Spooky Cat Tarot - A Watercolor Project
I spend an absolutely exorbitant amount of time doing art. When I stop doing my day job (I am a professional illustrator), I go home and do more art. Sometimes I forget to eat, or go outside, or that time exists. When I'm not doing art, I am coming up with ideas for art to do. The moment I thought of Spooky Cat Tarot, I knew it was a winner.
Above is an example of the card layout. This card is not printed - it is the original with the calligraphy label cut out and laid on top where it will go. In actuality, the calligraphy will be scanned separately and added digitally, but the shape will be similar.
Every card will feature an illustration with no border, minor arcana included. Currently, the paper is matte 350 gsm (a high quality card stock), and each card will measure 70x121mm.
Cats So Far
Pictures do not include ALL the cats. I will not have time to upload cats more than probably once a week or so. But I thought I would upload the first batch so you have an idea of what I am doing with them!
As a note - these were not scanned in, but were photographed in ambient natural lighting. The colors are mostly well represented, but the final product will be much nicer. You will be able to see details and textures you cannot here, and in person they will look a bit less "blotchy" as well.
Each and every cat has stolen the heart of one of the project backers. Due to time constraints (and limited access to a nice scanner), I will not be uploading the rest of the pictures until they are all completed. I will scan them in, add the calligraphy on digitally, and then upload them for everyone.
This goal has been unlocked! This means I will be able to hire a professional calligrapher to hand draw the name of each card, as well as the title of the deck for the box and booklet cover. So, instead of boring downloaded fonts, each card will be completely hand made, adding to the whimsical and unique feel of the art.
Below is a sample of the artist's fantastic work! She does a variety of calligraphy styles, often with sarcastic or rather vulgar sayings, and every one of them is fantastic.
As I had mentioned before, you all funded this project faster than I could get quotes for stretch goals! The first thing I wanted to do was get a better box than the basic one I already had nailed down. We now have a tin box for the cards to sit in, with custom printing on the top, bottom, and sides. I will get some photos of the base box and a design mockup to you all soon!
The next goal is what a bunch of you asked for - some nice velvet drawstring bags for the cards to fit in, whether they are stored inside the tin or you want to take them in just the bag itself. The bags are black, and measure 8x6 inches or 203x152mm, leaving plenty of room for the deck inside.
I have said a few times that I plan on writing out the same information regardless of whether or not we get it printed in a book. I will have it on my website, and send it to everyone as a downloadable pdf as well. As it stands, I am signed up for an 8-page leaflet to have inside the box.
In the backer surveys for everyone who secured a "cat card" slot, they will get to choose if they are alright with me using their cats' stories (and if so which ones) in this literature. I am hopeful that most of you will be happy to be included, allowing me to give more context to the card art than just symbology alone.
Reaching this goal will allow me to print around 200 pages in black and white, in a small (5"x8" or so) book with all of the card descriptions and some additional information.
Possible Future Goals:
- The magnetic box is something some people love - but other's don't - so when/if I put this stretch goal up it will allow you to choose between the tin and the magnetic box.
- Full color printing is expensive, but I am looking into that as well (for the book).
- A reading cloth is an idea I have kicked around, but it is a lower priority item in comparison to the others.
More About the Project:
Why not finish the cards, and print a full deck before Kickstarting this?
This was actually the original plan! But - after talking to a lot of my usual supporters, I learned that a surprising number of them were extremely interested in the idea of having their cats in the deck. Eventually I decided that this was something I absolutely wanted to offer. Not only does it add a variety of rewards, but it also gives the entire deck a really personal touch overall.
The big reason I would be wary of purchasing a deck like this without seeing the finished product is that I just don't trust everyone's publishing skills. What if the card quality is crappy? What if the images get printed at low quality? I can't show you a finished deck - but I can give you information.
I am a professional illustrator - one of the few in the industry who does almost everything traditionally. My work is almost always scanned, edited a bit, and made into some sort of promotional material or otherwise printed. I am very familiar with the specifics involved.
I am having all of my printing and manufacturing done by a high quality design studio in downtown LA. This is the kind of place that normally does work for large companies like Lexus, Target, and Too Faced (just to name a few). I trust very much the quality of their work, and the integrity of their studio. I have absolute confidence that they would not hand me a sub-par finished product.
Finishing All the Art in Time
I am honestly not even worried about it. I know some of you will be though, so let me break down my timeline for you.
This Kickstarter ends on September 27th. Kickstarter takes up to 3 weeks to get the money back to its clients, so that puts us at October 18th. I would like to literally get the money and send everything to print at or before that date.
My goal is to have all the hand illustration work done by the end of the Kickstarter on Sept. 27th. The weeks between then and receiving the money can be spent editing and preparing everything for publishing. That gives me 5 weeks to do 78 illustrations. That sounds like a lot - but I do them 6 at time (because they are small and that is how many fits on the bigger canvas), and generally finish all 6 in two days. At 3 paintings a day, for 5 weeks, I can do a maximum of 105. Luckily, I don't need to - so instead I can have more than a week of leeway for the project.
For a little cost breakdown: 90% of the costs are printing and packaging fees, and 10% go to Kickstarter and payment services. If I get more than the target amount, I might not have to pay to get this project going, and at the most will make a little money for the hours and hours of work I have put in.
Back of Card Art
Risks and challenges
The worst that could happen to this project is that it gets delayed. If something happens to me where I end up being unable to meet my deadline (this has literally never happened to me before), I would have to push the project back a few weeks or so at most. The same would happen if the printer ends up being slower than I thought. Even if things get pushed beck two weeks, I would still be able to get these to you guys by Halloween!
My biggest worry is that I will not have the reach needed to get the funding at all, so sharing is almost as helpful as actually purchasing!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (36 days)