I'm Andy Swartz, a freelance artist and illustrator. My style of artwork is typified by dream-like, faintly creepy and macabre fantasy wildlife. I am a mostly self-taught artist, and I'm inspired by cartoons, video games, scientific illustration, and folklore and myths. I sell my work online and in a handful of galleries, and I also travel around the US doing art fairs and festivals. You can view more of my work at skullgarden.net.
Over the past two years I've delved head first into the world of card deck illustration, and it has completely changed the way that I work and view art. With the creation of The Wooden Tarot deck, I learned how to reshape symbolism to fit my personal vision, and how to draw inspiration from both old world mythology and the natural world. My mind is now constantly driven towards these concepts when I work.
With this project, I intend to create a new oracle card deck to be a spiritual sequel to The Wooden Tarot. It will contain familiar concepts, imagery, and symbolism; however, this deck will be much more practical, down to earth, and will be much easier to derive meanings and answers from. I focused on simple, pithy subjects and symbols that are easy to understand, but flexible enough to have multiple meanings and interpretations. This is not a deck that you'll need to do research or homework on, though some of the symbols are distinctly Western (such as "gift" and "deceit", for example).
An oracle card deck is similar to a tarot deck, although there are no suits, no names, and no pre-requisites for what should be contained in the deck. It's a deck of cards with illustrations, titles, and that's it. You interpret it and derive meaning from the cards you draw as you see fit.
The cards will be illustrated on 6x8" birch wood panels, in a mixed media of graphite, colored pencil, and acrylic paint.
This deck will contain 36 illustrated cards (34 art cards + 1 title card + 1 Special Thanks card with the names of all backers who pledge $40 or more) printed at 2.5 x 3.5" (63x88mm), packaged in a custom tuck box. The Earthbound Oracle deck will be an open edition deck, with the first 500 decks printed with the funds raised from this Kickstarter project.
The majority of the costs are for the printing of 500 decks- the rest of the funds will be used for wooden panels for completing the remaining card illustrations, t-shirts and other rewards, shipping, and various other supplies.
Kickstarter is an amazingly powerful tool that puts the power of creative projects back into the hands of creators and their backers. As the creator of three previous successful projects, I know that crowdfunding is the single best way to fund the creation of indie decks without the influence of outside sources. It's just you, me, and the deck. It would be impossible for me to foot the bill for creating a deck by myself, which is why I use Kickstarter as a platform for raising the funds while giving backers a discount on the final product for helping me complete it.
Kickstarter is an all or nothing funding platform for potential projects. Meaning if I do not reach my $4,900 funding goal, then the project does not come to fruition and no money is lost from the backers. If I do reach my goal, then the project proceeds and is completed by me, and in a few months you will have your newly minted deck, along with my eternal admiration and gratitude.
Stretch Goals are a fun way to keep the project fresh and exciting if the Earthbound Oracle exceeds its initial goal before the funding period is over.
GOAL REACHED! If we reach $5,500, every pledge for a deck will receive a wooden YES/NO answer coin!
GOAL REACHED! If we reach $10,000 the deck will be increased to 54 cards! *this will extend the deadline to December 2015.
If we reach $20,000 the deck will be increased to 72 cards! *this will extend the deadline to January 2016.
BLOG- $1 backers will get access to the password protected blog, earthboundoracle.tumblr.com. Every reward tier gets this password.
POSTCARD- For $5, I'll send you a handwritten note on an Earthbound Oracle postcard!
DECK- For $20, you will receive one copy of the Earthbound Oracle deck. Each deck is 36 cards with a custom tuck box.
T-SHIRT- for $25, you will receive one Earthbound Oracle t-shirt. You'll be able to choose from sizes small to 6XL when I send the reward surveys once everything is ready to ship.
INK DRAWING + DECK- for $30, you will receive one copy of the Earthbound Oracle along with a 2.5x3.5" (same size as the cards) ink drawing on kraft colored recycled french paper. What I'll draw for you will be a surprise!
TWO DECKS- for $35, you will receive two copies of the Earthbound Oracle.
For pledging $40+, I will add your name on a SPECIAL THANKS card in the deck!
DECK + SHIRT- for $40, you will receive one Earthbound Oracle deck, and one Earthbound Oracle t-shirt. You'll be able to choose from sizes small to 6XL when I send the reward surveys once everything is ready to ship.
THREE DECKS- for $50, you will receive three copies of the Earthbound Oracle.
ORACLE + TAROT- for $50, you will receive one copy of the Earthbound Oracle deck, plus one copy of The Wooden Tarot. You can view the art for The Wooden Tarot here.
FIVE DECKS- for $75, you will receive five copies of the Earthbound Oracle deck. That's a whole lot of decks.
ORIGINAL CARD ART- for $100, you will receive one random 6x8" original mixed media painting used in the creation of the Earthbound Oracle deck, and one copy of the deck.
6x8" CUSTOM ART- for $200, you will receive a 6x8" custom mixed media painting from me, one shirt, and one copy of the Earthbound Oracle deck. I will work from your ideas to first produce a few sketches for you to choose from (or change). Once a finalized sketch is approved, I will complete the piece, send more photos for your approval, then finally ship the piece to you. Custom artwork will be completed after the art for the deck is finished.
11x14" CUSTOM ART- for $325, you will receive an 11x14" custom mixed media painting from me, one shirt, and one copy of the Earthbound Oracle deck. I will work from your ideas to first produce a few sketches for you to choose from (or change). Once a finalized sketch is approved, I will complete the piece, send more photos for your approval, then finally ship the piece to you. Custom artwork will be completed after the art for the deck is finished.
Having completed three successful Kickstarter campaigns in the past, I have run into a few snags that delayed the shipment of rewards to some backers. Here are some tips to help you receive your rewards in a smooth, timely manner.
- The email you have listed on Kickstarter MUST be a valid email that you check frequently. The longer it takes you to respond to your survey once funding has ended, the longer it takes for you to receive your reward.This is particularly important for backers pledging for custom artwork.
- I will copy and paste your address exactly as you write it in your survey, so your address must be correctly spelled and laid out. If your rewards are returned to me due to a bad address, I will contact you and you must repay for shipping. If your address changes after you have filled out your survey but before your rewards have shipped, please update your address in your backer survey, and send me a message!
- I cannot ship to international P.O. Boxes. Please provide a physical address or ask a friend or relative if they will allow you to have your rewards shipped to their home.
- Please make sure that your credit card information is up to date. If it is not up to date, then your pledge will be declined once funding has ended and you will be dropped as a backer. (Though if this happens accidentally, you can contact me and I can provide alternate payment options)
- I am not responsible for customs fees for international orders. The shipping will be covered, but sometimes international orders require extras fees which must be paid by the backer, especially for items of higher value. Backers must pay any potential customs fees that may occur.
Thank you for taking the time to review my project! I can't wait to complete the deck and send it out into the world, and I look forward to working with you.
Risks and challenges
It is going to take a long time to complete all of the work for this deck. I am expecting the paintings to take approximately three months to complete, and another month to get the decks sent to the printer and get all of the rewards out. My goal is to have the decks in backers' hands by the end of September. I feel confident in my ability, and I've got three previously successful projects under my belt, so I don't forsee any major issues. There's always the issue of shipping costs rising (and I'm sure they will), but I'll cover any additional costs that may arise by myself. Aside from a few weekend festivals this summer, I have all of the time I need to complete this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)