Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 15, 2013.

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An illustrated Major Arcana deck featuring a cast of surreal creatures and symbols on wood.

UPDATE 3/31/2013:

A new stretch goal has been added!

UPDATE 3/20/2013:

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!

UPDATE 3/19/2013: 

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. 

ABOUT

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. 

journal full of initial ideas
journal full of initial ideas

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 Fool in progress
The Fool in progress

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!

unlocked on 3/15/13
unlocked on 3/15/13

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!

Pentacles and Cups
Pentacles and Cups
Wands and Swords
Wands and Swords

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

Sketches

Magician and High Priestess
Magician and High Priestess
The Empress and Emperor
The Empress and Emperor
The Hierophant and The Lovers
The Hierophant and The Lovers
The Chariot and Strength
The Chariot and Strength
The Hermit and The Wheel
The Hermit and The Wheel
Justice and The Hanged Man
Justice and The Hanged Man
Death and Temperance
Death and Temperance
The Devil and The Tower
The Devil and The Tower
The Star and The Moon
The Star and The Moon
The Sun and Judgement
The Sun and Judgement
The World and The Fool
The World and The Fool

Finished Artwork

*NEW* The Hermit card mock-up
*NEW* The Hermit card mock-up
*NEW* The Fool card mock-up
*NEW* The Fool card mock-up
Title card mock-up
Title card mock-up
Death mock-up
Death mock-up
Card back mock-up
Card back mock-up

REWARDS

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):

Cubic Fluorite w/ Bear Skull
Cubic Fluorite w/ Bear Skull

Wheel of Fortune II:

Ruby
Ruby

Wheel of Fortune III

Sebastian
Sebastian

Wheel of Fortune VI

Summerset
Summerset

Wheel of Fortune V

Velvet
Velvet

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 Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.

FAQ

  • MULTIPLE DECKS: Choose the reward level that you would like- in this case, it would either be $25+ or $45+. Then pledge the amount that reflects the amount of decks you would like to receive. For example, if you want three decks and live in the US, choose the $45+ pledge and tack on an extra $25, totaling $70.

    MULTIPLE REWARDS: Choose the reward level that you would like to receive, then pledge the remaining amount of the other rewards you would like. For example, if you would like a custom 6x8" painting as well as the set of five prints and live in the US, you would choose the $200+ pledge, then add an extra $60 for the print set.

    If you are wanting to receive rewards that vary greatly in size, and are curious about bulk shipping, please send me a message and we can figure out the best reward option on a case by case basis.

    Once funding has ended successfully, I will send out surveys for backers to claim their rewards. Make sure to mention how many decks you would like, or I might incorrectly assume that you were just making a generous donation.

    If you have any more questions about receiving awards, pledging custom amounts, or wanting to order multiple decks, please send me a message and I'll get to it right away.

    Last updated:
  • No. The Wooden Tarot will only ever be a majors only deck. There will be a total of 27 cards:

    22 major arcana + 1 title card + 4 ace cards = 27 cards total.

    Last updated:
  • The piece that I create for you could be based on a major arcana card, a minor arcana card, I could invent a new card or suit for you.... anything. While I said that custom artwork would be tarot inspired, what I make for you will ultimately be up to you, so if you don't want a piece that's tarot inspired, that's fine too. Or, if you're not sure what you'd like to have created for you, we can work on an idea together to come up with something you'd like.

    If you have any questions about custom artwork, feel free to send me a message before you commit to a pledge amount.

    Last updated:
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    5 backers

    STRENGTH- Access to the password protected blog, woodentarot.tumblr.com. I will be posting exclusive photos of the cards in progress. There will also be a comment section where backers can leave feedback and suggestions on works in progress.

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    THE HERMIT- PDF version of the deck, including the title card and card back. Access to the password protected blog.

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    5 backers

    THE CHARIOT- A 5x7" print of one of the illustrated cards. The print will be single matted to 8x10", with a foam board backing and in a protective clear sleeve. The title of the card and my signature will be signed in pencil on the mat. You will also receive access to the password protected blog.

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    234 backers Limited (266 left of 500)

    THE WORLD- One signed and numbered limited edition tarot deck. Access to the password protected blog.

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    32 backers Limited (18 left of 50)

    THE LOVERS- Two signed and numbered limited edition decks. Access to the password protected blog.

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    4 backers All gone!

    WANDS- An original sketch of one of the Ace cards, as well as one signed and numbered tarot deck. The sketch will be the line art that I use for the card illustration. It will be 6x8" on cream colored parchment paper, matted to 8x10" with foam board backing in a clear plastic sleeve. The sketch will be signed and titled in pencil on the mat board. You will also receive access to the password protected blog.

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    15 backers Limited (7 left of 22)

    THE EMPEROR- An original sketch of one of the cards, as well as one signed and numbered tarot deck. The sketch will be the line art that I use for the card illustration. It will be 6x8" on cream colored parchment paper, matted to 8x10" with foam board backing in a clear plastic sleeve. The sketch will be signed and titled in pencil on the mat board. You will also receive access to the password protected blog.

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    TEMPERANCE- Five 5x7" prints of your choice, five for the price of four! All prints are matted to 8x10", signed and titled in pencil, and are packaged in clear bags with foamboard backing. You will also receive access to the password protected blog.

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    CUPS- An original Ace card illustration, as well as a signed and numbered tarot deck. The original will be 6x8" mixed media on wood, sealed with a matte varnish. You will also receive access to the password protected blog.

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    21 backers Limited (1 left of 22)

    THE HIEROPHANT- An original card illustration, as well as a signed and numbered tarot deck. The original will be 6x8" mixed media on wood, sealed with a matte varnish. You will also receive access to the password protected blog.

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    WHEEL OF FORTUNE I- One limited edition deck, one 5x7" print of your choice, and the 8x10" original "Cubic Fluorite w/ Bear Skull" painting.

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    WHEEL OF FORTUNE II- One limited edition deck, one 5x7" print of your choice, and the 8x10" original "Ruby" painting.

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    WHEEL OF FORTUNE III- One limited edition deck, one 5x7" print of your choice, and the 8x10" original "Sebastian" painting.

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    WHEEL OF FORTUNE IV- One limited edition deck, one 5x7" print of your choice, and the 8x10" original "Summerset" painting.

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    WHEEL OF FORTUNE V- One limited edition deck, one 5x7" print of your choice, and the 8x10" original "Velvet" painting.

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    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    THE HIGH PRIESTESS- A custom, tarot inspired mixed media painting, as well as the limited edition deck. Original will be 6x8" acrylic and colored pencil on wood, completed to the specifications of the backer. You will also receive access to the password protected blog.

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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    THE MAGICIAN- A custom, tarot inspired mixed media painting, as well as the limited edition deck. Original will be 11x14" acrylic and colored pencil on wood, completed to the specifications of the backer. You will also receive access to the password protected blog.

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    JUSTICE- A custom, tarot inspired mixed media painting, as well as the limited edition deck. Custom painting will be 16x20" acrylic and colored pencil on wood, completed to the specifications of the backer. Access to the password protected blog.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    THE SUN- A custom, tarot inspired mixed media painting, as well as the limited edition deck, and the 6x8" original art for the card back. Custom painting will be 18x24" acrylic and colored pencil on wood, completed to the specifications of the backer. Access to the password protected blog.

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    THE FOOL'S JOURNEY- A custom 36x48" (that's 3x4 feet!) painting completed to the backers specifications. I will also deliver the painting in person to the backer upon completion! And, of course, you will also receive a signed and numbered deck. Continental US only.

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Funding period

- (31 days)