My name is Dan and I started creating The Hide Tarot soon after my dad died in 2018. I have enjoyed art all my life and I was inspired by the challenge of interpreting the archetypal imagery and concepts found in tarot. I have never been a spiritual or religious person and I still wouldn’t class myself as either. However, seeing the way my dad’s life changed as his health deteriorated made me understand how we truly cannot ever be ready for what the future holds. Before my dad’s diagnosis, I didn’t really think that much about the overall journey of life or worry about the future, but now I do. And that is why I enjoy tarot so much. It helps me, for a brief moment, feel like I can simplify and understand my life.
Through using my tarot cards and reflecting on how they mirrored the current state of my life, I developed a very personal and intuitive reaction to the cards. The Hide Tarot is the physical manifestation of these feelings. I took these ideas and tried to express them through symbols and imagery in a way that makes sense to me. Even though The Hide Tarot is a very personal work, created over months and months, I hope people can use it in their own ways and feel as connected to it as I do.
The overall mission for The Hide Tarot was to create a deck that could be used, both, as a standard deck or as a series of abstract images and ideas, almost like an oracle deck. To achieve this, each card is given a subject (eg the Mask) in addition to a traditional tarot card number (eg the 6 of Pentacles). This applies to the major arcana too (eg the Moon is assigned the Bull). The court cards, similarly, each have their own subjects, giving people the choice whether or not to gender them. The idea is that these changes will give people the freedom to use this deck in whichever they wish. If someone enjoys and is familiar with the standard tarot deck, they can bear in mind each of the cards’ standard tarot equivalents. However, if someone wants to disregard the standard structure of tarot, they are free to do so. Furthermore, someone could entirely ignore the context provided in this book and use their own intuition and knowledge of symbols to read from the cards alone.
As someone interested in symbolism, mythology and archetypal images, it has been really exciting to find subjects that can represent the varied themes of the tarot. I've drawn from various mythologies and religions as well as art history, pop culture and my own personal reactions to the ideas presented in the standard tarot.
In terms of actually creating the cards, it has been an almost entirely traditional process with some minor exceptions. I sketched and painted, used pencils, pens, inks and watercolours, and, eventually, digitally assembled each card.
I wanted the deck to have an eclectic look; this may be a bit of a stretch, but, in my head, I imagined each image to look like it could be found in a catalogue, detailing the various interesting creatures and objects found in a big, mysterious house (or something!). Even though I knew I wanted these cards to be greyscale, I didn’t want any of the cards to be overly dark or intimidating, even those that represent the more moody concepts. I personally think that tarot should be used in a calm, exploratory way and so I wanted the images to be engaging and pleasing, rather than threatening.
Here is a sneak peak of all the cards in the suit of wands!
I really want to make this product as good as it can be and so I’m going to set a new stretch goal of between 3 and 4 thousand pounds. We’re almost at two thousand so I think it’s possible we could get there!!
The first part of the stretch goal is this: I have been approached by a company who is offering to print my cards at a much higher quality and… get this.. with sexy metallic edges! I think that, not only will this be really really cool, but also it will make the cards last longer and be more hard-wearing. However, it is a bit more expensive and so the stretch goal would be necessary to pay for it!
Additionally, I'm going to be adding 80 ish new illustrations to the book! One new illustration for each card plus a few more! I have started to show these on my instagram in the past few days (@hide.tarot) and now it’s official! I’m really excited about it! Let me know what you think!
Lastly, and most importantly (I think), I just wanted to say something that’s been on my mind. This project, for me, has been more than just an artistic endeavour. It genuinely has been a healing process for me. I’ve written about it briefly in a few places but I lost my dad last year to terminal brain cancer. He was a huge support to me, a truly impressive and irreplaceable man and friend. The creation of this deck has, in part, been a re-evaluation of what I think life is about, the journey of it all. I’ve been working through all the cards, their symbolism and imagery, and reflecting on my own life, my own struggles. All of these memories, painful or otherwise, have definitely given this project a distinct flavour, in my opinion and so I think I’m going to make this a larger part of the project. I absolutely didn’t want to do that at first because I didn’t want this to be “The sad dead dad tarot” but I have had some really encouraging and eye-opening messages which have made me realise that truth and sincere emotions are what make people connect to a project like this.
So, if I reach my stretch goal of 3-4 thousand, I’m going to be able to donate a portion of my own money to the hospice my dad went to. You're not allowed to use kickstarter as a charity so I thought I'd make that clear! By raising funds through kickstarter it will give me some financial freedom with which I will be able to donate my own personal money. So I really would like to make this project a little bit of a dedication to my dad and to the hospice. I’m not sure how much I will be able to give yet but the more I raise, the more that amount will be!
I am gonna be asking you guys to share my page even more soon because now I feel like I’m not only doing this to share my work with you, but also to repay a debt I feel like I owe!
I decided to name my tarot after the bird-watching hides my friends and I like to go to. They are small, wooden huts, surrounded by marshlands, where you can sit and look out at the view from a secluded, hidden place. I want this tarot deck to bring a sense of of stasis, of peace, to those who use it and, so, I think it’s apt to name the cards after a place has the same effect on me. Furthermore, both hides and tarot cards give those who use them a sense of foresight and allow the observation of the world from a safe, quiet place.
I've been working on an accompanying book featuring an introduction to each and every card, some brief thoughts on tarot itself, a few of my favourite spreads and various concept art. This has taken about as long as the cards themselves and has been a constantly evolving process.
What the kickstarter will be used for:
This kickstarter is going to be used to raise enough funds to get the cards printed, premium rigid boxes made (no flimsy tuck-boxes for The Hide Tarot!!), the handbook printed and bound and then get all of that available for purchase. I'm a student so I haven't been able to focus on this full-time but, hopefully, with you guys' help, these ideas in my head will become a really nice quality product!
I've never used kickstarter before so I'm not sure if I've done everything right but hopefully everything will be ok! I feel really excited to share this project with everyone and I really appreciate any help or interest I get along the way!
Thank you all so much for checking out my kickstarter and those who decide to support The Hide Tarot! For more frequent updates and behind-the-scenes info, please check out The Hide Tarot on instagram! @hide.tarot (https://www.instagram.com/hide.tarot/?hl=en)
Risks and challenges
I suppose the main challenge will be workload as I will be the sole person working on this project. But I'm a hard worker so I'm pretty sure I can do it! And, of course, if there aren't enough people interested in this project, I won't be able to afford the production costs. But hopefully, that won't happen!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)