I'm Adam Blodgett, an artist, writer and designer, and I want to publish a 22 card, majors only tarot deck that I've been working on for the past year and a half. I need $5,000 to create a large, colorful deck and mail it out to my fans so I've created this Kickstarter campaign to make that happen. 11 of the 22 cards are complete, with another 3 being half-way done. The more money I raise over my goal, the sooner the deck will be available!
You can follow updates here on Kickstarter, on the blog, or on our Facebook page:
A Little Bit of History
Whether you believe that the tarot, a deck of 78 fancifully illustrated cards, can grant us supernatural insight into our lives or not, its contribution to the world of art and culture is difficult to ignore. From the colorful but flat illustrations of the Marseilles tarot to the phantasmagoric images of Aleister Crowley's Thoth deck, the tarot has been a varied and fascinating mirror for ourselves as individuals and as a culture for over 500 years.
For me, I grew up reading X-Men comics, playing Mario games and reading Xanth novels. For my graduation from 8th grade I asked for The Lord of the Rings books and the Secret of Mana for my Super Nintendo. That combination of influences neatly sums up the Chibi Tarot: It's an Eastern and Western mythological and cultural mashup; a crazy bi-costal canvas draped across the bones of the tarot.
The chibi (pronounced "chee-bee", meaning "short person" or "small child" in Japanese) style is quintessentially Japanese. Also known as "super-deformed" it infantilizes the proportions of whatever it encounters and leaves it cuter than it was. I LOVE the way that the Japanese love of cute has infiltrated the US and mutated to create a unique form of art, especially in vinyl toys in the art of folks like Huck Gee, Luke Chueh and Andrew Bell. This isn't the pure, unadulterated chibi that Japan exports in droves, but something darker, more sinister and serious. Their North American hybrid chibi is a big part of what inspires all of my art, not just the Chibi Tarot.
Not Just a Pretty Face!
But the deck itself isn't just an art project, it's also a spiritual one. I have been a student of the tarot, in varying degrees of dedication, for almost 7 years. I've gobbled up Crowley, Waite, DuQuette, Pollack and Place. I know my history and influences and I am very excited to have a chance to articulate those through the Chibi Tarot. The symbols, postures and expressions in the deck are all influenced by the foundational decks in the tarot tradition: Marseilles, Waite-Smith and Thoth; but they've also been influenced by more alternative minded tarot artists such as the legendary Sergio Toppi and the stunning Marie White.
I've absorbed and then discarded much of the fanciful, occult trappings and gravitas that so often come with the tarot. My greatest artistic teacher, Toppi, showed in his deck The Tarot of the Origins, how subtle shifts in the artistic representation of the card can drastically change its interpretation, generally in a positive way. I've tried to take that freedom and work backward to a more essential understanding of the cards, and then reinfuse that into the illustrations. There is certainly a joy and a lightness to my work, but that doesn't in any way detract from the usefulness and clarity of the cards and their meanings.
Each card is lovingly crafted from concept to vision through implementation. I start out by challenging the traditional definition of the card and infusing it with my own understanding of the tarot, which oftentimes conflicts with the traditional or popular definition of the card. I want to reiterate that the Chibi Tarot is not just a pretty face! It's a serious deck with a lot of thought and theology that have gone into it. This is definitely a deck that can be used for readings. But if you just think it's cute, that's cool too!
The Chibi Tarot: Kickstarter Edition
Now I want to make the deck a reality, at least in part. The Chibi Tarot: Kickstarter Edition is a limited edition, oversized collectors deck to help fund the creation of new Chibi Tarot merchandise and eventually the creation and production of a full 78 card Chibi Tarot deck. I'm raising $5,000 dollars to print 1,000 22-card decks. The money will just about cover the production and distribution of the deck and the booklet that accompanies it. Any funds above the $5,000 will go to producing new and adorable merchandice for the Chibi Tarot store: Stickers, prints, plush and vinyl toys are all in the works, but I gotta be able to pay for them before I can make them real! Secondarily, the more money we raise, the sooner I can finish the entire deck!
I'm not a tarot reader, you might say to yourself, what the heck am I going to do with a bunch of tarot cards? Thankfully I've put together a list of 22 great things you can do with a tarot deck EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT A TAROT READER!
1. Build a really cute house of cards
2. Slap a couple on your Schwinn to make it sound like a motorcycle!
3. Cut holes in the eyes and use them as really tiny masks
4. Keep it on your kitchen table and watch it appreciate in value every day
5. Blue tack them to your child's wall as decoration
6. Tear them up into tiny pieces and use them to line your gerbil's cage
7. Hardcore Evangelicals: have something really cute to take to your next book burning!
8. Master the dark arts
9. Finally learn that card trick you started in 8th grade
10. Display them on your shelf to show what a spiritual and philanthropic person you are
12. Learn to cut fruit from across the room
13. Taunt your friends who missed out on the Kickstarter with them
14. Make paper airplanes
15. Really cute kindling
16. Add a new and exciting dimension to your games of Magic the Gathering!
17. Prop up that wobbly table in the kitchen
18. Set them up around the table and have a tea party (be sure to do their voices too!)
19. Resell then at exorbitant prices
20. Buy four decks and play "Go fish" with your friends
21. Pretend they're hundred dollar bills, spread them on the bed and roll around in them
22. Learn to do a tarot reading!
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