Community Spotlight Interview: fieryfemale

Earth Mother, Orla Dagwood, the Kennis twins - fieryfemale first caught our attention with these unique Sims ranging from mythical and magical, to celebrities, to sometimes sinister. But she doesn't stop there - she's also one of the top lot builders in the community - sharing lots as grand as her Siheyuan Chinese Courtyard fit for royalty to budget-friendly and cozy starter homes! See what draws her to The Sims 3's Create A Sim, her inspirations for Sims and lots, and some of her own trade secrets on creating.

Download Siheyuan Chinese Courtyard House

How long have you been playing The Sims games?
I actually first ventured into the world of The Sims with the release of the very first The Sims game which seems like such a very long time ago now. It was fun starting off with this little Sim person who you could control and seeing all the little possibilities that could develop within his/her little world.

What was your first creation in any of The Sims games?
It was with the release of The Sims 2 that first started my journey into creating. But those creations were mostly for my own game use. I do remember my first creation for The Sims 3 though, it was for my avatar for The Sims 3 community and was very quickly done in Create A Sim. I remember I was sitting at my computer trying to think up a name for her, and picked up a wild bird book on my desk, opened the page and it was a Scarlet Tanager and there you have it- my very first creation within The Sims 3 was born.

Seeing your Sims on the Exchange is what initially caught our attention! What's your favorite feature in The Sims 3's Create A Sim?
Most definitely the various facial sliders and colour swatches for changing, clothes, hair and eyes etc. I love the fact that each person playing The Sims 3 can pretty much start off with exactly the same Sim, but the end results can all be so very different. There is no limit really to what you can create if you put your mind to it.

What part of Create A Sim do you spend the most time on?
I think the majority of my time is spent using the facial sliders. I can spend hours tweaking their face here and there until I get the result I want. I am actually an Artist in my spare time (I graduated quite a few years back now) and love illustrational stuff, so Create A Sim can be a bit like my own paintbrush on a canvas really. But the difference is, The Sims 3 allows your creation to come to life.

Where do you get your ideas for your unique Sims?
As a child I loved all the fairytale stories and films, such as Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree stories, films such as Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, The Wizard of Oz and TV series like Buffy and Angel etc, anything with mythical creatures in really. I think my ideas stem from my love of those types of things. I enjoy creating Sims that are different from the standard ones that you may see within the game, it makes the playability so much more fun and interesting.

Download Earth Mother

Which of the Sims you created is your most favorite?
Hmm, well that is a hard one to answer, as I have quite a few. But my favorite I would say is my "featured" Earth Mother. When I first started sharing my creations on the community, I used to get quite a few requests from other members to create sims for them. I was then requested by the Build N Share team to create the Earth Mother for the Gnomelandia project, so she was pretty much created from my idea of what I thought she would be like. There were a few other Sims (The Dagwood's and Drauntia Flidais) that I created alongside her and they are close favourites too. I have actually started reworking on them and my current project is building homes for them all.

Not only do you create Sims, but you build lots. You seem to cover many building styles! What is your favorite style to build?
Yep, as you can see, I don't really have one particular building style I stick to. My ideas for my lots tend to come from passing a house I like while driving somewhere or something I see in a film that then starts my imagination going again with different creations. I often have a vision in my head of something or a little story may develop which in turn then starts the ideas for my next build. I really enjoyed creating pagoda style houses with the release of The Sims 3: World Adventures, however you may of noticed my featured "Siheyuan Chinese Courtyard" house was built BEFORE the release of World Adventures. So I kind of set myself a big challenge in figuring out a way of making the traditional pagoda style roofs. It did give me quite a few headaches as you can imagine. But I got there in the end, with the help of "ConstrainFloorElevation off" of course. I think the reason I like the pagoda style houses, is because they are quite mythical looking and fit into my whole fairytale type creations.

You seem to have a lot of starter homes in your Studio, what is it about starter homes you favor? Is there a particular type of player you build these for?
I wouldn't say there is a particular player I build them for. Starter homes appeal to me because of the challenge aspect of them. Obviously you have a certain budget you need to stick to enable single sims or couple Sims to afford them, as well as trying to make them appealing as possible too. No Sim wants to live in between four basic walls with not much else, do they? So if you can achieve the basics for them within budget, it means they are comfortable from the word go. I hate to imagine a poor old little Sim living uncomfortably. LOL

What are your favorite cheats to use when building?
"ConstrainFloorElevation off" is definitely a favorite of mine and I use it in a lot of my builds now. Obviously, my Siheyuan Chinese Courtyard house being the main one I used it with. I think that cheat was turned on and off almost continuously for that build. I also like using "MoveObjects on" as it is great for combining certain things together to make your own unique pieces of furniture. Of course you have to make sure you also do lots of testing afterwards, so that everything is still useable.

Being part of Build-n-Share - what is it like having a set time to finish a lot?
As you have probably already noticed. I enjoy a challenge and the Build N Share's definitely offer that. It is one thing to build a lot, but it is something else to build a lot with a certain number of requirements within a certain time period. Sometimes you can start off with an idea, but can already be well above budget before you even start putting the furniture in, so you really have to think carefully with your designs. I think that is one of the reasons it has become so popular on The Sims community and of course there are the fabulous ideas for the challenges, Addict and Anjubee come up with each week.

Download Garrarus Country Cottage - Starter Home

Do you grow attached to your creations? If so, how?
Definitely, they are my own little pieces of artwork in a way. That said, I love to see how others have used them in their game. The fun and enjoyment I get out of creating them wouldn't be the same without sharing them with others.

Do you have any trade secrets that you're willing to share with aspiring creators?
Funnily enough I always have my sketch book with me, so even when I haven't got access to a computer, I am drawing down ideas for my next creations. There is nothing worse than an idea popping into your head, but having nothing with you to record it on. Graph pads are great for drawing out plans for lots as you can use the squares as equals to the grids you get on a lot with in The Sims, so that is definitely something I would recommend a Sims 3 builder to have. That way there is no risk of forgetting any ideas you may have.

With the information that's out there on The Sims 3: Ambitions, what are you looking forward to, creatively, with this upcoming EP?
The Sims 3: Ambitions sounds like it was an expansion pack designed for me, LOL. I can't wait to get loose on it and see what unique creations I can come up with. I love the sound of all the new careers that will be available and the story aspect of the game as you embark on their careers with them, it will give so much more to my creations I am sure. I can't wait to try out the stylist career and make over some Sims, for the better or worse. That sounds like great fun to me. Some of the new building tools sounds really useful too and will certainly make building a little easier. In fact I think The Sims 3: Ambitions is going to be very popular among The Sims 3 Creative Corner community.

Do you have any websites that promote your work you'd like to share?
Yep, I sure do, you can check out all of my creations at Sim-Artistic and of course I am often found on the Creative Corner.

HUGE thanks, fieryfemale, for taking part in our interview! Don't forget to visit her Studio and download her creations in her My Page and to check out her Sim-Artistic blog!