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The Making of a Paint Brush


by syncopatedsounds

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Paint brushes—the words excite pets and owners alike all over Neopia, and yet few know how the magical items are made. Well, I (Sync) decided to find out for the good of all the inquiring minds and all that.

My first trip for information was to the Rainbow Fountain. The Fountain Faerie, Naia, was more than happy to answer my questions.

Sync: Obviously, the water from your fountain has the power to change Neopets into almost any color. Does it have any use in how paint brushes are made?

Naia: I'm glad you asked me that! No one ever asks about the creation of paint brushes, they're all, "Can't you paint my pet? Please? Why is your fountain always out of magic?" But paint brush creation—now that's interesting.

S: Yes, so, the water. Is it used in paint brushes?

N: Of course. I give the water to Alice and Bob* for them to use in the paint brushes. Would you like their address? I'm not sure of the exact process, and they would be a better help to you. (Address removed for privacy reasons.)

S: That would be great. Thanks for your time!

(I turn to leave.)

N: Wait! One more thing you might want to know: for the Faerie Paint Brush and a few others, they ask us to bless the fountain water. A fire faerie blesses the Fire Paint Brush, and a grey faerie has to bless a Grey Paint Brush, of course.

S: Oh! Thank you, that's very interesting. What kind of faerie blesses the Faerie Paint Brush?

N: One of each type. I also heard Fyora herself blesses Royal Paint Brushes.

S: Well, that makes sense. (I chuckle at my own marvelous wit.) Thank you for your time.

N: It was no problem.

After that interview, I headed down to Alice and Bob's residence. These two are a pet-and-owner pair who have been living in Faerieland since the discovery of Neopia.

Sync: Hi! I'm writing an article about the creation of paint brushes, and Naia told me about you two. Would you mind answering a few questions?

Alice: Not as long as they're reasonable. Here, sit down. (She shows me to a chair while she and Bob, a faerie Shoyru, sit on a couch.)

S: Alright. Well, would you mind describing the process of making a paint brush?

Bob: Most paint brushes are made differently, so we'll start with the basic red, blue, yellow, and green brushes. Those are simple—you take a plain wooden brush, paint of the color you want, Rainbow Fountain water, and a few other ingredients we'd rather not reveal.

A: Trade secrets, you understand.

S: Yes, of course. And then?

A: You have to let the brushes sit in the paint color. If it doesn't sit long enough, the color will wash off eventually; if it sits too long, the color may never come off, even if you try to paint it another color. You need to let the paint—which is, of course, magic—bind to the bristles. It usually takes one to two weeks for this to happen.

B: Colors like striped, split, rainbow, and speckled work the same way, only with more than one color added. With Glowing Paint Brushes, you have to add a bioluminescent powder.

S: What about silver and gold?

B: You just substitute the metal for the ink.

S: Hmm. Interesting. What about, say, Snow Paint Brushes, Maractite Paint Brushes, and others like those?

A: Made of different materials, you mean? For the Maractite Paint Brush, you just carve the brush out of Maractite and mix in Maractite powder with the water and other ingredients. Snow is a little trickier; you have to mix snow with the Rainbow Fountain water and other things, then pack it in a brush mold. The ribbon is for show. The same thing goes for Woodland and Relic Paint Brushes. Woodland Paint Brushes are carved from very old—at least a century old—trees, and Relic Paint Brushes have to be carved from the stone of important landmarks.

B: There are also some colors that we need the Faeries to bless, such as Fire Paint Brushes.

S: Yes, Naia told me about those. What about, say, Baby Paint Brushes?

B: You have to take a old wooden kid's toy—it has to have been played with by a very young Neopet—and carve that into a brush. Then you can either get Boochi to zap the water, which isn't the best idea—I was a baby for a while after I tried that—or you can mix the water with milk along with all the other secret ingredients. It's sort of the same with Disco brushes, but you just mix the water with ground-up pieces of disco ball.

S: This all sounds pretty far-fetched.

A: We know—there doesn't seem to be any way most of this could work, really, but it manages to anyway.

S: What about island, Tyrannian, Darigan, and other paint brushes that are more location- or theme-related?

B: We actually don't make those. I suggest you talk to the people in those locations, but they can be very secretive. Not to mention violent.

A: Mystery Island is probably your best bet. Talk to Charlie* at (address removed). I think he makes the brushes there.

S: Alright! That's all the questions I had. Thank you for your time!

A: It was no problem.

Taking Alice's advice, I headed to Mystery Island. The address was in Geraptiku, and it took a lot of searching the forests around the city before I found it. What I thought was a house turned out to be a crude shelter in the ruins. Charlie, a young-looking Island Kougra, pounced on me before I even saw him; despite this rocky start, he invited me into his home after I explained why I was there.

Sync: I was told to come here by other Paint Brush makers, who said you made the Mystery Island brushes. How do you do that, exactly?

Charlie: (His tail is lashing, and he looks around nervously.) There is a pond near here. I won't show you where, but one day a rainbow touched down on it. I lived near the pond, and I saw it happen—the moment the rainbow hit the water, it turned bright green and flowers appeared in it. I dipped my paw in the water—I was yellow then—and my paw turned a different color for a few seconds. Then the ink dripped off.

S: So that's how you realized this could make paint brushes?

C: Yeah. I asked around until I found Alice and Bob, and they showed me how to make brushes. I've been selling them ever since.

I wrapped up my interview with Charlie and went to make one last stop. It seemed reasonable to conclude that other "themed" brushes such as Pirate, Darigan, and Christmas were also made by a Rainbow Pool in a specific location. (How exactly this would work in Maraqua, I had no idea—perhaps something similar to the fishing vortex?) However, I still had a few questions that brought me back to Alice and Bob's house.

Sync: I know I kept you for a while last time, but I just can't figure out how you could make Sketch, Ghost, Transparent, or Zombie Paint Brushes. (Alice laughs.)

Alice: Sketch Paint Brushes are pretty simple—you just draw a paint brush and put it in the Rainbow Fountain water mixture, no ink required. For the others...

Bob: We've never made those. This Ghost Usul shows up once a week and trades us the brushes for NP. I tried to follow her once, but...

A: He didn't come back until three days later, exhausted and hungry.

B: And I still don't remember what happened.

S: Wow... that's quite a story. I guess you guys don't recommend me trying to find this mysterious Usul, huh?

A: Definitely not.

Well, reporters will go to any length to get information. Thankfully, I am not a real reporter, just a Neopian that enjoys writing. I didn't pursue the topic any further, and we quickly wrapped up the interview.

Well, there you have it: a quick, hopefully informative article on the origin of paint brushes. Now, good luck finding one for yourself!

*Names changed for privacy reasons. No one wants to be bothered by people asking for free brushes.

 
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