What's in a "Tarot Collectibles" Tarot?
Let me take you on a trip into what goes into the making of our cards...
Traditionally Illustrated Art
Traditionally Illustrated Art
Since the age of 13 I’ve been illustrating probably close to every single day, with the exception of times when I’ve been away from home. (And even then I usually take a sketch book). That’s about 20 years creating art.
No matter what it is, I'll have a go at bringing it to life. If my partner Christine’s concept for a card calls for a horse, I’m going to be drawing a horse. If the concept calls for an army of terracotta soldiers, then it's terracotta soldiers! Occasionally I find some of these things much harder to draw than people, but I’ll tackle it anyway. Our Eight of Swords called for a giant black widow spider. I always tackle it head on, whether I feel it will be difficult or not.
Unless we're creating a digital / photo montage work, like the Fantastical Felines Lenormand for example, our deck imagery is illustrated from scratch, beginning with concept, then pencils, inks and finally colours.
Our tarot decks take anywhere between a year to two years to produce so you're getting a year's worth of all new vibrantly coloured, hand drawn artwork, with a skill that's taken over twenty years to arrive at. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot to learn, and I intend to learn it, but with every illustrated tarot deck we create, we personally feel you are getting our very best.
For the most part we've chosen to self publish because it frees us from being told what we can and can't include in our decks. In the future we may seek publication for later works, but for now we are happy with the freedom to pretty much draw and depict anything we want to. That means that you're buying truely one of a kind type tarot decks unhindered by the decisions of those who aren't directly involved in the project itself.
Don't get us wrong. Publishers can be great to work with and they also have the added bonus of getting your work out there in a much more dramatic way than trying to promote the work yourself but as you might imagine, working under a publisher is naturally going to stifle creative freedom. This should be no surprise to anyone. If it’s too risqué, they will, at the very least, ask you to edit the product. This could be due to nudity, violence or other offensive imagery, and sometimes needs to be changed for a specific culture, country or market.
Thankfully with the advancement of Print on Demand printers, it has allowed the freedom for artists to be able to publish their own work, thereby allowing the public to decide, not the publisher, what works visually and what doesn’t.
This is why independent publishers, well, independent anything, is a breath of fresh air for diversity and creativity.
The drawback to this, of course, is that your work is then much more open to criticism because it hasn’t been filtered and pasteurized the way much of the “officially” published works of art are. The Simply Deep Tarot, printed by Schiffer Publishing, is a great deck and one I was proud to illustrate but you can tell the very different style and theme of art between Simply Deep and Twisted Tarot Tales.
We're now working on the Kiddy Katz Tarot which strips away the detail found in Twisted Tarot Tales to give a much more cartoony look. Everything has been "cute-ified" for lack of a better word. Removing much of the rendering makes for a less time consuming project, yet one that I feel will really be successful because it's a much more softer approach to Tarot storytelling than the much harder graphic Twisted Tarot Tales.
Thanks for reading!