How a Chinese brush is made?

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This morning a question popped into my mind: could I make my own brushes?

I have a tendency to try to make as many things as I possibly can on my own instead of buying them. Almost half of our wardrobe is made by me, I love making pickles, muesli, and some toiletries like deodorants and lip balms from scratch, I’ve started growing my plants from seeds instead of buying them, buttons, jewellery, tinctures, you name it.

So, now that you know about my obsession with DIY, you will understand that making my own brushes is not that far of a leap.

I started googling and finally found what I was looking for. And the answer is a resounding NO; I definitely won’t be able to make my own brushes :D

And here’s why:

 

This series of videos kept me mesmerized easily for over half an hour. And although the training, knowledge, and the tools required to make a perfect brush far surpass any time I could possibly commit to mastering this skill, I’m happy I got to see the process. If anything, learned to appreciate good quality brushes even more.

Check out this master at work, and if you know of any other similar resources and glimpses into someone’s craft, please shoot them my way either on facebook, twitter, or in the comments below!

Cheers,
Kaija

Unreal RFR posters

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unreal

Two around the world.

Color us surprised, when we saw posters of Two in the new Showtime TV-show, UnReal. We gave the permission to use RFR posters on the set about a year or so ago, and since productions like these take months to complete and surface – we kind of forgot all about it. But thanks to a helping hand on Twitter  we got to experience a surreal and fun moment that filled us with pride and joy. You can check out the trailer for the TV-show HERE. :)

These posters are very nostalgic for us because they were one of the first promotional materials that we did for RFR. That was about three years ago and it’s just such a strange feeling to see them pop up again. But in a good way. The whole event also reminded us that we have Run Freak Run-posters in our online stores, should you want them hanging on your walls too!

In our Society6-store, you can find the “Red nun” and “Black eyes” posters framed or unframed and even as clothing apparel. Check them all out HERE!

 

rfr

I want this!

 

rfr2No, I want this!

We also have a small amount of these huge “Many faces of Two”-posters. You can get them on our ETSY-store, next to a small selection of RFR-originals (Just ping us an email if you want to know the availability of a certain page you’d be interested in but can’t find on the store.)

poster_groups

This, this, this! (Out of print, sorry!)

On that note, we hope you have a wonderful Sunday, and hope you are enjoying the latest RFR pages.

Cheers,

Silver and Kaija

Kick-ass women in history

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I haven’t written in here for a while, and lately the weight of keeping the blog alive has been on Silver’s shoulders. His last post about ancient history finally gave me an idea to continue the history streak, and gather and present a few kick-ass stories of some kick-ass women from history.

But first, let me go through a little tangent before we get to all the ass-kicking:

In secondary school I had a history teacher who acted out in front of the class everything he taught. He added drama, flare, and comedy to historical events, basically translating them to us on an emotional level. Everyone loved going to his classes and no one had problems keeping their grades up.

By contrast, my grades plummeted in high school, when another teacher, looking like a bored toad behind her desk, barked out dates and events at the equally bored looking class.

History is an amazing source of inspiration for a storyteller. Not only does it offer precedents for hypothetical situations you’re trying to figure out, but if you dig deeper you realise that there’s multiple stories to be told for every event recorded, all of them coloured with emotions: tempers running hot, nostalgia, greed, joy, guilt, love.

Striving for objectivity when recording history is important, but I personally find it boring. From the perspective of telling stories, objectivity serves as little more than just a clinical dissection of time. But when you tell a story from the points of view of different people – or for a bigger picture: from the points of view of different cultures – you’ll end up with a huge spectrum of experiences and interpretations.

Unfortunately, one point of view omitted in most history books is the female perspective. For obvious reasons, women didn’t play the leading roles in most major historical events, and as a result many interesting stories have been left untold.

Luckily, our best friend Wikipedia doesn’t discriminate as much as our primary education, and we are able to read about countless kick-ass heroines. I wanted to introduce you to a few, that I’m itching to model some future story-characters on:

 

Julie D’Aubigny (1673-1707) aka Mademoiselle Maupin or La Maupin

Julie D’Aubigny had a life full of passionate affairs, opera performances, illegal duelling (during which she almost always dressed as a man), running from the law numerous times, and setting a convent on fire to rescue her lover from nundom. The latter story is my personal favourite.

With a life so vibrant and erratic, Julie’s story just begs to be told. Read more on Wikipedia!

 

Olga of Kiev (c.890-969) aka Saint Olga

Olga was the Queen regent of Kievan-Rus, ruling on behalf of her son, Svyatoslav, for 18 years. In order to preserve her son’s throne, she refused suitors from the neighbouring, hostile tribe, killing one group by trapping and burning them alive, and burying alive another group. Rest of the hostile tribe she invited for a mourning-feast, got them drunk and had 5000 of them killed. Whoever was left alive was begging for mercy at this point, but Olga had pigeons fly to their villages, dispersing sulphur from bags attached to their legs, and burned everything down, sulphur making the fire unquenchable.

More about Olga here!

 

Ching Shih (1775–1844)

Ching Shih was one of Asia’s strongest pirates, who terrorized the South China Sea. She was undefeated all her life, commanding a fleet that is estimated to go as high as 80,000 men, and was one of the only few pirates who retired from piracy by the end of her career.

She started out as a Cantonese prostitute, captured by pirates, eventually marrying the notorious pirate captain, Cheng I. After Cheng’s death she worked hard to rise to power and take his place, cultivating relationships and making herself indispensable to the huge fleet. Once in the leadership position she set up and ruled by tight rules, writing down a code of laws with severe consequences to prevent looting friendly villages, setting down strict distribution of the loot, and prohibited rape (the pirates were only allowed to have sex with the women they captured if they took them as wives/concubines and remained faithful to them).

Read the full Wikipedia article for more detail.

 

Stories like these make you realise that even Game of Thrones can sometimes feel tame next to reality.

 

And I’d also love to hear about your favourite historical figures and craziest stories, male or female. Contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or comment below :)

 

Cheers,

Kaija

 

 

3 awesomes from Ancient History

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3 awesomes from ancient history

 

I’m an avid lover of history, especially anything ancient culture related. Today I want to share three cool history resources from wikipedia and books to a podcast. These are things that have kept me busy many an hour and acted as great reference and inspiration.

I love reading about life from thousands of years ago: about how advanced, rich, and complicated human societies were even then.

As humans who always concentrate on their modern day-to-day lives, we can easily forget what has been before us, what wonders people had built, and how damn cool they were. Hopefully, today’s list of three awesome things from Ancient History will help battle that!

But before I get there, let me just give you a quick update on Daughters of the Witch Queen. Part 3 is coming along great, it’s about 30% longer than part 2; our planning skills when its come to scoping out this project have been abysmal. But the good news is that we’re sticking our deadlines, we’ve just become faster and more confident. If you’d like to be one of the first people to find out when it’s coming out and receive a free advance reader copy, then make sure to be signed on to our newsletter! We try not to spam, but sometimes we get a little excited and maybe overdo it. Then again, maybe we don’t spam enough at all, you let us know.

So back to three fantastic things I’d love to share concerning Ancient History: today I’ll go through something from Sumeria, Egypt, and of course – the Romans.

 

 

1.  Ancient Sumerian kings

sumeria

Not a real photo. Sorry.

 

Since the whole Sumerian culture lasted well over a millennium, it’s no wonder that it’s full of kings and rulers. Surprisingly for their time, Sumerians had a fairly decent habit of tracking and writing down these people who ruled over them; just check out this wikipedia-article on Sumerian kings – it’s fantastic! And while there’s some exaggerations, it seems accurate enough, at least to the best of our knowledge…

With names like Ishme-Dagan and Naram-Sim, it’s like they were ripped from a fantasy book, and when I read about them – I feel like I’m going through a crafted sequence of events for a back-story of a world I want to explore. I love this page on wikipedia that shows the historical timeline of Sumerian kings: how they came to rule, how long they stayed, and if there were any particular reasons they were dethroned.

As a reminder, Ancient Sumeria was a culture that flourished during the Bronze Age in Mesopotamia (Iraq). It’s one of the earliest human civilizations on record with a fantastic contribution to law, art, and architecture.  For a 10-minute crash course on the subject, John Green’s got your back, and if you want to go deeper, there’s always more on Wikipedia.

My favorite King was a gardener (Enlil-bani) who was put on the throne as a substitute king to take blame for the previous king – but instead he ended up holding the throne for the next 24-years. How’s that for a story.

I also love digging up pictures of ancient art and infrastructure so I could image the life there. Sometimes I wish there was a time machine that’d let us have a realistic glance at how things really were.

TLDR: Ancient kings of Sumeria – Wikipedia page

 

 

2. An art book about Ancient Egypt

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One of the best books ever.

 

The Discovery of Ancient Egypt is a fantastic book for history and art enthusiasts, but even more for world-builders and storytellers. It’s full of illustrations and drawings from the European 19th century delegations to Egypt, who made extensive studies of the ruins hidden in the sand and recorded it all with the photographs of the day – drawings.

The book is huge – ginormous –  and full of little details: from people who visited Egypt, to the origin of the tombs, temples, and gods who once lived there, and about how the 19th century Europeans viewed this from their perspective. As a child, I used to have this children’s illustrated encyclopedia, that I kept reading over and over. It was about everything from water pumps, to evolution, and to how tanks work. Reading this book makes me feel exactly the same, and I love it.

For the curious, you can get the book on Amazon. And those who need more convincing, here’s some pictures:

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ehistory (6 of 10)

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If you think digging these ruins out was hard, imagine how tough it must have been for the guy who had cover it in the sand in the first place.

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Oh yeah, hot Egyptian statue action. Yes, this is that kind of a book.

 

 

3. History of Rome – the podcast

romans

Romans had some fun ideas how to raise their young.

Now, if you don’t have time for all this reading shit, but still are intrigued about the times before, then I will gladly move you towards this podcast about the full history of ancient Rome, from its creation to its ultimate fall, narrated by Mike Duncan.

Each episode concentrates on one or two main topics. Each is about 15 minutes long and there’s 190 of them. I was especially fascinated about the early history of Rome, of its time as a republic, before the really famous emperors and the glory days. Rome truly wasn’t build in a day, nor did it just take over the known world without a struggle, but somehow it managed to succumb and withstand all of it’s enemies, be it barbarians or economic troubles.

One of my favorite part of the republican Rome was that during a time of crisis, the senate elected a tyrant who would have unlimited power for a limited amount of time. This allowed him to cut through all the red-tape and just get things done without a hassle or consequence, and then when the crisis was averted, return the power back to the senate who could continue its in-fighting, politics, and corruption in peace.

TLDR: Listen to the history of Rome here for free.

 

One more thing before I let you go!

If you haven’t already, please check us out on Facebook. We post a link to a new Run Freak Run page every Monday, and occasionally small making-of photos and videos that aren’t big enough for a whole blog-post, but we’d love to share with you anyways.

And while you’re at it, please turn on “Get Notifications” or else Facebook quickly drops us off from your wall due to their algorithms. Blame them, if anyone, for making this unnecessarily difficult, but we apologize anyways.

rfrfb

We have the best updates in the world, no lie! Make sure not to miss them. :)

 

And so – on that note – I hope to have made your day a history filled fun-day; full of education, fascination, and intrigue.

Love,
Silver

 

Twitter @runfreakrun

Run Freak Run – The Webcomic | Daughters of the Witch Queen – the serialized novel

Free DotWQ p1 Monday – Thursday (promotion over)

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freebook

Promotion has ended, we hope you enjoyed it!

In celebration of releasing Daughters of the Witch Queen part 2, we’re doing a promotion with Amazon where the first part of DotWQ is free for the duration of next four days.

You can download it on Amazon for your Kindle-app during this time. In case you don’t have a tablet, or a smartphone with a Kindle-app, you can also read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader, straight on your PC.

So check it out, please share it with your friends, and read it when you can!

Get your free DotWQ part 1!

Also, while you’re at it – check out what others think of it: bibliobibuli review

DotWQ part 2 released!

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“She’s the kind of pain in your ass that you can’t walk off.”
– Vision

rain_cover_5

Halou!

We’re happy to announce that Daughters of the Witch Queen part 2 is now released.
We’d like to thank our proofreader Laura, our advance copy readers, and everyone who has hit us with encouraging email during the past months – it’s been great to improve these books with you. :)

This time the book is almost twice as long as part 1, touches more on the subject of magic, and definitely opens more questions than it closes.

Start reading!

DotWQ is only on Amazon Kindle at the moment. But fear not if you don’t have a Kindle device: for you can get a Kindle-app to any smartphone, or tablet, and you can read any amazon purchased kindle-books in your internet-browser over at Kindle Cloud Reader.

New to the series? Get DotWQ part 1 first. :)

Concept art!
This time we have an info-graph on the Tree of Powers, the different branches of magic in DotWQ. And an illustration of a mermaid. See if you can find out what magic Rain uses.

magic_infograph

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Start reading Daughters of the Witch Queen part 2!

New to the series? Get DotWQ part 1!

 

We hope you enjoyed the preview, the pictures, and look forward to hearing any feedback from you.

 

Cheers,
Silver and Kaija

Twitter: @runfreakrun || Like us on Facebook, make us feel fuzzy.

Daughters of the Witch Queen, part 2 preview

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Heya.

We’re proud to announce that we’ll be releasing Daughters of the Witch Queen part 2 (our other project, a serialized novel) within three weeks, on the 2nd of May.

We gotta be honest, the last two months have been tiresome, frustrating, but ultimately fun months and we can’t wait to start on part 3 and get that out of the door too. Best part, like always, has been the interaction and dialogue with our newsletter-readers and advance copy reviewers who always know how to give us the best help, feedback, and cheering up just when we need it the most. We couldn’t have done it without you guys, and we hope you enjoy it. :)

So without further ado, have fun with the preview below and the first two chapters that are included!

Cheers,

Silver Saaremaeel and Kaija Rudkiewicz

 

reveal

 

 

Read the first two chapters!

Get part one :)

 

tsar_face

Get your mango on.

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mangonom

 

You know, we’re not only about moody witches, giant flying whale sci-fi, or pretentiously deep thoughts on the act of creation. We’re also particular about good food and the art of cooking.

And so today, we’d like to share with you a super simple, super fun food hack we just learned from the youtuber-chef Katie, who made our mango peeling just a lot more easier. It’s not like we eat mangos everyday, but when we do – we’d rather do it well. This incredibly silly little trick saves time and makes things a lot cleaner. Just check it out yourself.

 

 

Mind-blowning, right? All of Katie’s videos are great, so keep on watching. Here’s another pro-tip for the curious: after you’ve got the mango in a cup, add some yogurt, mix it up, and you’ve got a delicious mango-lassi on your hands.

mango

“Studies have shown that people who cook are 169% happier than people who don’t.”

 

 

 

Nom nom nom,
Silver

Tweet tweet me your mango-tricks at @runfreakrun or just email us at silverandkaija[at]gmail.com or don’t, whatever.

 

Sci-fi coolness: The Leviathan

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I’ve always been a big lover of science-fiction, especially anything that has this sense of fantastical culture mixed with gritty technology, usually touching the classic debate of man vs. nature, and always with dire consequences. Original pieces like Dune, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and the Hyperion speak volumes to me. I’ve probably been inspired by them on more than one occasion in my own concept art career, and will most likely be inspired many more times in the future.

And so, today I wanted to share this teaser-trailer of The Leviathan that has been spreading around the internet like wildfire. And deservedly so – for it is fantastic, it has all the elements of science-fiction that I love; from gritty technology, sense of culture, man vs. nature, and dire consequences. I hope you will enjoy it too.

It was the brain-child of the director Ruairi Robinson, script written by Jim Uhls, and it is a proof of concept for a larger project – that I truly hope will come to life. For there is never enough great sci-fi.

 

In other news – we’re almost at an end with internal edits for Part 2 of Daughters of the Witch Queen, after a week or so we’ll begin proofreading and go into full-time illustration mode. Like last time, we’ll tease our mailing list-members with concept art and ask you guys to participate as advance readers in exchange for a free copy.  And most importantly, we look forward to chatting with you again. :)

Love,
Silver

Tweet, tweet me all your sci-fi recommendations @runfreakrun or drop us an email at silverandkaija (at) gmail.com