The use of divination goes back thousands of years. Tarot, in particular, was born out of a desire for clarity, resolve, and inspiration. The Violet Ascension extends this tradition: a means to seeking a path in uncertain times.
The Violet Ascension takes its name from two pieces of my life: place and color.
- Violet: a fragile flower, a shade of purple, and my (as well as The Artist's, RIP) favorite color.
- Ascension: meaning rise up. Ascension Parish, just up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, is the home to 300 years of my Cajun ancestors who live(d) there.
The Violet Ascension reflects non-violence, intersectional feminism, human-powered transportation, inventions, respect for animals and nature. With themes of otherness, magic, southerness, queerness, and dissidence, this isn't your traditional Raider-Waite inspired Tarot deck.
I’m a creative Jill-of-all-Trades with a background in publishing, art history, and creative writing. I've been published regularly in Bitch Magazine, Taking The Lane, and various other places, and have been drawing since as long as I can remember.
The call to start creating art again came loudly, and initially, without structure. While I have consistently worked on project-based art (props for events, labels and logos for friends, imagery for publishing endeavors), I stopped calling myself An Artist around when I switched majors from Fine Art to English. This was my first mistake. My second was that I ever quit doodling.
Something changed a couple of years ago. I got inspired to draw commonplace objects, then animals, then more complicated objects. But as with the above, my efforts are best served by a project. I had the idea to create a Tarot deck, in part to help strengthen my connection to the cards, but also to analyze different decks and varied symbolism.
I became fascinated with the ways artists have been evolving tarot decks into both personal and universal narratives and found my own rhythms, patterns, and discoveries as I searched deeply and surrendered to possibilities of creativity and magic.
It was there when I started to see my own vision for suites and cards, and thus The Violet Ascension began: a deck that deconstructed what we traditionally see as human-centered archetypes, and moved them into realms of animals and special objects. 78+ illustrations later, here we are.
I started posting my doodles, work in progress sketches, found art, and final pieces to the internet--follow @violetascension on Instagram, or at www.rhienna.com for my latest project work. To track backwards over my journey (as well as that of other artists!), see #tarotproject on Instagram.
In structuring this Kickstarter campaign, I wanted to make sure there was equal representation across the levels that considered socio-economic limitations, location, and quality of goods. I didn't want this to be an excuse to generate material things to justify tier levels. So, our pledge levels and rewards are straightforward and simple. Don't want a physical item but want to contribute? There are two awards levels for you. Wish you could commission custom art of your own because you love everything you see here? There are tiers for you, too.
We are pleased to be offering the following rewards for The Violet Ascension Tarot campaign:
- digital postcards
- downloadable PDF of deck
- select hi-res illustrations as digital file(s)
- The World 1" enamel pin(s)
- printed postcard(s)
- 8.5" x 11" Major Arcana prints
- physical Tarot deck(s)
- original pen-and-ink drawing(s) from the deck
- custom pen-and-ink drawing(s) yet to be created
- 30-minute Google Hangout Tarot reading with the artist
The digital files are intended to be shared, printed, or used as wallpaper. For the PDF of the deck, we're hoping to have an accessibility-friendly file that can be used in desktop or on mobile with a smart PDF reader.
Rewards will be available as progress is made on the deck (for PDF and printed versions of the deck). Other digital goods, postcards, and enamel pins will be shipping this summer.
For prints, these are on high quality, acid-free environmentally-friendly stock.
1" enamel pin(s): We've commissioned custom enamel pins to pull from the imagery of the Major Arcana card, "The World." After a local artist helped us evolve our hand-drawn disco ball into vector art, we were able to get the pins made with the help of the Portland-area vendor, Ways & Means. These pins are 1" with flecks of glitter, and will later be available on our shop.
The deck itself will be produced once this Kickstarter is funded! Our goal is to use a local-area printer and do a print run that is both sustainably-minded and of high quality. We will have updates for our supporters once we have successfully reached our $5,000 project goal!
That's why I'm here, and hopefully, that's why you're here too: to make this project possible via crowdfunding.
My main objective in launching this campaign is to raise the money needed to ensure resources needed to print The Violet Ascension Tarot deck. Our goal amount is $5,000, which will cover the cost of printing the deck itself, as well as budget for shipping, packaging and handling, and of course all the fees that allow both this campaign and your money to travel the virtual wires between us.
Stretch goals will come into play if/as I exceed expectations. I have a lot of ideas for rewards—things like a guidebook, mobile app, Violet Ascension events—but I want to see this thing take flight, first. When you pledge, you'll get project updates, and I'd love to crowdsource what rewards you'd love to receive!
Thank you so much for your time and involvement! This project would not be possible without the support and enthusiasm of my community.
Super special VIP thanks to: Chelsea Christer, a talented filmmaker who made a project video so slick and inspiring that I teared up the first time I watched it; to Heather Oriana Petrocelli for endless patience and passion helping support me on my first crowdfunding effort; to Montmuse for the epically gorgeous audio track used in the video; Elly Blue for the publishing P&L support; Sheri Smith for her hand-lettering support; and finally, to CJH for (very rarely) complaining about my drawings taking up our entire dining room table.
There are a few more of you who are forever immortalized in the characters of The Violet Ascension Tarot (e.g., The Fool, The 3 of Cups, The Emperor, The Sun, The Empress): interpreting you as Tarot archetypes captured but a fraction of the magic and inspiration I feel from each of you.
Finally, I want to thank all my supporters, especially my friends and colleagues who follow me online. I wouldn't even be here without you.
Risks and challenges
Once this Kickstarter funds, it is my goal to focus on finalizing the deck and preparing it for production. The funds themselves are a necessity in making this project a reality (that’s why we’re here!), and ensure my ability to pre-order a larger quantity of decks from a local, sustainable printer.
As a Project Manager/Producer, I know how to ensure a project’s success: I’m prepared, risk is known and mitigated, and have a clear plan. With any project, I know there are also challenges. For example, scanning and image correction will take some time. Some images may need to be changed for quality, or redrawn altogether. Once cards are complete, I’ll need to do a test file to confirm resolution, color, and legibility (which could also necessitate updated or redrawn images).
The print time will vary based on timing of completion, the printer I select, and their backlog of print projects. As such, I’ve padded the anticipated ship date to what feels realistic and feasible, with The Violet Ascension Tarot Deck ready for shipment in February, 2018.
You can help ensure my success in a couple of key ways:
1. Pledging. There’s an entry-level tier of $5, and varying tiers that have been considerately selected to offer the very most out of each level. Obviously not everyone can financially give, and I understand that.
2. Sharing. Kickstarter has varying sharing methods, and it’d mean the world to me if you’d be willing to spread the word about The Violet Ascension Tarot Deck. Please forward on this campaign to friends, family, and anyone you know who might resonate with the mission or art behind this project.
Also, your feedback and questions! Beyond this campaign, I plan on keeping in contact with my backers, but I also want to hear from you! How did you find this project, what suite resonates with you, and so forth. Thanks for reading (and hopefully) your pledge. I'm excited to make this project a reality. <3Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)