In early 2017, artist Kelly McKernan began a Patreon Project to illustrate a Hanafuda card deck. Hanafuda cards are of Japanese origin, born in a time when Japan closed its borders to outside influence and prohibited playing cards that resembled Western style. Of the many iterations of playing cards that were banned over the centuries-long seclusion, Hanafuda cards succeeded in remaining under the radar of the Japanese government, as the cards were entirely made up of illustrations inspired by nature. Subsequently, they were used primarily in gambling by the criminal underworld. It wasn't until the Nintendo Playing Card Company (yes, that Nintendo) was founded in 1889 and produced hand-crafted Hanafuda cards on mulberry bark, that card games became popular again, and the Japanese government relaxed their stance on playing cards.
A Hanafuda card deck is comprised 48 cards, including 12 suits, each represented by a month of the year with corresponding plants, flowers, animals, and ribbons. Each suit contains four cards, given different point values to be used in various games such as Koi Koi, Go-Stop, and even Solitaire. Don't worry if you aren't familiar with these games! An instruction sheet will be included with the "Interlude" deck.
Kelly chose to illustrate her own Hanafuda card deck as a personal, long-term project for the 2017 year, with the purpose of challenging herself to put her own stylistic spin on the traditional illustrations used in Hanafuda cards. Following the requirements of the Hanafuda deck, Kelly set out to create 12 watercolor paintings for each suit, which are then divided into the four cards required per suit.
The title "Interlude" was chosen about halfway through the completion of the illustrations, as Kelly found that each painting became a resting place and a respite in between other projects, commitments, and life events. Meditating on on the elements of each suit while painting it, Kelly found that her Hanafuda deck project was a calm and relaxing interlude, and she hopes that her Hanafuda deck can be experienced by others in a similar respect.
Nine of the twelve suits have been completed, with the remaining three being unveiled through the duration of this Kickstarter. To get a closer look at each of the completed suits, click here.
Kelly McKernan is a professional fine artist and freelance illustrator based in Nashville, Tennessee. She is best known for her watercolor paintings within the Imaginative Realism movement, making use of surreal imagery, graphic elements, and female subjects. Kelly's work frequents galleries such as Gallery 1988, Arch Enemy Arts, Haven Gallery, Modern Eden Gallery, and Spoke Art. Kelly is also an instructor with The Fantastic Workshop, a sponsored artist with Grumbacher, and a member of the internationally recognized PRISMA Artist Collective. Kelly is also rocking the single mom life with her firecracker of a 3 year old, Penny.
Here's where you can find her online:
To produce the Hanafuda deck of Kelly's dreams, she is working with a manufacturer specializing in paper based products. To create the deck and packaging, a hefty sum is required, which Kelly is unable to produce on her own. This goal amount is for the minimum order per deck, along with the cost of shipping, fees, and buffer for emergencies. Should the goal be exceeded, stretch goals are in place to make the deck even more impressive and a beautiful package to behold, along with other surprise goodies! If you're only here for the art, we've got you covered with small print packs, limited edition giclee prints, and the original paintings.
Here for the art, but not the deck? That's okay! This tier includes all twelve suits beautifully reproduced as collectible mini prints, each measuring 4.25" x 12" and enclosed in a specially created print portfolio or safe keeping.
The "Interlude" Hanafuda Deck is inspired by the traditional, heavy-weight Hanafuda cards, including 48 1.75" x 2.5" flood matte aqueous 400 gsm cards in a cigar-style box with magnetic closure, set in two stacks within the box, along with an instruction sheet.
Want the "Interlude" Deck but also want to enjoy the paintings in full? This tier is for you! In addition to the deck, you'll receive the Mini Print Portfolio, including beautiful reproductions of all 12 suits, each measuring 4.25" x 12", bundled in a specially designed portfolio for safe keeping.
Limited to only 50 sets through this tier, this is for the collectors! You'll receive the "Interlude" Hanafuda deck as well as the Mini Print Portfolio, both signed by the artist, Kelly McKernan.
Kickstarter exclusives! These are fine art giclee prints of pieces from the "Interlude" deck! Each print measures 8.3" x 20" and is printed archivally on Moab Entrada Bright 290 gsm paper, by LA-based Static Medium. Every giclee print sold as a part of this Kickstarter is considered a timed limited edition, based on the number sold during this Kickstarter. Prints arrived signed, numbered and ship rolled in a sturdy tube along with a Certificate of Authenticity.
To get a closer look at each of the completed suits, click here.
- Limited Edition Seasonal Print Set: Included in this tier is one fine art giclee print set based on the season of your choosing!* Each set includes three prints (as pictured corresponding to the seasons below). You will choose your season in a survey sent out after the Kickstarter. In addition to this seasonal print set is a signed "Interlude" Hanafuda card deck.
- Limited Edition Prints - Pick One: For those only looking to add one "Interlude"giclee print to their collection, this tier is for you! At the end of this Kickstarter, you will choose one print from the below options. In addition to your print, you'll received a signed "Interlude" Hanafuda Card deck.
- Limited Edition Prints - Pick Three: Want a little more variety than seasonal prints? In this tier, you'll be able to choose three prints from the twelve below. You'll make your choice in the survey that will go out after the Kickstarter ends. In addition to your print, you'll received a signed "Interlude" Hanafuda Card deck
- Complete Print Set: Can't pick a favorite? Get all twelve suits as limited edition fine art giclee prints! The entire set includes all 12 prints as pictured in addition to one signed "Interlude" Hanafuda Card Deck.
Enjoy the original paintings in their full glory! Unless otherwise noted, each painting measures 8.5" x 24" on Arches Hot Press watercolor paper. Original paintings will be shipped flat between layers of stiff cardboard or foam and insured for their full value.
To get a closer look at each of the completed paintings, click here.
All original paintings include one SIGNED "Interlude" Hanafuda Deck, shipping separately in April 2018.
"Matsu" - 松, translating to "Pine," was created with watercolor and represents the month of January. It incorporates a winter scene with pine trees, a red poetry ribbon, and a crane with the sun
"Ume" 梅, translating to "plum blossom," was created with watercolor and represents the month of February. It incorporates a pink poetry ribbon, plum blossoms, and Japanese bush warblers.
"Sakura" 桜, translating to "cherry blossom," was created with watercolor, acryla gouache, and white ink, and represents the month of March. It incorporates a white poetry ribbon, cherry blossom trees, and a stylized "camp curtain."
"Fuji" 藤, translating to "wisteria," was created with watercolor and acryla gouache and represents the month of April. It incorporates a purple and teal poetry ribbon, wisteria, and cuckoo birds.
"Ayame" 菖蒲, translating to "iris," was created with watercolor, acrylic glazing, and acryla gouache, and represents the month of May. It incorporates a purple poetry ribbon, water irises, and a traditional plank bridge.
"Botan" 牡丹, translating to "peony," was created with watercolor and represents the month of June. It incorporates a light blue poetry ribbon, peonies, and butterflies.
"Hagi" 薄, translating to "bush clover," was created with watercolor and acryla gouache, and represents the month of July. It incorporates a pale pink poetry ribbon, bush clover, and a darling baby boar.
"Susuki" 薄, translating to "susuki grass," was created with watercolor, and represents the month of August. It incorporates a full moon in a moody red sky and geese in flight.
"Kiku" - 菊, translating to "chrysanthemum" was created with watercolor, and represents the month of September. It incorporates a poetry sake cup, a purple ribbon and chrysanthemums.
"Momiji" - 紅葉, translating to "maple" was painted with watercolor, and represents the month of October. It incorporates Japanese maple trees, a ribbon (in form of a sheer scarf), and a fawn.
"Yanagi" - 柳, translating to "willow" was painted with watercolor, fluid acrylic glazing, and acryla gouache. It represents the month of November, and it incorporates a ribbon, willow, lightning, a swallow, a female representation of Ono Michikaze as a frog with an umbrella. It measures 8" x 22.5".
"Kiri" - 桐, translating to "paulownia" was painted with watercolor and white ink, and represents the month of December. It incorporate a paulownia flower and a mythological Fenghuang (Chinese) Phoenix. It measures 8" x 22.5".
To add any additional products to your contribution or higher, add that cost to your contribution + the shipping amount (shown at tier selection page). You'll receive a survey at the close of the Kickstarter where you'll specify your add-ons. Check out the example above on how to do this!
To add a single "Interlude" deck to your contribution, please add $25 to your total.
If you want to select extra prints to add to your contribution of $75 or more, please add $45 per extra print to your contribution. When the survey goes out after the Kickstarter, you'll then choose your add on.
The 2018 "Interlude" Calendar is NOT available through this Kickstarter! Instead, it's being offered through Kelly's online shop as a pre-order for $20 + shipping, with delivery in time for the holidays! Click here to check it out!
For full transparency as to how we got this goal number, here's the breakdown of costs. While $18,500 is a very large number, in order to achieve quality products true to Kelly's vision, the cost isn't super cheap.
However, by reaching this goal, she'll be able to order a number that allows the individual products to be more affordable individually for the backers of this project. Additionally, shipping costs are included in the Kickstarter goal, which is difficult to predict, so 35% of the funding goal is a reasonable amount to expect. Kickstarter fee and credit card processing fees add up to 8.5% alone, and 15% is set aside as "cushion" to cover items that may be damaged or get lost during transit to backers and need to be replaced, unforseen additional costs (such as shipping, as 2018 may bring higher postage pricing), and other factors that are difficult to predict. This buffer is to ensure that everything reaches the backers of the project without putting Kelly's own finances at risk.
- Videos: Jennifer Sheridan
- Music: "Tiny Orchestra in the Sky" by Lullatone
- Project Assistance: Ashley Wittling
- Product Design Assistance: Taylor Carroll
Biggest thanks of all to the supporters of Kelly's Patreon, who footed the project from the beginning!
Risks and challenges
Kelly has previously run and completed three successful crowdfunding projects through Indiegogo, but this is her first Kickstarter, and her first time working with a manufacturer overseas to produce such a large scale project. Delays are possible, but we're working to under promise and over deliver! Backers will be updated every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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