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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.
The Urban Tarot Deck is an illustration series that is nearly 10 years in the making. It is about magic, truth and the city.
346 backers pledged $33,595 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Photos

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Scheduling and Delivery

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Hi tarot folk,

A number of you have been asking me this past week about delivery of the decks, and with good reason. We're definitely behind schedule on what I'd been aiming for in terms of getting the decks out to you. While I've spent some of this morning having a somewhat heated conversation with my printers, I now have to come to all of you with an apology for another unfortunate delay. I'd originally been told we could expect delivery of the decks by the beginning of October, and I'd been planning around having all your rewards already on their way out by this point. The decks have all indeed been printed, but apart from a small number I've gotten in advance, the bulk of them are currently being held up in customs and I'm told we can't expect delivery before the first week of December.

As soon as the decks do arrive, we are set up here to package them and send them off to you as quickly as possible, which is the best I can do. Mailing labels will already be prepared for all of you, and I've hired some part time help here to ensure we'll be turning them around and getting them sent off to you within a day or two. 

In the meantime, we have already created (and I have signed) all the prints that are part of your rewards, and as those prints need to be packaged separately anyway, we'll be shipping all of those out this coming Monday, and you should have them within a few days. 

The guidebook is also with the printers right now. Thankfully, they are being printed locally, and I am assured that the first run will delivered here before Thanksgiving. The decks and the guidebooks will be physically packaged and sent out together once both are received. If your backer reward included a guidebook ($25 and up), you'll shortly be receiving an email from me with a link to download a full pdf version of the guide. Moving forward, it's my intent to provide the digital version for free to anyone who purchases a physical copy of the guide, and I'll be setting up an option in my store where anyone who wants just the digital copy can purchase one.

Again, I want to apologize for the delays, which I know has been a somewhat familiar refrain from me over the course of this project. Please understand that while I have many years of experience as an artist and designer, this project has been my very first foray into self-publishing, and I've had to learn a great deal along the way in getting the deck finally made and shipped out to you. Thank you all for being patient through this long project, and sticking with me along the journey.

With love and gratitude, 

Robin

The Shop is Open

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Hello Tarot folk!

This day has been a long time coming. With the first run of decks on their way from the printer, I'm now finally accepting pre-orders. So for those of you who didn't get a chance to get in on the original kickstarter but have been waiting for a chance to order a deck, now's your opportunity. There will be 1000 decks in the first printing, and I'm aiming to start shipping them out in November. I'm also accepting pre-orders for the guidebook and selling individual prints of all 78 cards. 

Visit the Urban Tarot Shop

http://www.robinscottart.com/shop/

If you are a retailer and looking to purchase a larger quantity of decks, please get in touch so I can handle your order separately. I know some of your have already been in touch, and I have not forgotten you.  

I will be handling all of your orders by hand, with the generous help of my wife and our friends. Our warehouse floor is our dining table. I'm going to handle any issues that may come up as quickly as I can, but I will be doing so personally, so please be understanding. 

Lovecraftesqe 

The creepy new project I mentioned in the last update has really taken off! The kickstarter campaign launched and then almost immediately surpassed its funding goal. With 12 days still to go on the campaign, they have already raised nearly twice what they'd been asking for. There are still a number of fun rewards to get in on though, including the opportunity to design a monster for me to illustrate for the book. I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up with. The wraparound cover art I've created for them is below.

Lovecraftesque
Lovecraftesque

Promises Fulfilled

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Hello tarot folk,

I know it's been a little while since I've sent out the last update, and some of you have been gently poking me for news on when the decks will ship out. There has been a lot to do, and I've been very busy getting things together, but I can now tell you with some certainty, when you will be getting your copies of the deck.

Here's a rundown of what's coming up in the next few months:

The Deck

First off: the deck design had to go through a number of back-and-forth revisions with the printers, but we have finally got everything approved and on track. The first run of 1000 decks will be arriving here by by early November, and I'll begin shipping those out immediately, beginning with those that have been promised already to the kickstarter backers. I'll then proceed to ship out to anyone else who has pre-ordered a deck by that point.

The Surveys

Speaking of you wonderful kickstarter backers who have been with me all this way: you will be getting surveys sent out to you very shortly which will ask you for your current shipping details. Please watch your mailboxes: I can't send you a deck once they arrive without a confirmation of your current mailing address. 

You will also get an opportunity at that time to update your reward package, and add additional decks, books, or prints. I'll be opening up a shop on my website just for the kickstarter backers at first, before I take any other pre-orders.

The Guidebook

I've been assembling and laying out the guidebook to the deck over the past few weeks. It will contain full color images of all 78 cards, along with insights and interpretations about each card. Much of that text is adapted from these updates you've been receiving, but plenty of it is brand new, written specifically for the guide. And speaking of things written just for that guidebook, it will also contain a fantastic introductory story written by acclaimed author Marie Brennan

The books should be printed and ready to ship out in early November, along with the decks.

The Shop

Once the kickstarter backers have had a chance to add any additional items to their reward packages, I'll be opening the Urban Tarot Shop to everyone else. By pre-ordering a deck, you'll be able to make sure you receive one from of the first round of numbered sets before they're all gone, and you'll be helping me fund some of the events I'll be appearing at over the next few months. Every one of the first 1000 decks will also ship with an embroidered velvet bag to keep your deck in.

Events

I'm planning to do a lot of travelling to promote and sell the Urban Tarot, and I've already put two appearances this year on my calendar. I will be at Con on the Cob in Brecksville, Ohio October 15-18, where I'll be premiering the deck. I'm having just 70 decks air-shipped directly out to the con for sale. So if you're in the area, come on out! It's absolutely one of my favorite conventions to visit. 

From December 4-6 I'll be in Stamford, CT at AnonyCon, selling decks and prints, and readings for folk onsite. This will be my first time at AnonyCon, although I know the organizers well, and I've been looking forward to going for several years.

Most exciting, somewhere between those two dates, I'll be hosting an opening show here in NY, at a studio space in Brooklyn. You'll be getting more details about that show soon. I think it's going to be an exciting evening.

The App

More stuff? How is that possible? That's right, The Urban Tarot is going to be a mobile app that you can download for your Android or Apple device. It's going to have all 78 cards, plus interpretations and descriptions by yours truly. The app is currently being developed by The Fool's Dog, a company that specializes in designing really beautiful, interactive Tarot apps. I've seen some of the early graphics at this point, and I'm really thrilled. You'll have more information on the App's release soon.

Other Art

Finally, because I hate to send out an update without including some fresh art, I wanted to give you all a glimpse of some other work I've doing for a totally different project. Lovecraftesque is a horror roleplaying game designed by Josh Fox and Becky Annison, and if the soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter project succeeds, I'll be doing lots more art for the book. One of the two pieces I've created for the upcoming campaign is below, you can see some details about the other in this blog post.

 Whew! It's going to be an exciting few months. Thank you for being a part of it, I couldn't do all this without your support.

- Robin

The Deck Designed

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Hello, tarot fans,

What an exciting weekend! On Saturday, I exhibited at FlameCon, NY's first LGBT Comic Convention. I had with me the very first full prototype deck, which Amy and I (mostly Amy) had just finished painstakingly assembling by hand the night before. I got to give out free readings, while I spoke to people about the series, using my own deck for the first time. I admit I'm far from an expert reader, but I got into it pretty quickly. I saw tears in the eyes of at least three of my visitors after their reading, so I'm going to call that a pretty successful first run.

The first complete deck, along with velvet bag and spreadcloth
The first complete deck, along with velvet bag and spreadcloth

 So as you can see, I've completed the designs for both front and back on all 78 cards. With the front design, I wanted to keep it mostly simple and white, so as not to interfere with the art, but I tried to convey some helpful information by subtly including elemental symbols behind the text, and using color cues to unite the five groups of cards in the deck (4 suits, plus majors). I've assembled a sample below, so you can get a sense of how they'll all look.

The design of the card fronts
The design of the card fronts

 With the card backs, it was important to create a design that was both interesting and felt connected to the design of the deck as a whole, while making sure that it appeared exactly the same way in either orientation. I feel like I ended up with something that feels like a map of my city, while also being essentially an abstract patterned texture. There are all sorts of hidden shapes and meanings in there, of course - I hope people have fun picking them out.

The card back design
The card back design

The deck design has already been submitted to the printers, and the first run of 1000 decks are going to be in all of our hands before you know it. In my next update, expect to have some more solid info on when the rewards will start shipping out.

Just a reminder to those who are wondering about things like address changes and updated orders: I'll be sending out an official survey to all the kickstarter backers pretty soon, where you can give me your current addresses, add additional items to your reward package, and otherwise give me important info before I start sending anything your way. 

Love and gratitude,

Robin

Onwards to Infinity

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Here we come, at last, to the final finished card in the Urban Tarot. It's been a very long, very strange, beautiful journey coming here. Seventy-eight pieces of art, created across thirteen years, a total of about 300 million tiny points of light on my screen. Here's what all of them look like together for the first time: http://www.robinscottart.com/tarot-files/full-set.jpg

XXI: The Universe

This is the last of the major arcana, and it completes the 22-step journey we began with the Fool. We have gone from being a naive wanderer, unsure of what lay ahead of us, but eager to begin the adventure, and have now experienced all that the world around us, and within us, has had to offer. We have seen it all, fully absorbed the truths we have learned and have come to a harmonious synthesis, at peace with the universe and with ourselves. We have completed a great journey, and found ourselves once more right where we began: comfortable in the knowledge that we truly know nothing, and eager to see where the road takes us next.

XXI: The Universe
XXI: The Universe

As this card is a bit of a counterpoint to the Fool, I thought a good deal about that early card from my set as I created this one. I modeled as my Fool back when I began this series, looking very different from how I look these days. I'm standing on the roof my building, against a clear blue sky, with my loyal companion, Oreo, who passed away right around when I created that piece. Behind me, a flock of white doves represent pure innocence at the beginning of the Fool's journey.

0: The Fool
0: The Fool

My wife Amy is the star of this Universe, as she is the center of mine; all my world orbits around her. While I stood calmly at the precipice of fortune, Amy strides confidently onward and upward into the cosmos. Below her stretches the sprawling skyline of my city, the world I've lived in my whole life. Growing vines and grasses push upwards through the concrete landscape, the endless movement of the living Earth. The great steel eagle head she is walking off of is one of four very distinctive gargoyles that grace the 61st floor of the Chrysler Building. Sitting atop the eagle's head is our cat Amelia, who passed away a little over a year ago, but is still fondly remembered in our home. High overhead, the International Space Station is visible against an image of the milky way (courtesy of NASA), a connection to our larger universe.

Where to Next?

The next update you'll be getting from me should be to show off the card backs, and the layout and design of the deck as a whole. Shortly after that, I'll be putting designs together for the deck boxes and display boxes. And then it's off to the printers. I'm aiming to get that process underway in the next week or two if I can. 

We've still got a lot more to see with this project. Once the deck is printed and ready, I have a guidebook I've been looking forward to assembling. There are a lot of details of shipping and distribution to be addresses. And sometime in the next few months, I'll be hosting an opening show here in New York, to which you'll all be invited.

All that said, it's a great place to be, looking at 78 complete pieces. Thank you all, for making it possible.

With infiinite love and gratitude,
Robin