How to paint – A misty environment

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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. :)

And we hope you will enjoy it.

Love,
Silver

tweet tweet me @runfreakrun

Sharing is Caring: Hardcore History by Dan Carlin

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hardcorehistory

 

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.

Hardcore History 48 – Prophets of Doom


hardcore-history-48-prophets-of-doom-by-dan-carlin-300x300The 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.

Hardcore History 50 – Blueprint For Armageddon

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If you have any podcasts or vlogs that you follow and would like to share, please drop me a message on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll check them out!

Love,
Silver

Run Freak Run book is out! (Print and Digital)

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start_reading_now

Click to order one! Extra hugs to everyone who gets one for their friends!

 

What’s in the book?

– 215 pages of Run Freak Run!
– Chapters 1-9, plus the book exclusive “The one with the Mermaids”!
– Illustrations and posters-designs!
– “Making of”-material and our favorite articles from the blog!

Get the print version
 $24.90

or

Download the high resolution e-book
$7.99

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“The book includes a small exclusive chapter that we never published on the website before. It’s about how Two met up with the mysterious mermen in the first place.”

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“The fine details of the inks read perfectly on the paper.”

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“While we paid great detail to how RFR was published online, we always aimed for physical end product. There’s something in the weight and sense of paper that just can not be replaced.”

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“Early sketches of Inquisitor Two. Kaija goes into great detail in the book about how we came up with her persona and look.”

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“We included 7 of our favorite articles from the past three years. They range from design, to inspiration, to life-hacking.”

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“Run Freak Run – the best book you’ll ever own.”

Start reading now!
Print | Digital

The tale of two mugs

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Mugandcoffee

I’d like to unveil our new and improved RFR Society6 store!

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.

_Theredmug

_Theblackmug

 

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:

We kinsugied the shit out of them!

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It's not as easy as it looks...

It’s not as easy as it looks…

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The store has more designs with mermen, mushroom men, cats, etc, and we’d love to see pictures if anyone buys some of the other mugs! A photo will always beat a mockup picture in a store :)

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Cheers,

Kaija

Twitter me at @KaijaRudkiewicz

Let’s do an ask us anything!

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auagif

Let’s leave no stone unturned.

We put up an ask us anything over at ask.fm – where we hope you’ll ask us anything from our favorite comics, movies, favorite foods, to how to get up earlier, writing on walls, or how to grind coffee beans like a true Berlin hipster. Also, we wouldn’t mind answering questions about RFR, Two, and our upcoming and ongoing projects. Honestly, this is a little new for us too, so let’s see what comes out of it? :)

Ask us Anything at ask.fm

What wonderful readers we have!

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We have the best readers. Why? Because only the best readers in the world would gift us with fan art such as what I’m going to show you today. Today’s blog post is a reminder that creating stories is not just a one-way monologue, but a dialogue where both parties can inspire and push each other forward and make something that’s bigger than they ever imagined.

So without further ado, let me show you what’s inspiring me this morning.

 

A sword!

A holy-shit sword! One of our readers, Terminalvelocipede, actually hand-crafted and built Inquisitor Six’s Sword of the Lord!!! This is incredibly awesome for us, and we hope you enjoy it too. The best part is that the artist has shared making of posts on his blog (PART 1 & PART 2), and we really encourage you to check them out – it’s amazing. :)
http://terminalvelocipede.tumblr.com/

 

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GRRYYAAAYYOOOR!

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This is just tooooooo cool.

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“Inquisitor Six approves.”

Like I mentioned, the making of process is really great and worth checking out!

 

Tattoos!

Yep, that’s right, our reader and friend Occams-Lazer went and got a Daughters of the Witch Queen tattoo. We’re speechless: the amount of cheer and support this gives us is breathtaking. It’s also pressuring, because now we really have to step up our game and make stories that are worth this kind of love. :)

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The source material.

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Fan art!

We really love getting fan art in our inboxes, and it seems like Priscilla is getting a lot of traction lately. No wonder why; after all she’s feisty, can polymorph into a giant bird, and has the coolest hair in medieval Spain. Who wouldn’t want to draw her? Today I’m going to show you two versions of her by two different artists!

First let’s take a look at a Pris created by Spwyll who made this mid-spell casting Priscilla with the fanciest feather cape! We really love the intensity of the picture and can’t wait to see more. :) The artist blogs on Tumblr, where you can see more of his art that’s both creepy and beautiful. http://spwyll.tumblr.com/

prisspwyll

“Ommmm!”

 

And for second we have this adorable chibi-Priscilla by Death G. Reaper, that just lights up morning with a big smile. She really captured the nonchalant and effortless charm that Pris carries around her, and which makes her so irresistible. The artist blogs on twitter, pretty much about everything from her own art to anything cool and fascinating.  http://death-g-reaper.tumblr.com/

deathgreaperpris

 

And so, once again big thank you’s to all our readers who’ve sent us fan art, questions, and their support through the years. Now the closer we get to RFR ending, the harder it hurts to lose it all. But I guess we just have to make something new that will capture you all again.

P.S: I really want to see Inquisitor Two cosplay.

 

Love,

Silver

Twitter me at @runfreakrun

Wake up at 5.30

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sundaytodo

Just a regular Sunday.

 

I’m big on habits and optimizing my life, mainly because I’m always stretched for hours between multiple projects and my never-ending creative needs, and I’m always looking out for new tools and thoughts on how to streamline my life.

Lately, I’ve come upon a new habit that has made my life a lot more enjoyable and easier; I can’t believe how much it baffles my friends when I tell them what it’s all about. Now, I can’t generalize and say this applies to everyone. Actually, it definitely doesn’t. I can’t say that it applies to you, dear reader, but since it is my blog, I can try to give as much bad advise as I feel like.

What I’ve come upon is something simple, it’s something I wish I’d began a decade ago and not a year ago, and it’s something poisonous to the nerd and geek communities: it’s waking up at 5.30 in the morning.

Knowledge workers generally tend to wake up flexibly, pointing out that their creative juices can only perform at specific times, saying that their best work only comes late at night, and that there’s no way they can even think straight in the morning. And while I don’t doubt that people have specific golden times during their day specifically set aside for the part of their brain that does writing, coding, or art, I also think that with certain mindfulness we can control or adjust it. Even if there really is only one magic hour late at night during which people are most creative, all that special time goes to waste if you’re too tired to do anything with it.

The whole point of waking up at 5.30 is not just to shift your day couple of hours earlier and do things like you would normally, but to change things around so that you can enjoy your spare time with your energy full, instead of tired and wasted.

For example, in my case, I’ve always lived the routine of waking up as late as possible, eating as quick a breakfast as possible, rushing to work, working for nine hours (+travel), have dinner, and finally sit down to relax. Tired from over ten hours of intense concentration and a meal digesting, I sure as hell never felt creative in the evening. Maybe after a few hours of resting there’s a spark of a thought in my head again, and I rise to the occasion to write or draw, only to find that it’s time to go to bed or risk sleep deprivation. A vicious cycle of feeling like crap for never finishing any creative projects, coupled with desperate lack of sleep made serious personal work only possible during the weekend.

For years I struggled with writing RFR and Daughters one hour a night, every night restarting with a buzzed out head, fighting with any decisions that required more than 1+1 calculations. Coffee and tea helped – a little – but all that lost time during the evening procrastination was ugly and painful.

Last year we switched things around and started waking up at 6.30 am (we go to the office at 9.30-10.00 am), and gained three hours of time for a nice solid breakfast, personal creative works and exercise, before spending the brain juice on professional game making. We still scheduled an hour of PC time between dinner and pre-sleep reading, but that was nothing but a gateway to procrastinating again.

Now, since we’ve managed to move the clock even further down, making the waking up happen at 5.30, gaining us a solid four and half hours of uninterrupted and well rested personal time, during which we can freely concentrate on daunting creative tasks like coming up with new universes and writing that requires concentration. This means that after work I really only have time for groceries, food, and an hour or so of reading, before succumbing to sleep at 10 pm.

I want to reiterate that I have not just magically gained more hours every day, just shifted the ones that got wasted in the evening to morning when I’m still rested.

At first, I was worried how this would affect my professional work, but it didn’t. I don’t feel any more or less tired form when I did before by the end of the day, and I think my mood has only improved – hence generating only better work. My body really only shuts down after dinner, which is why I pretty much just stay in bed with a book after food, willingly surrendering to my bodies will to sleep.

I am curious to see how far this can be adjusted, and I hope to try 4.30 am at some point, because as I mentioned, I’m a big fan of life hacking and finding the best patterns for my creativity. I’m worried about going to sleep at 9 pm though.

I realize this really doesn’t work for anyone with a social life or a partner with a different schedule, but if you’re a creative hermit like me, working together day and night with your best friend and lover, then I strongly urge you to give a good look at what you’re really spending all those hours on, and are there any steps you can actively take to make your every day happier.

What’s the harm in trying?

 

Love,
Silver Saaremaeel

Twitter me your bad life-advise @runfreakrun or say “hallo hallo” at the RFR facebook page!

State of the Nation update

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stateofthenation_header

 

 

Halou! Most of the time with this blog we’re trying to make you buy something or just show off our cool books. Occasionally we do things like general updates about how the comic and everything else is going, but it’s been a while and we wanted to rectify that.

Since we have a few projects under our belt now, we’ll just give a quick overview on all of them, mainly focusing on where they are now and our future plans with them! So, let’s start with…

RFR

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The original art of this page is available for purchase!

Run Freak Run will end soon. We haven’t kept it a secret, and if you’ve been reading you should be able to feel it too. But there’s still about three months worth of updates coming where we hope to surprise, inspire, and delight you many times still. :)

Within these three months we also hope to make Run Freak Run available as a printed graphic novel – we sure as hell want to hold it in our hands! It won’t be through a Kickstarter-campaign, it’d just take too much time from our other projects – but we are looking at a print-on-demand service that we’ve had some good experiences with. We’ll include the short-but-sweet secret story that’s in the ebook (chapters 1-5), and some of our favorite blog posts from the past years. If you want to make sure you won’t miss it, please sign to our newsletter, or like our facebook-page, because we’re sure to spam you about it then!

And also, me, Kaija, Two, and Priscilla would love to congratulate the US for the same-sex marriage ruling. It’s an inspiration for the whole world. #lovewins

 

Next up… GIFS!

DotWQ

stateofthenation_dotwq

As I’ve mentioned before, we are horrible at planning novels. The first part of Daughters of the Witch Queen was ten thousand words, the second part was seventeen thousand words, and the third part is looking like… twenty-five thousand (ish) words. All of these book parts were supposed to be ten thousand words, because we had this great plan of releasing fast and often, creating momentum that way. But hey, you readers said you wished for a longer read, and we listened.

You also said you wished they included illustrations. Well, that’s another reason why DotWQ part 3 is taking us longer than the previous ones. We’re adding illustrations to each book part, and also combining parts 1-3 as one short novel (about 200 pages long). If you’ve purchased or got the books before, don’t worry, you’ll just have to update your file after the release, and your Kindle-app will download the newest version with images.

Before you go lower and start looking at some previews of what the illustrations will look like inside the book, check out this recap of an interview we had with one of our readers Rosi. She runs a YA book blog together with her blogging-partner Emily (they featured DotWQ there a couple of times.)

Now pretty pictures time, we’re really excited about these and can’t wait until they’re in the books for real. :)

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We want to add small detailed ornaments and decorations, because we like doing them.

illustrations

Work-in-progress tests how the illustrations would look next to text.

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It’s going to be metal.

 

And last, but not least…

A new project!

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RFR is ending and that gives us a lot of free time. Since we’re bad at taking breaks and resting, we decided to begin a new project again! We’re not really ready to talk about the details yet, because we’re still figuring it out for ourselves, but let me tell you what we do know.

It will be a novel, in a futuristic post-apocalyptic setting, and it will combine our love of fantasy, sci-fi, and ancient history. It will also have multiple viewpoint characters from around the world. It will be the most ambitious project we’ve done so far, with a lot of concept art and illustrations. And it will be free-to-read on a blog, that we’ll later collect into ebooks whenever there’s enough material to do so. Also, we’ll probably start a Patreon for this project, if that’s something you guys fancy.

So, we’re still very early, but we hope to have something out by the end of this year. Below you can see our freshly installed brainstorming board in action, ready to capture all our amazing ideas.

And just as a reminder, if you’re an occasional reader, and don’t want to miss out on this project – sign up to our newsletter, because we will spam you about it!

Love,
Silver

Catch me on twitter @runfreakrun, drop us an e-mail, or find us over at Facebook.