, but his unique works (his first store was a floating set of island, which harbored his first few ships, which also became a standard in the virtual Steamlands (New Babbage)
(unfortunately, this is simply a link to the YouTube video, but still worth the trip!)
He followed Nemo I, with Nemo II, Nemo III, and finally Liberty Cove - all exceptionally impressive builds. Over the time he was in SL, he developed a loyal following, and one could easily see (and recognize) his works. In fact, his last work, the aforementioned Liberty Cove, had his unique thumbprint on it, as well as his playful genre sense of humor (note the giant Steampunk robot to the right of the photo - it would greet you upon arrival at the sim)!
So, as I mentioned earlier, I was researching work for the Steampunk Travelogue (a kind of repository of Steampunk sims which is sadly not quite up-to-date), when I started to come across clues that Sextan had left Second Life, including....
1) Liberty Cove (below) is, for lack of a kinder word, gone...
2) His online shop in the SL Marketplace is gone, and most telling...
3) His profile states that he is (now) a content creator on another grid.
Based on the above... I have to assume he has moved on from Second Life to greener (steamier?) pastures.
Liberty Cove in September
Can't say exactly why he moved on, though speculation can run rampant (e.g. SL demands, SL business cutting into his building time, or even worse, the demands of RL). Still, its sad to see someone of his established building skill, impressive genre vision, and excellent customer service depart SL. Afraid I don't know where he has gone off to (I gather he wanted it to remain a secret, else he would have announced that fact), but nonetheless, the SL Steamlands are richer for his time and skills, so I do wish him fair winds and following seas, and the best of luck on his future endeavors!
To see more photos of Mr.Sextan Shepherd's amazing work, please turn to:
(above (stunning) photos by Lyloo Mitter)
My own copy of Mr. Shepherd's classic ship leaving New Babbage