The Versatile Blogger Award

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We made a starry image for the Versatile Blogger Award!

At long last, we can humbly accept the Versatile Blogger Award that theatrealtair from Altair 5G Theatre nominated us with! This Award is a really curious thing as it allows people to know more about the ones behind the blogs. For example, did you know that theatrealtair prefers to play as Khajiit in Skyrim? Neither did we!

According to their own description, Altair 5G Theatre is a project dedicated to bringing in the next level of entertainment, achieving an existence in both real and virtual worlds. We invite you to check more on the blog and we thank Altair 5G Theatre for the lovely nomination and the challenges it entails!
When you get a VBA nomination, you have to follow these steps:

Thank the person who gave you this award.
Include a link to their blog.
Nominate 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
Finally, tell seven things about yourself.

Without further ado, it’s with great pleasure that StarTwo would like to nominate the following blogs (in no particular order):

Cindy Knoke – a photoblog, with wonderful coverage of Cindy’s discoveries and experiences.

Dave and Lauras Dream – a photoblog showing this sweet couple’s endeavours in travels and culinary adventures.

Tokens of Companionship – Portraits from the first 100 years of photography. Every image is amazing.

Susieopinions – Though she states her blog is mostly about reviews, health and fitness it’s her inner strength and boxing skills that got us hooked.

The Phoblography – Daily photoblog, focusing on life’s details.

Cirsova – The best Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense! It’s not just a slogan and we’re totally not being biased!

Rosemarie’s Kitchen – Delicious, indulgent and well-photographed meals for everyone.

T Ibara Photo – photoblog with amazing snapshots of the animal kingdom.

The Alchemist’s Studio – Amazing pottery with great concepts behind each piece.

Extra Life – Independent opinions on video games and films.

ChronosFeR2 – Meaningful photos and meaningful words.

Under the influence! – Myths, legends, folklore and tales from around the world.

Caliath – Wonderful writing expanding in poetry and prose with a delicate sensitivity.

Brushes and Papers – Traditional illustrations that are purely amazing.

The Flying Tofu – slices of Japanese life that put you in a good mood.

(while doing this list, we found out a lot of blogs that we were definitely following before had the follow removed in the meanwhile. Be careful, as this seems to be a reported WordPress problem).
These are some of the blogs we visit regularly and hope you’ll find them interesting too! And next…

There’s a reason why we saved the last task for… well, last! We are absolutely not that great at talking about ourselves. Nevertheless, we’ll give it our best try!
Seven facts about StarTwo that you might not know:

We’re two individuals and we’re both responsible for drawing and writing on this blog.
We studied together after being acquaintances for 3 years.
Legend of Zelda is our holiest of holy games (especially Link’s Awakening).
We tend to take too many photos for reference when we travel.
Our cat has a heart-shaped pattern on her flank.
We have a love-hate relationship with supernatural movies and documentaries.
We have lived and worked abroad in the UK and the Netherlands.

And now we’ll be on our merry way to inform all these blogs about their nominations.
Sorry everyone, please don’t have ill wishes toward us, since there’s a bit of work involved on this but it’s also very rewarding to show the world a little of what interests you and that in fact is more insightful than anything we might say.

★Happy link clicking and stay inspired!★

A Guiding Crown in the Land of the Blind

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Art by StarTwo

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Follow the Light Bearer with the guiding crown.

This time we bring you a turn of phrase that seems to exist in so many languages with the same structure, which was really interesting and in turn inspired us enough to pick it up and give it our StarTwo’s twist.

In Portuguese “Na terra de cegos, quem tem um olho é rei” translates to “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King” is an expression that reminds us that the level of one’s abilities and skills heavily depend on how common they are in the current environment and that those with less skill will value a higher level of abilities than their own (or lack thereof).
The non-existent capacity or aptitude from the surrounding people elevates the one with some level of  ability and skill.

There is a similar saying, but dating further back – straight from the 4th or 5th century- “In the street of the blind, the one-eyed man is called the Guiding Light”, and this is where we got the inspiration for our Light bearer, leading the blind and the ones who do not wish to see (although they’re quite able).

Just in case, hone your skills as you might have to pick up a Guiding Light depending on the land you’re visiting!

★stay inspired★

Creature Feature – Enfield ~ Lines

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Even if it feels like Autumn just begun, with Halloween gone by it’s starting to feel like Winter really fast.
We’re holding ourselves to the current season though and as we try to appreciate roasted chestnuts and sweet wine, we’re sharing our Enfield’s lines with you.

By giving ourselves the challenge of creating a humanoid version, we tried to come up with a design that also felt modern and intriguing. Usually there’s a set time-length for these illustrations and we can say that this one pushed our time slot to the limit!
You can check our complete post about these Irish Chimeras and the colour version of the illustration here.

★Enjoy roasted chestnuts and stay inspired★

Creature Feature – The Enchanted Moorish Maiden

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The plea of StarTwo’s enchanted Moorish Maiden. “Oh noble traveller, save me…”

If you happen, wondrous traveller, to find yourself roaming by the moonlight and chance upon the ruins of a castle or wet your feet in a cooling river or ocean waters, beware of the enchanting, warm voice beckoning you to come closer and hear its sultry plea with promises of riches and eternal flesh made human again, to be forever yours.

There are enchanted Moors in the land of Portugal and if you can not bring them salvation, they will most certainly bring you doom.

Moorish Maidens or Enchanted Moorish Maidens are fantastic spirits and according to traditional folktales and legends, they are princesses of great beauty and are known to be dangerous seductresses.
They are obliged to live in certain places, in a supernatural stupor until a certain chain of events releases them from their curse and most stories do speak of the incidents that made them become spellbound, the main ones being that the Maidens fell in love with Christians and by consequence were forsaken and cursed by their families, or as daughters of Moors with magical powers who depart in warring campaigns against their enemies, are left eternally enchanted as means to protect the treasures their fathers left behind.

The ways to free a Moorish Maiden from her enchantment are usually also revealed – by the Maiden herself, as she uses all her charms and otherworldly beauty to make those that hear her feel tempted into aiding her, while ignoring the risks. These usually involve tasks that range from an apparent simplicity to tricky demands such as offering a salt-less bread, milk, to proclaiming certain words and resisting the urge to look at a curiosity inducing matter and of course, giving the Maiden a kiss.

To fail completing these tasks means doubling the enchantment on the Maiden, dooming her forever and losing her and the treasures she is guarding, not to mention putting your life at risk as well.

It’s in the south of Portugal, due to the historical Moorish invasions that these tales and legends became intertwined with the origin of city names and castles which were built by the Moors. Although a Christian country, paganism was a normal happening and the supernatural mixed with the real to create these folktales about amazing treasures and the tragic Maidens that guard them for eternity.

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A Moorish Maiden in Vila de Moura’s Coat of Arms

To this day, many believe they still haunt several places (especially in the region of Algarve), maybe a means to keep some modern Indiana Jones away.

But are Enchanted Moorish Maidens truly just related to Moorish princesses?
Then, what of the Marwo of Celtic origins, present in northern Portuguese folklore and Galicia, way before these lands ever saw a Moorish invader?

That will be a subject we will gladly share with you on a future post, where we shall compare these mystical, beautiful Maidens that populate Portugal’s rich folklore! This was a particularly charming theme to illustrate and we tried to mix both the mysticism of the Maiden and her sultry charm with the danger that lurks if you pay attention and don’t fall for her charms right away.

★We wish you a wonderful weekend and stay inspired★

StarTwo Commission List Update!

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Please click to check the Commission Information

This is a StarTwo Public Announcement!

Our Commission information is finally updated and fully illustrated to help everyone who is interested in either having a personal work from us or a commercial one.

This information will always be available on the blog’s pages and we’ll inform you if it gets updated again or changed.  We are very flexible in terms of styles so check with us what you have in mind and we’ll love to make your idea get shape and colour!

Thank you very much!

★stay inspired★

An early Xmas with Leigh Brackett’s Eric John Stark!

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Amidst Inktober inking commotion and regular work hours, the doorbell rang and an eagerly awaited package from Cirsova Publishing was placed in our hands. Just like that, Christmas had come earlier.

As we merrily mentioned previously in other posts, we were approached by Cirsova to work with them in producing illustrations and covers for the 70th anniversary of Leigh Brackett’s pulp hero, Eric John Stark.

And once again, Cirsova was delightfully generous to send us copies of all the editions they published of Stark, from the separate stories (coloured soft covers) to the compilation with all three (white softcover) and last but not least, the special hardcover coffee-table edition!

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From all of them, we have to say the deluxe hardcover is our favourite and the one making us rejoice the most. Besides our illustrations and coloured covers being included at double the size of the other editions, all the concept art we produced as well as the preliminary studies for the chapter illustrations are included, revealing how we went about creating the characters and creatures and which illustrations got picked for the project (Oh, those days of hard decisions…).

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Leigh Brackett was a wonderful creator and we wanted to translate to our style her manly men and strong yet feminine women. (We dream of being able to make a comic book about Stark, honestly.)

It’s with immense gratitude that we thank once again Cirsova Publishing for sending these amazing books over to us and in case you haven’t, check out which edition is for you at:

Cirsova Publishing Books

And you can visit Cirsova’s blog

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Bonus pic with a curious photo bomber

★happy week and stay inspired★

StarTwo Inktober 2019 – Day 31

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A ghoulish wedding

Many blessings for the Werewolf Knight and the Succubus Dame, may their life be long (if not eternal) and full of happiness.
After the groom accepts to wear the traditional cape and settle down, the bride also commits to retire from the succubi life to enjoy any and all phases of the moon together. Howling is optional.

This concludes our own StarTwo Inktober 2019 themed with Knights and Dames. What an adventure it has been!

Thank you to everyone that went on this journey with us. We look forward to your visits as we resume our usual posting.

★Happy Halloween and stay inspired★