Ar4ikov tells us about his awesome archipelago!
Today’s builder, Ar4ikov, is a master of islands – though two of his builds aren’t surrounded by water but are instead suspended in midair…so maybe “skylands” would be a better description? Either way, these self-contained dioramas mix natural beauty with intricate homes; everything from tiny cottages to huge castles.
Ar4ikov’s builds are made to order, but what he really enjoys is making sure each one fits his own style. “I often try to reflect my state of mind, mood, and the weather around me in the buildings,” he tells me. For example, two of the islands, named Tropi Castle and Drezca Village, are inspired by the summery climate. “It’s my favourite time of year,” he says.
The other two, called Swalfing Settle and Treatsoul Bastille, he considers to be more experimental builds. (They were also built with help from his friends in his build team, QuinzMC and Colombino.)
“Swalfing Settle has some unusual and mixed subjects: reeds on rocks, a mermaid, a beach with volleyball, and some wheat fields with cute houses,” he describes. Treatsoul Bastille is more focused on the castle and grand homes surrounding it, but Ar4ikov is very proud of how it all fits together. “The bastille, houses, and smooth-rocky hills perfectly match with each other, I think.”
Swalfing Settle is his favourite of all the islands, for its colour palette and for the “cute and curious houses.” They certainly are curious – each one is about the same size as the reeds that surround the island. So are the houses very small or are the plants very big?
I would guess it’s the plants that are giant, because Ar4ikov especially loves creating the landscape parts of every build he works on. “I love natural objects and structures, great-looking trees, grass, mountains, hills, rocks, climbs, gorges, and how they are covered,” he tells me.
“When I see any project, my view is primarily focused on the landscape, I can't stop myself. It is my passion.” You can definitely see this passion in his islands, whether it’s the dangling greenery in Swalfing Settle or the lush forests of Drezca Village.
It can take him anywhere from one to three days to create one of these islands, depending on the complexity – though he admits that sometimes it could take less time if he didn’t get distracted! “Sometimes, the Russian proverb ‘Laziness was born before you’ comes true,” he tells me, explaining that it refers to people who are so lazy that even laziness itself managed to gather itself up and enter the world before they did.
But I don’t think a lazy person could create such wonderful builds – breaks are important too!
Plus, Ar4ikov tells me that he’s always working hard to get new experience and skills so that his builds can become better and better. “One year ago I was building in a pirate style and this was unusual for me,” he explains. “But it allowed me to develop. This is very noticeable if you compare my work from two years ago to the current builds.”
“Every time that I do a build, my skill is improving and it becomes easier for me to create structures and implement my ideas in the way it was planned at the beginning of the idea,” he says. “Next, I want to learn to build with a high-tech, futuristic theme – those builds look great to me!”
He tells me that he always wants to keep learning because he enjoys creating so much. “Minecraft gave me a new page in my life, and showed me a world where I can do everything I want. I started to build for myself and I still do it because there’s no limit to the ideas and there’s always areas to strive and develop.”
So expect to see many more fusions of nature and structure from Ar4ikov in the future! In the meantime I’m just going to imagine taking a nice dip in the waters of Swalfing Settle to cool off…and maybe making friends with that mermaid in the process!