Merlin's Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/merlin_renfold/
Urban, eclectic, stylish, grunge, and shabby chic are just a few words that come to mind after visiting Merlin Renfold's amazing gallery of artwork in Second Life. The overall setting and look of the gallery go perfectly with the art he displays. I teleported to the gallery location and landed close to the front door. Before I entered, I had to take in the scene surrounding me. Off in the distance were the beautiful lights of the big city. As my eyes moved from this to the land immediately around me, I saw a spotlight moving to and fro, an old-fashioned car out in the grass that had obviously not worked in ages, pieces of trash on the ground here and there, and a big trash bin in the corner. I looked directly in front of me and saw the large brick building that housed the MRD (Merlin Renfold Designs) gallery. Straight above me was the MRD logo sign, and stairs right below that. I proceeded to enter the gallery.
Please be sure and click each picture below to see it much larger, thus seeing the full effect :)
Upon entering, I could see the overall ambiance was perfect and went well with Merlin's many different styles of art. Other than the artwork, the gallery was a little on the dark side, which made the city lights outside glow through the windows with just the right amount of light. To the right was an old-fashioned projector that showed an old black and white cartoon up on the wall. Straight in front of me was a working, caged freight elevator. The floors were of dark wood and the walls a stained cream brick texture with rust effect. The only thing that was bright and colorful, which I know was the intention, was Merlin's exceptional art. All his different styles and themes of art contrasted so well with the entire ambiance of the gallery. It really looked great the way he had everything laid out just right along with the colors and style of the entire gallery.
Standing in the center of the upper floor with Merlin...notice how well his artwork contrasts with the entire ambiance of the gallery...great plan!
"As for my style and art, I tend to just make it. I often listen to people and work out a plan in my head. You know, to keep it simple and offer choices"...Merlin Renfold
A mix of Merlin's artwork... I tried to choose a variety so you could see how unique and different each piece is in its own special way
Merlin has always loved art and been a creative, artistic person at a very young age. When he left school, he had achieved a grade A in Art and was actually the only student that had progressed as far as B. Computers and graphic design didn't come into the mix until later in life and Second Life had a major part in this. He said the many people he met and worked with in game were important factors during the learning process for this kind of art, and they are the ones that truly helped him meet his dreams and goals. Step inSide furniture store, which got its name from Yasmin Little (also Merlin's personal designer of MRD), was Merlin's first dream that was recognized, a business where he could put his creativity and imagination to work. The store is still in business and currently owned by Merlin's first business partner, Lany Jun. She's the one who designed Merlin's couches for the sitting area at MRD. Merlin would work on his ideas at a sandbox alot of the time and he said this is where he found his work grew and he was able to come up with new ideas. He also enjoyed the sandbox because he loves helping others and found it rewarding to help new players in Second Life develop their basic skills. In a way, this is how I met Merlin and how we became friends. He complimented one of my pictures in Flickr and asked ME how I achieved the effect (which was in the program). I was honored he would even ask me, as I felt his work was much better than mine. I always remember him saying we are all at a learning stage of some point and can learn from one another. It's so true, he's helped me a great deal with advice and tips on my pictures, and in the process, has become a wonderful friend. Overall, Merlin finds making pictures and owning the gallery both his forte, after all, nothing beats receiving a compliment from a customer for a job well done!