You have created so many fantastic pieces. Which one has been the greatest passion project for you and why?
There is a drawing that I did a long time ago, with odin's face and a long ship below. It has such a realistic style, but it is one that has a special place in my heart, we have a long story together.
We have collaborated together on several amazing pieces for our clothing. Is there anything you look for in a brand before you collaborate with them?
First of all, the work with you guys was incredible, I really enjoyed it and I felt very honoured to be part of it, thanks for the opportunity. When brands like my work for what it is, it is already very satisfactory. And even though I have my style, I try to represent the identity that the brand has, it is very important.
Do you have a direction for your art work or do you just take each day/commission as it comes?
I try to get inspired during the day, develop ideas, study ... I hope to come up with an idea to put it on paper. As the commissions are a little different, they usually come with the theme, but I also try to get inspired and study before making them.
Hey let's kick things off with a little bit about Runar Hall
Hi, My name is Filipe and I'm a Brazilian illustrator. I have a beautiful family, like games, series and movies. My routine has changed a lot now with the pandemic, so that it is difficult to talk about things I like to do right now, but in general I like to go out and drink in good company and friends.
With so much inspiration linked to ancient religions or cultures what drew you to draw Norse Mythology?
Nordic culture / religion is the one I came in contact in first place. I've already drawn some representations of other gods, but with norse gods I have a special connection.
You’re style is one of our favourites that we have discovered so far. How did you develop it and were there any major influences that helped shape it?
Thank you my friend. My style is constantly changing, it is something recent for me, the page, the format that i use, inspirations and everything. I started designing the gods in my own way, only after I got to know Nordic styles and trying to incorporate details and techniques. In the community, have many artists who came before me and have inspired me, when I arrived here many of them has given me support and I'm very grateful for that.
Does your love of norse culture only extend to artwork or do you practice pagan/heathenism in any way or have you ever undertaken any formal study?
I am pagan, And yes, have my belief in the gods.
Since starting our project we have found the community to be fantastic. Is there anyone out there that you particularly admire?
I admire everyone who contributes to the community, artists, pagans, scholars, all those who contribute in their own way to spread valuable information and unite the community.
Many people in the community are multi-skilled people. Aside from your art are there any other abilities that we don’t know about?
I worked a lot with 2d animation and have painted many paintings in other styles in the past... But I wanna try carve something one day, do something more "handmade" you know? I don't have much knowledge about it but it is something I want to learn and do.
Imagine yourself back in Viking Scandinavia would you dwell near Forest or Fjord?
We are desperate to know where did the name Valhyr come from?
It's actually a name i made up when I was naming my instagram - I created the instagram in around February 2019 and sometime by March to May I decided to rename it, I can't remember what the name at first was because it was a placeholder name I used. Anyway I aimed for an old norse sounding name so the part of val comes from valr and the hyr comes from kyr so something similar to valkyr(ies). Anyway later I learned hyrr is actually flame or fire so it would be something like the flame of those fallen in battle, but that is waaaay to edgy in my opinion so it was not the initial point of the name :D So long story short, it's a made up name to be short and similar to valr, valkyries, valraven and so
What inspired you to start the brand?
People asking me to do merch, which was very weird because why would people want to wear this stuff. So then I thought okay if I'm gonna do merch and I'm learning about this I will try to do a whole brand not just sell tshirts with my print on the front
Where did your passion for Norse culture come from. What started it off?
I'm from Estonia and it's a very pagan and animistic country by nature so in a sense I've always been into paganism/heathenism. I've follower nordic inspired artists on insta for a long time as well like RavenFromTheNorth, SkadiKnotdrawing and SacredKnotTattoos - but like with many the Vikings tv show resparked my interest and then I started watching youtubers like Dr Jackson Crawford and Arith Härger.
What advice would you give someone with a passion and looking to start their own adventure ?
Stay true to what you believe and trust in your intuition, dont let yourself be manipulated by others opinions and ideals
Are there any creators out there that you particularly draw inspiration from?
Arith Härger, TheRavenFromTheNorth and Jüri Arrak (An Estonian artist)
There is so much inspiration to be found in the Eddas and Viking Culture. How do you decide what to draw on for your designs?
I basically close my eyes and see what comes up, thats the good thing actually about this community/genre that there is never that "creative block" thing rather there are sooo many things I'd like to do
Are there any new projects on the horizon that we could get a sneak peak of?
There are yes but I'm that kind of a person I'll tell about them when they are ready. One shiny thing has been in the works since April and some other thing come later this year and start of next year
What is your favourite aspect of being part of the norse/pagan/heathen community?
The community itself to be honest, I've never seen such a strong community - overall everyone is welcoming of each other, a lot of talent and the sense of community is very strong
When building Valhyr where there any unexpected challenges that you had to overcome to make it a success?
There were quite a few and throughout it's existence there have been as well, but nothing unexpected or that cant be handled. Even "small" things like the corona and lockdown situation but I try to turn every negative into a positive and I'd like think so far it has turned out great. But anyone in a situation like this - don't panic and just act
Your content is always so incredible and varied! Were you always a pro or were there any skills you had to learn along the way?
Haha well thank you, that is flattering. I used to doodle stuff into my notebooks at school because I learned I listen to stuff better that way, so say I draw a picture of a horse and I'm listening to Estonian agriculture in the 10th century - I could then remember the picture and I'd remember what the story was about, it's a great lifehack!
Just for fun - If you had to choose a character from the Vikings TV show who would you be and why?
We'll I'd have to go with Ragnar because all the great lines have been given to him in my opinion, so he has a lot of characteristics I relate to - especially the one about uniting and doing something bigger together rather than fighting each other
Thank you for this opportunity and I really like what you guys are doing! Keep it up!
Reset from Valhyr
10 Minutes with...
The Saxon Storyteller
Hi! How’s it going. Thanks so much for taking time out to have a quick chat. Can we start with a bit more info about the person behind the posts?
Hi mate I'm Matt and I'm an illustrator from England
How did you come up with the name The Saxon Storyteller?
When I used to upload my old illustrations on Facebook it would label me as a 'visual storyteller' so I just robbed that haha
What made you want to start creating and sharing?
I've always drawn and it got to the point where I had so many I just had to put them somewhere. I never expected to get the response I did. Always blows my mind.
What advice would you give to someone else thinking of doing the same thing or similar?
Just do what you enjoy and keep at it.
There is so much material out there how do you decide what to create/draw?
I can't really explain the process. Whenever I read something it always manifests as an image so i just sketch what i see when i read and sometimes it comes from daydreaming during a boring day haha
Your illustrations always portray a more intricate knowledge of mythology and the Eddas. Have you ever studied mythology or history in any way or, like many, are you self taught?
No study whatsoever, purely amateur. I've always loved British and English folklore and customs and also the Anglo Saxon era. It all just ties itself in.
Is there a particular piece that stands out from the rest that you have created or hold particular meaning for you?
Ahhh tough one. The Cernunnos I did for Taranis Lives is still a particular favourite. If I'm honest I only upload the ones that I don't completely hate. The Cernunnos one is the one that I can't find as much to pick apart haha.
Are there any other creators out there that you admire or are particularly influenced by?
Oh man so many. Shaun Hogan (@shogantattoo) is probably one of my favourites tbh. The team at Sacred Knot, Razorstorm, Thrud, Kryzsztov, there are way to many to name, the community has some incredible artists and craftsfolk
What’s your favourite thing about being part of the heathen/pagan community?
A true sense of community, the frith. People will always help out others.
What are the plans for the future? Can you give us a sneak peek of anything in the works at the moment?
I take each week as it comes to be honest, I never thought it would blow up like this haha. Maybe in the new year I'll do some tees or one off prints!