A custom deck of playing cards featuring compelling fine art and creative photography artwork. Printed by the USPCC. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on March 19, 2013.
About this project
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My Body Art and Creative Photography
I've been doing photography since 1995, body art and bodypainting since 2003, but in 2007, I started to focus exclusively on creating art using image projection techniques onto live models, to make what I call lightpaintings. I experimented with different techniques and methods for about a year and a half until I finally settled on the method I use now.
Throughout my time with photography, I was never satisfied with just photographing what was already there. I wanted to make something that didn't exist and then photograph that. The concept of image projections isn't new and in fact photographers have been using projecting images onto people for decades. But for me, a lightpainting is more than just projecting random images onto beautiful models. I create the images to be projected myself, and then I do all the photography myself. So this lightpainting process is a multi-layered endeavor that spans different artistic outlets, and at the end of it, I have images that couldn't have been created by any single method alone.
I create the projection images in several different ways: from scratch using various computer graphics programs, hand-drawn or hand-painted, or photographed from real-world objects and textures.
The SurrealScapes Playing Card Deck
I want to cast this artwork into a form that is accessible to a wide audience and can also be utilitarian. So what better way to do that than with playing cards? The SurrealScapes deck is a deck of playing cards that features images from the Lumens collection of my portfolio, located here:
It took me 3 years, from January 2009 to March 2012, to create the images for this deck.
For the court cards, I designed two-way versions from the base images of my artwork.
I want this card deck to appeal to fans of fine art photography, as well as serious card players, cardists, and magicians. So the deck has been designed to give at least some of the features desired by each of those groups while still retaining the theme and look of the deck. I haven't been able to include everything for everyone, but I hope I've been able to create a deck that is both beautiful to look at as well as functional for game play, cardistry, and magic performance.
The deck consists of 52 suit cards, 2 jokers, 1 double backer card, and 1 ad card.
The deck will be printed by the United Stated Playing Card Company on standard Bicycle stock using their Air-Cushion Finish. Made in the USA.
The pips are custom-designed and done in two colors to facilitate easy recognition during gameplay while not overshadowing the artwork on the cards.
The spot cards are one-way and the court cards are two-way, to better distinguish the courts from the spot cards.
The back is two-way and perfectly rotationally symmetric.
Several pledge levels include art prints in the rewards, and you can also add on art prints to any pledge level. You can choose any image from the images in the Lumens collection of the SurrealScapes website, found here:
Note that these are the native images in my portfolio, which I adapted for use on the cards. If you order art prints, you will receive the images as they appear on my website, not as they appear on the cards.
Art prints are available in either unframed paper prints, or what are called MetalPrints. Paper prints are available in 8" x 12" and 12" x 18" sizes, and MetalPrints are available in 16" x 24" size.
The paper prints are printed on Kodak ENDURA paper, which is a top-shelf paper that has a glossy finish and a pearlescent appearance that makes my images look almost like holograms. The bright colors and textures in the image against the black background seem to pop right off the paper. Note that these are not posters: they are not printed on a printing press on low-quality stock. These are prints on photographic paper that are made by exposing the paper to light with a digital enlarger. As such these prints will last for decades when properly framed.
MetalPrints are an exciting way to showcase art. A MetalPrint is made by infusing dyes directly onto specially-coated aluminum sheets. This literally is printing on metal. The metal is then coated with a high-gloss protective finish, and a durable float mount is added with a center mounting hole, making the whole thing ready to hang and display without any frames, glass, or hanging wire. When mounted, the MetalPrint floats about 3/4" off the wall. As with the Kodak ENDURA paper prints, this MetalPrint process works brilliantly with my images, giving them a richness and depth that cannot be achieved any other way.
There is a pledge tier for uncut sheets, and they are also available as an add-on to any pledge level.
An uncut sheet is a sheet of the entire card deck as it comes off the press before it has been cut into the individual cards. These sheets measure 22" x 26" and make a great way to showcase the artwork in this deck. Below are images of what the uncut sheets would look like.
To see high-res versions of the uncut sheets, click the following links:
Pledging and Rewards
The reward tiers contain pledge levels for 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 decks, as well as tier for 1 full brick of decks. For the 1-, 2-, and 3-deck pledge tiers, there are two layers of "early bird" pricing. Get in early on the project and you get to have the benefit of reduced pricing for your reward!
All pledges have US shipping included. Shipping to Canada and the rest of world is an additional charge, each of which are specified in the reward descriptions. If you want your reward shipped outside the US, please include the corresponding additional amount in your pledge.
Please enter your pledge carefully. There have been cases on Kickstarter where people have added one too many zeroes to their pledges, e.g. pledging $2500 instead of 250, or using a comma in the amount to signify a decimal point (this is common with our European backers). Mistakes like these result in all sorts of problems for the project and can even put the entire project at risk if the mistake is large enough.
So please be very careful when you enter your pledge. I will monitor all the pledges to help catch any mistakes, and if I see a pledge that looks unusually high, I will contact the backer to make sure it was entered correctly. However, if the project is nearing the end date and an mistaken pledge is entered, there may not be enough time between when I contact the backer and the backer receives the message and adjusts the pledge, so... PLEDGE CAREFULLY! ;-)
You can add uncut sheets or art prints to any pledge level, including the $1 level. If you wish to support this project and are only interested in art prints or uncut sheets, you may pledge at the $1 level and then order any add-ons you like.
Please use the following menu to determine the amount to add to your pledge, and at the end of the campaign I'll send out a survey where you can indicate what items you have added on. In the case of the art prints, you can specify which images from the Lumens collection of the SurrealScapes website you wish to have on your prints. If you order multiple prints, you can have each print be a different image. The link again is here: images.surrealscapes.net/Artwork/Lumens
These add-on prices are in addition to the amounts listed in the reward tiers. You can add as many add-ons to your pledge as you want, but to maintain transparency and keep it simple and fair for everyone, extra decks are not permitted as add-ons.
The prices in the add-on table are deliberately made in non-whole dollar amounts so that at the end of the campaign I can have an extra indication of who has ordered add-ons.
What the Funds are For
The funds will be used for production of the decks, production of any art prints that are ordered, and packaging and shipping costs of all the rewards, in addition to the cuts that Kickstarter and Amazon take right off the top.
I'm using the following estimates to determine the delivery date for the rewards:
- Campaign Runtime: 5 weeks.
- Amazon Funds Processing: 2 weeks
- Artwork Submittal and Prepress at USPC: 1 week. This should be concurrent with Amazon funds processing, but let's just assume it happens serially.
- Deck Production: 4-6 weeks. This comes from the USPC and I'm entirely at their mercy on this. If they get it right the first time, then it would be 4-6 weeks. But they don't always get it right the first time, as some other Kickstarter card deck projects have experienced, and thus the production time could increase significantly, i.e. much longer than 6 weeks because they would have had to redo the entire run.
- Deck Shipment Time from USPCC to me: 1 week.
- Reward Fulfillment and Shipment to Backers: 3-6 weeks.
- Reward Delivery Time: varies depending on location, but I am going to assume 2-4 weeks.
I would rather underpromise and overdeliver than the other way around, so I'm going to assume the higher number case on everything (aside from a screwup at the USPCC) and calculate a delivery date accordingly. Expect to receive your reward between 17 and 25 weeks after the campaign ends.
I will keep everyone updated after the campaign on the status of all the relevant milestones for this project.
It's just me running this project, and I have a regular day job and a family, so I will be using a fulfillment company to send out the card decks. Exactly how many they ship versus how many I ship myself will depend on the amount of backers at each reward tier. If there are only a few backers at a particular tier, I'll ship those myself, otherwise I'll have the fulfillment company do it. Using the fulfillment company costs me extra money, but it will ensure that everyone will receive their rewards in a timely manner.
For the art prints, those will be shipped separately from the card decks. They will be drop-shipped directly to you from the printing lab and it only takes the lab a week or so to create the order. As soon as the campaign closes and I receive the funding, I can start shipping out the art prints, so you will definitely receive any art prints you pledged for before you receive your card decks.
The uncut sheets get delivered at the same time as the card decks, and I will ship the uncut sheets myself when I receive them.
So... where's the T-shirt?
I looked into making a T-shirt but I am assuming that it wouldn't be an item of much interest to anyone. Since my art is comprised of photographs, the T-shirt would have to be printed in full color, which would make it pretty pricey, as compared to a shirt printed in only one or two colors. But if there's a lot of interest in a T-shirt, I can look into designing one and include it as an add-on to be unlocked in a stretch goal.
Notes for International Backers
The United States Postal Service has been and still is the least expensive method to ship card decks around the world, but they significantly increased their international shipping rates on January 27, 2013. Prices to ship outside the US have gone up several-fold since then. I want to keep the prices for international backers as low as possible, but I also need to make sure that I don't run out of money in shipping costs because that would mean bad news for everyone. I did extensive research into how much it would cost to ship the different rewards to different countries and settled on add-on prices for international shipping that would just barely cover costs.
Shipping rates are different from the US to Canada vs. the US to the rest of the world, so I have split the rates out accordingly. Each pledge level provides the amount that should be added to cover shipping to your particular part of the world.
Thank you for your support!
Please help me make this deck a reality!
Risks and challenges
I believe I have covered all the bases with respect to all aspects of this project:
I have done extensive analysis on the financial aspect on this project and structured the rewards accordingly so I don't run out of money and have to delay or even suspend delivery of rewards to backers.
I have been in contact with the USPCC about this project since September 2012 and I've talked to them so much that they now know me by my first name. A mockup deck has been produced so the artwork has already been through one pass with them, and I have a prototype deck in hand from which to evaluate the design.
I have been contact with the fulfillment company since May 2012 and have had many discussions about pricing and shipping and handling issues.
I have been working with the lab that does the art prints since April 2011 and I have direct experience with the quality and timing of the products they provide.
Mistakenly-entered pledges are a risk to the project if the mistake is large enough. I will be monitoring all the pledges and will attempt to contact the backer if I see a pledges that looks funny. But mistakes made very close to the end of the project are a high risk.
The other major risk is with the USPCC itself. I am entirely at their mercy with respect to the schedule of production as well as the quality of product. They have made some serious production errors on other Kickstarter card deck projects which have resulted in an entire production run needing to be redone. I hope that doesn't happen here, but it is indeed a risk.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (35 days)