I'm A.L. 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.
The Wooden Tarot has completely consumed my life. To this day, I still get emails, messages, and comments at shows about the deck and expanding it into a full, complete tarot deck. I flat out refused at first, since working on the major arcana was such a tremendous and exhausting experience. I originally created the deck to reinterpret the imagery to fit my aesthetic; I never intended for it to be used as a real deck would be. Over the past year, I've seen countless comments and posts from enthusiastic Kickstarter backers and buyers and their experiences with the deck and began to see it as not just an illustration project, but a real deck that definitely was incomplete.
For this project, I will be expanding The Wooden Tarot into a full 78 card deck. I will be adding the 56 Minor Arcana cards. I will again be borrowing from the imagery and mysticism of the most popular Rider-Waite-Smith deck, while injecting my own cast of weird 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. The cards will again be illustrated on 6x8" birch wood panels, in a mixed media of graphite, colored pencil, and acrylic paint.
This full 78 card deck will be printed at standard 2.75 x 4.75" tarot card size, packaged in a custom playing card tuck box. The full deck will differ from the limited edition Major Arcana deck in that it will be smaller, with full bleed cards, and it will NOT be limited edition like the original deck. You can read more about the limited edition Major Arcana deck here.
The vast majority of the costs are for the printing of 1000 decks- the rest of the funds will be used for wooden panels for completing the remaining card illustrations, shipping supplies, and various other supplies.
How Kickstarter works
Kickstarter is an all or nothing funding platform for potential projects. Meaning, if I do not reach my $11,000 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!
THE MAJOR ARCANA
THE MINOR ARCANA
Stretch Goals are a fun way to keep the project fresh and exciting if The Wooden Tarot exceeds its initial goal before the funding period is over. If we reach $12,000 in funding before the Kickstarter campaign has ended, I will add a 4x6" Happy Squirrel postcard to every reward that requires shipping!
- Blog- Backers who pledge $1 will receive access to the password protected 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!
- Three Card Draw- Backers who pledge $5 will receive three RANDOM cards from the Major Arcana. The cards are 4x6" with rounded edges, and ship flat in a small rigid mailer.
- 7x10" Prints- Backers who pledge $15 will receive a 7x10" print (on 8.5x11" paper) of any card of your choice. You will be able to choose which card you would like as a print on your rewards survey. Prints will ship flat in a large rigid mailer.
- 10x14" Large Prints- Backers who pledge $20 will receive a 10.5x14" large scale print (on 11x17" paper) of any card of your choice. Prints will ship rolled in a cardboard tube
- The Tarot Deck- Backers who pledge $30 will receive one copy of the full Wooden Tarot deck. The decks will be signed by me and shipped in a poly bubble mailer. You may also pledge $45 to receive TWO copies of The Wooden Tarot, or $70 for THREE copies.
- The Limited Edition Deck + The Full Deck- Backers who pledge $40 will receive BOTH versions of The Wooden Tarot. The limited edition Major Arcana deck has 27 cards, is 4x6" in size, limited to 1000, and signed and numbered by me. This deck is VERY limited and collectible now, so I will only have a few to offer for this Kickstarter campaign. Decks will be shipped in a corrugated cardboard box packed with recycled material.
- Sketch- Backers who pledge $50 will receive an original sketch used in the making of the Minor Arcana portion of the deck, along with the full Wooden Tarot deck. This sketch will be the exact sketch that I use for transferring line art onto the wood panel for painting, and will be selected randomly. 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 COURT CARDS (example: Ace of Bone, Knight of Plume, etc) in Minor Arcana portion of the deck (sorry, all of the major arcana art has already been sold), as well as the full Wooden Tarot deck. Artwork will be selected randomly. The original artwork will be on 6x8" cradled wood panel, with each panel being 1" deep. The art and deck will ship in a corrugated cardboard box packed with recycled material.
- Backers who pledge $80 will receive one of the original pieces of art used for the NUMBERED CARDS (example: Two of Bloom, Eight of Bone) in the Minor Arcana portion of the deck, as well as the full Wooden Tarot Deck. Artwork will be selected randomly.
- 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 copy of the full Wooden 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. The custom artwork and deck will ship in a corrugated cardboard box with recycled packing material.
- CUSTOM 36x48" Tarot Inspired Art- The ultimate pledge. A special backer who pledges $5000 will receive a custom, 3x4 foot mixed media painting completed to their specifications. After your art is completed, I will travel to you and hand it to you in person. Continental US only.
Having run two 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. Please respond as quickly as possible. 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 send me a message and I will update your address.
- 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 on Amazon.com. 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 need your help more than ever to finally and officially complete The Wooden Tarot deck. Thank you all for your continued support and enthusiasm. I can't wait to complete the deck and send it out into the world.
Risks and challenges
This will be the largest and most time consuming project I've ever undertaken. 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 six months to complete, another month to finish the design work for the cards and send them to the printer, and another month to get all of the rewards out. My goal is to have the decks in backers' hands by the winter holidays.... which means I am going to have to pull out all of the stops to make it happen. I feel confident in my ability, however, and consider this a challenge rather than something negative. 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)