Sweet Valentine’s 2019

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Devon and Rayil, to make your Valentine’s Day sweeter than candy♥

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… definitely not Superman.
We bring you not one, but two Cupids!
Devon and Rayil as vessels of love for your Valentine’s Day.
Ready and armed with the arrows of passion even if a bit unorthodox according to classical mythology. But passer-by be warned, their arrows are as strong as advertised!

No big boxes of candy nor shiny material gifts, this should be all about arrows!
According to literature and depictions, Cupid’s arrows come in two very different types, one is a sharp golden tip and the other is blunt and made of lead. While the golden one will make you lose control over your desires, the blunt type will create aversion and makes you run away. A great example of their effect is in the story of Apollo who taunted Cupid by calling him a lesser archer and as a result got shot by the golden arrow while the object of Apollo’s desire- Daphne, a naiad /water nymph- was shot by the blunt arrow, making her constantly deny and flee from Apollo’s advances. But the moment he corners her, she prays to her father- the river god Peneus- and she turns into a laurel tree. Which in turn becomes a sacred tree for Apollo. Not the ideal outcome of a love affair in our book…

There’s also a variation of the different effects regarding the different metals of the arrow. Gold for a gentle smite: easily cured; silver and steel will not be so kind as the resulting wounds of that love will never heal.

Other trivia mentions spicier imagery and symbology, but we rather keep this mild and PG.
And let’s also ignore that on our illustration, Devon might’ve just committed a self-critical shot right there. Rayil doesn’t mind♥

So in a nutshell…
Yes, it’s better to never cross a Cupid, just in case.

★Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, and stay inspired★

 

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“Street Fighter Tales” for Action X Team

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Chun-Li, always a favourite of ours!

Art concept for “Street Fighter Tales” (click on the pictures to see them fullsize)

From 2016 to 2018 we worked with Action X Team on the project “Street Fighter Tales” and since its inspired in a videogame series that had been very present in our lives, we were thrilled when asked to do concept art and give it a slight twist in accordance to the script delivered.

We love to concept and in this case we had the extra challenge of thinking of the actor/actress/karateka that would fill the role. It was the first time we had that extra human factor while doing these concepts and having to make outfits that allowed a wide range of movements a.k.a. fighting action scenes not only for the camera but also for live action at events and stage shows!
From character sheets, to storyboard sequences and background images for live audiovisual interactive stage performances, we were thrilled to work on several steps of the process and areas that were completely new to us.

We had a blast and it was a specially rewarding feeling to see clothes come to life from our concepts (a sample is shown on the pictures) with the added responsibility to try and be loyal to the original characters.

★We hope you enjoyed it as well and as always, stay inspired★

A Japanese Folk Tale: Yuki Onna

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As great fans of the Japanese folklore, today we bring you a creature from a popular folktale, the Yuki Onna (Snow Woman). She is a Japanese snow spirit known for her beauty and also for killing humans.
In some versions she is described as having very pale skin with black hair contrasting with her white kimono, she leaves no footprints as she floats over the snow and sometimes her feet are invisible.

Following one of the legends about its origins where a snow spirit of a Yuki Onna is born from a woman that fell on the snow, the decision for a regretful girl taken by the sadness of a letter she just received, laying on the snow and perishing from exposure gives us our own Yuki Onna, with the fleeting reminiscence of being human in the past, when faced by the beauty of the cherry trees under the snow.

Gathering some courage we felt compelled to give a haiku a try…

“No footsteps, no sound,
A letter filled with regrets
of being human.”

The Yuki Onna calls out to people on snowy nights and if you reply, she attacks, but there’s also the version where she will push you off a cliff if you don’t reply as well, so if you ever meet one… Good luck?…

★Happy Friday happenings to all. See you next week and stay inspired★

Demon Beast! Happy Year of the Earth Pig!

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猪年大吉! Wish you luck in the Year of the Earth PIG!

The two of us have loved Asian culture even before we could read. The main culprit was a Chinese martial arts series back in the 80’s, with equal amounts of kung fu and cheesy drama and pretty clothes. Oh, those pretty, pretty clothes…

When the golden gates of the internet years opened, we indulged in countless hours of feverish research but it was at a local Chinese restaurant that we first heard our cheerful waitress say “Gongxi Facai!” as she handed us a complimentary calendar. “May you be happy and prosperous!” it was the meaning of those lovely words and we asked her what was the occasion. “Lunar Year!”

We can’t say we remember what animal was designated on that particular year but suddenly, to have gained the knowledge of this whole different year calendar with its different zodiac beasts, made our imaginations soar high.  And years later here we are, writing about this with a happy smile and a cheerful image to match (hopefully) that has its own little wild story, straight from our imagination.
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A Portuguese Folk tale: The Goat-footed Lady

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“Forward, my son. You will win.”

Lenda da Dama Pé de Cabra / Tale of the Goat-footed Lady

There are a lot of Portuguese folk tales translated out there but of course we had to go for one of the exceptions, since we couldn’t find it translated… Nevertheless, here is our attempt to translate the version we got inspired from, in hopes that you too will enjoy it as much as we did since we were small.

This is a story from the 11th century, compiled by a great Portuguese writer, historian, journalist and poet named Alexandre Herculano.

Here we go:

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Here’s a Portuguese Folk Tale: The Aunts

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Don’t cry, sweety! We got your back!

One of us had the chance to grow up listening to old fairytale stories inside a small kitchen with the fire crackling and the bells of goats fading in and out on the street outside, as shepherds drove them into the pastures. Those were the days of great grandmother remembering tales from her own youth, trying to keep the memory jogging and bring back what had been told so many years ago – great grandmother didn’t know how to read after all.
Those tales would invoke so many wondrous images: selfish queens, naïve but strong boys and girls and the fantastic folks that would come to their aid, human, deity or beast. There’s no doubt that those stories had a role to play in our mind and now, so many years away from those early days, we want to begin drawing what we can and give those ancient tales our own flare and vision. It’s our anthropological contribution to the world and to you.
Not without a few snags. Although we own books with many tales, we realized that these ones from oral tradition were hard to come by and harder still to share with those interested in the narrative. Well dear friends, the internet is a wondrous, miraculous place.
There have been incredible people since the 1800’s that went to speak with old great grandmothers just like ours and have put on paper these tales and even translated them!

So here it is:

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