About this project
A new stretch goal has been added!
The stretch goal has been met! The four ace cards of the minor arcana will be added to every deck. Thanks everyone! There are still more decks and rewards to be claimed and the project is still running until April 14th!
We surpassed our $5000 goal this morning! In less than five days! My friends, you are the best. I never expected this level of support for the project, and I'm humbled and grateful that so many of you also want The Wooden Tarot to exist. As of the time of this update, we have a little less than $400 to meet the stretch goal for the Ace cards! I think we can do it. There are still more decks and rewards to be claimed! Thank you, everyone.
I'm Amy 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 tattoo work. You can view more of my work at skullgarden.net.
I've been wanting to do a major illustrative project for a while, but could never really get a solid idea of what I wanted to do. Then suddenly about a year ago, I started thinking about tarot decks. I have no idea where the thought came from, especially since I had never used a deck and didn't even know what or how many cards it had. I started researching immediately, and within about a week I had filled an entire Moleskine journal with interpretations, symbols, and meanings. Brainstorming for the Wooden Tarot has completely consumed my life. I've worked for months on the ideas and sketches to the point where I even have tarot related dreams at night.
For this project, I will be recreating the 22 card Major Arcana portion of the 78 card tarot deck into a 1000 edition deck. I will be borrowing from the imagery and mysticism of the most popular Rider-Waite-Smith deck, while injecting my own cast of surreal creatures and props as the subjects of each card. I want the deck to have the same level of mysticism as traditional decks, but with a more natural feel that is distinctly different from every other tarot. A lot of the characters that show up in the deck have been inspired by previous pieces of mine. I aim to emphasize the concepts of the Fool's Journey, the Circle of Life, and the symbiotic relationships of all living things.
The artwork will be completed on 6x8" wooden panels, executed in my preferred mixed media of acrylic paints and colored pencils. The vast majority of the costs are for the printing of the decks- the rest of the funds will be used for wooden panels for completing the remaining card illustrations, shipping supplies, and various other supplies.
The deck itself will be a total of 23 cards (now 27!), with each card being 4x6" in dimension, with 1/8" rounded corners. There will be a title card, complete with its own illustration, that has the title of the deck, my name, and a space for me to sign and number each of the 1000 deck edition. Each card will have the same back. The entire deck will be packaged together in a clear plastic box. Any extra decks not claimed by backers for the kickstarter will be sold in my online store or at the conventions and festivals that I attend. After the 1000 edition is sold out, it will be gone forever. No more decks will ever be printed!
How Kickstarter works
Kickstarter is an all or nothing funding platform for potential projects. Meaning, if I do not reach my $5,000 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!
UPDATE 3/15/13: The stretch goal has been unlocked! If funding reaches $5500, the Ace cards of each suit will be added to ALL decks! I will upload sketches of the new Ace card illustrations Monday evening, 3/18/13! Great job, everyone!
The goal amount is just the bare bones cost of completing the project. Any extra money raised during the Kickstarter will go towards paying me for time spent on art making, designing, printing, shipping, and countless other duties required for such a large project. And, of course, those who continue to back the project if it surpasses its original funding goal will still receive rewards!
THE ART SO FAR
Blog- I will be documenting my progress with text updates as well as photos on the password protected blog woodentarot.tumblr.com. All backers will receive the password for this blog!
PDF Deck- I will be creating a PDF version of the deck for backers who pledge $5. This version of the deck will be exactly the same as the print version, except that it will not be numbered and signed.
Matted Prints- Backers who pledge $15 will receive a matted print of a card of their choosing. The print will be 5x7" on premium gloss paper, single matted, with a foam board backing and in a clear protective sleeve. The print will be signed and titled in pencil on the mat itself, and will ship in a rigid photo mailer. Please indicate which card you would like as a print.
The Tarot Deck- Backers who pledge $25 will receive one signed and numbered limited edition major arcana deck. The deck will be signed and numbered on the title card, and comes in a clear plastic box. The deck will ship in corrugated cardboard box, packed with recycled material. There is also a more limited reward level at $45 for two decks!
Sketch- Backers who pledge $50 will receive, along with a signed and numbered deck, an original production sketch for a random card. This sketch will be the exact sketch that I use for transferring line art onto the wood panel for painting. The sketch will be 6x8" in size, on cream colored parchment paper, matted to 8x10" with a foam board backing and clear plastic sleeve. The print and deck will ship in a corrugated cardboard box packed with recycled material.
Original Card Art- Backers who pledge $100 will receive one of the original pieces of art used for the deck. Artwork will be selected randomly. The original artwork will be on 6x8" cradled wood panel, with each panel being 1" deep, with wire attached to the back for hanging directing onto the wall. The art and deck will ship in a corrugated cardboard box packed with recycled material.
CUSTOM 6x8" Tarot Inspired Art- Backers who pledge $200 will receive a 6x8" custom, tarot imagery inspired mixed media painting from me, as well as one limited edition, signed and numbered tarot 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, but will be shipped in time for the winter 2013 holidays. The custom artwork and deck will ship in a corrugated cardboard box with recycled packing material.
CUSTOM 11x14" Tarot Inspired Art- Backers who pledge $350 will receive an 11x14" custom, tarot imagery inspired mixed media painting, as well as one signed and numbered tarot deck. Custom artwork will be completed after the art for the deck is finished, but will be shipped in time for the winter 2013 holidays. The custom artwork and deck will ship in a corrugated cardboard box with recycled packing material.
CUSTOM 16x20" Tarot Inspired Art- Backers who pledge $500 will receive an 16x20" custom, tarot imagery inspired mixed media painting, as well as one signed and numbered tarot deck. Custom artwork will be completed after the art for the deck is finished, but will be shipped in time for the winter 2013 holidays. The custom artwork and deck will ship in a corrugated cardboard box with recycled packing material.
CUSTOM 18x24" Tarot Inspired Art- Backers who pledge $750 will receive an 18x24" custom, tarot imagery inspired mixed media painting. You will also receive the original 6x8" mixed media painting used for the card backs, as well as the signed and numbered limited edition deck and access to the password protected blog. The artwork and deck will ship in a corrugated cardboard box with recycled packing material.
The Fool's Journey, CUSTOM 36x48" Tarot Inspired Art- The ultimate pledge. The beginning, the end, the entire funding amount. A special backer who pledges $5000 will receive a custom, 3x4 foot (the size of the painting that is in my project video) mixed media painting completed to their specifications. After your art is completed, I will travel to you and hand it to you in person.
The Wheels of Fortune- In addition to art from this project, I am also including rewards of unrelated original paintings. These paintings are 8x10" acrylic ink on cold press Arches paper. The ink paintings will be unmatted and unframed, and will be packaged with foam board backing in clear bags. You will also receive a 5x7" (matted to 8x10") print of your choice, and one signed and numbered limited edition deck. These rewards will ship in a corrugated cardboard box with recycled packing material.
Wheel of Fortune I (website watermarks are NOT on the originals):
Wheel of Fortune II:
Wheel of Fortune III
Wheel of Fortune VI
Wheel of Fortune V
Thank you for taking the time to review this project. It is something that I have spent countless hours on, and hope to be able to finish. Help me turn the Wooden Tarot into a printed deck!
Risks and challenges
Despite being only a portion of a full tarot deck, this is a major undertaking for just one person to complete. I also have other obligations, such as a solo exhibition which will require 50 pieces of artwork in October, as well as various other group shows, conventions, and festivals that require a lot of time and work. However, my goal is to complete all artwork for the deck the end of June, giving me plenty of time to for my other work. And if need be, I will cancel my extra conventions and festivals to complete this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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