Hey guys, today we’d like to show another project that we’ve contributed as cover art illustrators in the past couple of years.
While not working on our stories, we’re illustrating the covers the urban fantasy series Arcana that is written by our our best friend (and editor of Book of Fates) Hanna Brady.
We met Hanna back in Berlin while working for the same mobile games company and have formed a tight-knit writers-group ever since. It’s thanks to her that we’re able to put out a new Book of Fates chapter every week. She reads every single chapter after we’re done with our pass and helps us polish it. It’s beyond us how she can take our mess and make it so pretty, but we love her for it.
If you like kick-ass women, absolutely amazing Tarot-magic, and gaslight fantasy and would like to know more about the Arcana-series, then you’re in luck because Hanna has agreed to give our readers a FREE book. It is the first book of the series, and this way you get to test it before being swept away by it. Just click on the link below and follow the instructions to receive your copy!
Hey gang. We’re raffling three Run Freak Run A3-sized prints (no frame included) in celebration of Book of Fates reaching its 6th chapter! All you have to do to participate is to be on the Book of Fates newsletter. We’ll randomly select three winners and then mail the posters to them free-of-charge, no matter where they are in the world.
If you have already signed up, then all the work is already done and you just have to wait patiently for the results. We’ll close the raffle in two weeks from today (5th of September).
Hiya! We hope you a merry and warm Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This is the time to remember those you truly care about, to be good to them, and set plans for upcoming epic adventures. This year you’ve been truly great to us in ways we couldn’t have imagined: you’ve helped us out when we were in a pinch, gave us support when we were out of energy, and stuck with us until the end and never gave up. It’s something we don’t always feel like we deserve, but we’ll take it with honor hoping to earn your trust in the future, because we’re planning to take you on a brand new journey again next year.
It will be larger than anything we’ve ever done before, more ambitious than it’s healthy, and it’ll stretch us to our limits. We couldn’t be more excited. :)
It’ll take a while before we’ll start sharing, but until then rest well, eat a lot, sleep plenty, and enjoy your well earned holiday!
Silver Saaremaeel and Kaija Rudkiewicz
In the beginning of RFR’s production Silver bought me a Moleskine storyboarding notebook which I started using right away to sketch out the first couple of chapters. Over time, as we had more and more of the story written out, I kept adding new chapters to it.
It’s full of scribbles, each uglier than the previous, only readable to me, even if just barely. Still, this notebook marks the first, and possibly most important stage in drawing a comic book: thumbnailing the story.
Thumbnailing is not about pretty pictures; it’s your roadmap and your comic’s visual plotline. It’s crucial to be prepared and ready, knowing your overall goals and each page’s content before you zoom in on the individual panels. It’s all about story pacing, and page composition and flow, already marking places for drama and suspense. This is where I decide between a silent, one panel page, and a ten panel, action packed sequence, or how to best compose the blacks and whites and lights and shadows that the comic is basically made out of.
You will add the character acting and nuances when you get to drawing the actual panels, but for storyboarding you’ll have to think more like a storyteller than a portrait painter. The key is to always understand how each page works with multiple pages forward and back. If you have this, 80% of your decision making is basically done.
Optimally, you’d have all your story written out by the time you start thumbnailing. This is one thing we learned from RFR: have a script or at least a plotline ready before you start drawing anything. Having to make changes in writing is much easier than having to decide to throw ten inked pages out the window because the story needs to go a different way after all.
All that said, I wanted to give you a little peak into this scribbled mess I’ve been calling “RFR thumbnails”:
For some time now we’ve been wanting to get back into making youtube process-videos, but since we were always pinned down by RFR and DotWQ release deadlines we pushed it off in order to keep our sanity. Now that we’re still in the early pre-production of two of our next projects we have some time to experiment, and I recorded the process of a quick painting to see what are the technical challenges we’d have to overcome.
It all seems pretty straight forward; just get FRAPS, press record, and edit. It’s pretty heavy on our old hard-drives but it’s manageable, and we still haven’t tried voice-over which is absolutely essential for any real educational videos.
We’ll keep on experimenting, uploading the videos, and posting them here as we go. I will probably continue doing tutorials on environments, composition, and light and shadow, while Kaija will most likely cover the character related things, like anatomy, fabrics, portraits, photographic compositions, light, and so on. To be honest, we don’t know what we’ll achieve with this, but it should nevertheless be a fun experiment. :)
We’ve mentioned a few times on this blog what big fans of history we are. Like a lot of authors we find inspiration for locations, themes for drama, and even character quirks by turning to what was before. Knowledge of history is an extremely useful tool full of free source material, but more important than that: it’s fun!
To help you take the next step into the mysteries of history, we’d love to introduce you to one of our all time favorite podcast series by Dan Carlin: Hardcore History. Like its name suggests, it is a fascinating look into the craziest, most explosive, and always brutally violent phases of mankind’s history. But it’s not all guts and glory; it has a reflective nature that doesn’t only tell about the horrors have happened, but also explains why in a very clear way. And best of all, most episodes are totally free to listen to. Just press play.
We have two suggestions to start with: one is a strange but interesting story about a small town named Munster in Germany, and how the beginning of Protestantism affected the whole of Europe ripping it apart into a whirlwind of witch-hunts and social chaos. If you are fan of the time period Run Freak Run is based on, then we really recommend listening to this show, for it truly shows how messed up this era was.
The second suggestion we have is a series of episodes on the First World War which engulfed the planet, killing millions in a matter of weeks. It’s truly a heart wrenching story of how quickly and efficiently we as a species can destroy each other, but also how ridiculous the predicament was that lead to it. If there ever has been a better example of human idiocy, the beginning of World War 1 was exactly that. This podcast has six episodes, each lasting several hours. It does go very in-depth at times, but it’s important to remember that only by studying properly, we can learn from our mistakes and hope to never repeat them.
We’ve uploaded new posters – amongst which is the “Mushroom men” poster that was requested on facebook – but what we’re most giddy about are the mugs. Society6 does a great job with those; we know, because the first thing we did after uploading the designs was buying a couple of them.
Full disclosure, there was a disappointing mishap with the first two mugs we got: they arrived in a dozen tiny pieces – a ceramics slaughter! The mugs were clinking in one corner of the box and the meagre amount of bubble wrap sat in the other. Looked like someone at the warehouse was having a bad day. We contacted the store and they sent us new ones along with their apologies, this time securely packed and whole. No harm done.
Presently the broken mugs serve as pretty cool pen holders, but not before we had our fun with them: