Happy holidays from Run Freak Run!

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happyholidays

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!
With love,

Silver Saaremaeel and Kaija Rudkiewicz
2015, Berlin
merryyule

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

Nicholas Odd and the Daughters of the Witch Queen (Download for free!)

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nick_odd

 

Now that Run Freak Run has ended there must be a hole in your hearts; your Monday routine has been broken and we are responsible for that. To ease that pain and our guilt, we wanted release Nicholas Odd and Daughters of the Witch Queen parts 1-3 as soon as possible and to make it accessible to everyone. From today onward this story will be accessible as a pay-what-you-want, meaning you can leave us a small donation or download it for free! We’ve also made it accessible over at Amazon Kindle, in case you want to download it directly to your device, but unfortunately for that we had to enter the minimum price (99 cents). You can bypass that by just downloading the .mobi or .pdf with your device, and installing it to kindle or any other e-reader you use!

We hope you enjoy it, and we hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Cheers,

Silver and Kaija

 

nick_odd_info

“We really recommend the one million dollars option.”

 

Get it on:

Amazon: $0.99

Gumroad: Pay-what-you-want

Google Drive: Direct download

art

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/

 

swords1

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

stateofthenation_rfr

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. :)

ornmanets

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.

metal metal metal

It’s going to be metal.

 

And last, but not least…

A new project!

stateofthenation_tower

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.

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:

ehistory (4 of 10)

ehistory (6 of 10)

ehistory (3 of 10)

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.

hotegyptianaction

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

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