THE NEXT WORLD TAROT
The Tarot is an ancient spiritual tool that has been re-written over and over to aid and abet varying value systems and communities. Through each deck's unique storytelling, authors and artists have been proving that magic is multifaceted, and intuitive systems of divination [like the Tarot] could be accessed by all people. While the Tarot is consistent, it's always relative to the reader/viewer. We want to find ourselves in our decks, and we want them to tell our story. My stories are about smashing systematic oppression, owning our truths, being accountable to the people and places that support us, and taking back a connection to your body that may have been lost through trauma or societal brainwashing. The NEXT WORLD TAROT is a visual spectacle of both the battle cry and the reconnection, between outcasts and their criminalized identities.
BACKSTORY: In 2007 It had been about 4 years since I left my hometown of Miami, FL; where I struggled to find my place among the lively spiritual pockets of my Latinx community. As a teenage queer Cubana, (with no queer community) I had at least found my place in punk rock, where I could preach the gospel about overthrowing the system that attempted to overthrow us.
I knew I carried the weight of my ancestry on my shoulders, on top of the spiked vests and patches that kept me safe. I knew there was an inevitable tie between us wrecked humans and the world we inhabited--- but how to unearth that internal bruja remained a mystery to me then.
This all started that spring, when I was on Sister Spit (the all-queer performance tour), reading from Bad Habits, the novel I was working on (harmoniously, about healing from trauma and finding my spirit after self-destruction). Tour member / Sister Spit founder Michelle Tea gave me a few (pretty fancy) Tarot readings about my health and my romantic problems, trailblazing a marriage between my work and magic. After a few lessons on existing beyond my romantic problems and redefining my mental health, she recommended that I design my own Tarot Deck. WOAH— well. As much as I lived off readings and felt like nature would kill us all, my connection to the universe was in shambles, and I wasn’t necessarily the healthiest human at the time, although she assisted the beginning of this journey.
A few years later in 2009, I participated in the same tour. Bad Habits had been published, and I was yet again reading about overthrowing those same systems that continued to fail us. Through my tour companions, I learned that perhaps there was room for the teen punk, the adult bruja, and the chaos in between? I contemplated for about a year or two on whether I was built for this? A Tarot Deck, to me, would involve traditional materials and painful labor, even though I wasn't even big on completing original work (after all, ‘zines and graphic novels were my forte).
For the next few years, after reconnecting to my cultural and spiritual roots through healing from the past, misadventures, new traumas (and through learning how to read Tarot myself), I realized this was my calling, no matter how distant completion felt.
THE NEXT WORLD TAROT began as a cool project that would vary in media based on my time and income, and evolved into a complex series of drawings created with Micron ink pens, various brand art markers, gel pens, white out pens, and whatever high viscosity acrylic Paint I can get my hands on; strictly on sheets of Bristol vellum ranging between 11x14 and 18x26. What began as a cast of electric queer characters, evolved into a disarray of minds, bodies, and souls; who all triumph over some kind of societal challenge.
Getting NEXT WORLD TAROT funded by formal literary and artistic institutions hasn’t totally worked so far, despite the varied avenues Ive attempted. Ive been working on this project, roughly, since 2011, when I made a few cards that Ive since re-created. Progress has been slow, between my full time work as a freelance illustrator (among other part-time jobs), and the development the deck’s broad theme.
Funding this project will assist in purchasing materials + carving time to finish the remaining 60 cards within a year, yet it will mostly fund the PUBLISHING and DISTRIBUTING of the FIRST RUN of 1000 Decks! With a generous stash of 1000 copies, I will be able to sell them at sliding scale prices, and distribute them freely.
I truly hope for this deck to have many editions; as well as additions, revisions, and lives.
Risks and challenges
If NEXT WORLD TAROT is funded, I hope to speed through the remaining 60 cards over the course of the year. Obstacles may range between unsuspected tragedies and unsuspected bills. I've been working on my art as a labor of love, and also as a freelance illustrator; alongside a sea of part time jobs for many years, and the obstacles are the same as ever. When your work is about an internal need to communicate a truth, as oppose to creating a cool concept with great marketing value, financial and emotional stability seem to be the only obstacles. Considering my current state of determination, I cant imagine my focus disappearing.This project requires heart. In the event of financial and printing obstacles being resolved, I hope to be able to pour said heart into it, while treating it like full-time work.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)