The Afro Goddess Tarot Arcanas
Representation matters. It matters in art. It matters in tarot. It matters in life. By way of accurate representation, connection is able to be established and for so many melanated women like myself, our general connection to the tarot divination sysytem is currently lacking due to the scarcity of melanated image filled decks. The Tarot is a beautiful card system of wonder that can provide us with unseen and overlooked perspectives as well as a literally soulful connection to our daily paths, all while aiding us in ultimately improving our existence with unexplainable instinct. So as a labor of light and love, fine artist, Andrea Furtick has taken on the ultimate "commission of the ancestors" and committed to creating a traditionally inspired yet modern and fully melanated deck entitled The Afro Goddess Tarot Arcanas.
The Afro Goddess Tarot Arcanas is a full 79 card (the traditional 78 cards plus an additional card), jumbo size deck (designed to be 3.5x5in.) in which each card has been studied, meditated upon, designed, and hand painted with the pure intentions to be the deck of the melanated Goddess' dreams. It is full of a healthy mix of traditional tarot wisdoms, African ancestral insights, modern cultural references, and most importantly... 100% melanated characterizations.
Once upon a time, I met a woman on Facebook. We'd never interacted with each other before, in fact she was all the way from London. I'd sold her some artwork that afternoon, we'd had a pleasant conversation and I thought that to be it. Later that evening, that same lovely spirited woman wrote me a message explaining she had seen me creating a tarot deck in her reading and that a deck of my creation would be significant if I chose to do so. Now that magical little nudge was all I needed at the time, as my artistic career was at that moment, in real time, blossoming into a signature design of vibrantly colored images; highlighting melanated Goddesses while easily presenting a more positive and glorious vision of the melanated woman, so with that I agreed with her, and decided the project had indeed been destined for me.
In November 2017, the project began with the very first card, The Fool. Individually, I studied each card IN DEPTH. Each symbolism was noted, from colors to expressions to content. One of the most important aspects of The Afro Goddess Tarot Arcanas is its seamless blend of intensely altered, yet heavily traditional influences of the Rider Waite deck. For example, most of the traditional mountains have been replaced with buildings and pyramids in this deck. We are an evolving people with a strong past life tie. It was imperative I found a way to incorporate the visual voices of the ancestors in a way we "city life, modern day, evolved Goddess types" (and others) could relate. So once the meditation began, and the vision was clear, it was time to paint them, one by one.
Hand painting the Major Arcana on 18x24inch canvases was both challenging and rewarding. The larger scale obviously added to the production time, however I was really able to concentrate on the details and spiritual connection that needed to be projected from the cards. Each of these originals are absolutely magical in person. In fact, I consider them to be my 22 karmic masterpieces of mastered peace.
So where am I now? The Major Arcana is complete as well as the suit of Swords. Currently, I am powering thru the Wands suit, and then off to the Cups and Pentacles I go. I have decided to create the addition card, The Supreme, last. I feel it will a be a perfect way to end this journey and visually convey all that I have grown to be throughout this process.
Also, I have been creating mock-ups and writing the accompanying book simultaneously with the artwork. So I've been super busy over here doing it all, being the researcher, painter, graphic designer, writer, editor, promoter (not to mention also a full time wife and mother of two), and let's definitely not forget, the sole investor.
This project has been just barely self sufficient so far, and partially that's due to many long hours devoted to a print system that later proved not to be worth the labor and provided just enough (and sometimes not) to cover the materials needed to create the pieces. I abandoned the 18x24 canvases after the Major Arcana and switched to 12x16 inch canvases for the suits. This actually worked out well, as less supplies are needed and I'm able to increase my production time drastically. In fact, I have been often time now able to complete painting a card in one day verses the one week production time I began with.
At this pace, without financial interruption, I see myself completing the suits and being ready for print by October. But again, that is without financial interruption, in which I am very close to.
Producing a deck of QUALITY is expensive. The thickness of a good cardstock, elegant gilt edges, as well as a super unique back I've dreamed up in my head (providing the printer is game for my out of the box idea) are all important factors. I want this deck to stand the test of time and still have a look that's timeless. Somewhere along the journey of this project, I really took in the factor that I was the creator of this deck and that my vision would be what made it successful. So you can expect some very innovative and unique packaging and details with the success of this fully (or over) funded campaign.
I am building a deck fit for a Goddess here! That costs. The full funding of this campaign would allow me to be able to cover the remaining materials, print 500 decks at a sliding scale cost, and jumpstart the longevity of this deck with a healthy beginning. It would also allow me to temporarily cease commission work and focus solely on the completion of this project.
I have done literally all of this work myself, constantly teaching myself new skills and creating solutions to problems that arose out of nowhere with ease. I'm proud of me. I'm proud of this project and I'm proud you are considering supporting it. I can confidently say, I will not disappoint you. Fully fund this project and I'll spread artistically spiritual magic all over the world.
Help Me Unlock These Goddess Features!!!
So, beyond the standard deck, provided booklet, and box; there are a few magical elements I feel the deck needs to reach it's full potential. If you've been following me on Instagram, you know I'm constantly saying this is OUR deck. So let's make OUR deck as magical as possible!!!
By over-funding, I will be able to make additions to the deck, and to be clear, I am referring to the deck set as a whole. So let's see what's beyond just the beautiful cards:
Reach $6,500: The deck will now include a luxurious 6x9inch black velvet protection bag with the official Afro Goddess Tarot Arcanas Logo
Reach $8,000: The deck will now include a gorgeous Opalite modular pendulum (as well as the velvet protection bag)
The deck will not just include a booklet, but a BOOK. So here's the thing: I have tons of written material about this deck. And in discussion of the maximum length of material for the booklet with the printers, the realization that all of that necessary material is going to be left out is disheartening. It's like we'll be watching the best movie on mute. So if I can manage to unlock this goal, I will publish the FULL information in a gorgeous full color book.
Risks and challenges
Obviously no project comes without risk. Due to the amount of work already complete, I hope you have felt and see that I am commited to the completion of this project. This makes the main risk factor or complication in this project receiving adequate funding. I am creative and know how to cut costs (I'm a mom remember?), but there's only so much that can be trimmed away. Full funding of this project would completely alleviate this both physical and mental burden. The amount of commission work I took on to make sure this project progressed so far was insane yet necessary. But without having to spread my time and efforts, I would be able to focus my entire self on the completion of this deck.
For record, I am the sole creator of this project and there are no other creative or design hands at work. The only other parties involved will be printers. Of course the actual deck will run at the course of their schedule, however I will do everything I can to be sure a speedy and accurate deck set is produced. and it shall be one fit for a Goddess indeed!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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