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A modern 78-card Tarot deck in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition.
A modern 78-card Tarot deck in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition.
743 backers pledged $39,724 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$39,724

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Hello! My name is Isabella Rotman. I'm a cartoonist, illustrator, and self publisher from Maine living and drawing in Chicago. I started drawing this tarot deck because I was learning how to read tarot cards for myself, and I learn by drawing. What started as a casual project where I would draw cards to learn their symbolism quickly turned into a full 78 -card deck that I have been obsessively and joyfully drawing for over two years. I have truly loved working on this deck and I can't wait to read with it.

Photo by Dan Finnen https://danfinnen.com/
Photo by Dan Finnen https://danfinnen.com/

Each card in the deck is drawn by hand by me, Isabella Rotman, then colored digitally by the incredible Addison Duke.  Addison is a Chicago-based colorist/illustrator for Dynamite and Image Comics. Addison's current works include Charlie's Angels/Bionic Woman, Barbarella/Dejah Thoris, and Curse Words.  Follow Addison on Twitter at @AddisonDuke.

Mock-up of box, card, and card back
Mock-up of box, card, and card back

This Might Hurt Tarot is a modern deck in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition. Keeping time-honored symbolism and imagery, but losing the medieval context, this deck is designed to be both easy to read and highly relatable. Clothing and scenery are modernized, diversity is embraced, and queerness is lovingly acknowledged. 

The cards themselves will measure 4.75"x 2.75" and be printed on high-quality 350 gsm art paper. Each card will have a shiny gilded edge (in either gold or holographic black) to add just a bit of magic. The deck will come in a solid cardboard box with gold foil and magnet closure.

Mockup for This Might Hurt Tarot box
Mockup for This Might Hurt Tarot box

The deck, like most tarot decks, will consist of 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards. All of the court cards, and a few other select Minor Arcana cards, are portraits of real people in my life. This Might Hurt Tarot is designed to be easy to read with any Rider-Waite-Smith guide, but I'm planning on publishing a digital guidebook to accompany the deck. If the guidebook stretch goal is reached, every backer who backs a deck will receive a free printed guidebook as well.

 For higher resolution images of these cards, please visit ThisMightHurtTarot.com

 The Minor Arcana is made of up four suits, swords, cups, wands, and pentacles. Each suit includes 10 numbered cards and four court cards: page, knight, king, and queen. Each suit is colored with a limited color palette inspired by the element associated with the suit.

Suit of Wands Mock-up
Suit of Wands Mock-up

 The Suit of Wands is associated with fire and deals with passion, desire, creativity, and ideas. If wands were personified they would be the muse; potential, ideas, and moments of epiphany that fire up creativity within. The suit of wands is also the suit of the spirit, primal energy, and our core selves. Wands are often trying to tell us what is best for us at the center of our being, our personalities, our driving forces. 

 The suit of cups is associated with water, and the meanings of the cards are associated with emotions, relationships, and connections. Cups are about the heart, displays of feelings, and the roles of emotions in relation to people in your life. Cups also often deal with intuition; the focus on intuition over logic suggests that you are making decisions with your heart over your head.

Mock-up of the Suite of Swords
Mock-up of the Suite of Swords

 The suit of swords is associated with air.  Swords are cards of the mind and action. Sword cards cover the battles within you and with external forces, challenge, and physical or moral conflict. The suit of swords tends to deal with decisions regarding conflict, and the changes that result, for better or for worse. The suit of swords suggests choices The suite of swords suggests choices are being made with the head over the heart.

Mock-up of the Suit of Pentacles
Mock-up of the Suit of Pentacles

The Suit of Pentacles is associated with earth and represents the material results of the other 3 suits. They are what you get as a result of your ideas, emotions, and intellect turned to action and in the material world. Pentacles speak often of money and wealth, but also of employment, objects, shelter, and charity. Pentacles are about work and what you get out of work. Even those who are not interested in material wealth have much to learn from pentacles because they speak to all aspects of our physical, feet-on-the-ground life.

Mock-up of card backs and front
Mock-up of card backs and front

Card backs are decorated with symbols from the deck, including the four suits, the Ouroboros, the fool, and the world dancer. The card backs deliberately designed so that the reader is unable to tell if the card is right side up or upside down, to allow for reversed card readings. 

 Pledge $12 and receive a limited edition gold hard enamel pin. After the Kickstarter, these pins will only be available in silver.

Prints from Left to Right: Strength, The Fool, The Hanged Man
Prints from Left to Right: Strength, The Fool, The Hanged Man

Pledge $60 and receive an 8.5" x 11" color print of the Major Arcana with your deck, printed on high-quality linen paper and hand stamped on the back with the This Might Hurt Tarot logo. All 22 Major Arcana cards are available for print, and it's your choice which one you choose! You will be able to indicate your preferred card in the backer survey sent out at the end of the campaign. Also included with the deck and enamel pin at the $70 pledge level, or your could pledge $225 at the All The Things level to receive all 22 prints, plus the deck and enamel pin! 

Original Art from left to right: Death, The High Priestess, Justice
Original Art from left to right: Death, The High Priestess, Justice

Pledge $200 and receive a piece of original art from the Major Arcana. Pledge $250 to receive original art from the Minor Arcana. All cards are drawn with technical pens on Bristol board at 6.25" x 4". Cards will be selected on a first-come first-serve basis. After you pledge, I will contact you via email to discuss which card you would like! Not all cards are available; please check the list below.

Minor Arcana Original Art available:

  • Cups: Ace - 8
  • Wands: 3, 5-10
  • Swords: Ace - 7, 10
  • Pentacles: Ace, 3-6, 9-10

Major Arcana Original Art Available:

  • The Magician (The Magician was drawn in two parts and edited in Photoshop, so original art will not look exactly like the card in the deck)
  • The High Priestess
  • The Empress
  • The Emperor
  • The Hierophant
  • The Lovers
  • The Chariot
  • Strength
  • The Hermit
  • The Wheel of Fortune
  • Justice
  • The Hanged Man
  • Death
  • Temperance
  • The Star
  • The Moon
  • Judgment
  • The World

Custom Tarot Card

Pledge $400 and commission a custom tarot card! Many of the cards in the This Might Hurt Tarot Deck feature real people. I would love to do exactly that for you, with the person of your choice, in the card of your choice! You will receive 4" x 6" original art of your custom card. This card will be just for you and will not appear in the This Might Hurt Tarot Deck. I will send you a questionnaire in order to draw the card. If you choose to have me draw a specific real person, I will need you to send me sample images of them, face and full body. No color, edits, or revisions. You will also get the deck and an enamel pin! 

REACHED: EVERY backer who backs a tarot deck or higher will receive a FREE GUIDEBOOK as well! This Might Hurt Tarot is designed to be readable with any Rider-Waite-Smith guide, but the intentional guidebook will provide insight into card meanings and artistic choices that would otherwise be missed.The guidebook will feature the line art from the cards without color, as I originally drew them. This goal also includes a $500 bonus for the colorist.

Sample of Holographic Black Edges
Sample of Holographic Black Edges

REACHED!! We are now printing the deck with both gold edges AND holographic black edges. Each backer will be able to choose in their survey if they prefer gilded gold or holographic black edges. I absolutely love how these shiny black edges catch and reflect the light. Thank you for making them a reality!

Holographic Black Edges Sample
Holographic Black Edges Sample

Plan, Budget and Schedule

At this point all 78 cards are drawn and finished! Woo hoo! The entire Major Arcana is colored and ready to go. This is what's left to do backers receive their rewards:

  • Color the remaining Minor Arcana cards
  • Finish writing the guidebook
  • Finish the guidebook website
  • Format the printed guidebook (if stretch goal is reached)
  • Send to Print
  • Shipping from printer in China
  • Pack and ship rewards!

If all goes well, the project will go to print in July. Things often get slowed down in printing, so including wiggle room, I am anticipating sending backer rewards in November!  There is a high possibility that they may go out in September or October if everything goes smoothly. 


Budget: $8000 Goal

The Kickstarter goal of $8000 will fund the printing of decks, shipment of the decks from the printer to my studio, stickers, enamel pins, prints, taxes and fees, and shipment of the rewards to backers. I have already paid the colorist out of pocket.

Budget breakdown for $8000 goal
Budget breakdown for $8000 goal

Budget: $13,000 Printed Guidebook Stretch Goal

The stretch goal of $13,000 will fund the printing of decks, printing a full guidebook to accompany the deck, shipment of the decks from the printer to my studio, stickers, enamel pins, prints, taxes and fees, and shipment of the rewards to backers. I have already paid the colorist out of pocket, but this stretch goal budgets for a $500 bonus for the colorist.

Budget breakdown for $13,000 printed guidebook stretch goal
Budget breakdown for $13,000 printed guidebook stretch goal

Shipping Policy for Backer Rewards

All rewards will include tracking and be shipped USPS Priority mail, with the exception of Enamel Pins, which will be shipped First Class. If/when the Kickstarter funds, backer surveys will be sent out within two weeks. PLEASE FILL OUT THE BACKER SURVEY. Without your shipping address from the survey, we cannot ship your reward. Add-ons will be available when you fill out your survey, so if you want to add a second deck or enamel pin or print, you will be able to do it then! 

All backers must have a valid email, a shipping address, and up-to-date credit card information. If your credit card information is not up to date and your payment is declined, you will not receive your reward. Your shipping address will be used exactly as stated in shipping your rewards to you, so double-check to make sure everything is correct. If your reward gets sent back due to an error in providing your address, you will be charged for reshipment.

When I am ready to ship (2 1/2 - 5 months after funding), I will indicate that to Kickstarter and in accordance with Kickstarter policy, backers will have 48 hours to update or send their surveys if they have not already. After those 48 hours have passed, any backers who have not filled out their survey forfeit their rewards.

Priority Mail includes limited insurance, so if your reward arrives damaged or doesn't show up within 15 business days for domestic orders or 4 weeks for international orders, from the day it was shipped, I will file an insurance claim with the postal service and replace your lost or damaged item. Additional insurance will be purchases for rewards at higher levels.

Policy and Limitations:

  • A domestic package is not considered "lost" until 15 business days after the day it was shipped.
  • An international package is not considered "lost" until 4 weeks after the day it was shipped.
  • No replacements will be made if the item is "marked delivered" by USPS at the address you provided.
  • If your reward arrives damaged, please immediately photograph it and contact me so I can file the insurance claim.
  • No replacements will be made 60 days after the ship date.
  • For international orders, replacements will not be made until after the insurance claim is approved (this may take months), and will not be made if the insurance claim is not approved.

Special thanks to Dan and Sacha from Polymyth productions for making this fantastic Kickstarter video!

Risks and challenges

Remaining Work:
I'm a big believer in finishing the majority of a project before Kickstarting, so in this case, there isn't a lot left to do! The work that still needs to be done is some coloring, and writing and editing the guidebook. The potential risk moving forward would be a delay in backers receiving their cards because coloring or the guidebook is taking longer to write than anticipated. I plan to address this by working on the guidebook during the Kickstarter and while I am waiting to receive Kickstarter funds.

Printing: The biggest risk is that there will be an issue with printing or an issue with shipment from the printer. For these reasons I have estimated that backers will receive their decks a month and a half later than I actually think the decks will arrive, to make cushion room for these potential setbacks. That being said, it is completely possible that something, or multiple things, may go wrong and set us back further, in which case I ask backers to be patient in receiving their rewards.

Risk of too much success: The timeline is created for the number of decks that will be printed if the Kickstarter succeeds in reaching its $8,000 goal, but does not reach any of the stretch goals. If this Kickstarter is wildly successful, that will mean printing more decks, which will need to be shipped by sea, and that will take longer. Ordering a huge amount of decks could also mean issues with storage. I have planned for all of these issues to the best of my ability and worked buffer room into the timeline for shipment by sea. That being said, it is not possible for me to plan for EVERYTHING if the quantity of decks I plan to order significantly increases.

Shipments to backers: Other potential risks could be in shipping from me to individual backers. To address this risk I plan on shipping all backer rewards Priority USPS mail, which includes $50 insurance. If your reward is lost the mail or damaged, we will file an insurance claim to replace it. For more expensive rewards, I will purchase more insurance to cover any loss or damages during shipping. Limitations apply. Please see the Shipping policy for more information.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 12 or more About US$ 12

    Enamel Pin

    Limited edition gold enamel pin - just for the Kickstarter! After the Kickstarter, all pins will be silver.

    Includes:
    • Enamel Pin
    • Domestic Shipping
    • Sticker
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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    The Deck

    Full 78 card This Might Hurt Tarot Deck, first edition!

    Includes:
    • This Might Hurt Tarot Deck
    • Domestic Shipping
    • Sticker
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    Pledge US$ 55 or more About US$ 55

    Deck and Enamel Pin

    Get the enamel pin with the deck and get $2 off the pin.

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    • Enamel Pin
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    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    Deck and Major Arcana Print

    The deck and your choice of 8.5" x 11" print from the Major Arcana. I'll send a backer survey after the Kickstarter to select your print.

    Includes:
    • This Might Hurt Tarot Deck
    • 8.5" x 11" Print from the Major Arcana
    • Sticker
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    Pledge US$ 70 or more About US$ 70

    Deck and Enamel Pin and Print

    The Deck, the enamel pin, and an 8 1/2" by 11" Major Arcana print of your choice.

    Includes:
    • This Might Hurt Tarot Deck
    • 8.5" x 11" Print from the Major Arcana
    • Enamel Pin
    • Sticker
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    Pledge US$ 85 or more About US$ 85

    Two Decks (shipping costs the same)

    Back two decks at the same time, and save $5 on the second deck! This pledge level was designed for international backers who want to save on shipping. Because the decks are shipping in flat rate envelopes, it costs the same to ship 2 as it does to ship one! Team up with a neighbor and split shipping costs. Please note, there will ALSO be an option at the END of the Kickstarter to add a deck on to your order, so it is not necessary to choose this option now. You will still have a chance later.

    Includes:
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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Minor Arcana Original Art, Deck, and Pin

    Original Art from the Minor Arcana, plus the deck! Every card is hand drawn at 4" x 6" on Bristol and one could be yours! Which card you get is your choice, but on a first-come-first serve basis. A list of available cards can be found in the story section of the Kickstarter page.

    Includes:
    • Original Art (Minor Arcana)
    • This Might Hurt Tarot Deck
    • Enamel Pin
    • Sticker
    • Domestic Shipping
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    Limited 2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 225 or more About US$ 225

    All The Things!

    Round out your collection with everything that is being offered in this Kickstarter, all together! This includes all 22 prints from the Major Arcana, an enamel pin, and a deck!

    Includes:
    • This Might Hurt Tarot Deck
    • All 22 Major Arcana Prints
    • Enamel Pin
    • Sticker
    • Domestic Shipping
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Major Arcana Original Art, Deck and Pin

    Original Art from the Major Arcana, plus the deck! Every card is hand drawn at 4" x 6" on Bristol and one could be yours! Which card you get is your choice, but on a first-come-first serve basis. A list of available cards can be found in the story section of the Kickstarter page.

    Includes:
    • Original Art (Major Arcana)
    • This Might Hurt Tarot Deck
    • Enamel Pin
    • Sticker
    • Domestic Shipping
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    Custom Tarot Card

    I will draw a tarot card of the card of your choice, with the person of your choice in the card! You will receive 4" x 6" original art of your custom card. This card will be just for you and not appear in the This Might Hurt Tarot Deck. I will send you a questionnaire in order to draw the card. No color, edits, or revisions. You will also get the deck and an enamel pin!

    Includes:
    • Custom Art
    • This Might Hurt Tarot Deck
    • Sticker
    • Domestic Shipping
    • Enamel Pin
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    Early Bird Discount Deck

    Get in there early and get a deck for $10 off!

    Includes:
    • This Might Hurt Tarot Deck
    • Sticker
    • Domestic Shipping
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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)