Divine Art Playing Cards - Inspired from Hindu Mythology
100% custom illustrated deck of playing cards inspired by Hindu Mythology, printed by EPCC. FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING
(Note: prices are in Australian dollars, funding goal is ~$11000 USD)
- Fully custom illustrated cards based on Hindu Mythology
- 54 Poker size cards
- Printed by Expert Playing Card Company on their CLASSIC stock & finish
- Traditionally Cut for smooth edges
- Worldwide free shipping
- Limited print run
- Australian Kickstarter project (all prices on page in AUD)
- Digital copy of Divine Art booklet as a bonus gift for all backers
It is for collectors, cartomancers, those wanting a cultural tie to India, Indian mythology enthusiasts or students and everyone in between.
Note: This is a relaunch of the project. Both card back & tuckbox has been redesigned. Expert Playing Card Company is the new production partner who will be producing the deck.
We’re losing our connection to the past. I don’t want to document it or even glamorize it. I just want to pay tribute to it – Cheryl Criss
Hi, my name is Sunish Chabba from Guru Playing Card Company (GPCC). This all started as an idea for a design challenge to revive lost or almost forgotten traditional arts & crafts (of India ) while pursuing a course on Design thinking/Human Centered Design. The challenge statement led me to the lost craft of Ganjifa playing cards and it felt like an interesting subject to take up. Guru Ganjifa, my first project on Kickstarter, failed to get traction but helped me experience and learn a few valuable lessons. We are a team of two. Anaya Purandare is the designer who also worked with me on Guru Ganjifa. Credit also goes to Anjali D’Souza who worked with me on the first version of Divine Art Project. The relaunch has a new card back & tuckbox design and I thank Argita Gjoroveni, an Albanian designer, for working alongside me, testing & experimenting a few new designs & materials, and coming up with the new concepts.
Divine Art Playing Cards is the second project from the stables of GPCC. It is inspired from Hindu Mythology. Wikipedia defines it as a large body of mythical narratives found in Hindu texts such as the epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, the Puranas, and the Vedas), Ancient Tamil literature (such as the Sangam literature and Periya Puranam), several other regional literature of South Asia. Since time immemorial, storytellers and artisans have captured those stories and characters in the form of art. Some even tried capturing these stories & symbols in the form of card games and historical narratives point us towards Kridapatram & Ganjifa. From the 17th century onwards, one of the Ganjifa variants (known as Dashavatara Ganjifa) became the most popular card game in Rajasthan, Bengal, Nepal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Some other known Ganjifa variants include Mughal Ganjifa, Ramayan Ganjifa, Navgraha Ganjifa, Ashta Malla Ganjifa & Rashi Ganjifa.
Divine Art Playing Cards (DAPC) project takes the regular playing card deck and turns it on its head by combining it with Hindu Mythology. After Ganjifa, this project is one of the first that captures Hindu Mythology in a playing card deck.
The basis of the Indian world view is of Cosmic unity underlying the physical diversity of the world, through which man transcends himself. Since almost every Indian folk art form is based on Hindu mythology, for the Kings, Queens and Jacks of each suit, various Gods and Goddesses as well as their mounts (vahanas) are taken as inspiration. Millions worship these deities daily in India & abroad.
Blast from the past - Some of the initial concept sketches
DESIGN INSPIRATION - BLOCK PRINT & MEHNDI
The court cards have the quality of a block print, which is commonly known to leave white spaces between different parts of a pattern or illustration. The body adornment on the illustration is inspired from Mehndi. Being made from henna, wet Mehndi is of an olive color and is used to make tattoo like designs on limbs, during weddings and other social occasions in India. The concept of Mehndi combined with the design patterns of block prints has been used to decorate the illustrations.
Custom Aces incorporate symbols found in rituals & mythology giving the appearance of a block print.
Narad Muni (Sage) & Mohini (female avatar of Lord Vishnu), who are known as the tricksters in Hindu Mythology, are portrayed in the two extra cards. In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a character in a story (god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphisation), which exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge, and uses it to play tricks or otherwise disobey normal rules and conventional behaviour (Source: Wikipedia).
Note: As seen from similar decks like Ganjifa based on Hindu mythology, the players never used to gamble with money while playing with any such cards based on Hindu gods and goddesses.
Let the photos do the talking now.
* All images shown in this campaign are either renderings or from prototype deck
Four Custom Aces incorporate symbolism from Indian mythology and follow the same sequence as the courts. Concentric lines define volume and create a rhythmic unity, and the underlying geometrical forms generate a pleasing multi-dimensional effect.
Number cards: The original designs for the number cards include a hint of a hidden mathematical order, giving a universal appeal at the level of archetypes, which completely transcends the usual mundane arrangement of pips. The contrasting pale and dark pip colours are very clear and enhance the legibility of the design.
Card Back: The back design incorporates elements from Indian mythology & folk art. Sri Yantra has been known as one of the most powerful sacred geometric shape and is used for worship, devotion & meditation. Aum is a sacred sound and spiritual icon with referneces found in ancient scriptures known as Upanishads. It is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The Aum symbol has also been found on ancient coins dating back to 1st to 4th Centuries. Ganesha is known as one of the best known & most worshiped deities in the Hindu Pantheon while being widely reverred as the remover of obstacles. The combination of these icons & symbols on the card back & tuckbox makes this deck very powerful one from a metaphysical plane perspective.
Each backer will receive a digital copy of Divine Art booklet (currently spanning 6 pages) that includes information on the theme of the deck & court card designs.
I'd like to keep this project simple with a focus on the main deck alone. It is one of the key reasons that you are not seeing any other add-ons or reward tiers for now. I'll see how the campaign progresses and will continue to communicate with backers on this front.
The Expert Playing Card Company will produce Divine Art deck. This is to ensure that you receive the highest quality product possible, and a deck of playing cards that is both incredibly durable and handles amazingly. Divine Art will sport the highly acclaimed CLASSIC Stock and Finish.
I am pleased to announce that any and all copies of Divine Art Playing Cards pledged for during this campaign include worldwide shipping. I'm able to achieve this by being content to swallow costs and make little to no profits on Divine Art.
The shipping partner has been recommended by Expert PCC themselves and will ensure the decks are shipped securely and received by backers worldwide safe and sound.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT THE PROJECT?
Back us. Tell all of your friends to get their own deck. Share! Help us spread the word via the “Share this project” button above.
Kickstarter Campaign: Oct'16
Surveys sent: End of Nov'16
Begin printing of cards: Jan'16
Fulfillment and shipping: Apr'17
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that helps bring creative projects to life. Think of Kickstarter as a place where you can help support a project like this and in return you are offered a series of rewards depending on your pledge. Once you've chosen what type of reward you would like to receive, Kickstarter will ask you to register in order to record your pledge. They will safely set up your payment but you will ONLY be billed at the end of the campaign IF this project reaches its funding goal. Remember, if the project isn't fully funded during our Kickstarter campaign, you won't be charged a dime (and, unfortunately, the deck won't be published). You can always go back and change or cancel your reward level before the campaign ends. You can check more info about it here.
With the funding goal achieved, I will be able to take the idea to production for the first print run of 1000 decks and get this beautifully crafted deck across to all of you out there.
The idea was born of the Design thinking course I was pursuing in February this year. The aim of Guru Playing Card Company is to spread and create awareness about the beautiful but traditional art forms as well as use them in a contemporary manner. I'm a member of International Playing Card Society. When I'm not pursuing these creative endeavors, I work as an IT Consultant in my other life.
To my family, Anaya Purandare, Late Sh. Kishor Gordhandas, Don Boyer, Mike Ratledge, Simon Wintle, David Kenney, Arnab Nandi, Dilbag SIngh, Adrian Morgan, Argita Gjoroveni
Folks @ United Cardists & Playing Card Forum who gave feedback and suggestions during the design & development phase
Emmanuel Valtierra, Garrett Long, RJ Tomlinson, Paul Bostock , Mike Brown (Bruno), Anthony Ingrassia , Richard Kempter, Richard Rothar, Max, Tasha Turner Lennhoff, David Sun & Ivan Choe who shared insights and feedback during the campaign development phase
Risks and challenges
The artwork is finished but minor tweaks and updates are expected over the course of the campaign. Booklet may also need some further updates. I've already been getting prototype decks based on major design changes or updates and will keep backers informed of such cases.
I've put a great deal of planning into this project to ensure everything goes smoothly this time around. EPCC is known for its quality and I am sure they will exceed the expectations in production.
The projected fulfillment and shipping deadlines are conservative & have got buffers in place, and I'm confident that this project will be able to meet and/or exceed the expectations from backers on shipping front. Risk mitigation while maintaining constant communication with the backers will be my strategy for Divine Art Playing Cards project.
Note: Presented artwork is subject to minor tweaks and updates.
The finished product may vary slightly from the art shown here. As it goes through the printing process, minor revisions may need to be made, and I will keep backers informed of such cases.
You, as a backer, are responsible for import duties, VAT or any other duties that may be payable to the relevant tax authorities in your respective country as well as providing correct address information in the survey after the campaign has ended.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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