Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 20.

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Interplay of Persian Art & History is presented in this collection of original hand-drawn art as a deck of playing cards.

IMPORTANT:  Shipping on all rewards is included for the U.S. and Canada supporters. If you reside in Canada you don't have to pay extra for shipping charges.

Thank you for visiting my project. I am Diba Salimi the designer and artist behind “Surena”. Through this project I am hoping to make my art accessible by designing products that play parts in your lives.

/ ’soorenä’ / The heroic one, Avestan sūra (strong, exalted); Also known as Rustaham was son of Arash, commander in chief, next to king and the head of diplomatic missions. You can learn more about him by visiting the website.

I had three sources of inspiration for drawing these portraits:

First, historic records of Persian legends. I've researched etchings, archaeological images, remaining statues, books and stories of these people to picture their appearances.

Second, Iran’s most precious form of art: Persian rugs. When I was a child my lovely grandmother sat me by her rug frame (called “daar”) and taught me how to weave a rug and read patterns. I've been bewitched by that art since.

Third, my love and passion for this inherited art and history. It excites me to finally find my original style of drawing. I constantly seek opportunities to make this art accessible through my designs.

   

Each suit is marked by a Tazhib element which is also used in Persian rug patterns. Each of them depicts a unique time in Persian History. In your deck you will find:

  • Spade: Achaemenid
  • Club: Sassanian
  • Heart: Zand
  • Diamond: Safavids

In the video, you might have noticed that I mistakenly mention 'Abbasids'. Unfortunately I found out about my mistake after the video production was completed and couldn't fix it. I wanted to clarify that Diamonds represent "Safavids" dynasty.

 
 
 

Design of Jokers is based on a traditional Eslimi element called “Botteh”.

Detailed with intricate patterns, the two color theme backs has luxurious looks with gold accents.  

Drawing these portraits was a year-long journey of going through buried tales in history books. I wanted to share my process and inspirations with you, so I designed a book to compliment the collection. The book tells short stories of each of the face-card characters. My goal is to have these stories constructed in a casual but mystic tone to achieve a level of stickiness not found in typical story books. 

In Partnership with Ramin Takloo

I am very excited to announce my partnership with Prof. Ramin Takloo-Bighash in writing the Surena story book.

Ramin Takloo-Bighash is a professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in 2001, and subsequently taught at Princeton from 2001 to 2007 before moving to Chicago. Other than mathematics, he is interested in literature, history, and music. His other ongoing projects include a translation of Shahram Shaydai's "Laughing in the burning house" (with Amy Grupp) from Persian to English, and a novella about his experiences growing up in the south of Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. He is also a member of the Middle-East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago. He and his family live in Evanston, IL.

 (Renderings of the book below, contain place holder texts and does not display the actual stories of the book. Final writing and editing will be finished towards the end of the campaign)

 For higher resolution click here

For higher resolution click here

Design of the front and back are from Persian rugs, but the inspiration for the sides comes from the common practice in the industry where the designers/artisans leave their signature at the end of the rug where the loose strands are. The signed end usually indicates rug's city of origin and designer. From the sides the boxes look like this:

 Other perspectives:

  • 52 cards
  • 2 different Jokers
  • Printed with USPCC - Bicycle grade, MAGIC finish 
  • 2 back colors, Gold & Indigo  
  • The Surena Book

For my 10 biggest supporters I will hand draw, sign and frame one of your selected characters from the deck.

Special edition prints of drawings will also be offered as Rewards. These prints will be in 11 x 17 size. I will sign the back of these prints upon your request. 

The tazhib, calligraphy and selected poetry around the art is conceptual and may vary during final painting and production.

Surena on Manoto TV (in Farsi) :  

How to Back Surena Tutorial

 
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Many thanks to two of my favorite talents:

Video : Sarunas Daugirdas – www.elevantproductions.com

Music : Kc Daugirdas – www.daugirdasmusic.com

Also thanks to:

Mi-Te Printing of Chicago: for helping me print and make prototypes for this project

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

My goal is to have my cards printed through United States Playing Card Company by March 2014 and complete my shipments in April. However, USPC have warned me about possible delays as they have a lot of orders in line. I delayed my launching date to make sure I have finished designing all the cards, test printed and made them ready for print to avoid delays that might be caused from my side. I will keep my backers updated with timing and expected delivery dates as soon as it is funded.

FAQ

  • 1) You can choose number of decks, bricks, or books you want to add to your basic pledge. Look up the asking price for any number of add on item in the add-on table above (consider international shipping cost if residing outside of the U.S. or Canada)

    2) If you are requesting for something not easy to configure via add-on table, please message me personally. I'll try to help you choose and add the rewards you want.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Thank you for supporting my project. You will receive a very special thank you email from me as a token of my appreciation.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $9 or more
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    50 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD GOLD BACK SURENA :: You'll own (1) ONE gold back Surena deck. Domestic shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $9 or more
    You selected

    50 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD INDIGO BACK SURENA :: You'll own (1) ONE indigo back Surena deck. Domestic shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $11 or more
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    36 backers

    (1) ONE INDIGO BACK SURENA:: You'll own (1) ONE indigo back Surena deck. Domestic shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $11 or more
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    7 backers

    (1) ONE GOLD BACK SURENA:: You'll own (1) gold back Surena deck. Domestic shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $16 or more
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    39 backers Limited (61 left of 100)

    SPECIAL EARLY BIRD INDIGO BACK SURENA + THE BOOK:: The only reward that offers the book with a single Surena deck. You will recieve (1) ONE companion book + (1) ONE indigo back Surena Deck

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $13 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $16 or more
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    11 backers Limited (89 left of 100)

    SPECIAL EARLY BIRD GOLD BACK SURENA + THE BOOK:: The only reward that offers the book with a single Surena deck. You will recieve (1) ONE companion book + (1) ONE gold back Surena Deck

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $13 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $20 or more
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    112 backers

    (2) TWO SURENA DECKS:: You'll receive (2) Surena decks, one of each color. Domestic shipping included. Thank you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $13 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $25 or more
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    119 backers

    (2) SURENA DECKS + THE BOOK:: The perfect package! You'll receive (2) two Surena decks, one of each color AND the Surena Book of tales. Domestic shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $13 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $45 or more
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    2 backers

    (3) SURENA DECKS + (3) BOOKS:: great option for gift givers. You'll receive TWO INDIGO back deck and ONE GOLD back deck + THREE book of tales. Please message me if you need all decks in one color. Domestic Shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $45 or more
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    2 backers

    (3) SURENA DECKS + (3) BOOKS:: great option for gift givers. You'll receive TWO GOLD back deck and ONE INDIGO back deck + THREE book of tales. Please message me if you need all decks in one color. Domestic Shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $46 or more
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    6 backers

    (2) DECKS + THE BOOK + POSTER:: You will receive TWO Surena decks, one of each color. ONE Surena Book + ONE Poster of a face-card character of your choice from the deck. I will personally sign your poster upon your request. (Please look at the images to the left for reference). Domestic shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $50 or more
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    30 backers

    (4) SURENA DECKS + (2) BOOKS:: good for a double deck gift givers. You'll receive TWO GOLD back decks and TWO INDIGO back decks & 2 Surena books. Domestic shipping included. Thanks you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $18 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $65 or more
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    11 backers Limited (89 left of 100)

    UNCUT SURENA + (2) DECKS + THE BOOK:: the uncut sheet of Surena cards is a piece of art to frame. You will receive an uncut sheet of Surena (not framed) + 2 Surena decks, one of each color & The companion book. Domestic shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $18 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $75 or more
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    12 backers

    (6) SURENA DECKS + (3) BOOKS :: You'll receive THREE GOLD back deck, THREE INDIGO back decks and THREE Surena books. Domestic shipping inlcuded. Thank you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $120 or more
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    5 backers

    ONE BRICK OF SURENA DECKS:: A brick of Surena, 6 of each color. Please message me if you need them all in one color. If you need more that one brick, message me and I can make a reward for upto 10 bricks. US and Canada shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $28 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $120 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    ONE BRICK OF SURENA DECKS:: You'll receive (1) TEN decks, 6 of each color. Please message me if you need them all in one color. If you need more that one brick, message me and I can make a reward for upto 10 bricks. US and Canada shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $28 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $240 or more
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    3 backers

    (2) TWO BRICK OF SURENA DECKS:: one brick of each color. US and Canada shipping included. Thank You!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $56 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $425 or more
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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    FRAMED HAND-DRAWN ART + (2) DECKS + THE BOOK:: Thank you for your huge support! I will personally hand draw ONE of the face-card characters of your choice, signed and framed. (please look at the images of the rewards section to the left). You will also receive (2) TWO decks, one each color with their companion book.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $40 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $1,200 or more
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    0 backers

    10 bricks of Surena. 6 of each color. Message me if you need all in one color. International backer be sure to add the shipping

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $200 USD to ship outside the US
Funding period

- (40 days)