Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 19, 2012.

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The Urban Tarot Deck is an illustration series that is nearly 10 years in the making. It is about magic, truth and the city.

New bonus rewards!

  • If we manage to reach $3000 over goal before the project deadline, I will be including a custom-designed silk tarot spreadcloth along with every reward level from $65 and up. The textile pattern will be one I design specifically to accompany the Urban Tarot, and these spreadcloths will only be available for backers of this Kickstarter project.
  • If we reach $5000 over goal ($30K total), in addition to the spreadcloths, I will be including an embroidered velvet drawstring bag along with every single deck I send out. The bags will each have "The Urban Tarot" embroidered on the front in silver thread.

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I'm Robert Scott, and I am building a tarot deck.

I began working on the Urban Tarot deck in early 2003 as part of a project with Nick Fortugno. Originally, the deck was planned to be a cooperative project between four artists, and would be released as a tie-in to a roleplaying game that Nick was writing. The project never quite panned out, but the work I created was some of the best work I had done.

Over the years, I've presented those initial pieces at shows and conventions and sold prints of the completed images and gotten really positive feedback. But the most commonly asked question has always been "When can I buy the finished deck?" And always my answer has been a sheepish "I don't really know."

That changes today.

The realities of working as a commercial illustrator/graphic designer are such that I rarely get to devote time to a project that isn't connected to client work. For the past few years I've held onto the dream that somehow I'd find time in the margins to work on a piece here and there and somehow scrape together the money to see it through. But it just wasn't going to happen on its own, not while I still had to make client work my first priority.

And so I have changed the playing field. Now, I work for you. I quit my full time job building websites at the beginning of this year, and I'm doing whatever it takes to see this dream through. If I don't...this will always remain the one that got away, and I don't like the way that sounds, do you?

The funding goal I'm trying to reach will include printing the first set of decks, the large art prints and the guidebooks, none of which are insubstantial costs. It will also cover my own (hopefully quite limited) living expenses for the time it takes for me to turn around 61 new pieces of art. I'm aiming to complete all this art within 6 months of getting the project funded, which will mean a pretty intense full-time production schedule, but not an impossible one. I'm a little terrified to be perfectly honest, but deeply excited as well.

I'm offering a fairly interesting variety of rewards, so make sure you read through them all. In addition to the deck, I'll be putting together a short guidebook to the set, that will show each card and contain a description of its meaning and how the images evolved. Each card has a story, and I want to be able to tell those stories to you. Several of the models for existing cards have offered to provide a personal experience where you'll get to meet them and learn about their amazing talents as well as own the art they helped inspire. And finally, you can be a part of the deck yourself - there are limited number of cards remaining that will feature people centrally on them and you can be a part of the set by becoming a model.

So if you've ever said to me or to yourself "I'd buy one of those decks if they ever went on sale" today you have the chance to prove it. If enough of you are willing to put your money where your mouth is and preorder a deck, we'll see the full 78-card set by the end of 2012. If I don't reach my goal in contributions, the set probably won't ever see the light of day.

Thank you being a part of making it happen.

The Deck So Far

Below I've included a sample of a few of the cards that already exist, specifically the ones that relate to the rewards I'm offering. You can see all 27 cards online here: http://www.robertscottart.com/projects/the-urban-tarot/

FAQ

  • A few people have asked - if they were to pose for one of the cards, when would the photo shoot be? The answer is basically, that I will work around your schedule. I plan to be working on the deck from mid-April through about mid-October, but there's no set order to the cards. If you're thinking about one of the top-tier rewards that include a spot in the deck, let me know when in that span makes the most sense for you, and I will plan accordingly.

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  • Yes, certainly. Kickstarter does not handle multiple rewards terribly well, but there is no limit on either reward (I will be printing as many as necessary when the time comes, and I expect to have extra). Please add $40 to your pledge for each additional deck you'd like beyond the first, and $25 for each additional guidebook. Then make sure to send me a message directly to let me know you've done so.

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  • I will be printing a physical book to accompany the deck. I considered a smaller insert that would fit inside the box, but I'd actually rather deliver something more substantial, even if it needs to be packaged separately. So while the details will not be finalized until the set is complete, my plans are for a small (8.5" x 5.5" or so) full-color book, with all 78 card images along with my own interpretations and descriptions of each and the story of how the entire series came to be. Plus how ever many pages it takes to thank all of my backers of course!

    UPDATE - The guidebook will also include an introductory fiction piece written by novelist Marie Brennan!

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  • Domestic shipping within the U.S. is included within the prices set for all the reward levels. If you are going to be shipping to an international address, I would appreciate if you could add an additional $10 to cover the additional shipping costs, but I will not be making this a requirement.

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  • If you are purchasing one of the top-tier rewards that includes modeling for one of the cards, I will need to be in the same place and time as you. Ideally, I'd like to set up a shoot here in NY, at a time that makes sense for you. If that's difficult for whatever reason, I am happy to come to you, if you're somewhere on the eastern seaboard that I can reach from NY by bus or train. If you're further away than that...well, I'm happy to talk to you, maybe there's something we can figure out but it may not be feasible. As to the $500 level rewards - most are site-specific, and will require that you find a way to get to either NY or Boston as the case may be, although Jessica Hammer's class can theoretically be conducted remotely.

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  • If you're just finding the project now, and are dissapointed that it's already been funded, don't worry! I'll be printing many more decks in this first run than are promised to my backers, and I'll be putting them up for sale to whomever is interested. If you'd like to be informed when they're available, the best thing to do is to sign up for email updates at http://www.robertscottart.com/projects/the-urban-tarot/ or follow my posts on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/robertscottart. I'll be notifying people through both channels as soon as I have a store set up on my site and am ready to take orders for the completed deck.

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346
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$33,595
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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    32 backers

    My personal thanks, made physical in the form of a single signed card from the completed set, along with online access to a full set of downloadable wallpapers featuring the Major Arcana. Additionally, I'll include your name in the catalog, as one of the contributors who made the set possible.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    18 backers

    The Book. A complete guidebook to the Urban Tarot deck, with full color images of each card and a description of both the meanings behind it and the process that went into it, signed by the artist. Plus, access to the online wallpapers and a mention in the catalog as above.

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  • Pledge $65 or more
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    218 backers

    The Deck Itself. One finished, packaged, fully usable tarot deck consisting of all 78 cards. Individually signed and numbered from the first-run set for contributors to this Kickstarter project only. Additionally, you will receive the full-color guidebook to all the cards in the set and a thank you note from me.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    47 backers

    The Querent Card: In addition to everything included at lower levels (The guidebook, a first-edition signed deck, etc.) you get one card of your choice from the set to receive as a signed 12"x18" high-quality digital print.

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  • Pledge $120 or more
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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    NEW - The Marie Brennan package: one first-edition numbered deck, plus the tarot guidebook with introductory fiction piece by Marie Brennan, signed by both the author herself and the artist. PLUS, you will receive a signed hardcover of Brennan's latest Onyx Court novel, With Fate Conspire.

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  • Pledge $160 or more
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    4 backers

    Past, Present & Future: The first-edition deck, the guidebook, plus signed 12"x18" prints of any three cards of your choice.

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  • Pledge $210 or more
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    5 backers

    The Cross: The first-edition deck, the guidebook, plus signed 12"x18" prints of any five cards of your choice.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    The Hermit and the Leviathans: In addition to a first-edition deck and guidebook, one contributor will receive a print of The Hermit signed by the artist and the model - Christopher Hall. Mr Hall, a paleontologist and docent at the American Museum of Natural History, will hand you your reward package at the museum, where you and up to 5 friends will be treated to a personal 2-hour guided tour of the Fossil Halls.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    The Devil's Night: In addition to a first-edition deck and guidebook, one contributor will receive a print of The Devil signed by the artist and the model - Anthony Bamonte. Mr. Bamonte will take you on a guided tour of New York's exotic nightlife, and treat you to drinks and entertainment at a selection of interesting bars and unusual locales, tailored to your own preferences and interests.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    The Chariot and the Feast: One contributor will receive one large print of The Chariot, signed by both the artist and by the model - Tse Wei Lim. The print, plus two full first-edition tarot decks and guidebooks, will be waiting for the contributor at his/her table at Journeyman, an elegant restaurant founded by Mr. Lim and his wife Diana Kudajarova in Somerville, MA. The lucky contributor will meet the model and enjoy a full 5-course dinner for two, prepared by the man himself and his legendary team.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Strength, Justice, and the Game: One contributor will receive large prints of both Strength and Justice, signed by both the artist and by the model - noted game designer and speaker Jessica Hammer. Ms. Hammer will conduct a 2-hour seminar for you and up to 7 of your friends on a game-design topic to be decided in consultation with you. For those who cannot travel easily to the NY area, arrangements over Skype can be made. This reward will also include a full first-edition tarot deck and guidebook for you and each of your guests (up to 8 total).

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  • Pledge $950 or more
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    8 backers Limited (7 left of 15)

    Join the Cast: You can loan your image to one of the remaining cards in the set. I'll consult with you and determine the card that makes the most sense for you, then we'll plan a 1-hour model shoot in NYC, where I'll get photographic reference of you posing in the design I've sketched out. When the deck is complete, you'll get the full deck, guidebook and of course a full-size signed print of the card that you helped create.

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  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Weekend with the Artist: One contributor will stay with us for a weekend at our apartment on the Upper West Side of NYC. You will not only get to model for one of the cards, but you'll also see how it all comes together. I'll give you 1-on-1 lessons in my design process and in how I work digitally. You'll be treated to games, food and strange conversations with many of the card models, and I'll take you to some of my favorite spots around the city. And we'll send you off with a reward package including a deck, guidebook and two prints of your choice, plus you'll naturally get a third print of the card you modeled for, once it's complete.

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Funding period

- (35 days)