Yesterday I was in the middle of drinking my coffee when I reached out for my mug only to push it over, causing the coffee to spill around the table and my keyboard. And of course – like anyone reasonable – I shouted: “YAAGH!”
This, in turn, scared the hell out of one coffee drinking Kaija, who – like anyone reasonable – spilled her coffee all over the table and the keyboard, and caused her to shout: “YAAGH!”
After a frantic cleaning effort we had a good laugh about it, because like all other things in our life, we do everything together.
During our 8.5 year relationship we’ve worked 7 years professionally together. We’ve joined three companies as a couple and done freelancing as a pair. We’ve created RFR, and now Daughters of the Witch Queen, and we have plenty of
evil secret projects that we’re saving for the future. We’re doing them all as a couple, because that’s how we work the best.
We’ve learned to work this way by going through plenty of painful failures. During the last three years both of us have worked on our individual projects alongside of RFR, in effort to push ourselves as storytellers, and also because we had the egos of unconfident artists, still trying to prove ourselves as individual voices instead of just doing good work.
And hence we did only bad work; our stories didn’t progress: they were lost in many rounds of rewrites and days of indecision. For a project to go forward, you need momentum and constant, even if only small amount of work on it.
Daughters of the Witch Queen was one of these projects that started as an individual project for one of us; it was worked on for the past two years, and it got nowhere during that time. It was stuck in an endless limbo, bouncing through meaningless changes back and forward – until we decided to team up.
Within couple of months we managed to figure out the story for multiple book parts, make decisions that stood, paint illustrations and get the art direction of the projection down. It’s incredible how much more you can do when you have a bouncing board and some kind of a confirmation if an idea is good or bad. Someone to talk about it, constantly brainstorm, and carry it when you just want to crawl to sleep.
The problem with doing side-projects (in our case, a second side project, since RFR is our priority side project) is that you can commit only so much of your brainpower to it. When we joined forces on this story, we figuratively put our brains together, forming one stronger, more confident brain, that in cases when one part of it was wavering and tired, the other kept going, constantly pushing the project forward in ways the other couldn’t even imagine.
It’s how we worked in the past, it’s how we worked with RFR, and the only way we’re going to work in the future. We learned our lesson not to try things alone. :)
And since no blog post is complete without pictures, here’s Kaija drawing concept art for the Dremor from Daughters of Witch Queen. Part 1 will be out on the 1st of March and is available for pre-order, if you’d like to be one of the first ones to read it.
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